31/05/2016

The news is currently dominated by the potential exit of the United Kingdom from the EU.

The debate over what has been dubbed as a potential Brexit will only intensify as we approach the referendum vote on 23 June, which is now just under a month away.

A number of potential legal issues will arise for both commercial and individual clients if the country votes for Brexit.

What the post-Brexit legal landscape will look like will depend on what EU Membership is replaced with. Would the UK join the European Economic Area (‘EEA’) or simply negotiate trade agreements? There is huge uncertainty about that and how long it will take.

In the meantime, the commercial world keeps on turning.

Some of the issues that commercial clients will have to consider will include:-

  • The Intellectual Property position of EU Trade Mark Holders
  • Employment legislation generally
  • Data Protection
  • Public Procurement
  • Regulation of Financial Services and Pensions
  • Existing Contractual Relationships, particularly where you have contractual arrangements with companies or individuals who are resident in other EU member states

From a commercial contract perspective, and given the current uncertainty, consideration should be given as to the potential implications for a “Brexit” now.

These should include consideration of:-

  • Choice of Applicable Law or Jurisdiction
  • Termination Processes
  • Whether a Brexit would amount to a possible force majeure event by which a party could escape legal consequences if a Brexit meant that contractual obligations could not be fulfilled.

Given the huge uncertainty at present, there are no straightforward answers, however, if you have concerns about how the commercial interests of your business might be affected then please contact us to discuss.

If you have any queries regarding this or any aspect of dispute resolution please contact Karen Elder at Beswicks Legal on 01782 404710 karen.elder@beswicks.com