Opinión | 18.10.2018

Brexit: Punto de vista de dos despachos de abogados en Londres

In Alice in Wonderland, the author, Lewis Carroll wrote, “If you don't know where you are going any road can take you there.”
At the present time we do not know what form Brexit will take. All that is known is that because the Article 50 withdrawal notice which the UK gave to the EU expires at 11 pm UK time on 29 March 2019, the next working day is April Fools’ Day!
If we work on the basis that civil servants who advise UK Government ministers are aware of the underlying principles of the TFEU and the acquis communautaire, either something will give in terms of:
• the EU27 being prepared to compromise; or
• the UK Government being prepared to compromise; or
• there being the largest amount of fudge (truquer or aparejo as opposed to bonbons au sucre or dulce de azúcar) ever produced; or there will be a hard Brexit.
The Law Society of England and Wales
On 22 August 2018 the Law Society issued a press release.
This stated that almost GBP 3bn could be stripped from legal sector turnover by 2025 if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal according to new economic forecasts released by the Law Society of using alternative Brexit scenarios developed in collaboration with Thomson Reuters.
It went on to state that Brexit is likely to have a significant negative effect on the legal sector in the medium and longer term. This is largely due to the knock-on impact of Brexit on the wider economy as demand for legal services relies on the success of other sectors of the UK economy.
“Our econometric model predicts 2.2% average annual growth from 2019 – 2025 with a soft Brexit. This drops to just 1.5% with ‘harder’ Brexit options such as a Canada-style free trade agreement (FTA).
“If the UK had to fall back on Word Trade Organisation (WTO) rules – a ‘no deal’ scenario – growth would only be 1.1% per year on average over this period.”
Our clients
Some clients have given thought as to what may happen in the event of a so-called hard Brexit. Some are starting to think. Others have yet to start.  Why the discrepancy?
Brexit and business thinking is to a considerable degree a microcosm for business supply chains. It is also the case that:
1. there is a lack of understanding as to what is being negotiated and why. The managing director of one business claimed recently, “If we can’t agree the terms of a free trade deal, a hard Brexit will follow in March 2019.” In brief – no understanding that:
1.1 what is being negotiated at present are the terms of a withdrawal treaty (that is, the terms on which the UK will withdraw from the EU); and
1.2 whilst it is the case that the treaty is intended to contain the principles of a subsequent trade agreement, the withdrawal treaty is not a trade deal.
2. A hope that Brexit will just go away (the so-called “Ostrich approach”).
3. A belief that if it does not, the effect on business will be manageable.
To assist our clients we have produced a number of guides for business which we have made available to clients and on our website.
My firm
Fox Williams is a small-medium sized business law firm located in the City of London. Most of our work is international in some way or another. Whilst we act for clients across the breadth of the UK economy, we focus on 5 sectors:
• Financial services
• Technology
• Fashion
• Professional services
• Natural resources 
It is our view that we have a robust and well balanced client base and practice which should allow us to weather successfully the Brexit transition.
But we also hope that we will not have to…………………………….

Steven Sidkin
Fox Williams LLP