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Samuel Phillips Law

12 Days of Brexit Summary

12 days of Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Over the last 11 days, the team at Samuel Phillips Law have been updating you on the changes to the various areas of law we deal with which will come into effect once the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

As of 1 January 2021, changes will come into effect. Some areas of law are expected to see a bigger impact, for example:

  1. Divorce Law – ‘Divorce Tourism’ will end on 1 January 2021 and an English court will be able to refuse a petition in favour of another EU member state more closely connected to the marriage. This change will have the biggest impact on marriages where the parties have links to more than one EU country.
  2. Children’s Law – once the transition period is over, the EU Regulations which enhance the Hague Convention which provides remedies for a child who has been abducted by a parent, will no longer apply. English Courts will only be able to rely on the Hague Convention to have a child returned.
  3. Employment Law – The UK will operate a points-based immigration system and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens wanting to move to the UK to work will need to obtain a visa in advance. The new rules will have an impact on any employers currently employing EEA citizens or employers planning to employ EEA citizens.
  4. Commercial Litigation – If enacted, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Relevant Court) (Retained EU Case Law) Regulations 2020 are expected to create a surge in appeals of commercial disputes to higher courts and difficulties settling such disputes out of court, as it will be difficult to predict whether judges will defer from EU case law which has shaped the law for so many years.
  5. Commercial Contracts – Although many businesses have audited their commercial contracts throughout the transition period, continuing auditing will be required following 1 January 2021. Changes to movement of goods laws is expected to increase the likelihood of disputes arising as a result of inability to fulfil contractual obligations.

Other areas of law are likely to see a smaller impact, for example:

  1. Property Law – Throughout the transition period, the property market has remained strong and buoyant. As the vast majority of law surrounding property transactions is governed by the country in which the property is located, the UK’s departure from the EU will not see any major impact on such transactions. This is much the same whether the property is of a commercial or residential nature.
  2. Wills – As the UK never adopted the EU Succession Regulation, little change to Wills law in the UK is expected following 1 January 2021. However, the Regulation will still be relevant to anyone who has assets in EU countries.
  3. Tax and Lifetime Planning – Although Brexit will not have a direct impact on the laws which govern most Wills, Probate and Trusts Law, it is likely that we will see tax rates be reviewed to deal with the economical impact of Brexit. It is important that you keep an eye on these changes and make changes to lifetime planning as necessary.

If you have any queries or concerns about if and how Brexit may impact your circumstances, ongoing legal transactions or potential future legal transactions, get in touch with Samuel Phillips Law today.

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