What we do

The core objectives of the Brussels office are to represent, support and promote solicitors in the EU. There is a strong element of public interest objective in our work since we aim to promote of better quality legislation, and better functioning of the justice and legal system. We work with three UK Law Societies: England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Representing the profession

We represent the profession towards the EU institutions and international organisations such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Our representations concern legislation and policies that impact the solicitor’s profession, substantive and procedural laws on which solicitors advise their clients and wider issues such as better regulation or proper administration of justice.

Supporting the profession

We support the profession by providing information and raising awareness on EU legislation and policies that are relevant to the profession or to solicitors’ main areas of practice. To this end, we publish a monthly newsletter, prepare regular policy updates, attend committee and board meetings and liaise with the policy advisers in three Law Societies.

Promoting the profession

We promote our members and their expertise by making sure they can make a contribution to various policy processes, events or information activities.

Areas of interest

Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing

The current rules designed to combat money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing (CTF) in the EU are set out in the 3rd Anti-Money Laundering Directive (2005/60/EC) (3AMLD). 

Asylum and migration

We carefully follow the developments in the field of asylum and migration.

Company law and corporate governance

The purpose of EU legislation in the areas of company law and corporate governance is to support the free movement of establishment under Article 49(2) TFEU.

Competition and state aid law

Competition law forms one of the basic tools on internal market regulation for companies in the European Union.

Cooperation in civil matters

Judicial cooperation in civil matters means that clear rules exist on questions such as: which EU country has jurisdiction; which court is competent; which law is applicable; ensuring that judgments in one country are recognised and enforced in other countries without difficulties. alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, have also played a big part in easing cross-border conflicts.

Cooperation in criminal matters

The UK is considered by many to have been one of the leading states in shaping early EU policy in the area of criminal justice and policing, particularly in relation to measures aimed at improving access to justice in a criminal context, both on the side of guarantees for the accused and protection for victims.

Data protection and privacy law

Data protection law regulates processing of personal data by citizens, companies, organisations or public authorities.

Equality and employment law

The Law Societies are  committed to principles of equality and diversity, and to working with our members to support practice in these areas. We promote and encourage diverse membership and effective and inclusive working practices.

Family Law

Art 81(3) TFEU says: “…measures concerning family law with cross-border implications shall be established by the Council, acting in accordance with a special legislative procedure. The Council shall act unanimously after consulting the European Parliament.”

Intellectual property law

Current framework of EU intellectual property law.

International trade in legal services

The key objectives of the Law Societies are to engage with the UK policy makers and the EU negotiators to advocate better access to practising rights for solicitors in non-EU jurisdictions.

Police cooperation

We carefully follow the developments in the field of asylum and migration.

Regulation of legal services

This is one of the largest dossiers of the Brussels Office as it comprises several large policy areas

Taxation

Our main interests are cooperation between tax authorities, Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base, VAT regulations and the work of the TAXE, TAXE2 and PANA committees which investigated tax fraud and money laudering.