On a sunny evening on 21 June 2018, the Brussels Office of the Law Societies hosted its annual Summer Reception, in the offices of Squire Patton Boggs.

The reception provided the perfect opportunity for the Law Society to engage with its European stakeholders as well as with representatives from the Austrian, Czech, Belgian, German (BRAK) and Luxembourgish bars.

The Brussels Office was delighted to see many familiar faces at the reception including various lawyers from major global law firms, based in Brussels.

In addition, the event hosted representatives from the Law Societies of England & Wales, and Scotland.  Robert Khan, Mickaël Laurans, Stephen Denyer, Tim O’Sullivan, David Greene, Johnathan Goldsmith and Katherine Mercer attended on behalf of the Law Society of England and Wales, while President Alison Atack, Michael Clancy and Katie Hay on behalf of the Law Society of Scotland.

Head of the Brussels Office Helena Raulus opened the reception with a brief speech, in which she welcomed guests to event. Dr. Raulus gave a brief outline of the role the office plays in representing the UK’s three Law Societies in Brussels and provided a short recap of some of the Office’s achievements over the past year. She noted the work the Brussels Office had done on Brexit and in particular its work on the potential effects that the UK’s departure from the EU will have on the rights of lawyers to practice cross-border, on the recognition and enforcement of judgments in the EU27 and UK, and the effect of Brexit on security and judicial cooperation between the EU27 and UK. In addition, Dr. Raulus noted that the Office was busy with work on other areas of European law and policy, for example in the fields of anti-money laundering, taxation, technology, family law and consumer law.

David Greene, Deputy Vice President of the Law Society of England and Wales, followed Dr. Raulus with a speech in which he provided a brief update of the Society’s work on Brexit and on European Affairs more generally. He noted that much of the work done in London is done in conjunction with the Brussels Office and in tandem with the experts sitting on the Law Society of England and Wales’ EU Committee.

President of the Law Society of Scotland Alison Atack closed the round of introductory speeches by noting that this was the first speech she had made in her new role. She noted that she had last been in the Brussels over twenty years ago, again at a reception hosted by the Joint Brussels Office of the Law Societies. She thanked those in attendance and underlined the Law Society of Scotland’s support for the work of the Brussels Office, which complements the work carried out on Brexit by the law Society in Edinburgh.

With the brief round of speeches concluded, guests with further questions on the role and work of the Law societies in Europe were invited to contact the Brussels Office. The reception then continued late into the evening.