Brexit, law firms and political hires
|Part of the Powerbase Brexit Portal.|
Ever since the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, major law firms have been busy creating dedicated teams to advise companies on Brexit.
Specialist legal recruiters FRS is helping law firms build their Brexit teams. It says that 'the most successful teams are being built with trade partners from law firms in both London and Brussels; and lawyers currently working within Governmental entities.'
Former government lawyers can earn significantly more money in the private sector. In return, law firms get people with not just the relevant legal skills, but also insider knowledge, or as FRS puts it: people with 'a unique understanding of the administrative and political processes across Westminster, Whitehall and Brussels'.
'Clients are already looking for advice on how to navigate new legislation and trade arrangements,' says FRS.
As a consequence, law firms are hiring politicians, government lawyers and other officials in a bid to position themselves as the go-to people for such advice.
Click on the links for more info, including details of these law firms' Brexit services
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hired Jonathan Hill, former European Commissioner for Financial Services as a Brexit adviser in March 2017. In September 2016, it had hired Anthony Parry, a former legal adviser to the Treasury.
- Covington & Burling LLP hired former cabinet minister Francis Maude as a senior adviser in its government affairs practice in September 2016.
- Dechert hired Andrew Hood, the former legal adviser to then prime minister David Cameron, to its Brexit advisory team in February 2017.
- DLA Piper hired as its Brexit director Paul Hardy who was most recently EU Legal Adviser to the House of Lords.
- Squire Patton Boggs hired former Conservative minister James Wharton in October 2017 as a consultant.
- Pinsent Masons hired former Labour cabinet minister Douglas Alexander as a Brexit adviser in March 2016.
- Herbert Smith Freehills hired in lobbying agency Hanbury Strategy to provide clients with Brexit policy advice. It is also working with Lord Peter Mandelson's firm, Global Counsel and Boston Consulting Group on Brexit. Hanbury is run by an ex-Cameron advisor, a leading Brexit campaigner and employs Theresa May's former press secretary.
- Linklaters has also hired Hanbury Strategy to provide the law firm with policy advice 'in connection with the impact of Brexit on their clients’ businesses'. It also employs former foreign secretary William Hague as chair of its international advisory group.
- Mishcon de Reya, is another law firm to join forces with a lobbying agency, in its case Kreab.
- Dentons, the US law firm has established a network of lobbying firms around the world, some of which – like Portland PR in the UK - have significant political connections.
- Building your Brexit Team, Fox Rodney publication (pdf), uploaded June 2017