Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Relocating to Ireland – What’s the Craic?


A number of PR companies have identified Ten Percent Legal Recruitment as being a news provider. With this in mind we get regular press releases from law firms, universities, companies, government departments and lots more besides. Most of this is probably about as interesting as our newsletters, but occasionally it is possible to spot a trend.
The recent trend has been ‘relocating to Ireland’ to do legal work and Irish solicitors firms offering UK clients their services for future work in the EU. With reports of some larger solicitors firms recruiting large numbers of staff in Dublin, it looks likely that some movement of business over to Ireland from the UK is going to occur. I very much doubt there is a lot of Irish legal work to compete for but relocating to Ireland and then servicing UK clients seems to be the idea. Whether the whole relocation thing has any longer term effect once the whole EU departure thing is completed is another matter entirely.
So relocating to Ireland – how easy is it to open a company, get a postal address and get going in Ireland?
To become a lawyer in Ireland the following three facts are fairly key:
1. The Law Society of Ireland do not require you to apply for prior authorisation.
2. You send a few details to the LSI as follows: your business name and address, date you ceased previous employment, your financial year, professional indemnity insurance information and details of an approved accountant. Once you have this, you do not need approval to commence practice – see https://www.lawsociety.ie/globalassets/documents/committees/guidance/settingup07.pdf
3. The cost of a practising certificate in Ireland is (gulp) 2,550 Euros.
You can requalify in Ireland for 300 Euros if you have 3 years PQE or more by providing the following to the LSI (Law Society of Ireland):
1. Copy of qualification and degree certificates, copy of good standing certificate from the Law Society.
2. Three character references including 2 from 5 year PQE solicitors.
3. Affidavit to say you have never been bankrupt.
4. Certified copy of passport.
(source: www.leedslawsociety.org.uk).
It is not clear what will happen after the UK leaves the EU – there are all sorts of visa applications that may or may not be involved. Here’s hoping the politicians manage to keep these out of the equation as they look to be a complete nightmare. Apparently (according to www.lawpracticemanager.co.uk) this “would leave UK solicitors with the right to apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit, which is open to all professionals who are not on an ineligible profession list and who earn more than 60,000 Euros a year. At present it looks like solicitors are not on the ineligible profession list, but of course that could change if large numbers of UK solicitors bail to Ireland”.
To set up a company in Ireland is fairly easy as well! A useful guide is here (no link or benefit to our company): http://www.eurostartentreprises.com/images/OpenABusinessInIreland-EuroStart.pdf
1. You can have an Irish bank account without being resident.
2. You can open a limited company in Ireland once you have an address.
3. A registered office address can be bought in Dublin for £55 a year – www.companyaddress.co.uk
4. You can open the company with the Company Registration Office – takes about 3 days.
5. Registering for corporation tax, social insurance and VAT in Ireland is done via the Revenue Commissioners.
6. Once the UK leaves the EU it is possible that you will have to apply for a specialist visa to open a business in Ireland, unless an agreement is to avoid this is made between the UK and EU. Specialist visas usually have strings attached such as a requirement to invest 400,000 Euros and upwards or be an entrepreneur looking to make 1 million Euros of sales and employ 10 staff within 4 years.     

Property is both astronomically expensive and extremely cheap depending on where you plan to relocate to. Rural areas away from Dublin are very cheap, housing within commuting distance of Dublin is astronomical.
Corporation tax is currently 12.5% and council tax equivalent in Ireland are c.100 Euros per residential household per year (bin emptying not included).
I suspect that apart from Dublin being the other side of the Irish Sea the other drawback of living in Ireland is the weather. Watch the forecast for Ireland over a period of 6 months and be amazed at how wet the place is. TP Legal Recruitment are located in North Wales so we know a thing or two about rain, but my goodness Ireland seems to be one great big magnet for rain clouds.
Would it be possible to run the head office of a law firm (or indeed any other business) from Ireland and retain your UK operations? Would the continued EU membership of Ireland benefit any UK business if their main geographical area was the UK? Is there any point relocating to Ireland other than to pursue business opportunities there – are there any? 5 years ago at least 20% of the housing stock in Ireland was unoccupied due to the recession. It it hard to say what benefits there would be, other than a low tax rate, although Google and LinkedIn seem to do well by operating in the UK from Ireland..

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