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Cutting the Brussels red tape

14 July 08

Report of the official opening of the new premises for the UK law societies' joint Brussels office

If only it were that easy. However the official opening of the UK law societies’ joint Brussels office on 3 June, does mark a step up in the profession’s efforts to make its voice heard in the EU’s corridors of power.

The building is shared with German, Austrian and Belgian bars, and the opening provided the opportunity for eight bar leaders to renew their calls for EU decision makers to recognise better the contribution of a strong and independent legal profession to Europe’s citizens, its businesses

and to a stronger Single Market – and renew their own commitment to collaboration on bringing this message to the EU in a constructive manner.

Richard Henderson, President of the Law Society of Scotland, is pictured (left) cutting the ribbon with his counterparts Andrew Holroyd (centre), of the Law

Society of England & Wales, and Donald Eakin (right), of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Mr Henderson said:

“I’m delighted to see the Brussels Office move into these high quality, modern premises close to the European institutions. As the eyes and ears of the legal profession, the office exists to provide essential on-the-ground contact with EU policymakers at the crucial early stages of policy formation.

“In addition to offering hotdesking and conference facilities to solicitors, another important feature of the office is the co-location of not only the UK law societies, but also the German, Austrian, and French and Flemish speaking Belgian bars. That, combined with the close proximity of the European lawyers’ organisation, the CCBE, allows close co-operative work in issues that affect the legal professions across Europe.”