The result of the European Union referendum (Brexit) was announced on Friday, 24 June 2016 with a vote in favour of the United Kingdom exiting.

For now, the main point to understand is that the referendum does not trigger any legal consequences and the timing for a UK exit from the EU is uncertain. Legally, nothing has changed. The UK is still an EU member subject to the same rights and obligations. This will not change until there is an actual departure from the EU which could take years.

David Cameron is standing down as prime minister leaving the decision to invoke the formal process to exit the EU (pursuant to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty) to his successor. This will postpone the formal start of the withdrawal process, which when it occurs will then trigger a two year negotiation period before a formal exit can take place. It is unclear at this point when (or, in fact, if) Article 50 will be invoked.

It will be some time before the terms of the UK’s future relationship with the EU are determined, the decision to leave does raise immediate issues as to the impact on business activities in the UK, the EU and beyond. Planning accordingly for these issues will help put businesses in the best possible position in the uncertain months ahead.

Where We Can Assist

In the blur of mega firms, Brown Rudnick stands out as a “global boutique” and has in place a multi-disciplinary, international Brexit Team. We are monitoring and analysing the consequences and considerations for businesses and are ready to advise on the potential legal implications of Brexit. The Brown Rudnick Brexit Team is available to advise on the issues across a broad range of sectors within our areas of expertise, including:

  • Anti-Trust
  • Capital Markets
  • Corporate and M&A
  • Corporate Crime
  • Cross-Border Transactions
  • Data Protection
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Family Offices
  • Financial Services
  • Funds
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Disputes
  • Life Sciences
  • Litigation and Arbitration
  • Real Estate
  • Restructuring and Insolvency
  • Tax


Mark Dorff

P: +44.20.7851.6005

F: +44.20.7851.6100

Neil Micklethwaite

P: +44.20.7851.6086

F: +44.20.7851.6100