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The challenge of Brexit

How CMS is helping financial institutions across Europe and beyond


On 23rd June the UK voted to leave the European Union. The UK government has committed itself to implementing this result and delivering ‘Brexit’.

The UK has established two new government departments; one to handle the negotiations with the EU (Department for Exiting the European Union) and the other to establish new trading arrangements with countries outside the EU (Department for International Trade). Brexit will be a huge project for the UK. It must negotiate an exit from the EU, establish new relationships with the bloc and with its other trading partners across the world and it must also undertake a massive domestic exercise to transition the vast amount of regulation that is currently EU derived.

The challenge

Financial institutions operating within UK markets face a huge challenge themselves. Article 50 is untested and, prior to the referendum, neither the UK, nor the EU, had any concrete plans as to how they would handle the process of withdrawal or what the new trading relationships, after Brexit, might be. The process is fraught with uncertainty.

All financial institutions (in the UK and across the EEA) operate under EU-derived regulation and many firms are structured in a way that relies heavily on EU passporting rights. For those involved, with UK business – whether UK, European or international groups – Brexit poses a real challenge. Even domestic business in the UK will be impacted by the change to UK regulation and the upheaval to the legal system.

How CMS can help – a pan-European solution

CMS is ideally placed to help its clients deal with the Brexit challenge. It has unique expertise and depth across Europe.

  • It gives clients the perspective from London, Paris, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Brussels, Zurich and 20 other countries.
  • It covers key areas
    • FI regulation (banking and payments, insurance, funds, securities and derivatives);
    • EU and international trade law and WTO; and
    • All the business law areas that Brexit or group restructuring may impact – from employment to IP, from tax to corporate and M&A.

For more information, download our brochure or contact one of our specialists.

The challenge of Brexit
PDF 2.1 MB


Portrait ofBenoît Vandervelde
Benoît Vandervelde