This is another great news story for Ireland Inc. The IDA and industry as a whole deserve immense credit for the work they are doing promoting Ireland to UK financial services firms looking for a post Brexit solution. This is consistent with what we are seeing at Maples. We are already working on a collaborative basis with a number of our UK clients and their international advisers to address a wide range of complex legal and regulatory Brexit-related issues. As we anticipate a substantial impact on EU cross-border activity, we are seeing increased demand for Irish legal services. Our multi-disciplinary team is uniquely positioned as it also can draw on upon the expertise of our Cayman Islands and BVI legal resources.

The continued uncertainty as to what form Brexit might take and what if any access UK financial services firms will have to the EU27 is a considerable challenge for business. What is certain is that affected firms need to start their contingency planning now so as to ensure they are in a position to implement those plans well in advance of the March 2019 deadline.

The FCA estimates that there are approximately 5,476 UK authorised firms passporting their services into the EU27 under various European financial service directives. We are already starting to see an increased number of UK firms looking to relocate to Ireland and applying to the Central Bank for authorisation as either AIFM/UCITS or dual authorised management companies ("Super ManCos"). Both the UCITS and AIFMD directives set down anticipated regulatory authorisation timeframes of between three to six months. Whilst the Central Bank is poised for the increased numbers of applications, if even a quarter of these UK authorised firms sought to relocate to Ireland, it would put a strain on the approval process, particularly the closer we get to March 2019. So the sooner that UK firms looking to Ireland as its post Brexit solution engage in the relocation process, the greater the likelihood of them being insulated on Brexit Day, 29 March 2019.

So the message is; Keep calm but Brexit in an orderly fashion!!