International relations - Brussels office
The Society has had an office in Brussels since January 1993. It is a joint office which is shared with the Law Society of England & Wales and the Law Society of Northern Ireland.
The UK law societies are jointly represented by a team of five people: the Head of Office (Mickaël Laurans); Internal Market Policy Adviser (Helena Raulus); Justice and Home Affairs Policy Adviser (Rita Giannini); Policy Adviser on Professional Issues (Anna Drozd) and the Office Manager (Antonella Verde).
The Brussels Office also takes two trainee solicitors on secondment from firms in Scotland, England & Wales or Northern Ireland every September and March for six months.
What are the roles of the Brussels office?
- to raise awareness of EU law and of opportunities in Europe amongst Scottish solicitors
- to monitor developments in EU law and to ensure that they are compatible with the Scottish legal system - the Society maintains a long list of the issues which the office monitors
- to promote Scottish solicitors and Scots law and to open new markets for solicitors
- to protect solicitors' practice rights in the EU and world-wide
What services does the Brussels office provide to individual solicitors and firms?
With these roles in mind, the office provides a number of services free of charge to individual Scottish solicitors and firms. To subscribe to these e-publications, please email the Brussels office, specifying contact details and the publications you require. The Brussels Agenda and Brussels office updates are available in our News section.
The Brussels Agenda
This is the office's monthly electronic newsletter. It summarises EU developments of interest to solicitors and their clients. It covers both developments in EU law which affect professional practice and the way solicitors run their firms, eg advertising, data protection and money laundering rules as well as developments in substantive law.
The office produces a series of detailed updates on the latest developments and prospects in subject specific areas. These are produced on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Currently, updates are available on the following topics:
- civil litigation
- company law & financial services
- consumer law
- criminal law
- employment law
- environmental law
- family law
- intellectual property
The office produces a monthly summary of the latest EU case law relevant to practitioners.
Providing strategic advice on the EU and lobbying
The Brussels office can advise you on how best to represent your clients when lobbying the EU institutions and provide logistical support in arranging meetings. The Brussels office can assist with the identification of EU funding opportunities.
Facilities in Brussels
The Law Societies' joint Brussels office offers conference facilities and hot-desking at its offices situated close to Rond-Point Schuman in the heart of the EU district.
The conference rooms can accommodate groups of 16, 22 and 34 people (boardroom style) and 40 people (theatre style). Each room benefits from air conditioning and natural light. The rooms are equipped with video conferencing facilities, a data projector, flipcharts and WiFi access. There is access to a self-service photocopier and catering and refreshments can be arranged on demand.
Hot-desking facilities are available for solicitors making occasional business trips to Brussels. The room is equipped with a desktop PC, printer and WiFi access. There is also access to a self-service photocopier and catering and refreshments can be arranged on demand.
Offering professional opportunities and networking
Through the Law Society, the office helps to organise training for lawyers on the EU, its institutions and the areas of EU law you need to know about for your practice, as well as seminars on the latest EU developments targeted at firms. The office regularly organises visits to Brussels, be they general study visits for firms, groups and faculties, or tailored visits to meet the key EU officials in your field of practice. It can also help to provide contact-building opportunities at EU-related events in Brussels and the UK.