The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 aims to incorporate EU laws into UK law, which means that most laws will not change significantly. However, Brexit is going to mean big changes for many business relationships. That’s why it makes sense to evaluate the potential impact on your commercial contracts. Kingston Smith can support you through the transition and advise on any steps necessary to safeguard your business interests and maximise new opportunities. Here’s our guide to some of the key legal and contractual issues you may want to be considering now.

  • Audit your existing contracts and assess the effect Brexit may have on your rights and obligations.
  • Engage with your customers, clients and suppliers to discuss possible Brexit scenarios and consider whether contracts should be revised and renewed now or in the future.
  • If you are likely to face increased tariffs on your goods because of Brexit, you may want to factor this into your future pricing.
  • Currency fluctuations could impact your business significantly. You may want to incorporate a price adjustment mechanism in relation to the pound’s value into any new agreement.
  • You may need to ensure that your intellectual property continues to be protected in the EU post-Brexit.
  • Similarly, if you have any EC trademarks, these may need to be converted into UK ones.
  • As you assess regulatory and licensing requirements in EU countries, you may decide that a cost-effective solution could be to open up a subsidiary or local branch in an EU territory.
  • If your commercial agreements have the EU as their territorial scope, this may need to be re-drafted. We will have a better understanding of this once the manner of Brexit and the nature of the UK’s new relationship with the EU have been decided.
  • If Brexit has a particularly serious impact on a contract, it may be that you want to establish grounds for terminating or renegotiating. In this event, you may seek to argue material adverse change or force majeure clauses as grounds for ending the current contract.

Your Kingston Smith adviser and our legal services team can provide you with specialist guidance on all legal and contract matters.

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