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Society welcomes Switzerland travel deal | News

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Society welcomes Switzerland travel deal |  News

The extension of a Swiss-UK professional services travel agreement is good news for lawyers and law firms doing business between the two countries, the Law Society said today. Lawyers and other professional service providers from the UK can continue to travel to Switzerland for up to 90 days a year without a short-stay permit after the two countries agreed to extend their Services Mobility Agreement (SMA) until the end of 2025.

Society vice president Nick Emmerson said: ‘The three-year extension to the travel agreement for people providing professional services, which had been due to expire at the end of this year, means solicitors of UK nationality can continue flying in and out of Switzerland for up to three months a year under similar conditions to those which were in place before the UK left the single market.’

The Law Society has been one of the organizations pushing for this outcome ever since the UK and Switzerland announced they were negotiating new trade arrangements earlier this year.

Emmerson noted that Switzerland and the UK are about to start negotiating a new free trade agreement and new arrangements for the mutual recognition of professional qualifications.

The Society recommends that the trade agreements the UK is negotiating around the world should seek the ability for UK lawyers to:

  • Advise clients on home-country laws and public and private international law;
  • Provide advice through commercial presence for firms, temporary practice (fly-in fly-out), establishment rights for individuals, as well as digital provision;
  • Have a clear, transparent and proportionate path to requalification into the host state profession;
  • Represent and advise their clients in arbitration, conciliation and mediation in international proceedings; and act as arbitrators, mediators and conciliators;
  • Partner with, employ and be employed by local lawyers.

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