8 August 2016
Following the UK European referendum vote of 23 June 2016, a lot of individuals whose businesses and personal affairs connect them to the UK have posed questions on the practical and legal implications.
As a law firm working in both the UK and Bulgaria New Balkans Law Office organised an event on the consequences of Brexit and the potential effects it would have on the businesses operating in Bulgaria and the UK as these appeared in the days immediately following the vote.
Kamen Shoylev opened by discussing the avoidability and constitutionality of Brexit. The discussion centred around the possibility of the EU forcing the UK to trigger Article 50 and whether or not there is a chance for the UK not to start the process of leaving the Union despite the results of the referendum.
Speaking about the economic and financial risks for businesses, Kamen Shoylev and Irina Stoyanova warned that with the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, companies might be adversely affected by a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers which will complicate trade. Mr Shoylev went through the possible future scenarios of a customs union, common market in their full sense or a tailor-made arrangement between the UK and EU.
According to Mr Shoylev there won’t be any significant short-term implications for corporate structures in the UK, however in the long-term taxes might have to be raised so that the budget deficit created by Brexit could be filled.
Our experts reassured the business community, that Bulgaria will remain a member of the EU and it will continue to apply the Brussels Regime determining the applicable law when it comes to dispute resolution, even though the UK will no longer have to follow the Rome I and Rome II Regulations. So if the contract specified English applicable law, this will be accepted by Bulgarian courts, however ruling made by the English judicial system would have to go through a special process to be recognised by the Bulgarian system. Mr Shoylev explained that British courts have the practice of applying the agreed applicable law, so there would be no significant changes in dispute resolution in the UK.
According to our lawyers, the freedom of movement principle will most likely remain unchanged, but it will happen under conditions of registration and regulation, as in Switzerland. Our advice for EU individuals currently living in the UK would be to start the procedure to acquire permanent residence or citizenship as soon as possible.
Our seminar is available to watch in Bulgarian at our YouTube channel.
The seminar was covered by the local media in several languages, which you can find here:
Articles in English:
Articles in Bulgarian:
Articles in Russian:
The organisers wish to thank Intra Partners, a Sofia based accounting and finance consultancy, for its generous sponsorship.
A win in an insurance exclusion clause dispute at the Supreme Court
NBLO's dispute resolution team, led by Yordan Neshkov, secured a success against a large Bulgarian insurer in a claim brought on behalf of a UK national, who had lost her property in a fire. The insurer had refused to pay out under the insurance, on the grounds that a widely drawn clause in its general terms allegedly excused it from paying whenever there was a breach of building regulations, even if (as was accepted in this case) this breach was invisible externally, could not be discovered through reasonable investigation and was not caused by the insured. NBLO had good reasons to argue that this position was unsupported in the Bulgarian Insurance Code or civil law generally and persuaded the Supreme Cassation Court to back it. This is covered more fully in an article on our website.
© New Balkans Law Office 2017