As the Brexit negotiations start, one direct impact is an interest from clients and advisers looking to have flexibility in their organisational structure ahead of any legislative or other changes being implemented.

With the UK government having now triggered Article 50 (2) of the Treaty on European Union to withdraw the UK from the EU, two years of negotiation has now formally started. We do not profess to have expert knowledge of the negotiations and their intricacies. However, since the referendum result, in our capacity as a service provider to a wide range of global and local clients, TMF Group has seen that the negotiations are starting to have a tangible impact.

Referendum impact

The resultant change in the GBP exchange rate has already driven decisions, with a number of clients setting up new UK entities to take advantage of the investment opportunities this presents. In particular, this has been evident in the renewable energy sector where the end of government subsidies has encouraged a search for alternative funding sources. Aligning this to global pro-activity for ethical investment, the benefit of the exchange rate has encouraged greater overseas investment into the UK, often using a UK investment vehicle.

In the last year, we have also supported the transfer of locations of management and control from continental Europe to the UK, for differing purposes driven by requirements for change in organisational management, operation and control, funding and other purposes. None were Brexit related but they do reflect that, despite uncertain markets, corporate decisions may have an alternative timeline that needs to be adhered to.

Desire for flexibility

As the Brexit negotiations start, one direct impact is an interest from clients and advisers looking to have flexibility in their organisational structure ahead of any legislative or other changes being implemented.  Such flexibility can include having entities pre-incorporated in both the UK and EU countries to enable faster decision making and action in the future. With the uncertainty of whether negotiations will be beneficial for the EU or the UK; and this benefit expected to be different in magnitude and impact across and between sectors and industries; having the ability to build a legal entity framework for any outcome can give comfort that an action based first step has been taken.