Is your business prepared for Brexit?

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. We know that the uncertainty around Brexit has made it difficult to know how to prepare, but our expert team will help you to put practical steps in place to make sure your business is ready during the commencing transitional period.

Our team of Brexit advisors offer in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit and how it will affect your business.

We specialise in a wide range of sectors and can help to answer big questions about Brexit and the preparations businesses should make, including:

  • What your business should do in the event of a no-deal Brexit?
  • How will the transitional period between Brexit and the entry into new UK-EU trade agreements affect you?
  • How will any long-term new trade agreements affect you?
  • What contingency plans will you need in place for each potential Brexit Scenario?

Our team of advisors can provide bespoke assessments of your business, including:

  • Assessing how your business could be affected by Brexit
  • Providing personalised practical plans to ensure your business is ready

We've also developed FBCMB sector specific regional tube maps, where you see the potential threats and issues which will affect your business. The 'lines' include international standards, EU rules, opportunities, people and trade. On each step of this journey you will need advice and our team are on hand to provide it.

It is already clear, that you or those you supply are not going to enjoy the same access to the EU's Single Market under a trade agreement as you did while the UK was a member of the EU.

The main threat you face is uncertainty about the outcome. Nonetheless, you need to assess the impact of a worst-case-scenario Brexit now and have in place contingency plans which are flexible enough to respond to developments in the negotiations.

Our team can help you with all that you need in four steps:

  1. Information - You need to have procedures in place to ensure you are well-informed about the Brexit process. Relying on press reports won’t be enough. Understanding and forecasting the likely impacts are fundamental to your Brexit strategy to gaining early competitive advantage. FBC Manby Bowdler will give you with a tailored service which monitors progress, analyses published documents, and identifies the impacts for your business the moment they become clear.

  2. Preparation - Prepare for Brexit with and without a deal. To do so, businesses should carry out a Brexit legal impact assessment followed by a Brexit commercial impact assessment. These will form the baseline of any contingency measures. 

  3. Action - You should decide what contingency plans you need and when they should be activated. You might be marginally or massively impacted. Contingency measures could include setting up alternative supply chains, identifying new customer markets, or re-skilling employees. FBC Manby Bowdler has been at the forefront of advising clients on the commercial implications of Brexit. We have the experience to help you devise and implement contingency measures for your business, and stress-test them against a range of Brexit scenarios, whatever industry you operate in.

  4. Influencing - The best way to avoid a Brexit that damages your business is to influence the outcome yourself. Brexit provides an opportunity to do that, which businesses should exploit more. FBC Manby Bowdler has the benefit of advisers in Brussels and London. We can devise and implement policy advocacy strategies to influence the course of further Brexit negotiations, the negotiations on a new trade agreement and build long-term regulatory compliance strategies, including relationship-building with key influencers and government authorities.

Our team of experienced sector specialists has examined the potential impact of Brexit in your sector and can provide an in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit, and translate what they mean for manufacturing, agricultural and hospitality clients. We have an expert understanding of how each piece of the jigsaw of EU policy and legislation fits together, an insider’s knowledge of the political and administrative processes of the negotiations, and considerable experience of how UK legislation is enacted. 

Agreement Signposts Post-Brexit Direction On Intellectual Property

24/04/2018

FBC Manby Bowdlers IP specialist has welcomed an indication from Brexit negotiators about the future of intellectual property rights once the UK leaves the European Union.

David Preece, Corporate Partner at FBC Manby Bowdler, said the recently published draft withdrawal agreement provided an important insight into how EU and Community registered designs are likely to be treated over coming years.

Currently the EU Trade Marks (EUTM) and Registered Community Designs (RCD) are valid in both the UK and the rest of the EU, which had given rise to questions about their validity after March next year.

But the draft withdrawal agreement includes eight articles relating to intellectual property, and suggests EU-wide rights will be replaced with equivalent UK rights after the end of the transition period.

David Preece, Corporate Partner at FBC Manby Bowdler, said: “This detail was much-needed, and helps in understanding the best path to adopt for registrations as we head through Brexit. 

“As currently stated, it suggests that separate UK and EU trade mark and registered design applications will not need to be filed, which was the belt and braces approach taken by many, pending an announcement on how conversions would be treated post-Brexit.”

“We do not know whether this conversion will happen automatically, whether it will require action by the holder of the rights, or indeed whether a charge will be levied, but it does give some reassurance that holders of EU trade marks registered before the end of the transition period can expect an enforceable intellectual property right in the UK post-transition, and that the renewal date will be the same.  

“Similarly, anyone holding a Community registered design right will become the holder of a UK registered design right.”

It is also expected that a new UK unregistered design right will be created to provide the wider protection currently offered by the EU unregistered design right.  

The draft agreement also sets out that protection will continue post-transition for international registrations of trademarks or designs that designate the EU via the Madrid or Hague centralised application systems for registration in multiple jurisdictions.  

The UK was already an independent signatory to the Madrid Protocol, and will independently accede to the Hague Agreement in June 2018.  The UK will also continue to be a member of WIPO - the World Intellectual Property Organization – that administers these international processes.  

David added:  “Post-Brexit, alongside any UK registrations, businesses seeking protection in Europe will be able to register an EUTM or RCD to cover all remaining EU Member States.  

“However, filing through WIPO may become the simplest option, as it will cover the UK, the EU and countries such as the USA or Japan, with 68 countries signed up to the Hague Agreement and 116 to the Madrid Protocol.”   

For national protection, solely within the UK, trade marking, registered designs, patenting and copyright is administered by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and governed by the Intellectual Property Act 2014.  

As the Brexit negotiations continue, the IPO has said it is keen to hear views on the transitional arrangements from those involved in managing IP issues day-to-day, by emailing EUenquiries@ipo.gov.uk

For further advice on IP issues Post Brexit, contact David on 01952 208421 or david.preece@fbcmb.co.uk

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