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Planning For Life After Brexit

A Q&A with Simmons & Simmons on the outlook for hedge funds

The vote by the UK electorate to leave the European Union has created an enormous sense of uncertainty for asset managers, both those based in the UK and those who have used the UK as their base for their European operations. We asked Devarshi Saksena, Partner at Simmons & Simmons, and Art Markham, Managing Associate at Simmons & Simmons, for their views on what lies ahead for hedge funds in light of last month’s remarkable events.

“We are navigating uncharted waters, and it is not clear when and indeed if the UK will invoke Article 50.”

While the UK electorate has voted to leave the European Union, the referendum is not legally binding. Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon must be invoked by the UK Government before the process of negotiating the UK’s exit can begin, and it is still not clear whether the Government will need to go to Parliament for a vote before it does so. We are navigating uncharted waters, and it is not clear when and indeed if the UK will invoke Article 50.

THFJ: What should hedge funds be considering in the wake of this momentous vote?

DS: The decisions of politicians will determine how things now play out, and the impact of Brexit on the political situation in Westminster, and in Brussels for that matter, can hardly be underestimated. It is very hard to make reliable predictions for events over the next few months, but the vote could have a serious impact on some fund managers, and they should be examining their situation and, if necessary, exploring the options now rather than waiting to see how events might develop further.

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