On June 23, 2016, a majority of British voters elected to leave the E.U. (commonly known as the “Brexit”). However, it is not certain at this point how, when or indeed whether the U.K. will actually make its exit. A number of leading law firms with hedge fund practices have formed legal teams devoted to analyzing the Brexit issue, and have published a heavy volume of client alerts and memoranda directed at clients in the hedge funds space. In an effort to help our subscribers understand the key observations and comments offered by law firm partners who have closely followed the issue, and the implications of the vote for hedge fund managers, the Hedge Fund Law Report has conducted interviews with law firm partners focused on Brexit and compiled a summary and analysis of the partners’ insights, along with the law firms’ client memoranda in a two-part series. This article provides a detailed summary of the time frame for any potential changes resulting from the vote, as well as analysis of possible terms under which the U.K. might leave the E.U. and the distinction between a “hard” and “soft” Brexit. The second article
will address the options available for fund managers concerned about how they can continue to market and distribute their products in the E.U. For additional coverage of the Brexit’s significance and impact on hedge funds, see “What Today’s Brexit Vote Could Mean for Hedge Fund Managers
” (Jun. 23, 2016).