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Lawyers have begun to react after the U.K. voted by 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union.

The pound dropped to its lowest level since 1985 as it became clear that Britain had voted Out, having already collapsed a historic 13 percent against the Japanese Yen.

Shortly after the London Stock Exchange opened the FTSE 100 fell 8 percent, wiping over £130 billion off the value of Britain’s biggest companies, though it has since recovered slightly. The governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney attempted to calm markets saying the bank was “prepared” for Brexit and he “will not hesitate to take additional measures” as markets adjust.

Clifford Chance senior partner Malcom Sweeting said: “We believe this outcome has serious implications for the City and many of our clients’ businesses with exposure to the U.K. and the E.U. We are working alongside our clients to help them as they anticipate, plan for, and manage the challenges the coming political and trade negotiations will bring.”

Simmons & Simmons corporate head Mark Curtis, who is leading the firm’s 20-partner strong Brexit taskforce, said: “This will be a source of great concern for many of our clients as we face an extended period of uncertainty.”

Curtis said the firm’s Brexit hotline is open and its Brexit Microsite has been updated early this morning with “further sector focused support and guidance”. He added: “We have further client briefings planned and these are just the first steps in a long term plan as we look to support our clients in the hours, days, weeks and months of uncertainty to come.”

Lee Ranson, Eversheds managing partner, said the firm was giving a “calm and measured response” to the result of the referendum to clients.

He said: “We circulated a briefing to major clients on the impact this morning – nobody knows the timeline for this – which twists and turns it will take – we feel we are well prepared, without sounding trite, for the challenges and opportunities this will engender.”

When asked what the result meant for the firm’s international offices he said Eversheds was “committed to a global strategy”.

Susan Bright, Hogan Lovells regional managing partner U.K. and Africa, said the firm had already sent briefings to clients this morning and “clearly the markets are in turmoil”.

She said: “People are waking up to this and are starting to think it through, we are starting to get questions through from clients. We have a large number coming into our corporate partners in particular. Other inquiries have been around process, in terms of Section 50 and when might the U.K. government actually serve notice of their intention to leave. All of this is shrouded in uncertainty.”

“I think it’s fair to say a lot of our US clients have been intellectually interested into it up until now, but reading the odds as we all did, they didn’t really expect it to happen. Now they are very invested.”

Sean Connolly, London senior partner at Mayer Brown said the U.K. was “now in new territory”. However he noted: “Whilst we have already seen an impact on the markets and can expect other unpredicted economic and business effects nothing will change until a formal notification to leave the E.U. is lodged with the European Council.”

In Asia partners have also been quick to react as markets tumbled. Japan’s Nikkei 225 is down 7.7 percent, while the Australian stock exchange has fallen sharply by 3.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 4.7 percent, as shares in HSBC have plummeted 10.8 percent.

Addleshaw Goddard Asia head, Nigel Francis, said: “The expectation was that ultimately it would end up as a decision to remain.”

“However, [with a decision to leave], as far as the domestic practice in Hong Kong is concerned I don’t think it will have a significant impact. Indeed, so far as the opportunity to steer Asian capital inflows to the U.K. is concerned, it may well be a positive if, as apparently is expected, asset prices and sterling fall in the short term.”

K&L Gates’ regional head David Tang warned that Britain’s position as an “access point” for Asian businesses into the E.U. was likely to end.

“Those benefits may no longer be available and operations will need to be domiciled in another E.U. member country,” he concluded.

The political fallout from the vote has also started with Prime Minister David Cameron pledging to resign by October this year.

The impact of the vote is likely to vary from sector to sector. Ashurst real estate partner Hugh Lumby said there “maybe a decline in investment into the U.K. real estate market” as the U.K. negotiates its exit from the E.U. over the next few years.

Ashurst oil and gas partner Michael Burns said: “The most immediate concern [for the oil and gas market] is that Brexit’s potential economic impact may exacerbate the already challenging environment created by lower oil prices. This, combined with the possibility of a further Scottish independence referendum, has created even more uncertainty in an existing pool of uncertainty for the industry.”

Nick Elwell-Sutton, employment law partner at Clyde & Co, said to brace for job losses in the financial services sector. He said: “Unless the financial services passporting rules are resolved in the UK’s favour, then many large financial services businesses are likely to relocate to within the EU meaning large scale redundancies would be highly probable.”

King & Spalding employment partner Jules Quinn advised companies to undertake audits into their staff to assess implications post-vote. She said: “Companies should be assessing employees will potentially be required to apply for a work permit if there is a repeal of the current EU immigration rules.”

Leading U.K. law firms will have been advising clients as events unfurled throughout the night. Legal Week reported earlier in the week how a host of firms had put in place emergency hotlines to respond to clients day or night.

Magic Circle firms Clifford Chance and Linklaters both set up 24-hour operations rooms in preparation for fallout from the referendum, particularly in the event of an Out vote.

Clifford Chance’s “24-hour rapid response unit” includes a team of lawyers and staff across the firm’s offices in major financial centers in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

Meanwhile, Linklaters’ executive committee and partnership board will be convening this morning to provide senior leadership guidance. In addition, the firm has had partners on standby overnight to advise clients on any immediate queries.

Other firms putting in place emergency teams of lawyers include Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Dechert and Nabarro.

Further Reaction From The Market

Michael Chissick, managing partner Fieldfisher

“While the UK has voted to leave the EU, Fieldfisher has not. We are a European law firm and that won’t change.”

Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC, chairman of the Bar

“The long-term effect of Brexit on the legal services sector’s contribution to the UK economy will depend significantly on the nature and terms of the post-Brexit relationship with the EU. Despite all the turbulence, however, I am confident that London will remain a leading centre for international dispute resolution. The reputation of barristers and our judiciary overseas, beyond the EU, is very high and I expect it will remain so in the years to come.”

Bill Voge, chair and managing partner of Latham & Watkins

“We will continue to monitor developments as the legal and commercial ramifications of the vote become apparent. We are confident that our strength in the UK and continental Europe positions us well to advise our clients and respond to their needs worldwide.”

Etay Katz, financial services regulatory partners at Allen & Overy

“In the short term, [financial services] firms should be considering their existing business models, geographical positioning and future areas of growth in order to develop contingency plans that will allow them to continue accessing the European and/or UK markets post Brexit whatever the exit model. It is expected that the regulators will start requesting these plans.”

Jeremy Cohen, Dentons chief executive officer for the UK, Middle East and Africa (UKMEA)

“This is clearly a historic event that will have significant implications for the UK and international business community. Doubtless we will need to brace ourselves for some short term economic turbulence, but as the world’s fifth largest economy with a financial centre that will retain many of its competitive advantages over other cities, there is no reason to doubt that Britain will adapt and prosper as we always have done.

“The City of London is already positioned as the most global financial centre in the world, facilitating huge trade and currency flows to and from North and South America, Asia, Australasia and Africa, as well as Europe.

Lawyers have begun to react after the U.K. voted by 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union.

The pound dropped to its lowest level since 1985 as it became clear that Britain had voted Out, having already collapsed a historic 13 percent against the Japanese Yen.

Shortly after the London Stock Exchange opened the FTSE 100 fell 8 percent, wiping over £130 billion off the value of Britain’s biggest companies, though it has since recovered slightly. The governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney attempted to calm markets saying the bank was “prepared” for Brexit and he “will not hesitate to take additional measures” as markets adjust.

Clifford Chance senior partner Malcom Sweeting said: “We believe this outcome has serious implications for the City and many of our clients’ businesses with exposure to the U.K. and the E.U. We are working alongside our clients to help them as they anticipate, plan for, and manage the challenges the coming political and trade negotiations will bring.”

Simmons & Simmons corporate head Mark Curtis, who is leading the firm’s 20-partner strong Brexit taskforce, said: “This will be a source of great concern for many of our clients as we face an extended period of uncertainty.”

Curtis said the firm’s Brexit hotline is open and its Brexit Microsite has been updated early this morning with “further sector focused support and guidance”. He added: “We have further client briefings planned and these are just the first steps in a long term plan as we look to support our clients in the hours, days, weeks and months of uncertainty to come.”

Lee Ranson, Eversheds managing partner, said the firm was giving a “calm and measured response” to the result of the referendum to clients.

He said: “We circulated a briefing to major clients on the impact this morning – nobody knows the timeline for this – which twists and turns it will take – we feel we are well prepared, without sounding trite, for the challenges and opportunities this will engender.”

When asked what the result meant for the firm’s international offices he said Eversheds was “committed to a global strategy”.

Susan Bright, Hogan Lovells regional managing partner U.K. and Africa, said the firm had already sent briefings to clients this morning and “clearly the markets are in turmoil”.

She said: “People are waking up to this and are starting to think it through, we are starting to get questions through from clients. We have a large number coming into our corporate partners in particular. Other inquiries have been around process, in terms of Section 50 and when might the U.K. government actually serve notice of their intention to leave. All of this is shrouded in uncertainty.”

“I think it’s fair to say a lot of our US clients have been intellectually interested into it up until now, but reading the odds as we all did, they didn’t really expect it to happen. Now they are very invested.”

Sean Connolly, London senior partner at Mayer Brown said the U.K. was “now in new territory”. However he noted: “Whilst we have already seen an impact on the markets and can expect other unpredicted economic and business effects nothing will change until a formal notification to leave the E.U. is lodged with the European Council.”

In Asia partners have also been quick to react as markets tumbled. Japan’s Nikkei 225 is down 7.7 percent, while the Australian stock exchange has fallen sharply by 3.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 4.7 percent, as shares in HSBC have plummeted 10.8 percent.

Addleshaw Goddard Asia head, Nigel Francis, said: “The expectation was that ultimately it would end up as a decision to remain.”

“However, [with a decision to leave], as far as the domestic practice in Hong Kong is concerned I don’t think it will have a significant impact. Indeed, so far as the opportunity to steer Asian capital inflows to the U.K. is concerned, it may well be a positive if, as apparently is expected, asset prices and sterling fall in the short term.”

K&L Gates ‘ regional head David Tang warned that Britain’s position as an “access point” for Asian businesses into the E.U. was likely to end.

“Those benefits may no longer be available and operations will need to be domiciled in another E.U. member country,” he concluded.

The political fallout from the vote has also started with Prime Minister David Cameron pledging to resign by October this year.

The impact of the vote is likely to vary from sector to sector. Ashurst real estate partner Hugh Lumby said there “maybe a decline in investment into the U.K. real estate market” as the U.K. negotiates its exit from the E.U. over the next few years.

Ashurst oil and gas partner Michael Burns said: “The most immediate concern [for the oil and gas market] is that Brexit’s potential economic impact may exacerbate the already challenging environment created by lower oil prices. This, combined with the possibility of a further Scottish independence referendum, has created even more uncertainty in an existing pool of uncertainty for the industry.”

Nick Elwell-Sutton, employment law partner at Clyde & Co , said to brace for job losses in the financial services sector. He said: “Unless the financial services passporting rules are resolved in the UK’s favour, then many large financial services businesses are likely to relocate to within the EU meaning large scale redundancies would be highly probable.”

King & Spalding employment partner Jules Quinn advised companies to undertake audits into their staff to assess implications post-vote. She said: “Companies should be assessing employees will potentially be required to apply for a work permit if there is a repeal of the current EU immigration rules.”

Leading U.K. law firms will have been advising clients as events unfurled throughout the night. Legal Week reported earlier in the week how a host of firms had put in place emergency hotlines to respond to clients day or night.

Magic Circle firms Clifford Chance and Linklaters both set up 24-hour operations rooms in preparation for fallout from the referendum, particularly in the event of an Out vote.

Clifford Chance ‘s “24-hour rapid response unit” includes a team of lawyers and staff across the firm’s offices in major financial centers in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

Meanwhile, Linklaters ‘ executive committee and partnership board will be convening this morning to provide senior leadership guidance. In addition, the firm has had partners on standby overnight to advise clients on any immediate queries.

Other firms putting in place emergency teams of lawyers include Herbert Smith Freehills , Hogan Lovells , Dechert and Nabarro.

Further Reaction From The Market

Michael Chissick, managing partner Fieldfisher

“While the UK has voted to leave the EU, Fieldfisher has not. We are a European law firm and that won’t change.”

Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC, chairman of the Bar

“The long-term effect of Brexit on the legal services sector’s contribution to the UK economy will depend significantly on the nature and terms of the post-Brexit relationship with the EU. Despite all the turbulence, however, I am confident that London will remain a leading centre for international dispute resolution. The reputation of barristers and our judiciary overseas, beyond the EU, is very high and I expect it will remain so in the years to come.”

Bill Voge, chair and managing partner of Latham & Watkins

“We will continue to monitor developments as the legal and commercial ramifications of the vote become apparent. We are confident that our strength in the UK and continental Europe positions us well to advise our clients and respond to their needs worldwide.”

Etay Katz, financial services regulatory partners at Allen & Overy

“In the short term, [financial services] firms should be considering their existing business models, geographical positioning and future areas of growth in order to develop contingency plans that will allow them to continue accessing the European and/or UK markets post Brexit whatever the exit model. It is expected that the regulators will start requesting these plans.”

Jeremy Cohen, Dentons chief executive officer for the UK, Middle East and Africa (UKMEA)

“This is clearly a historic event that will have significant implications for the UK and international business community. Doubtless we will need to brace ourselves for some short term economic turbulence, but as the world’s fifth largest economy with a financial centre that will retain many of its competitive advantages over other cities, there is no reason to doubt that Britain will adapt and prosper as we always have done.

“The City of London is already positioned as the most global financial centre in the world, facilitating huge trade and currency flows to and from North and South America, Asia, Australasia and Africa, as well as Europe.