European lawyer

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19th-century painting of lawyers, by French artist Honoré Daumier

A European lawyer, beyond the self-evident definition of 'a lawyer in Europe', also refers to a specific provision under European Communities (Services of Lawyers) Order 1978, which permits a lawyer to practice in European countries they are not licensed in. Also referred to as an EU lawyer.[1]

The order contains a list of countries of origin and the designations which the order applies to for example a professional "entitled to pursue his professional activities"[2] such as an "advokat" in Finland, may practice Europe-wide as a "European lawyer".

The order also imposes temporary limitations on the types of legal work which may be carried out by such persons. European lawyers practicing outside their country of origin must be associated with appropriate co-counsel and upon demand by a competent authority they must verify their status.[2]

After a possible temporary limitation such as the aforementioned, an EU lawyer may acquire and use the title of the country he/she is residing and working in, usually after three years of practice under the title of origin (and possible restrictions) or after an examination that confirms equivalence. The choice is up to the professional, not the bar or country.

Professions Applicable to EU Order[edit]

The full list of professions to whom the title 'European Lawyer' is applicable follows;

Professions recognised under EU Order
Country Profession Duration of legal education[3]
Austria Rechtsanwalt 4-5 year degree
Belgium Avocat 5 year degree
Bulgaria Advokat
Cyprus Dikegόros
Croatia Odvjetnik 5 year degree + exam
Czech Republic Advokát
Denmark Advokat 5 year degree
Estonia Vandeadvokaat
Finland Asianajaja 5-6 year degree
France Avocat 4 year degree
Germany Rechtsanwalt 5-6 year degree
Greece Dikegόros 4 year degree
Hungary ügyvéd
Iceland lögmaður
Ireland Solicitor Solicitor vs. Barrister

distinction, university or practical experience paths

Italy Avvocato 5 year degree
Latvia Zvērināts
Latvia Advokāts
Liechtenstein Rechtsanwalt
Lithuania Advokatas
Luxembourg Avocat No local law school until recently; recognition of other EU law degrees and supplementary course in local law
Malta Avukat
Prokuratur Legali
Netherlands Advocaat 4-5 year degree
Norway Advokat
Poland Adwokat
Radca Prawny
Portugal Advogado 5 year degree
Romania Avocat
Slovakia Advokát
Slovenia Odvetnik
Spain Abogado 5 years and a half degree + exam
Sweden Advokat 4-5 year degree
Switzerland Rechtsanwalt
United Kingdom Solicitor England and Wales: Solicitor vs. Barrister

distinction, university or practical experience paths; Scotland 3-4 Years


See also[edit]