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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.
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" 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.
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
The full list of professions to whom the title 'European Lawyer' is applicable follows;
|Country||Profession||Duration of legal education|
|Austria||Rechtsanwalt||4-5 year degree|
|Belgium||Avocat||5 year degree|
|Croatia||Odvjetnik||5 year degree + exam|
|Denmark||Advokat||5 year degree|
|Finland||Asianajaja||5-6 year degree|
|France||Avocat||4 year degree|
|Germany||Rechtsanwalt||5-6 year degree|
|Greece||Dikegόros||4 year degree|
|Ireland||Solicitor||Solicitor vs. Barrister
distinction, university or practical experience paths
|Italy||Avvocato||5 year degree|
|Luxembourg||Avocat||No local law school until recently; recognition of other EU law degrees and supplementary course in local law|
|Netherlands||Advocaat||4-5 year degree|
|Portugal||Advogado||5 year degree|
|Spain||Abogado||5 years and a half degree + exam|
|Sweden||Advokat||4-5 year degree|
|United Kingdom||Solicitor||England and Wales: Solicitor vs. Barrister
distinction, university or practical experience paths; Scotland 3-4 Years
- "Statutory Instrument 2004 No. 1117. The European Communities (Services of Lawyers) (Amendment) Order 2004". Office of Public Sector Information.
- "Annex 10A European Communities (Services of Lawyers) Order 1978" Archived 2008-01-02 at the Wayback Machine.