Profile of a bar association: Barcelona

Barcelona Bar Association  

Although the origin of the legal profession in Barcelona dates back to the late 13th century, the Barcelona Bar Association (ICAB), as a public bar corporation, was created on 17 January 1833 under a royal order issued by King Ferdinand VII.

Today the organisation has almost 20,000 members of which around 15,200 are active. The remainder do not practice as lawyers but enjoy certain rights as members of the bar.

The Bar Association is an institution aimed at both guaranteeing the professional interests of the law profession but also at ensuring the accomplishment of the profession’s deontological rules, with a distinct vocation for serving the community.

ICAB is committed to provide services to its members, including educational activities, for both newly qualified lawyers within the profession, as well as those already in practice. The association provides other services such as civil liability insurance, health care services and access to new technologies via its web site, www. icab.cat.

As the functions of the association are delegated by public bodies, the bar association regulates and campaigns on several matters, including fees, less professional intrusion, and the provision of legal aid to people in detention or with limited financial resources.

The library of the Barcelona Bar Association is considered one of the best libraries in Europe specialising in legal matters. It houses contains 300,000 volumes and 1,000 periodicals.

One of the aims of the current President, Pedro Yufera and the Council of the Bar is the internationalisation of its members. The Barcelona Bar Association has always been a forum on international activities and for this purpose the ICAB plays an active role in the events and initiatives promoted by several international associations.