Greece International Trade in Legal Services

Greece International Trade in Legal Services

HOME COUNTRY LICENSING QUESTIONS

Is there legislation governing the legal sector

Law no. 3026/54 (Lawyers code) as amended by law no. 3919/2011 Special Section B on lawyers and law firms. 

Under what title do lawyers practise?

 Dikigoros (Δικηγ?ρoς)

How does an individual lawyer obtain a "licence" to practise law? How often must this be renewed?

Licensing as a lawyer in Greece requires a degree from a relevant Greek or other recognised tertiary level education institution, 18 months of practical training in a lawyer's office, followed by a Bar examination and registration with the local bar association.

Does this entitle the holder to practise throughout the country? If the law license only permits one to practice on a sub-national level, please explain the jurisdictional limits

Prior to Law 3919/2011, Greek lawyers were limited to practice within their local district. Now lawyers may practice throughout Greece although they must still be registered in one of the the local bar associations.

 

Are there certain activities that are "reserved" to those who are licensed to practise law in the jurisdiction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawyers have the exclusive right to: 1.Represent citizens in civil and criminal courts and in authorities of the region in which the lawyer is member of the respective bar association (Article 39 of code) (Law 3919/2011 revised the earlier legislation allowing for lawyers members of all bar associations to represent citizens in civil courts); 2.Required presence and signature of a lawyer representing each of the parties in the case of contracts for any transaction concerning real estate property or ships over €29,347 for the regions of Athens and Pireaus or €11,738 for the remaining part of Greece (the presence of a lawyer is not required in the case of transfer of property from parents to their children or between husband and wife or for transfer to the public sector and charity organisations) (art. 42 of code); 3.Compiling or changing statutes of companies with capital of over €29,347 for the regions of Athens and Pireaus or €11,738 for the remaining part of Greece (art. 42); 4.Compilation and submission of the necessary documents related to the(trademarks, patents etc.) (art 39 replaced by art 14 of 1366/1983); 5.Provision of legal advise concerning tax customs and administrative related cases of citizens (art 39 replaced by art 14 of 1366/1983); 6.Mandatory presence in mediation procedures (not arbitration) (Article 8 of law 3989/2010); 7. Research in land registries concerning mortgages, foreclosures, registration (article 41)

Do you need to hold local nationality to be eligible to practise law?

Greek nationality is not a requirement for legal practice

What legal forms can lawyers work in? (e.g. self employment, partnership, limited liability partnership, multi-disciplinary partnership, incorporation)

Lawyers may practise as sole practitioners, in partnerships or as professional companies.

What other ethical or regulatory requirements must a licensed lawyer comply with? 

Lawyers must abide by the Greek Bar's code of conduct
(see:http://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/NTCdocument/code_grece_elpdf12_1187786105.pdf)

Do law firms need to receive a "license" (or permission/approval) to practice law?

A law firm must register its addresses, including branches, with the bar where its headquarters is registered.

Which authority issues licences? Are there different authorities for individuals and firms? 

The local Greek Bar Associations issue licences to lawyers and register law firms. A full list can be found at the Athens Bar website: http://www.dsa.gr

   

INDIVIDUAL FOREIGN LAWYERS

Are there any explicit rules or restrictions other than visas on fly in fly out practice of law? Ie. Do you need to obtain a licence for temporary practice?

Temporary practice by foreign lawyers under home country title is not permitted in Greece. EU lawyers may practise temporarily as a result of the Lawyers Services Directive (77/249/EEC)

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a visa to visit clients or to market but not to practice?

Greece is one of the 25 countries in Europe that has signed the Schengen agreement. This allows a non-EEA national to obtain a visa to enter one or more of the Schengen countries for business or tourism purposes on a single visit of up to 90 days, or to make multiple entries to the Schengen area on any number of occasions over a 180 day period, provided none of these is for longer than 90 days.  A number of non-EEA countries are exempt from visa requirements.

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a licence to establish and practise as a foreign legal consultant and what is the scope of this limited licence?

An EEA lawyer must register with the local bar, practise under his home title, comply with the Greek lawyers' code of conduct and maintain adequate professional indemnity insurance.

Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled once a foreign lawyer has been granted a limited licence (e.g. residency requirement)

In order to register a foreign lawyer must hold an EEA nationality and legal qualification and be in good standing with their home bar association.

Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled for a foreign lawyer to qualify for a limited licence? (e.g. prior practice)

Arbitration in Greece is generally conducted under the rules of one of the two major arbitral bodies: the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry or the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping.  Greek legislation on arbitration allows the parties to choose the arbitrators they wish.  Mediation is reserved to Greek lawyers.

Are foreign lawyers permitted to undertake arbitration and mediation? European Union/EFTA and Swiss lawyers may all appear in court provided they do so in association with a local lawyer. Other nationals are not permitted to appear in court.
Are foreign lawyers allowed to appear in court under any circumstances?

European Union/EFTA and Swiss lawyers may all appear in court provided they do so in association with a local lawyer.  In theory foreign lawyers may also appear in court provided they do not use the protected title of advocate. 

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?

 

EEA lawyers  may fully requalify as Greek lawyers following the European Establishment Directive 98/5/EC, either by examination or by assimilation over a three year period of continuous and effective practice in Greece. Requalification is not open to non-EEA nationals.

FOREIGN LAW FIRMS

Can a foreign law firm obtain a licence to open an office?

Foreign law firms may establish in Greece to provide legal advisory services in home country law and international law but do not require a licence to do so. EEA law firms may additionally provide legal advisory services in Greek law provided they work in association with Greek qualified lawyers and must register with the local bar.

Even if a foreign law firm does not require a legal licence must they register in some form in order to set up an office? (e.g. with a ministry of company affairs etc)

Foreign businesses must file company documents with the Athens Bar and complete a number of other formalities. 
Are there different types of foreign law firm 'licence'  (e.g. Joint Law Venture, stand alone foreign licence etc)

No

Is there a quota on the number of licences available?

No

Are there geographical restrictions on foreign firm licences or on the number of branches a foreign firm can have?

No

Are there "scope of practice" rules that apply directly to foreign law firms (as opposed to lawyers themselves)? (e.g. home, host, international law), if so, what are they? There are no scope of practice rules that apply to firms as opposed to individual lawyers.
Are there restrictions on the corporate form a foreign law firm can take? The Establishment Directive (98/5/EC) makes it clear that EU law firms may use the name of their law firm they use in their home country. The host Member State may require that, in addition mention is made of the legal form of the grouping in the home Member State and/or of the names of any members of the grouping practising in the host Member State.
Are there rules about the name a foreign law firm can take? The Establishment Directive (98/5/EC) makes it clear that EU law firms may use the name of their law firm they use in their home country. The host Member State may require that, in addition mention is made of the legal form of the grouping in the home Member State and/or of the names of any members of the grouping practising in the host Member State.
What entity grants a 'license' to a foreign law firm? If that entity is on the Internet, please provide the URL EEA lawyers must register with the local bar and give their practising address details.
   

EMPLOYMENT AND PARTNERSHIP

Are there restrictions on the ownership share of foreign lawyers in a law firm?

There are no restrictions on the ownership share of EEA lawyers in a Greek law firm.

May a domestic lawyer be employed by a foreign lawyer or law firm?

There is no prohibition on employment of a Greek lawyer by an EEA lawyer or law firm.

Can a domestic lawyer enter into partnership with a foreign lawyer?

A Greek lawyer may enter a partnership with a lawyer from an EEA state.

Can a domestic lawyer or domestic law firm employ a foreign lawyer?

Yes but only under their home title.

   

OTHER USEFUL LINKS/SOURCES

Other useful sources or comments or links

Athens Bar: Dikigorikos Sylogos Athinon  http://www.dsa.gr/