LexisNexis

Romania International Trade in Legal Services

Romania International Trade in Legal Services

HOME COUNTRY LICENSING QUESTIONS

Is there legislation governing the legal sector

Law for the organization and practice of the lawyer’s profession no. 51/1995 (as subsequently amended) - "The Lawyers Act"; and Law no. 514/2003 (as subsequently amended) regarding the legal advisers profession - "The Legal Advisers Act”.

Under what title do lawyers practise?

There are two distinct professions in Romania: lawyers and legal advisors. Legal advisors’ activities are restricted to the defence of the state and public authorities or institutions whereas lawyers defend other legal entities and natural persons. It is impossible for an individual to practice both professions.

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

 

 

The requirements for qualification as a lawyer are stated in article 11 of the Lawyers Act:  a) to have Romanian citizenship and possession of full civil and political rights; b) to be a law faculty graduate or a doctor of law (Ph.D.); c) not to be an inappropriate candidate for the profession as stipulated by the law; d) to be medically fit to practise the lawyer’s profession.  Lawyers must also pass the bar examination (article 16) and complete a two-year professional traineeship. Upon completion of these requirements, candidates must take an oath (article 21) in order to become fully licensed as lawyers.  A legal advisor must: a) be a Romanian citizen with domicile in Romania; b) have the exercise of civil and political rights; c) have graduated from a law school; d) be medically fit to practise the profession and have the required medical certificate; e) not be covered by one of the special cases considered incompatible with the legal advisors profession. The 2006 Act added an article in the Legal Advisors Act (article 81), which states that “a citizen of a Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area may exercise the legal advisor profession in Romania if that citizen meets the requirements of the law, with the exception of the requirement of article 8 point a)” (citizenship requirement). Applicants must hold a recognized diploma and either take a knowledge test or have a 3-year training period. There is a mandatory 2 year internship upon starting to practise the profession (article 12 of the Legal Advisors Act).

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

The Romanian Bar maintains the list of all lawyers practising in Romania

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article 3 of the Lawyers Act describes the activities reserved to lawyers: a) legal consultancy and petitions;  b) legal assistance and representation before courts of law, criminal inquiry bodies, jurisdictional authorities, notaries public and judicial executors, public administration bodies and institutions, as well as other legal entities, under the terms of the law;  c) drawing up legal documents, and certifying the parties’ identities and the contents and dates of documents submitted for authentication;  d) assistance and representation of interested natural or legal entities before other public authorities, with provisions for certifying the parties’ identities the and contents and dates of concluded documents;  e) defence and representation, using specific means, of the legitimate rights and interests of natural and legal entities in their relationships with public authorities, institutions, and any Romanian or foreign entity;  f) mediation activities;  g) fiduciary activities consisting of receiving, in deposit, on behalf and at the expense of the client, financial funds and goods resulting from the sale or execution of executory titles after the end of a succession procedure or liquidation, as well as the placement and good use of these, on behalf and at the expense of the client, administration of funds or valuables in which the latter have been placed;  h) temporary establishment of trading companies’ head offices at the lawyer’s professional office, the registration of such companies, on behalf and at the expense of the client, of interest shares, shares, or stock of companies thus registered; i) the activities stipulated under g) and h) may take place based on a new legal assistance contract; j) any means and ways typical of the right to defence, under the terms of the law.
Article 4 of the Legal Advisers Act sets out the activities reserved to legal advisers: Advice and representation for the public authority, institution, or employing entity.

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

 

 

Romanian citizenship is required for practice either as a lawyer or a legal advisor. However, Article 12 of the Lawyers Act states that: “A member of a bar from another country may practise the lawyer’s profession in Romania provided he/she meets the conditions stipulated by the law, except for the one concerning Romanian citizenship”. Lawyers from EEA Member States are permitted to practise law in accordance with Directives 77/249/EEC and 98/5/EC. 

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

According to Article 5 of the Lawyers Act, lawyers may work in any of the following vehicles for practice: “individual law offices, associated law offices, professional civil companies, or limited-liability professional civil companies"

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

There are various by-laws made under the Lawyers Act and lawyers must comply with these as well as the ethical code of the Bar.  Legal advisors have statutory obligations in relation to conflict of interest, professional secrecy and confidentiality.

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

There is no “licence” for law firms but following Article 53 (2) h of the Lawyers Act, the council of the competent local bar is required to “check and find that the papers for the constitution of, amendment to, and change in the forms of practising the profession, as well as the grouping or professional collaboration conventions, meet the requirements stipulated by the law and the by-law of the profession; to organise and keep records of such documents”.

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

The competent authority for licensing lawyers to practise in Romania is the relevant local bar association.

   

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?

Article 8015 mentions that for temporary practice provided by lawyers from an EEA or EU member state, registration with a bar is not necessary. EEA lawyers must nevertheless observe the terms and professional conduct regulations of the Romanian Bar, as well as the Romanian legislation concerning the lawyer’s profession. The National Association of the Romanian Bars requires a lawyer providing services to prove his/her qualification as a lawyer (Article 8016 (1)).

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

Romania has made no commitments on free movement of people in the GATS except for essential personnel required to operate foreign investment. Foreign nationals may obtain visas for short or long stays and must have a Romanian host company. EEA nationals do not require visas.

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?

Foreign lawyers who are not from an EEA or EU member state have a limited scope of practice (i.e. they may not appear in court and their practice is limited to legal consultancy) whereas foreign lawyers from within the EEA may carry out the same professional activities as the lawyers who practise under the professional title obtained in Romania (Article 803). There is no mention of a “licence” that they must obtain but they have the obligation to sign in to the special table kept by each bar, and shall be subject to the provisions of the present law, the by-law of the profession and the code of conduct (Article 12(6)).”

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

An EEA lawyer must register with the relevant local bar in Romania, practise under his home title and comply with the Romanian code of conduct.

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

Foreign lawyers must take an examination on Romanian law and Romanian language which is organized by the National Association of the Romanian Bars (U.N.B.R.). EEA lawyers must hold EEA nationality and an EEA qualification.

Are foreign lawyers permitted to undertake arbitration and mediation? Article 12 (4) of the Lawyers Act recognises the right of a foreign lawyer to conduct international arbitration in Romania.

Are foreign lawyers allowed to appear in court under any circumstances?

European Union/EFTA and Swiss lawyers may appear in court provided they do so in association with a local lawyer. Other nationals are not permitted to appear in court.

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?

Foreign lawyers may qualify to practise Romanian law but are restricted to practise as legal consultants (i.e. practise outside the courts). EEA lawyers may requalify under Directive 98/5/EC either by examination or a period of assimilation into the profession in Romania over three years.

FOREIGN LAW FIRMS

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

There is no licensing procedure for firms but foreign individuals must register with the 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 companies do not need investment approval to establish in Romania.

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? EEA law firms are subject to the same rules on corporate form as local law firms.
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 their offices with the Romanian bar.
   

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 Romanian law firm.

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

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

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

A Romanian lawyer may enter partnership with an EEA lawyer.

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

UNIUNEA NATIONALA A BAROURILOR DIN ROMANIA - NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE ROMANIAN BARS - UNION NATIONALE DES BARREAUX DE ROUMANIE
http://www.unbr.ro/