A foreign lawyer in Poland: post Brexit struggles

Gabriela Lenarczyk        20 February 2019        Comments (0)

Lawyers from the European Union who intend to provide legal aid in Poland to the extent relevant for an attorney-at-law, as well as lawyers from outside the European Union, whom their professional title entitles to practise a profession which is the equivalent of the profession of an attorney-at-law, are entered into a list maintained by councils of the district chambers of attorneys-at-law. 

A foreign lawyer in Poland post Brexit

Am I in part A or in part B of the list? 

The list of foreign lawyers is divided into part A – for foreign lawyers from the European Union and part B – for foreign lawyers from outside the EU. The former have much more competences; competences of a lawyer entered into part B of the list are very limited.

“Subject to reciprocity, unless the international agreements ratified by the Republic of Poland or the provisions of the international organisations the Republic of Poland is a member thereto provide otherwise, a lawyer from outside the European Union shall be entitled to provide cross-border services that consist exclusively of representation in civil proceedings of a party being a national of or belonging to a state in which the lawyer is authorised to practise the profession.” Most likely, after Brexit, British citizens entered into list A will be transferred into list B – Polish Ministry of Justice is probably already slowly preparing the ground for this. 

I want to be included!

The formalities relating to the submission of an application for entry can be found at the Kraków’s District Chamber of Attorneys-at-law: https://oirp.krakow.pl/dzialy/dla-kandydatow/wpis-na-liste-prawnikow-zagranicznych/wpis-na-liste-prawnikow-zagranicznych-1/. Although the requirements and procedure described on this website are statutory and thus universal, the application must be submitted to the council which is competent with regard to the location of the lawyer’s future professional office as indicated in the request. 

Now, how many forms do I have to fill out?

There is no application form on the abovementioned website, since the chambers do not use such a form. The application must be written autonomously, include the necessary information listed in detail on the website and be accompanied by relevant documents. The application for entry must be made in Polish. The remaining documents, if not made in this language, are to be submitted together with a translation into Polish, certified by a sworn translator. The application should be addressed to the Dean of the Council. 

Entry on the list is decided upon by the Council in a form of a resolution.

Relevant Polish legislation: The Law on Legal Assistance Provided by Foreign Lawyers in the Republic of Poland. Ustawa z dnia 5 lipca 2002 r. o świadczeniu przez prawników zagranicznych pomocy prawnej w Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (Dz. U. Nr 126, poz. 1069 z późn. zm.):

http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/DocDetails.xsp?id=WDU20021261069. 

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