Fordham International Law Journal
Volume 15, Issue 3 1991 Article 3
Lawyers in the European Community: Progress Towards Community-Wide Rights of Practice
Roger J. Goebel∗
Copyright c 1991 by the authors. Fordham International Law Journal is produced by The Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress). http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj
Lawyers in the European Community: Progress TowardsCommunity-Wide Rights of Practice
Roger J. Goebel
This Article will cover the following topics: I The Context of Community Law on Lawyers’ Rights; II The Rights of Professionals; III Rules on Lawyers’ Freedom to Provide Services; IV Lawyers’ Right of Professional Establishment; V Mutual Recognition of Higher-Education Diplomas; VI The Role of the Council of the Bars and Law Societies ofthe European Community; VII The State of Progress Toward Community-wide Rights of Practice; and VIII Reﬂections on U.S.E.C. Cross-Border Practice.
LAWYERS IN THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY: PROGRESS TOWARDS COMMUNITY-WIDE RIGHTS OF PRACTICE
RogerJ. Goebel* The winds of change are blowing in the legal profession in the European Community ("E.C."), and they are blowing in the direction of enhancedcross-border practice rights. There is unmistakable progress toward an integrated market for the practice of law throughout the Community. The tangible evidence of change comes in a variety of forms. The underlying roots are economic. As the European Community moves with increasing dynamism toward achievement of its goal of an integrated internal market, the need for sophisticated legal assistance tocommercial and financial enterprises operating on a Community-wide scale becomes ever more apparent. Client needs and desires drive the legal market, as they do other markets. In the last half-dozen years there has been a manifest trend toward national law firms expanding into a cross-border practice within the Community and elsewhere in Europe. National law firms have increased their in-housecompetence both in Community law itself and in corporate and commercial practice in other states, encouraging some of their lawyers to specialize in these fields and acquiring added expertise by recruiting competent personnel both at the partner and employee level. Large firms have aggressively expanded their European market service capabilities by opening new branches and expanding existing ones inother states, and/or by mergers, joint ventures or close association with law firms in other states. The expansion of cross-border practice by law firms parallels that of international accounting firms. Major multinational clients find it increasingly convenient to deal with the same legal or accounting firm on a European-wide basis. The client seeks in this way to satisfy its desire for easiercommunication
* Professor, Fordharn University School of Law; B.A. 1957, Manhattan College; J.D. 1960, LL.M. 1961, New York University. This Article is dedicated to Charles Torem, Esq., international lawyer par excellence.
with key advisors, for the application of uniform standards of service, and for reliable assurances of quality control. Transnational legaland accounting firms can also claim to offer more rapid and larger scale efforts to resolve complicated corporate, financial or tax issues that transcend national boundaries. Although the focus of this Article is on developments in the European Community, this phenomenon has, of course, a global character.' U.S. law firms were among the first international practice specialists, opening branches inEurope and throughout the world. Correlatively, New York and a growing number of other U.S. states have permitted access to their legal markets to foreign law firms engaged in practice as legal consultants. 2 As central and eastern European states move toward capitalism, they have been impelled to seek sophisticated
1. The developments in recent years have been so rapid that most of the prior...
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