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International Bar Leaders Senate

International Bar Leaders Senate - Florence

on October 30, 2014 in Florence, Italy

  1. 1Presentation
  2. 2Programme
  1. 3Reports
  2. 4List of participants Accès restreint

Should lawyers be entitled to a monopoly on legal services?

 

The legal profession is currently confronted with many other service providers – some from other professions, some not – who provide legal services through various means. 
 
The current global trend toward the liberalisation of legal services is a reality. One obvious result of this trend is the work of the International Legal Services of the CCBE on the creation of the status of Foreign Legal Counsel.
 
In the United Kingdom, subject to certain conditions, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) recently authorised the Direct Line insurance group to provide legal services. 
 
In other countries, the rapid development of new technologies has facilitated the emergence of websites that offer advice to users seeking legal information.
 
In this context of heightened competition and without sacrificing its values, how can our profession innovate and adapt to a different lawyer-client relationship? Shall we develop professional websites that provide legal advice? Advertise more aggressively? Invest in new business areas? Take some other course of action?
 
To quote Christophe Jamin, University Professor at Sciences Po in Paris, is the question really "how to resist the mass amateurisation of legal services", or are we confronting, rather, a change in the very definition of the legal professional?
 
 
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