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New "foreign legal consultant" status in France

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France has adopted a new regulation on ‘Foreign Legal Consultant status – Art 109 ’ (based on the EU - South Korea WTO bilateral Agreement).

The regulation was adopted on 18 November 2016 and was implemented in April 2018. It contains the following provisions:

Foreign lawyers ”admitted to a bar of a non-EU Member State but linked to the EU by an international treaty” are eligible for the status.[1]

  • Qualified foreign lawyers are able to give advice on international law and home state law but not host state law (not EU and not French law).
  • Foreign lawyers can go into partnership with French lawyers.
  • Foreign lawyers can practice on a temporary basis (FIFO) after registering with the French Natinal Bar Council. This registration is valid for one year.
  • Foreign laywers can establish on a permanent basis with one of the local bars.
  • There is a new test to qualify as French avocats: Art 99 (for EU lawyers) and Art 100 (for third-country lawyers).  The tests are very similar and knowledge of French language is a requirement (https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/en/accessing-legal-profession-france )

Please find the full regulation attached below.


[1] The treaties and international agreements considered as « international agreements » by the new art. 101 L. 1971 are all the bilateral or multilateral treaties and/or agreements concluded by the EU and providing for the opening of the legal services. Thus, it concerns such FTAs and treaties as CETA, South Korea and the likes such as CARIFORUM.

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