About Cyprus

Cypriot Lawyers: particular activities

Адвокаты на Кипре

The specifics of the law practice in Cyprus

Lawyers in Cyprus

Lawyers in Cyprus, as a rule, were trained abroad (mainly in Greece and the UK), as there are no higher education institutions specializing in law in the Republic of Cyprus.

An important condition for the successful resolution of any business in Cyprus for other citizens is the possibility to communicate with counsel in their native language, because it’s hard enough, even for a person fluent in English or Greek, to delve into the legal technicalities. In accordance with the legislation of the Cyprus Republic, the court must provide a translator to the parties involved in a court case in criminal proceedings.  This requirement does not apply to civil cases.

Before you make a contract with a lawyer in Cyprus, it’s necessary to ask whether he has a licence, as the practice of law in Cyprus is a licenced activity. An important nuance to be considered is that a claim to the court can only be made through a lawyer as a personal appeal to the courts in Cyprus is not allowed.

Any Cypriot lawyer must be registered with the Cyprus Bar Association and pass exams for the title of “registered lawyer”. All members of the Cyprus Lawyer Association are issued with individual cards that facilitate their access to the cases in the court and other state bodies.

All lawyers in Cyprus should perform their duties in relation to customers, judiciary and public officials, in accordance with the Code of Conduct. All the transactions in Cyprus, including real estate transactions, require the lawyer’s participation, most of whom also perform notary functions.

Claims for conduct and civil lawyers liability

Lawyers in CyprusIt is necessary to take into account the fact that prosecuting and sanctioning a lawyer in Cyprus is extremely problematic.  In accordance with Cypriot legislation, it provides for civil liability for negligence by the lawyer, but it occurs only in the case of actual facts established in business relations as «client – lawyer». The court will ascertain whether there was manifest negligence by the lawyer and make a decision on this basis, and a resolution on the damages that were caused to the client. If you use the services of a free-of-charge lawyer, then bringing him to justice is almost impossible.

If you find that you have a problem with your Lawyer you can complain to the Cyprus Lawyer Association, however, these complaints can sometimes take years to review.  There is provision for compulsory professional liability insurance for lawyers, covering the costs of the proceedings in the case where the lawyer has made a professional mistake, but it should be noted that this error must be proved by the customer.  It’s worth making sure that you choose a lawyer that will allow you to review the case files if need be, will complete the necessary documents appropriately, and will provide any translations you may require.

In the case of the appointment of a free lawyer to conduct criminal proceedings in Cyprus, the client normally signs a single copy document which the lawyer keeps himself.  It’s obviously in the client’s interest to ask for a copy to be provided.

As with anything, it’s advisable to get receipts for all payments and copies of all documents for future reference.  Customers who don’t hire a lawyer are depriving themselves of the opportunity to prove their innocence in the case of claims to conduct the case in court.

The customer must pay an additional €80 should they need to make a complaint to the Cyprus Lawyer Association, and although the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus states that a customer’s complaint should be dealt with in 30 days, it can sometimes take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.

In case of lawyer failure

Lawyers in CyprusAnother important nuance is that any lawyer in Cyprus may withdraw from the case at any stage of the process without explanation, which can leave the client in a very difficult situation.

It may be that a customer will have trouble finding a lawyer who will protect their interests against another lawyer whose client is a Cypriot. As a general rule, third-country nationals receive an offer from the lawyer who refuses the case that they will return 20 to 75% above the amount paid voluntarily.

There are many cases when a client – a third-country national – was trying to cheat, taking advantage of his ignorance of the law in Cyprus, and convinced that this practice is a legal requirement. In the case of a client who does not agree to resolve the situation in a similar way in court, the lawyer may withdraw from the case without explanation.

It’s important when hiring a lawyer that you carefully check their reputation, and that of the law firm, beforehand, and make sure any documents are properly drawn up.

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