Liberalization of the Promotion Rules for Advocates – Chamber of Advocates

by , on Oct 01, 2019 03:58:21 PM

Consultation Paper Issued by the Chamber of Advocates

The Chamber of Advocates has issued a consultation paper with respect to the professional promotion of the advocate’s practices, which, through Rule 2 of the first chapter of the Code of Ethics, is prohibited. This consultation paper seeks to reform the promotion rules surrounding the legal profession, as this has been subject to debate for some time as it can be considered as unfairly burdensome.

Advocates’ Code of Ethics Analysed 

The issue of the consultation document relates to Rule 2 as mentioned in the paragraph above, which can be divided into two sections. The first section sets out a general prohibition on the publicity of an advocate’s profession, while the second section provides some leeway for the Chamber to issue Guidelines on the proper application of the matter. The document’s purpose is to see whether to retain such prohibition against publicity of a legal practice or if the whole rule needs reform. The Chamber posits that the rule is outdated and needs to be reformed to reflect the newer demands of the profession at present. This reform shall follow the general liberalisation opted by other jurisdictions across the EU.

The Chamber of Advocates states that the reform must have two facets:

  • It must promote access to legal services and promote competition in the legal services industry;
  • It must protect individuals from being misled and exploited by advertisement of false information, while also maintaining the decorum of the profession.

Traditional rules, reformed?

The reform shall be based on these three principles:

  • Shift from a complete prohibition to a permissible activity;
  • Create a balance between the need of consumers to be informed and the standards of the profession to be retained;
  • The ability of the Chamber to issue detailed rules on the proper application of the rule.

The Chamber, through this document, then further highlights the need to ensure transparency when promoting the provision of legal services, and caution should be exercised when promoting the provision of legal services under the brand or firm name.

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