Lawyers

First option: FREEDOM TO PROVIDE CROSS-BORDER SERVICES

If you already have a registered establishment in another EU country, you are free to provide services on an occasional and temporary basis, without the obligation to register your establishment in the Republic of Croatia with the Croatian Bar Association and to wait for prior verification.

  • a lawyer from a Member State of the European Union who is not entered in the Register of Foreign Lawyers pursuant to Articles 36a, 36b or 36d of the Legal Services Act may perform certain activities (freedom to provide services) as part of the performance of legal services pursuant to the provisions of Article 36c paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Act, and may:
  1. give advice on the law of your home state
  2. give advice on European Union law
  3. give advice on international law
  4. give advice on the law of the Republic of Croatia
  • a lawyer who provides services by representing the parties before the courts in the Republic of Croatia acts together with a lawyer who has the right to perform legal services in the Republic of Croatia under the title “lawyer”
  • a lawyer who has been refused entry in the appropriate Register of Lawyers in the Republic of Croatia due to non-fulfillment of the conditions referred to in Article 48, item 10 of the Legal Services Act (Eligibility to Practice Law), cannot perform activities or provide services in the Republic of Croatia on an occasional or temporary basis
  • in performing his or her duties, the lawyer is required to respect the rules of the Code of Ethics for Lawyers of the Croatian Bar Association
  • when performing certain activities in the Republic of Croatia, a lawyer must use the title from their home country expressed in the official language or one of the official languages of their home country with an indication of the professional organization that gave him or her permission to practice law in his or her home country and the competent body with which he or she is registered in his or her home country
  • a lawyer is subject to disciplinary action under the Legal Services Act as if he or she were registered in the Register of Lawyers of the Croatian Bar Association. Disciplinary penalties and temporary measures restricting a lawyer may be imposed only with validity in the Republic of Croatia. Instead of the disciplinary penalty of deletion from the Register, a ban on performing activities in the Republic of Croatia shall be imposed
  • disciplinary measures may be imposed on a lawyer only if it is determined in a special procedure in accordance with this Act, the Statute of the Croatian Bar Association and the Code of Ethics for Lawyers that the lawyer is responsible for violating his or her duty and the reputation of the legal service
  • a lawyer who intends to provide services on an occasional or temporary basis by performing representation activities before courts in the Republic of Croatia shall submit an e-statement to the Croatian Bar Association at hok-cba@hok-cba.hr by which he or she will:
  1. inform the Bar Association in good faith of the intention to provide services
  2. attach evidence of competence to practice law
  3. attach evidence of professional indemnity insurance in the home country
  4. a lawyer representing parties before courts in the Republic of Croatia may request the Association to issue an appropriate certificate in order to facilitate his or her presentation to courts, in which case the Association shall be obliged to issue such a certificate

Second option: FREEDOM OF ESTABLISHMENT

If you have a registered establishment in another EU country as a natural or legal person, you are allowed to provide services on a permanent basis, with the registration of the establishment.

A lawyer from an EU Member State may perform the following activities in the Republic of Croatia:

  1. legal service under the title of profession from his or her home country or
  2. legal service under the title “lawyer”, all in accordance with the conditions prescribed by law
  1. Perform legal services under the title of profession from the home country:
  • a lawyer from a Member State of the European Union shall be entered in the Register of Foreign Lawyers who can practice law in the Republic of Croatia under the title of profession from their home state
  • the application for registration shall be submitted to the Croatian Bar Association and shall be accompanied by:
  1. proof of registration in law associations in the home country or in another country, i.e. with the competent body of the home country
  2. proof of citizenship
  3. proof of professional liability insurance (a lawyer is released in whole or in part from the insurance referred to in Article 44 of the Legal Services Act if he or she is fully or partially equally insured in the home country regarding the conditions and scope of insurance coverage)
  • the attached proofs shall be translated into Croatian
  • the Association shall inform the competent body of the lawyer’s home country about the registration.
  • a lawyer shall practice law using the title from his or her home country expressed in the official language or in one of the official languages of his or her home country, with an indication of the body with which he or she is registered in his or her home country.
  • a lawyer may practice law as a law firm or a joint law office under the designation of the profession from his or her home country, and may use the name of the law firm or joint law office of which he or she is a member.
  • a lawyer who wants to practice law under the title used in his or her home country shall inform the Association of the fact that he or she is a member of a law firm or a joint law office in this home country and shall provide all necessary information.
  • a lawyer practicing a profession from his or her home country may establish a law firm or a joint law office with lawyers from the Republic of Croatia or lawyers from another EU Member State, and together with lawyers from the Republic of Croatia or lawyers from another EU Member State provide joint legal service pursuant to the provisions of the Legal Service Act and other regulations
  • a lawyer may represent the parties before courts and other bodies in the Republic of Croatia under the conditions determined by the Legal Service Act
  • a lawyer can give advice on the law of his or her home country, on the law of the European Union, on international law and on the law of the Republic of Croatia.
  • when performing the legal service related to the representation of clients before the courts in the Republic of Croatia, a lawyer must act together with a lawyer who has the right to perform the legal service in the Republic of Croatia under the term “lawyer”

2. Performing legal services under the term “lawyer”:

  • a lawyer from a Member State of the European Union shall be entered into the Register of foreign lawyers who may practice law in the Republic of Croatia under the title “lawyer”, with all rights and obligations in practicing law, if he or she meets the conditions referred to in Article 48, paragraph 1, subparagraphs 2, 3, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the Legal Service Act, and if he or she passes the exam in knowledge of the legal order of the Republic of Croatia
  • program, procedure and manner of conducting the examination on the legal order of the Republic of Croatia for each applicant for entry into the Register of foreign lawyers who may practice law in the Republic of Croatia under the title “lawyer”, shall be determined by the Association, taking into account all skills and competencies acquired by the lawyer from another Member State of the European Union in that or in another Member State of the European Union or in a third country
  • a lawyer from a Member State of the European Union shall be released from the obligation to take the exam on the legal order of the Republic of Croatia if it is established that there is no significant difference in the knowledge, skills and competencies already acquired by the lawyer and the knowledge, skills and competencies required for the entry in the Register of Lawyers
  • if significant differences are determined between the knowledge, skills and competencies already acquired by the lawyer and the knowledge, skills and competencies required for entry in the Register of Lawyers, a lawyer from a Member State of the European Union shall take the exam only in the fields for which such differences have been determined.
  • the application for registration shall be submitted to the Croatian Bar Association and shall be accompanied by:
  1. proof of the right to practice law in his or her home country
  2. other proof of eligibility
  3. the condition referred to in Article 48, paragraph 1, item 10 of the Legal Service Act (Eligibility to Practice Law) shall be proved by a certificate issued in accordance with the regulations of the lawyer’s home country
  • lawyers may represent the parties before courts and other bodies in the Republic of Croatia under the conditions determined by the Legal Service Act

A lawyer from a Member State of the European Union shall be entered in the Register of Foreign Lawyers Who May Practice Law in The Republic of Croatia Under the Title “Lawyer”, regardless of the above, if he or she has successfully performed the legal service for at least three years under the title of profession from the home country, and he or she can also be registered as a lawyer in the Register of Lawyers of the Croatian Bar Association.

The condition of three years of successful service shall be proven by a list of cases on which the lawyer worked with an indication of a registration number, content, time and scope of work and the stage of the procedure with the attached excerpts from submissions and minutes, in a form that guarantees confidentiality.

A lawyer registered in the Register of Foreign Lawyers Who May Practice Law in The Republic of Croatia under the Title “Lawyer” has the right to use the title of profession from his or her home country made in the official language or one of the official languages of his or her home country together with the title “lawyer”.


Fees

The registration fee for the registers shall be paid during the first registration in the amount of HRK 37,500.00.

All fees shall be paid to the account of the Croatian Bar Association, IBAN: 6623600001101268409 in accordance with the submitted payment details.

The membership fee shall be paid in the range from 200.00 to 370.00 HRK, depending on the affiliation of each bar association.


Competent authority and regulations

Croatian Bar Association

Koturaška ulica 53, 10000 Zagreb

+385 1 6165 200

hok-cba@hok-cba.hr

Legal Service Act (OG 9/94, 117/08, 50/09, 75/09, 18/11, 126/21)

Statute of the Croatian Bar Association (OG 115/13, 64/18, 67/19)

Code of Ethics for Lawyers (OG 64/07, 72/08, 64/18, 52/21, 83/21)

Regulation on the Conditions and Procedure for the Recognition of Specialties to Lawyers Registered in the Register of Lawyers of the Croatian Bar Association

Rules of Procedure of the Assembly of the Croatian Bar Association (OG 72/08)

Tariff on Fees and Reimbursement of Attorney’s Fees (NN 142/12, 103/14, 118/14, 107/15)

Regulation on the Duty to Keep Business and Professional Secrets

Regulation on Marketing, Advertising and Website of Lawyers and the Regulation on Amendments to the Regulation on Marketing, Advertising and Website of Lawyers Regulation on the Official Attire of Lawyers, Trainee Lawyers and Other Employees in the Law Office (OG 123/07 and 130/07)

Regulation on Taking the Exam from the Code of Ethics for Lawyers and the Tariff on Fees and Reimbursement of Attorney’s Fees

Regulation on Mutual Posthumous Assistance for Members of the Croatian Bar Association

Collective Agreement on Working Conditions and Rights and Obligations Arising from Employment between Lawyers Employers and Trainee Lawyers

Judicial Trainees and Bar Examination Act (OG 14/19)

Regulation on Costs in the Procedure of Registration of Branches of Foreign Law Firms (OG 9/14)

Regulation on Costs in the Procedure of Issuing Consent Regarding the Establishment and Changes in Law Firms (OG 9/14)

Regulation on the Seals and Stamps of the Bar Associations of the Croatian Bar Association

Regulation on the Manner and Conditions of Storage and the Obligation to Keep the Files of the Croatian Bar Association


Approval

Decision on entry in the appropriate register

Deadline: 30 to 60 days


Legal remedies

An appeal is allowed against a decision relating to the acquisition, inactivity, suspension or loss of the right to practice law. The appeal shall be submitted to the Board of Directors of the Croatian Bar Association within 8 days from the delivery of the decision.

An appeal against the decision of the Board of Directors of the Croatian Bar Association in the above cases is allowed to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, which is declared through the Croatian Bar Association. The appeal shall be submitted within 8 days from the day of delivery of the decision of the Board of Directors of the Croatian Bar Association.

Last updated: 17 January 2022

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