Lawyers

The legal profession is an independent and autonomous practice that provides legal assistance to natural and legal persons in exercising and protecting their rights and legal interests.

Lawyers may provide all types of legal assistance, including in particular: (i) legal counseling; (ii) drafting of legal documents (contracts, wills, statements, etc.); (iii) drafting claims, appeals, motions, requests, applications, extraordinary legal remedies and other submissions; and (iv) represent clients.

A lawyer may practice as a sole practitioner, within a joint law office or within a law firm established by at least two lawyers either as a general partnership or as a limited liability company. A lawyer may not perform any activities that are incompatible with the standing and the independence of the legal profession.

PRESCRIBED REQUIREMENTS

The right to practice law on the territory of the Republic of Croatia is acquired by being admitted to the Register of Lawyers of the Croatian Bar Association after taking an oath. The decision on the admission to the Register is taken by the body of the Croatian Bar Association determined under its Byelaws. Any person meeting the requirements below has the right of being admitted to the Register of Lawyers:

  1. he/she is a Croatian citizen,
  2. he/she is a citizen of an EU member state, or a state that is signatory to the Agreement on the European Economic Area,
  3. he/she has capacity to contract,
  4. he/she is medically fit to practice law,
  5. he/she has obtained a law degree from a Croatian university,
  6. upon obtaining the university degree in law he/she worked for at least 3 (three) years as a trainee lawyer in a law office, or performed legal jobs as a trainee within the bodies of the judiciary (court’s clerk, trainee state attorney, trainee notary), or perform other legal jobs for at least 4 (four) years,
  7. he/she has passed the bar exam in Croatia,
  8. he/she is not under investigation or being tried for a criminal offence prosecuted ex officio,
  9. he/she is not employed,
  10. he/she has the standing to practice law,
  11. he/she does not perform any jobs that are inconsistent with the practice of law,
  12. he/she has signed a professional indemnity insurance contract for performing the legal profession,
  13. Declaration statement concerning equipment and premises necessary and appropriate for the practice of law
  14. he/she has passed the exam in the Code of Ethics and the Lawyers’ Fee Schedule and Cost Compensation.

Under the Legal Profession Act a lawyer who acquired the right to practice in an EU member state may perform the following activities in the Republic of Croatia in line with the requirements stipulated in the Legal Profession Act:

– legal activities (Directive 77/249/EEC of 22/3/1977)
– the legal profession under their home-country professional title (Directive 98/5/EC of 16/2/1988)
– the legal profession under the professional title “Odvjetnik” (Directive 98/5/EC of 16/2/1988)

Under the Legal Profession Act a lawyer from a EU member state may provide legal advice on their home-country law, on EU law, international law and the law of the Republic of Croatia. In performing the legal profession involving court representation in the Republic of Croatia, such lawyer is obliged to act together with a lawyer entitled to practice in the Republic of Croatia under the professional title “odvjetnik”. Lawyers from EU ember states wishing to practice in the Republic of Croatia under their home-country professional title are admitted to the CBA Register of Foreign Lawyers pursuant to Directive 98/5/EC.

COMPETENT AUTHORITY

Croatian Bar Association

Koturaška ulica 53, 10000 Zagreb

Tel.: +385 (0) 1 6165-200

E-mail: hok-cba@hok-cba.hr

DOCUMENT NECESSARY FOR PRACTICING

Decision on admission to the Register of Lawyers

VALIDITY PERIOD

Unlimited

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION TO THE REGISTER OF LAWYERS

  1. Application (stamp duty of HRK 20,00)
  2. CV (signed by hand)
  3. Certificate of citizenship (original or certified copy not older than 6 months)
  4. Law degree certificate (original or certified copy)
  5. Bar exam certificate – as of 8/10/1991 only exams passed in the Republic of Croatia are recognized (original or certified copy)
  6. Personal declaration statement regarding investigation (signed by hand)
  7. Criminal records certificate for crimes prosecuted ex officio (not older than 6 months)
  8. “Questionnaire” (may be downloaded at the bottom of the page)
  9. If the applicant is employed, the decision on termination of employment (upon admission to the Register)
  10. Proof that the applicant has a professional indemnity insurance contract (upon admission to the Register)
  11. Health certificate by an occupational medicine physician (not older than 6 months)
  12. Proof of the required experience in legal jobs pursuant to Art. 48 item 6 of the Legal Profession Act (employment contracts and confirmation of the performance of law jobs)
  13. Two photos (size 3.5 x 4.5 cm, male candidates with a tie)
  14. Declaration statement signed by hand concerning equipment and premises necessary and appropriate for the practice of law
  15. Candidates who completed a law school abroad must submit a decision of the competent Croatian authorities for the professional recognition of higher education qualifications for employment purposes in the Republic of Croatia,
  16. In addition to the above listed documents candidates who completed a law school abroad must submit a document showing the program of study of the foreign higher education institution where the degree was obtained, and a personal declaration statement personally signed and certified that the study was completed as shown in the submitted program.

All applications and the enclosed documents are to be submitted to the Bar Association in the original or in a certified copy.

Requirements and documents in a foreign language are to be filed translated into the Croatian language by a certified court interpreter.

The application for admission and the above listed documents must be received by the Bar Association at least 15 days before the session of the Executive Board of the Croatian Bar Association, that shall decide on the application.

FEES

20 HRK

e-PROCEDURE for admission to the profession

Fill in and sign the form.

Email the form to the competent body together with all the necessary documents and the proof of electronic payment of the fee – all in PDF format.

If the documents are sent electronically there is no need to send them via regular mail or in paper.
At request, the decision allowing the performance of the profession may be obtained from the competent body by email. Such decision is sent via regular mail as well. The deadline for obtaining it is 30 days of a duly submitted application.

A lawyer may start practicing as of the day stated in the CBA decision granting to such lawyer admission to the Register of Lawyers, or the Register of Foreign Lawyers of the CBA.

FORMS
email for all documents: hok-cba@hok-cba.hr under subject: e-Application – Point of Single Contact

LEGAL REMEDY

An appeal against the application that refers to the acquisition, inactivity, suspension or loss of right to practice is allowed. Such an appeal shall be submitted to the Management Board of the Croatian Bar Association within 8 days of the receipt of the decision. The decision of the Management Board of the Croatian Bar Association may be appealed at the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, in which case the appeal is submitted via the Croatian Bar Association. The appeal shall be submitted within 8 days from the date of the receipt of the decision of the Management Board of the Croatian Bar Association.

REGULATIONS

Legal Profession Act (Official Gazette/Narodne novine 9/94, 117/08, 50/09, 75/09 and 18/11)
Act on Regulated Profession and the Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications (Official gazette 82/15)
Act on Recognition of Foreign Educational Qualifications (Official Gazette 158/03, 198/03, 138/06 and 45/11)
Byelaws of the Croatian Bar Association (Official Gazette/Narodne novine 115/13)
Lawyers’ Code of Ethics (Official Gazette/Narodne novine 64/07 and 72/08)
Ordinance on the Requirements and Procedure for the Recognition of Specialty for Lawyers admitted to the Register of Lawyers of the Croatian Bar Association
Rules of Procedure of the General Meeting of the Croatian Bar Association (Official Gazette/Narodne novine 72/08)
Lawyers’ Fee Schedule and Cost Compensation (Official Gazette/Narodne novine 142/12)
Ordinance on the Legal Professional Privilege
Ordinance on lawyers web pages
Ordinance on the Amount of Reward to Court Appointed Lawyers (Official Gazette/Narodne novine 101/12)
Ordinance on Official Clothing for Lawyers, Trainees and Other Employees at Law Offices (Official Gazette/Narodne novine 123/07 and 130/07)
Ordinance on Exams in the Lawyers’ Code of Conduct and the Lawyers’ Fee Schedule Ordinance on Loans to Lawyers
Rules on Mutual After-Death Support to Members of the Croatian Bar Association
Collective Agreement on Employment Conditions and the Rights and Obligations of Employers and Trainee Lawyers
Act on Judicial Trainees and the Bar Examination (Official Gazette/Narodne novine 84/08 and 75/09)

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