Mandatory Representation by Lawyers. Is It For The Benefit Of The Weak or a Restoration Of Old Distortions?
The debate has begun, for good, about the mandatory representation by lawyers in real estate contracts. Also: when setting up companies. You will find on voria.gr a related (in favor of the restoration of this institution) article by the respectable colleague and friend Dimitris Finokaliotis.
The (For It) Arguments
Among the arguments made by the advocates for the compulsory representation by a lawyer are: the “legal certainty in transactions”. Also: “the limitation of disputes arising from the lack of a lawyer”. And: the “legal research of the real estate, going back 20 years” and the protection of the interests of the individuals who are setting up a company. And last: the (supposedly) “unanimity of the legal world”.
I listen carefully to the relevant arguments, which are accompanied by a clarification that the request is “not of the benefit of the guild”.
A Brief Review
The mandatory representation by lawyers in the abovementioned cases was abolished by the Law 4093/2012 (a law that past as part of the obligations Greece undertook due to the Economic Adjustment Programme), which (fortunately) overturned a number of distortions of the Greek economy and Greek entrepreneurship. As of 1.1.2014 (for a full six years now) lawyers have not been present in the relevant notarial deeds.
The way I, personally, see it, nothing bad happened due to the lack of (mandatory) presence of lawyers in the aforementioned notarial acts. In addition, the basic argument made at the time (relating to the lack of a land registry) has basically disappeared.
The Role of Lawyers and The Imposition of Their Services
I never understood the (constant) request of my trade unionists to (mandatorily) expand the scope of lawyers’ services.
I have always believed that we should truly stand by those who seek our services. But because they choose to seek them. Not because they are forced to do so by the state.
Two rulings of the Supreme Court of Cyprus have recently fallen into my hands. I was struck by the fact that one of the parties was personally present and not represented by a lawyer in the proceedings. Even more impressive: the rulings delivered were in favor of the party not represented by a lawyer.
Should we, lawyers, welcome such options?
Is it maybe necessary to detach ourselves from the obsessions of the past in regards to “the expansion of the scope of our services”?
And are these obsessions [see mandatory representation by two(!) lawyers in order for an amicable divorce to be issued] resulting in us lacking seriousness?
I wonder: Why should anyone be compelled to have a lawyer? Should we do the same with doctors? How would we deal with a legislation that would require every patient to seek the services of their physician, either if they wanted to or not?
Let’s stay serious …
And on the other hand: Who prevents the one who feels the need to consult their lawyer from doing so? (And we all know they will do so if they consider they have the proper legal representative and advisor. Regardless of the subject matter or lack of a legal obligation to do so).
Growth is now returning, after the rationalization of the national economy was (externally) imposed on us. After hundreds of distortions that satisfied the guilds – not the common good – were overturned.
Let’s not go back to old distortions.
For the benefit of us all.
(us lawyers included…)