Law no. 51 from June 7, 1995 for the organisation and practice of the lawyer’s profession

CHAPTER I: General provisions

Article 1

(1) The lawyer’s profession shall be free and independent, based on an autonomous organisation and functioning, under the terms of the law and the by-law of the profession.

(2) The lawyer’s profession shall only be practiced by lawyers appearing in the Table of Lawyers of the bar they belong to, which is a member of the National Association of the Romanian Bars, hereinafter called U.N.B.R.

(3) The establishment and functioning of bars outside U.N.B.R. are forbidden. The documents for their establishment and registration shall be null and void.

Article 2

(1) In the practice of his/her profession, the lawyer shall be independent and subject only to the law, the by-law of the profession, and the code of conduct.

(2) The lawyer shall promote and defend human rights, freedoms, and legitimate interests of the individual.

(3) The lawyer shall be entitled to assist and represent natural and legal persons before the courts of law and other jurisdictional bodies, the criminal prosecution bodies, the public authorities and institutions, as well as before other natural or legal persons, who/which shall have the obligation to allow and facilitate the lawyer’s unhindered activity, under the terms of the law.

(4) Anyone shall be entitled to freely choose his/her/its lawyer.

(5) In the exercise of one’s right to defence, the lawyer shall have the right and obligation to insist in achieving the free access to justice, for a fair trial and within a reasonable time delay.

Article 3

(1) A lawyer’s activity shall be achieved through:

a) legal advice and petitions of legal nature;

b) legal assistance and representation before the courts of law, criminal prosecution bodies, jurisdictional authorities, public notaries and bailiffs, public administration bodies and institutions, as well as before other legal entities, under the terms of the law;

c) drawing up legal documents, and certifying the parties’ identity, the content and dates of the documents submitted for authentication;

d) assistance and representation of interested natural or legal persons before other public authorities, with the possibility to certify the parties’ identity, the content and the dates of the documents being drafted;

e) defence and representation, by use of specific means, of the legitimate rights and interests of natural and legal persons in their relationships with the public authorities, institutions, and any Romanian or foreign person;

f) mediation activities;

g) fiduciary activities carried out according to the Civil Code;

(on 01 October 2011, article 3, paragraph (1) letter G from Chapter I modified by article 85, point I from the Chapter V, section 3 of the Law no. 71/2011)

h) temporary establishment of companies’ headquarters at the lawyer’s professional office and registration of such companies, on behalf and at the expense of the client, of interest shares, shares, or stock of companies thus registered;

i) the activities stipulated under g) and h) may take place based on a new contract for legal assistance;

i1) special curatorship activities under the law and the by-law of the lawyer’s profession;

(on 31 March 2017 article 3 paragraph (1) letter I form the Chapter I supplemented by article I, point 1 from the Law no.25/2017)

j) any means and ways specific to the exercise of the right to defence, under the terms of the law.

(2) The activities stipulated under paragraph (1) shall only be practiced by a lawyer, unless the law stipulates otherwise.”

(3) The lawyer is obligated to keep evidence of the papers drafted according to paragraph (1) letter c) and d), except for the papers drafted for assistance and representation, and must keep them in his/her professional archive, arranged depending on the time of their drafting. Within 3 days after drafting the papers stipulated in paragraph (1), the lawyer is obligated to register the operation with the electronic registry of papers drafted by the lawyers, according to paragraph (1) letter c) and d), in compliance with the procedure stipulated in the Rules for the organization and the functioning of the registry, approved by the Council of UNBR, under the penalty of not being binding against third parties.

(on 31 March 2017 article 3 paragraph (2) from the Chapter I supplemented by article I, point 2 from the Law no.25/2017)

Article 4

In the practice of his/her profession and in connection with it, the lawyer shall be protected by the law.

Article 5

(1) The forms of practicing the lawyer’s profession are: individual law offices, associated law offices, professional companies, or professional companies with limited liability.

(2) A qualified lawyer may practice his/her profession within the individual law office, alone or together with other collaborating lawyers.

(3) The individual law offices may associate for the purpose of jointly practicing the profession; the rights and obligations of lawyers, owners of associated law offices shall remain personal and may not be transferred. Accordingly, individual law offices may also associate with private partnerships.

(4) The individual law offices may group in order to create technical-economical facilities for the practice of the lawyer’s profession and shall preserve their individuality in their relationships with the clients.

(5) A professional company shall be established by two or more qualified lawyers. Collaborating or remunerated lawyers may also practice their profession in a professional company. The professional company and the lawyers practicing within it may not provide legal assistance to persons having conflicting interests.

(6) The grouped law offices, the associated law offices, the professional companies and the professional companies with limited liability may also have a joint property.

(7) The lawyer may change the form of practicing the profession at any time, provided he/she notifies the bar to which he/she is registered.

(8) The lawyer may not practice his/her profession in several forms of practicing, at the same time.

(9) The forms of practicing the profession may only be alienated by means of inter vivos agreements, only between qualified lawyers and currently in the practice of their profession, or may be liquidated on termination of the capacity, with the observance of the regime of the investments regulated by the present law.

(10) When establishing the forms of practicing the profession, the lawyers have the right to establish the assets dedicated to the practice of the profession, under the law, in compliance with the regulated procedure for the establishment of the electronic Registry for the record of the dedicated assets of the lawyers, according to the conditions set forth by the Council of UNBR through the Rules for the organization and functioning. The registration with the registry is legally binding against third parties, under the law. 

(on 31 March 2017 article 5 paragraph (9) from the Chapter I supplemented by article I, point 3 from the Law no.25/2017

Article 6

(1) The professional company with limited liability is the company holding legal personality, established under this law and the by-law of the lawyer’s profession, by means of the association of at least 2 qualified lawyers, currently practicing their profession, regardless of them belonging to another form of practicing the profession.

(on 01 October 2011 article 6 paragraph (1) from the Chapter I modified by article 85, point 2 of Chapter V, section 3 of the Law no.71/2011)

(2) The legal personality is acquired by the professional company with limited liability on the date of registration with the bar of the decision issued by the Council of the bar in which territorial area its main office is located.

(3) The professional company with limited liability holds its own assets.

(on 01 October 2011 article 6 paragraph (3) from the Chapter I modified by article 85, point 2 of Chapter V, section 3 of the Law no.71/2011)

(4) The duties and the responsibilities of the professional company with limited liability are guaranteed with its own assets. The associates are personally liable only within the limit of each of their capital contribution.

(on 01 October 2011 article 6 paragraph (4) from the Chapter I modified by article 85, point 2 of Chapter V, section 3 of the Law no.71/2011)

(5) Where a professional company with limited liability is established by lawyers who are part of other forms of practicing the profession, the latter may not be subject to liquidation, if the associates so agree.

(6) The form of practicing the profession from which the associate comes, if any, ceases its professional activity carried on in own name, during the period in which the qualified lawyer owning it or, as appropriate, the lawyers owning it have the status of associate in the professional company with limited liability. During the period in which the form of practicing the profession ceases to exist for this reason, the situation regarding the cessation of activity shall be duly mentioned with the Table of Lawyers, under the conditions stipulated in the by-laws of the lawyer’s profession.

(7) In the case of professional services consisting of legal assistance and representation in front of the courts, prosecutors’ offices, criminal investigation bodies or other authorities, the professional company with limited liability has the obligation to mention in the contract concluded with the client the name of the lawyers(s) chosen or accepted by the client to provide the professional service as well as if right of substitution is granted or, as the case may be, not granted.

(8) The professional company with limited liability carries out simple bookkeeping and is subject to the tax transparency regime. The payment of income tax is made by each associate for his own income.

Article 7

Any lawyer, irrespective of the form of practicing the profession, may conclude collaboration conventions with experts or other specialists, under the terms of the law. The professional companies and the professional company with limited liability may conclude such conventions only with the consent of all partners.

Article 8

(1) The forms of practicing the lawyer’s profession and the grouped law offices shall be individualised by denomination, as follows:

a) for the individual law office – the name of the lawyer owning the law office, followed by the phrase law office;

b) for the associated law offices – the names of all owners, followed by the phrase associated law offices;

c) for the professional companies and the professional company with limited liability – the name of at least one partner, followed by the phrase professional company or, as applicable, professional company with limited liability;

d) for the grouped law office – the name of each law office owner, followed by the phrase grouped law offices.

(2) The denomination of the form of practicing the profession, individualised according to paragraph (1), may also be kept after the death or departure of one of the associates/partners, with the latter’s consent or, as applicable, with the consent of the heir of the deceased, expressed in authentic form.

(3) The denominations stipulated under paragraph (1) shall appear on the signs of such law offices or companies, under the terms stipulated by the by-law of the profession.

(4) For all forms of practicing the profession by foreign lawyers, one may use the denomination and the name of the form of practicing the profession used in Romania or abroad, under the terms of the current article.

Article 9

(1) The conventions for grouping or association of law office, the deeds of incorporation of the professional companies and the professional companies with limited liability, as well as the conventions stipulated under article 7, shall be concluded in writing, with the compliance of the substantive requirements stipulated by the law and the by-law of the profession.

(2) The Council of the bar having been notified shall check the compliance with the law and, when this is the case, shall order the registration of the convention within one month since the application was submitted.

(3) Any person who believes he/she is harmed as far as a legitimate right or interest of his/hers is concerned may file a complaint against the decision of the Council of the bar with the professional jurisdiction bodies, under the terms of the present law and the by-law of the profession.

(4) The bars shall keep separate records of lawyers for each form of practicing the profession.

Article 10

(1) The bars and U.N.B.R. shall ensure the qualified exercise of the right to defence, the professional competence and discipline, the protection of the dignity and honour of the member lawyers.

(2) Only one bar, member of the U.N.B.R., shall exist in each county, having its headquarters in the capital of that county.

(3) Each bar shall organise and ensure the functioning of a judicial assistance service attached to each district court. The Council of the bar shall be responsible for the organisation and functioning of that service.

Article 11

The lawyer shall have the obligation to keep the professional secrecy regarding any aspect of the cause entrusted to him/her, unless the law expressly stipulates otherwise.  [source]

 

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