EU-AttorneyRules for EU lawyers working in Germany

Qualified persons, like lawyers from the EU, are needed in Germany. However, the profession of legal consultation is strictly controlled by relevant attorneys' chambers. In order for you to know if and how you may consult here in Germany as a lawyer, continue reading.

What is an EU lawyer?

An EU attorney is an attorney that is fully licensed and qualified pursuant to the laws of one of the member countries of the EU.

How do I start working as an EU attorney?

First of all, you will have to apply at your local chamber of attorneys (Rechsanwaltkammer) and prove your citizenship of an EU member country. You must also provide a certificate from your home country's self-governing body proving that you are an attorney licensed there. Please note that all your personal documents must be submitted in German; all foreign documents that are not in German must be accompanied by a certified translation (§3 EuRAG). Starting the year after successfully having registered, you will have to hand in a certificate proving your foreign attorney's license again annually.

May I immediately advise on German law or only my home law?

Initially, you may only provide legal services that pertain solely to the jurisdiction from which you are licensed. After three years you may be allowed to give advice on German law. However, you will have to prove your experience in German law through actual and regular activity as an installed European attorney (§11 EuRAG). "Actual and regular activity" is understood as practicing without interruption. There is a grace period for interruptions for events of daily life of up to three weeks.

How do I prove my experience in German law and period of operation?

As proof of your experience in German law, you will have to prepare and hand in your actual case lists including the following: file no., topic, period, kind and duration of case, and result. Furthermore, the competent bar may require you to hand in anonymized samples of your work to show your competence in the areas in which you intend to practice.

What applies if I am 45 or older?

If you are 45 years or older, you also have to receive a salary of at least € 4015 in western Germany resp. € 3905 for eastern Germany. If your salary will be lower than that threshold, you will have to show an adequate pension plan or other provisions for retirement. This coverage can be either the state pension plan from home, private savings, or closing a German pension plan or a mixture of all. The government wants to make sure that you will not be dependent on welfare upon retiring.

N.B. This is only relevant for the very first permit!