Slovakians rethink law in EU move

The Slovak government is set to clarify whether foreign lawyers are practising illegally as the country gears up to become a member of the European Union (EU).

Under the current law, foreign lawyers can not practise in the region if they are not members of the Slovak Bar Association (SBA).

The government has stated that it is drawing up a draft bill on the movement of commercial lawyers and advocates in the region. To become an EU member, the country must agree to the free movement of services, so that foreign professionals can operate there. But the SBA has been resistant to this plan.

Earlier this year, the SBA attempted to prosecute US firm White & Case, but the chief prosecutor decided not to pursue it.

With regards to the White & Case issue, Jason Mogg, head of Linklaters‘ Bratislava office, says: “The problem is that the law is vague. The bar was saying that foreign lawyers should comply with the [Slovakian] law. There is, though, much room for interpretation of the law.”