A VISION that would see most national lawyers' organisations located at a single Brussels address is starting to take shape.
The Brussels office of the Law Societies of England and Wales and of Scotland is moving to new premises to be shared by the German federal Bar. They will occupy the joint premises from June.
The office is not an exclusive arrangement, as the Law Societies and German Bar intend to invite other EU Bars and law societies to join them.
UK law societies' representative in Brussels Patrick Oliver said the vision was to create a “lawyers' house” in Brussels, where all or most of the national lawyers' organisations would be represented.
The move is expected to strengthen ties between the three organisations and to increase their profile with EU institutions.
It may also assist the day-to-day workings of the organisations, through joint information gathering, joint lobbying on certain issues and through having access to each others' networks.
German Bar representative Dr Heike Lorcher said combining resources meant cutting costs, which should attract more lawyers' associations to share the office.
Lorcher said: “I sincerely hope that we will be joined by other EU Bars and law societies, not just those who already have a presence in Brussels, but also those who do not yet have an office here.
“The joint office will make it easier and cheaper for them to do so.”
The new office will represent about 155,000 UK and German lawyers – close to 35 per cent of lawyers in Europe.
It is located at 142-144 Avenue de Tervuren, B-1150 Brussels.