Polish firms fight to deny tax advisers court rights

Lawyers in Poland have launched a last-ditch attempt to halt a radical plan to allow tax advisers, who form a separate profession in the country, rights of audience before the courts.

Earlier this month, Polish president Alexander Knasniewski vetoed changes to the law which would have given tax advisers limited appearance rights.

He had been lobbied hard by the Polish Bar and the Polish Solicitors Association, the two main professional bodies in the country.

Tomasz Kacymirov, head of tax at US firm Hunton & Williams' Warsaw office, supported the president's move.

He said that only properly trained lawyers should be permitted to appear in court.

However, according to Marek Szydlowski, a tax lawyer at Cameron McKenna in Warsaw, tax advisers “should be able to follow clients all the way to court” if they had been handling the case from the start.

Szydlowski pointed out that the proposed changes would only have authorised tax advisers to appear before the Supreme Administrative Court.

This court has jurisdiction over tax cases.

The veto will give a boost to the lawyers in their attempt to carve out an enhanced role in tax advice.

However, it must be upheld by the country's newly-elected parliament which is, for the time being, an unknown quantity.