English barrister fights on in Luxembourg bar battle

An English barrister faces criminal prosecution for practising law in Luxembourg

The Luxembourg bar has also made two attempts through the courts to stop Graham J Wilson, an English barrister specialising in company and tax law, from practising in the country. One has failed and a conclusion of the other, which dates back to 1994, is outstanding.
The row has raised concerns about the extent to which UK lawyers are free to work in Europe. This comes more than four years after the Establishment Directive was introduced, which enables a lawyer to practise in a different member state than where they originally qualified.
Wilson was first reported by the bar to the public prosecutor soon after he began practising English, European and international law there in 1994. The prosecutor said he would give his response after the introduction of the directive. Wilson has heard nothing further on this matter.
The bar recently restated the allegations to the prosecutor. Wilson said: “The public prosecutor looked into the allegations. They interviewed me and I gave them a written note.” No conclusions have been drawn and Wilson awaits further contact from the prosecutor.
Wilson says the prosecutor is unlikely to take matters further, although he has not been told that the case is closed.
A 1995 claim by the bar against Wilson also remains unresolved. This relates to the bar's objection to him entering an association agreement with former Luxembourg firm Brucher & Tabery.
At Wilson's appeal, he argued successfully that Louis Schiltz, a tribunal member, should step down as he lacked independence. He was a previous chairman of the bar and a former Luxembourg representative of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of the European Union.
Wilson also argued that the appeal was biased as one of its three judges was appointed by the bar. Wilson said: “We argued this breached Article 6 of the Human Rights Act [right to a fair trial]. This caused consternation, proceedings fouled up and are still pending. No decision has been made as to who's dealing with this question.” This issue remains outstanding.
A separate disciplinary tribunal was brought in 2000 after Wilson established an association agreement with Luxembourg firm Ludovissy & Associés. The tribunal made the very unusual decision that the Luxembourg bar had no power to refuse the establishment of Wilson's, or indeed any other, law association.
Luxembourg has since drawn up draft terms for the implementation of the Establishment Directive.