WT/TPR/S/208Trade Policy Review Page 132
Supervision of lawyers is exercised at the cantonal level: each canton designates an authority responsible for the supervision of the lawyers practicing in its territory. Appeals against decisions of the authority can be filed at the cantonal court and then the Federal Court of Justice. Members of a bar association are also subject to its supervision. The relevant cantonal supervisory authorities must be informed of any violation of professional rules by licensed lawyers. There are 24 independent cantonal bar associations, as well as a Swiss Bar Association, which acts as an umbrella organization. Fees are generally in line with the guidelines of the relevant bar association, or fixed by cantonal legislation.
The Lawyers Act101 is the main law regulating the legal profession, which is supervised by the Financial Market Authority (FMA). Liechtenstein has not made any GATS commitments regarding legal services: however, there are no restrictions on cross-border supply and consumption abroad of legal consultancy services.102 In June 2008, 149 (including 22 foreign) lawyers, 25 law partnerships, 73 associate lawyers, 5 legal agents, 10 patent attorneys, and 4 patent attorney partnerships were operating in Liechtenstein.
Registration in the national List of Lawyers is required in order to hold the legally protected title of lawyer and practice law. This requires Liechtenstein or EEA nationality or equivalent status pursuant to an international agreement, success in the bar examinations, and a law practice in Liechtenstein. Participation in the examinations requires the completion of two years of practical experience in a court of justice or with a licensed lawyer103, and a law degree obtained in a recognized university following studies for at least four years. The professional body of Liechtenstein lawyers is the Chamber of Lawyers, a public law body constituted of all lawyers on the List of Lawyers or the List of Resident European Lawyers; the chamber is supervised by the Government.
EEA nationals who are entitled to practice law under one of the professional titles listed in the Annex to the Lawyers Act are allowed to offer legal cross-border services temporarily. Furthermore, they may practice law in Liechtenstein permanently (freedom of establishment) if they are on the List of Resident European Lawyers.104 In proceedings in which the party must be represented by a lawyer, the EEA lawyer must act together with a nationally registered lawyer.105 EEA lawyers who have been on the List of Resident European Lawyers for at least three years and can prove that they have been effectively and regularly active in the area of Liechtenstein law or who have obtained a diploma entitling them to practice in one of the EEA member states, and have passed the special qualification examination for foreigners, may be listed in the national List of Lawyers with the same rights and duties as Liechtenstein lawyers.
Non-EEA lawyers cannot be registered. They may be permitted by the FMA in individual cases to act as representatives or defence lawyers of a party before a Liechtenstein court or authority if there are special reasons.106 They may only act in agreement with a nationally registered lawyer.
(b) Accounting and auditing services
101 LLG 1993, No. 41.
102 WTO document GATS/SC/83A, 17 April 1994.
103 At least one year with a lawyer (or administrative authority) of Liechtenstein and at least six months with a Liechtenstein court of justice or the Liechtenstein public prosecutor's office. Article 2, paragraph 3 indicates that, as regards lawyers and administrative authority, corresponding experience gained abroad is acceptable.
104 LLG 1993, No. 41, Article 45.
105 LLG 1993, No. 41, Articles 49 and 57a.
106 LLG 1993, No. 41, Article 68.