Both types of organizations are translated as ‘law firm’ into English which often gives the way to confusion.
Most people think that it does not matter who provides the service in Latvia: ‘advokātu birojs’ or ‘juridiskais birojs’. For many, something else is important: who will provide inexpensive, or better, free legal advice. Nevertheless, the answer to the question: who to entrust the solution of a legal problem is essential. Including, by the way, for the client’s wallet.
Firstly, any person can establish a ‘juridiskais birojs’, no legal education or license is required to provide with such a services.
Secondly, there is no law or code of conduct governing services of ‘juridiskais birojs’. If you are not satisfied with the service, which for the reasons already mentioned, might often be the case, there will be no possibility to complain.
Firstly, ‘Advokātu birojs’ can be founded only by ‘zvērināts advokāts’ (attorney at law, sworn advocate) – a member of Latvian bar association (only a person with LLM degree and least 5 years professional experience that have passed as severe bar exam can become a ‘zvērināts advokāts’.
Secondly, any complaint of a client (principal) to a Latvian Bar association, is carefully considered by the relevant commission. If the complaint is found to be substantiated, the ‘zvērināts advokāts’ may lose his status.
Thirdly, only a ‘zvērināts advokāts’ has the right to defend in criminal cases.
In order to be sure that you are talking to ‘zvērināts advokāts’ you can check the website of Latvia bar association where you can find a full list of attorneys at law practicing in Latvia.
For more information, please contact partner of NJORD Riga office, attorney at law (zvērināts advokāts) Sergei Petrov (firstname.lastname@example.org), tel. +37167313315, @ Lawyer Latvia