Professional practice company; application for admission
Lawyers may join together to form professional practice companies for the purpose of joint practice of their profession. An association with members of other professions is also possible. In principle, these must be admitted by the bar associations.
Lawyers have a wide range of possibilities for professional cooperation. The institute of the professional practice company enables lawyers to join forces with each other, but also with members of other professions. For example, an association with patent attorneys, tax advisors, tax agents, auditors and certified accountants is possible. An association with members of the liberal professions is also permissible under the conditions of Section 59c (1) sentence 1 number 4 of the Federal Lawyers' Act (BRAO). Members of the legal profession from other states may also be included in professional practice companies if they would be entitled to establish themselves in Germany under the Act on the Activities of European Lawyers in Germany or under Section 206 BRAO.
Professional practice companies are free to choose their legal form: they can organize themselves in all legal forms that are permissible under German law. Commercial companies are also possible. In addition, European companies are permitted, as are companies that are permitted under the law of a member state of the European Union or a state party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
Professional practice companies in which lawyers have the majority of the voting rights and in which the majority of the members of the management body are lawyers may call themselves "Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaften".
In principle, professional practice companies must be licensed by the locally competent bar associations.
A prerequisite for admission is that the partners and members of the management and supervisory bodies belong to the professional groups specified in Sections 59b and 59c BRAO. The professional practice company must have chosen a permissible legal form and must not be in financial collapse. It must also provide evidence that it has taken out professional liability insurance or submit a provisional confirmation of cover. The professional liability insurance must be taken out with an insurance company authorized to do business in Germany and must cover the liability risks for financial losses arising from the provision of advice and representation in legal matters. It must be maintained for the duration of the practice.
After their admission, professional practice companies become members of the admitting chambers.
No admission is required for partnerships in which, firstly, there is no limitation of the liability of the natural persons and, secondly, to which, as partners and as members of the management and supervisory bodies, only attorneys-at-law, patent attorneys, tax consultants, tax agents, auditors or certified public accountants belong. However, these may voluntarily apply for admission. After admission, they also become members of the admitting bar association.
Admission must be applied for using the application form of the competent Bar Association.
- The bar association checks the admission requirements.
- If the admission requirements are met, the professional practice company is admitted.
- Upon admission, the professional practice company becomes a member of the Bar.
The regulations on professional practice companies have come into force with effect from August 1, 2022. They have replaced the previously applicable regulations on law societies and have significantly expanded the possibilities of professional association of lawyers.
Application for admission of a professional practice company
The application forms of the competent bar association are displayed under "Forms" if you have selected the location of the registered office of the professional practice company.
Proof of conclusion of professional liability insurance or provisional confirmation of coverage
Current excerpt from the register, if one is already available
(A law firm is obliged to take out professional liability insurance with an insurance company authorized to do business in the country and to maintain it for the duration of the license. The minimum insurance sum is 2,500,000 euros for the individual case of damage. The insurer's benefits for all damages caused within one insurance year may be limited to the amount of the minimum insurance sum multiplied by the number of partners and managing directors who are not partners. However, the maximum annual benefit must amount to at least four times the minimum sum insured (§ 59j BRAO in conjunction with § 51 BRAO).
In the case of non-lawyer partners or members of the management and supervisory bodies: membership certificate of the competent chamber, if the partners belong to a chamber
otherwise: suitable qualification, study or activity certificates
Information on any further documents that may need to be submitted can be obtained from the relevant bar associations.
Fees are charged for admission. These are determined by the Bar Association.
In addition, there is an annual membership fee for the company set by the respective bar association as well as the chamber fee for the individual natural persons, insofar as they are also members of the respective bar association. Information on the amount of the annual membership fees can be obtained from the bar associations.
Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium der Justiz
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