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Choosing A Cyprus Lawyer

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Information on choosing a Cyprus lawyer

Koilani Village                                                                 Photo ©

Finding a good Cyprus lawyer can be a rather daunting task. Many British Expats in Cyprus have a need for a lawyer, whether it is for purchasing a home, writing a will, drawing up a contract, court proceedings, company formation etc.

There are many pitfalls and we have all heard the horror stories. With some help, you may avoid many of the dangers and problems with your Cyprus lawyer.

Here are some guidelines that will help you.

1. Bar Association.

One of the most important points to look for is to appoint a lawyer that is a member of the Cyprus Bar Association. A good professional lawyer will be a member of the Cyprus Bar Association because the lawyer will have to abide by certain rules and conditions. They must follow strict procedures and also carry indemnity insurance.

You may find a list of lawyers and the conditions they must follow on the Cyprus Bar Association website here

2. Initial Consultation

When approaching a potential lawyer for your legal requirements, be sure to ask in advance if there are any charges for the first consultation. Many lawyers in Cyprus do operate a free first consultation, but many also do charge. In the event that you have chosen a free consultation with a lawyer, be sure to ask the period of time allocated for this, so you may prepare your pitch beforehand.

3. Conflict Of Interest

A very important factor in choosing a lawyer is conflict of interest. Your potential lawyer must be totally independent of any conflict of interest. Take for example a house purchase, your lawyer must not act for the developer/owner of the proposed house purchase too. The lawyer must only act for you, and this must be clearly stated.

4. Costs

Cyprus lawyers fees can seriously mount up due to the heavy workload of the courts in Cyprus. There are many delays, which will require your lawyer making numerous visits to the court. There are also many procedures for administration and fixed costs for legal matters and documents.

You must ask your lawyer to give you a detailed estimation of costs in writing. This must include the costs of the lawyer per hour, the costs for the transaction(s) involving documentation, taxes and other costs which may be involved.

If you feel your lawyer has made excessive charges, the Cyprus Bar Association has a complaints procedure for this, see here

5. Written Confirmation

Dealing with a Cyprus lawyer will involve many written documentation, but not always. There will be times when you have a verbal consultation or a telephone conversation. What is discussed with your lawyer must later be put in writing and a copy given to you. Make note of all durations of consultations and telephone conversations to confirm the charges later.

6. Complaints Procedure

Cyprus lawyers have to deal with a legal system in Cyprus that moves very slowly. There are many delays, as stated before, and your lawyer will follow through on changed dates etc. You should be informed of all actions undertaken by your lawyer. If for instance your lawyer had to attend court on a certain date and there was a postponement, he should inform you. If you have tried to contact the lawyer, and he has not responded to your calls or visits asking for information, you may report the lawyer to the Cyprus Bar Association, who have a complaints procedure for their member, see here

These are some helpful guidelines that will help you find your Cyprus lawyer. One thing you do have to bear in mind is, that the Cyprus law system operates in a different way to the law system elsewhere in many ways. It can sometimes be quite a shock, but always remember, do your homework first and you will reduce many problems with a Cyprus lawyer drastically.