New Codex on deontology for lawyers with professional rules for Flemish lawyers

New Codex on deontology for lawyers with professional rules for Flemish lawyers

The “Codex of deontology for lawyers” was published in the Belgian Official Journal on 30 September 2014.
 
The general meeting of the Order of Flemish Bars (OVB) approved this Codex on 25 June 2014. It will enter into force on 1 January 2015. As of that date the Codex replaces the existing OVB regulations.
 
The Codex is composed of the following sections:
- Section 1: essential duties of the profession,
- Section 2: access to the profession, traineeship and education,
- Section 3: exercising the profession of lawyer,
- Section 4: lawyer acting in another capacity,
- Section 5: organisation of the firm,
- Section 6: internal organisation of the bar,
- Section 7: disciplinary and related procedures,
- Section 8: dispute resolution,
- Section 9: application of the Codex,
- Section 10: code of conduct for European lawyers. 

The aforementioned Codex reconciles the different regulations that currently apply for all lawyers who are members of the Order of Flemish Bars. Most of the rules have been taken over (virtually) unchanged, with particular attention devoted to their legibility.
 
Nevertheless, the Codex also includes a number of new provisions which deal with the following subjects (amongst others):     

- Independence (including conflicting interests and incompatibilities),
- The duty of professional confidentiality,
- The limitation of liability,
- Contact between lawyer and client-prisoner and contacts with witnesses,
- The confidentiality of consultations,
- Registration of conversations or contacts,
- Acting against a member of the bar,
- Dispute resolution (including a regulation of competence for disputes between lawyers) 

You can consult the full text of the Codex here.
 
At the beginning of 2015 the Order will be organising a number of workshops to explain the text in greater detail. Click here to consult the dates and locations.