As President of the Brussels Bar Council, Dutch speaking section, it is a pleasure to welcome you to this event organized especially for the members registered on the EU- and the B-list.
Over the years we have seen a substantial growth of the number of foreign lawyers in Brussels. Today we have  lawyers from other EU-Member states (EU-list) and  lawyers from non-EU countries (B-list).
The purpose of this event is for us to tighten the contacts of the Bar with you and other foreign lawyers. Most of the members of our Bar are Belgian lawyers and we as a Bar pretty well know them. This is less the case with you. For a number of reasons, there would seem less reason for you to have contact with our Bar: This is certainly due to the fact that you are already member of your home Bar and that most of your contacts have been in the past with you home Bar. It may also be due to the area of practice that you are involved in, often EU and international law which is somewhat more remote from the daily practice of the average Belgian lawyer.
As members of our Bar you are – like Belgian lawyers – of course subject to certain obligations an requirements.
To name a few:
- foreign lawyers are like domestic lawyers subject to the ethical and deontological rules and obligations of our Bar;
- there are also the requirements on continued professional education and there is the requirement to report on third party accounts .
Respect of these rules is indispensable for protecting the integrity, the value and the good standing of our profession. In this regard, if you have questions on deontology in the course of your lawyer’ practice, please feel free to contact us and we will try to assist you.
On the other hand, we want to avoid that these requirements and obligations create an unnecessary burden for you. The Brussels Bar therefor seeks to apply these rules and the “double deontology” that you may be subject to because of your membership of multiple Bars, in a flexible way and take into account that you are also member of the your Bar of origin. For example:
- continued professional education imposed by the home Bar on EU-lawyers will be taken into account;
- You are free to apply for recognition of seminars and lectures followed or given in your language in other countries.
I will conclude this short welcome address by wishing you an interesting afternoon with respect to the topic on the agenda today. And I hope to welcome you also to future events that we intend to organize for foreign lawyers. EU- and B-list lawyers are full members of the Brussels Bar and the Brussels Bar Council has decided to organize events aimed particulary to you more frequently.
I am most gratefull to Yves Van Gerven to have accepted to organize this meeting and seminar with outstanding speakers and an interesting subject.