Who can help you in your legal problems in Poland?

Błażej Sarzalski        06 October 2015        Comments(3)

I am a lawyer. The term ‘lawyer’ is very broad and in reality of Polish legal system it can be referred to any person who graduated Legal Faculty. After graduation one can follow different paths of career and become a judge, a public prosecutor, a notary, an advocate (Polish word ‘adwokat’ often also translated as ‘attorney’) or a barrister (Polish word ‘radca prawny’ often also translated as ‘solicitor’ or ‘legal adviser’), a patent agent or a bailiff. Those paths require further professional training provided by the state (judges, prosecutors) or by a self-governed bodies of advocates, legal advisers and other professionals (chambers). This legal self-governement bodies are often reffered to as ‘the Bar’. They provide training, care for ethical standards and compulsory insurance for associated lawyers.

Professions of advocate and barrister are those created to provide legal services for private persons and commercial entities. I know that it may sound strangely but from client’s point of view there are no significant differences between this two professions. In every case before a court of law (civil, family, commercial, criminal, employment…) or in administrative proceedings a party may be represented alternatively by the advocate or the barrister.

So why two self-governments and two professions? Advocates represented the qualified legal profession in the days of the Polish Second Republic (1918 – 1939). In the communist times there was a need to support  state entities by professionaly trained lawyers, however due to democratic origin of advocates, a communist government preffered to constitute a new profession. This is how a profession of barrister was born. It evolved into what it is today – the modern profession of public trust, having its own self-government, a code of ethics and advanced professional certification.

It is customary that advocates frequently represent individuals, whilst barristers represent entrepreneurs.  Now this division is an anachronism and both groups support both businesses and individuals. Despite many similarities in regulations regarding ethics and conduct, two chambers are different professions. Detailed information can be found on the official websites of legal advisers and advocates.

These professions are required to have compulsory liability insurance.

On the other hand there is a number of legal professionals who do not follow carrer in the Bar or in the judiciary. Those people provide variety of legal services excluding representation in court proceedings. Hovewer they are not supervised by the legal self-government bodies, they do not have generally approved ethical codes or obligation to have civil liability insurance. Such a person can not act as a representative or counsel in court proceedings (he or she can not file a request for company registration in your name!).  Those lawyers (let’s call them ‘paralegals’ – it is very rough translation but for our purposes it is enough) often have a well-established knowledge and skills in law and a fact that they do not pursue the legal advisor/advocate carrer is often a matter of their own choice. On the other hand it is worth noting that many students, immediately after graduation, try to find themselves on a market. Unfortunately universities do not offer practical programme and it is difficult to assess a knowledge of such man. Paralegal is entitled to call oneself ‘lawyer’, ‘legal consultant’, or use a title of ‘master of law” – he can provide legal advice, create projects of documents, draft agreements and represent parties in administrative proceedings.

If you have a contact with Polish lawyer do always ask about his professional status or check it here!

‘So, who are you Blazej?’ you may ask.

I am a barrister (or “legal adviser”) I have an insurance and broad experience in a field of commercial law. More information about me can be found here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

xxx December 5, 2015 at 12:58

Good web site you have got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours nowadays.
I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


Rob Kloss June 13, 2016 at 10:08


We are a Europe based Marine Construction firm and we need an attorney to assist us in

drafting a purchase and Sales agreement with a buyer in your area. Are you able to take

this matter? If not, a referral will be appreciated.


Błażej Sarzalski June 13, 2016 at 10:25

Please check your mailbox 🙂


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