How to practise in Greece after the Brexit transition period

The UK left the EU single market and customs union at the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.

The EU Lawyers Directives no longer apply to UK solicitors and law firms, and freedom of movement to the EU has come to an end.

Different rules on practising rights, immigration, visa and work permit requirements apply in each EU member state.

Conditions for UK solicitors to practise under home title after the end of the transition period

There’s currently no foreign legal consultant status available in Greece for non-EU lawyers.

Only lawyers with EU or EEA nationality can practise under the home title of an EU member state.

Non-EU lawyers can set up as business consultants. However, they must be careful not to provide restricted legal services.

Non-EU lawyers cannot:

  • practise Greek law
  • practise EU law
  • sign contracts
  • call themselves Greek lawyers or legal consultants

Non-EU lawyers do not benefit from legal professional privilege in Greek domestic courts.

Requalifying as a Greek lawyer after the transition period

Requalification is not available to non-EU/EEA nationals.

Setting up a law firm after Brexit

Branches of UK LLPs are not permitted from the end of the transition period, as Greek company law does not recognise such structures.

UK LLPs in Greece should have restructured as Greek entities or branches of EU entities before the end of the Brexit transition period.

Non-EU law firms may not establish in Greece after Brexit.

Resources

Athens Bar

Piraeus Bar

If you have any questions, email our international team at international@lawsociety.org.uk.

This information does not constitute legal advice. It was drafted by the Law Society of England and Wales on the basis of desk research, bilateral relations with European Bars and engagement with members.

The Law Society cannot be held liable for actions taken on the basis of this note or lack thereof. In case of specific queries, we strongly advise you to consider instructing external counsel to obtain advice specific to your business objectives.

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