Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Circuit?
Circuits, which are formal structures within the English legal system, have been part of the English landscape since the twelfth century and the term “Circuit” represented the tour of particular towns carried out by the King’s judges. The European Circuit is the first new such organisation for several hundred years. Unlike other Circuits it is not confined to England and Wales but has members from Ireland and from many other countries across Europe.
Why have a European Circuit?
Within Europe, there are multinational law firms in which lawyers from different legal traditions work alongside each other. However their services tend to be focused on large corporate entities. Independent lawyers servicing citizens and SMEs have increasing need of contacts with lawyers practising on a similar scale in other European states.
A further, equally important reason is to build on the concept of the legal circuit to create a collegiate ethos amongst the European Circuit’s members.
What is the aim of the European Circuit?
The Circuit aims to provide a forum for its members to address issues of concern and problems common to cross border practice by using the collective experience of hundreds of lawyers across Europe. It also seeks to promote European understanding of the Bar’s professional ethos, now that the EU Directive on Rights of Establishment allows much greater freedom of movement for lawyers across Member States.
The function of the European Circuit is therefore be to provide support and assistance to its members on the one hand and, on the other, to liaise with various judicial and policy making organisms. The Circuit is a point of contact in jurisdictions where barristers and solicitors may wish to practice and may also assist in publicising the services of barristers.
The Circuit organises a series of events – seminars, workshops, conferences and social events across Europe. These may be in conjunction with other organisations with similar or overlapping goals.
What are the benefits of joining the European Circuit?
The Circuit provides a forum for its members to:
- Seek solutions to common problems in relation to cross-border practice, in line with the various Commission initiatives seeking to set up an area of freedom, security and justice, as well as creating a European Judicial Area.
- Exchange knowledge and experience of European practice and a point of liaison with other jurisdictions where legal practitioners may wish to practise.
- Promote more widely the services of members to potential clients
Who can join the European Circuit?
Members of the circuit include legal practitioners from the UK and from Ireland and from a variety of other jurisdictions in Europe who are involved in cross border work. Some of these practitioners are employed by international companies, governments or international institutions such as the European Commission or the European Court of Human Rights.
Lawyers who practise law outside their country of original qualification are naturally eligible to join. Events are regularly held in conjunction with other bars and bar associations across Europe.
If you have any queries, please contact the Circuit Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org