Lawyers in Cyprus
The professional body that represents over 2700 lawyers in Cyprus, is The Cyprus Bar Association which was established in 1960. All lawyers that are members of the Association are issued with identity cards which they present in Court or to any other Public Authorities. If you are looking for a lawyer in Cyprus, its best to make sure that they are members of the Cyprus Bar Association.
Most Cypriot lawyers are graduates from the U.K. and Greece, with equal numbers of men and women. The majority of legal firms practice in both Greek and English and many firms have hired Russian speaking staff due to the increase in clients from Russia. There are 5 district offices of the Association, one in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and Famagusta, and all lawyers practicing law in Cyprus must be members. Advocates law dictates that the Cyprus Bar Association, the Disciplinary Board and the Legal Counsel constitute the regulating bodies of the legal profession in Cyprus. The Cyprus Bar Association is a member of the International Bar Association, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Councils and Bars of the European Union and the Balkan Bar Association.
After Cyprus’ accession into the European Union, it became necessary for all lawyers in Cyprus to get acquainted with European laws. The Cyprus government has also implemented directives from the EU to harmonize legislation. In order to qualify to register as a practicing lawyer in Cyprus, newly qualified lawyers must first register as a trainee advocate and complete 12 months training in a law office or in the Attorney General’s office. Once they pass the Legal Council’s exam for trainee lawyers and all legal requirements are met, they are officially recognized as lawyers and are free to practice law in any city in Cyprus.
Registered practicing lawyers can represent clients in all types of legal matters, but if you are looking for lawyers that specialize in property law, it is recommended that you seek them out, and even better find one’s that come highly recommended by others that have been through this procedure.
When buying property in Cyprus, you will need an experienced lawyer to deal with all the legal matters. Services offered by a lawyer will include a search with the Lands Registry Office, checking planning and building permits, drawing up contracts, stamping and registering contracts and the application for permission to purchase from the Council of Ministers. You can expect to pay in excess of €2000 for these services depending on how complicated the purchase of the property is.
The larger, reputable Estate Agencies usually have their own lawyers on hand to deal with all the legal requirement that are needed when purchasing a property in Cyprus. This is a good thing as all the necessary documentation will be handled in the same office which is sure to speed things up. If however you are purchasing privately and are looking for a lawyer, it is best to find one in the area that your new acquisition will be. There are many websites with lists of practicing lawyers in all towns, these websites will give you a list of all the law firms in Cyprus. As previously stated if you can get recommendations from people you trust, you will save yourself a lot of time and money, and you will be able to proceed with more confidence.
Top law firms in Cyprus that have practiced law for decades and are experienced in real estate law are probably your best bet. These firms specialize in corporate and tax laws which extend to business outside Cyprus in particular with Russia, the UK and Ukraine. These lawyers usually promote their services abroad by attending international conferences and events.
Many of the law firms are family run legal practices. As the demand for specialization increases, many firms are hiring lawyers with international backgrounds and there is an increase in big international companies entering the Cypriot legal market.
It is of the utmost importance that you hire a reputable property lawyer when purchasing a house in Cyprus. There are many pitfalls that can be avoided if you get the correct advice from the beginning.
Below we have listed a few websites that will help you in your search for a competent lawyer in Cyprus.