Dear Clients and those of you who are interested in our legal services, herewith we are bringing to you our Internet Presentation. In the Presentation we inform you about the core, subject matter and content of our services, as well as about other connected issues. Thus we share with you our attitude to legal issues, findings from our practice and at the same time we present our conception of the services provided by us to you. All of this also sums up and represents our attitude to you.
We build on many years of practice gained in various legal specialisations and based upon the unified approach to theory and practice, ways of law application and legal thinking in general. It all enables us to provide our clients with comprehensive legal services. We provide our services in Czech (Slovak) and English languages.
We are ready and glad to inform you specifically about our attitude and our philosophy for our common journey through the rough waters of law.
Mgr. Filip Záděra, Ph.D., attorney at law/advocate. Legal practice since 2003. Advocate since 2007. During his practice, he has been focused mainly on the area of private law – provision of legal services as well as theoretical issues connected with establishment, existence and internal relations of commercial companies (corporations) and other legal entities, their (business) activities and administration of their business. At the same time he deals mainly with the matters from commercial and civil law, labour law, IT law, copyright law and transport law (including the issues of international freight transport and CMR convention application). Besides that he is also focused on the issues of business activities of foreign entities in our territory, establishment and existence of multinational forms of corporations, including all the connected aspects, and on settlement of employment relationships and their specific features in case of companies transformations. During his practice he has been providing legal services to significant businessman (entrepreneurs) active both in the area of sale (distribution) of goods and in the area of provision of services (logistics, consultancy, IT).
The Ichtius Project is implementation of our ideas of how to provide services to you, our clients, in the necessary extent and for a consideration which is adequate. Our approach requires a thorough insight in the matter or case submitted by you, consideration of all the facts and connections decisive for you, including your timely and complete information about the state of the case.
The name of the Project, i.e. of what our work should be like according to our opinion, and also the graphic appearance of our presentation are based on the words "ichthys" and "ius". While the latter is characteristic for our field of activity and it is the Latin word for "law", the former is derived (in our name used in an abbreviated form) from the Greek word for "fish" which is commonly understood as a symbol of "purity".
By connecting both words we express our deep commitment to provide legal assistance in quite a wide range of areas we know in order to express your ideas and interests legally as aptly as possible and at the same time to connect them efficiently with possible legal protection. We pride ourselves on mutual trust and cooperation thanks to which it is possible to get to the actual core of the case we are solving together. Entrusted cases are always assessed with regard to what we consider to be adequate to the interests of our client known to us and legal assistance is then chosen in the extent which is capable of causing the intended effect.
The Ichtius Project, which is the core of our activities, is therefore based on an idea of providing our clients with requisite legal assistance using expertise, due insight, cooperation and helpfulness for provision of the most comprehensive and adequate legal services in a reasonable time frame.
We always strive to offer to our clients a fast and comprehensive "turn-key" solution with regard to their future needs or desired activities, as well as to minimise secondary costs – all this for reasonable remuneration.
At the same time, however, we do not decline consultancy in projects the content or importance of which is interesting for us or beneficial for the public interest, even if the remuneration for our services provided within them does not correspond to the time spent and activity performed.
We provide a wide range of legal services in various legal areas (specialisations) for businessman (their associations or groupings), foreign entities, self-administration as well as legal entities not performing business activities (non-profit sector) and natural persons (citizens). Our services are provided from Prague and Ostrava in Czech (Slovak) and English languages.
When providing legal services, we emphasize mainly close and long-term cooperation with a client based upon our mutual trust, knowledge of the conditions and special interests of the client, accentuating providing full information to the client about the legal nature, possible risks and possible solutions of their case and using Cooperating persons where it is useful for solution of your case.
Our philosophy, as it is expressed generally in the section Ichtius Project and discussed in more detail also in the section Remuneration, is to provide you, as our client, with the most comprehensive possible approach and thus also an effective "turnkey" solution of your case in a reasonable time frame, including savings of your time and costs. During our activities, we always try, in the interest of you as your client, to achieve what you expect from us in the maximum possible extent. Within the scope of this we are ready to provide our clients with legal services wherever necessary.
We focus on provision of legal services in the area of legal regulations: real estate (residential and non-residential premises) and legal relations to them, legal standing of businessman and relations connected with business activities, legal entities and legal relations connected with them, (commercial) obligation relations (contracts), labour law relations (both individual and collective ones), banking sector, rights arising from intellectual property and information technologies (IT), insolvency proceedings, inland and cross-border road transport of goods (freight) (CMR).
We provide a specialised legal aid concerning establishment (monetary and non-monetary contributions), existence, management (structure), inspections, dissolving and liquidation of companies (corporations), multinational forms of companies (SE) and other legal entities of both private and public law, including their transformations (mergers, splitting, transfer of company assets and legal form changes), acquisitions, dispositions with enterprise or its part (lease, pledge, deposit or sale) and consultancy in the area of concerns and inland or multinational associations of businessman (consortia, EHZS).
The forms of legal assistance provided by us are: legal consultations, setting of a legal strategy, legal analyses, due diligence, background researches, legal relations reorganisation, preparation or reviewing of contracts, deeds and declarations, internal regulations (rules), instructions and other documents.
Besides legal assistance, we also offer other related services, such as e.g. specialist lectures (seminars) on a selected topic from the legal area in which we provide legal services, (solution) custody of money, securities deeds, two-way conversion of documents and verifying of signatures (including appending an apostille).
We have sufficient technical equipment and expertise to be able to adapt and subsequently to use in favour of our clients all the advantages offered by the established justice electronization (data box, secured electronic signature, electronic filing including proposal for issuing of an electronic payment request (EPR), insolvency register monitoring etc.). Our efforts then bring you, as our clients, a significant shortening of the time required for settling of your case, savings of costs, both material ones including fees, and non-material ones in the form of time, effort and stress.
If you are interested, please see our detailed offer divided according to the legal nature of the persons interested in legal services or forms of your business plan.
Natural persons as businessman (sole proprietors, lessors, authors, free enterprise and other specialist professions)
For businessman, we offer legal consultancy concerning the possibility of implementation of their business plans, impacts of business activities on common property of spouses, preconditions for commencement or extension of their activities, responsible representatives and legal securing of the premises in the registered office, place of business or business premises (lease, purchase). We also offer solution of other matters connected with business activities, such as relations to the relevant chamber or to a professional association, legal issues connected with employing of nationals as well as foreigners, requirements for a business presentation (website, business documents etc.), basic obligations arising from the selected scope of business activities, including solution of the issues of the legal strategy of the business activities, business liability, company management and representation of the businessman, protection of intellectual property, industrial rights, trademarks, industrial design, patents and other rightful interests of the businessman (trade secrets), including the prospects of future restructuring of their company and disposal of it.
In the course of business activities of a businessman, we offer preparation and reviewing of other documents relating to the operation and management of the company (plant), protection of its interests, lease of the business property and other asset values (rights) and solving of matters concerning the relations connected with the business, such as relations to other entrepreneurs (suppliers, customers), consumers, economic competition, business practices and other relevant business and legal relationships.
At the same time we offer consultancy concerning uniting and connecting of businessman, joint procedure for protection of their interests, a possible change (transfer) into another form of business or ownership interest in it (commercial company, silent partnership, association etc.) and competitive relations.
Besides that we also offer representation of a businessman in the matters connected with registration in public registers (trade register and commercial register), in the proceedings held at trade supervisory office or another office in the matters of its activities and court proceedings or arbitration proceedings for protection of its rights and rightful interests (collection of receivables, damage compensation etc.), as well as during execution of a ruling (distrainment) and in bankruptcy proceedings (issues of bankruptcy, registration of receivables, reorganisation etc.).
For businessman who have the legal form of one of commercial corporations (general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, joint-stock company, European (joint-stock) company (Societas Europaea), European economic interest group (EHZS), cooperatives (European cooperative companies) or another form stipulated by law (authorised packaging company, state-owned enterprise, mixed chamber of commerce etc.) as well as their (future) founders we offer legal consultancy concerning the preparation and preconditions (criteria) for establishment (foundation) of these corporations, possibilities of their (main as well as secondary) activities and ownership interest in them, including the make-up and structure of their bodies and other connected issues of corporation law.
We also offer legal consultancy connected with existence of these corporations, their business activities, increasing of ownership interest in them, operation of their companies and branches (outlets), including transfer of the ownership interest, layout of the business assets, resolution of relations between the partners or members (founders), disposal of the company (plant) or its part, establishment of multinational (holding) company structures, association with other entities, concern relations, their reorganisation and connected labour law (collective) relations.
We also solve for you the issues connected with dissolution (liquidation) or transformation of corporations in the form of both inland and multinational merger, splitting, transfer of business assets to a partner, change of legal form, transformation into a multinational (supranational) corporation form or cross-border relocation of the registered office.
Our legal services also include the following:
- comprehensive consultancy during establishing of commercial companies (corporations), including possible ownership interest (contributions) and arranging of trade licences, preparation of establishment and organisation documents (articles), preparation of all the documents for incorporation in the commercial and other public registers; in case of multinational companies (SE, EHZS) we also offer an analysis of the individual ways of establishment, organisation of the whole process and preparation of negotiation with the representatives of employees;
- consultancy aimed at the scope of the business activity (activities) of a corporation, including setting of the business strategy, relations with suppliers and customers, legal protection of intellectual property and preparation of all the connected documents (contracts, declarations and business terms and conditions);
- consultancy and settlement of legal relations between the partners or members (founders), relations between the corporation and members of its (collective) bodies, responsible representatives as well as statutory and contractual representatives (procura holders, management, branch plant manager and others), including the matters of mutual relations (rights to sign, financial assistance, restricted disposal of the assets, transfers between interconnected entities etc.);
- preparation of contracts and other documents connected with the selected business or other activities and for ensuring of operation (management) of a company (plant) and protection of assets, rights and rightful interests of a corporation (trade secret, economic competition, intellectual and industrial property, trademarks, industrial designs, patents etc.), including documents enabling disposal of them (licences, franchising etc.);
- comprehensive consultancy in labour law matters, in the issues connected with rights and obligations of the employer and employees in labour law relations, in the management positions, in the issues concerning competitive activities, in the basic issues of safety, protection of life and health of employees and safe operation of the company (workplaces) and protection of property and other interests of the employer, relations of a collective nature and relations to the representatives of the employees (trade unions, employee councils), including preparation of all contracts and other internal documents concerning these relations;
- consultancy and preparation of documents concerning changes in ownership interest, by increasing the ownership interest in both monetary and non-monetary form, transfer of ownership interest (involvement), including other rights (acquisition), transfer of a company (part of a company/plant) as well as of other assets of a corporation, including all the connected issues (economic competition, coordination of the procedure of the partners or members etc.);
- consultancy concerning the establishment and existence of an association with other entities, business groups and concern relations, including controlling contracts and stipulation of relationships in the actual concern;
- preparation of all the changes of the establishment deeds or changes of the corporation activities or changes in its bodies, including their incorporation in the commercial or other public register and filing of documents in collection of documents;
- consultancy and preparation of documents concerning reorganisation, transformation or winding-up (liquidation) of a corporation, including inland ones as well as international (multilateral) mergers, acquisitions, splitting (demerger), legal form changes, transfer of company property to a partner, establishment of multinational companies (SE) or registered office relocation.
For foreign entities, we provide comprehensive legal consultancy connected with the commencement and operation of their business activities, with protection of investments, with assets investments and protection of intellectual and industrial property, with employing of natural persons and with collective relations, with their stay (visa) and employing of foreigners in the Czech Republic (the EU) and in other connected matters. Our legal services are focused on the issues connected with implementation of their business plans in the Czech Republic, with establishment and existence of an organisation unit and other authorised persons, contractual relations with suppliers and customers, lease of assets, with conditions for development of business activities, with choice of a legal form for business activities, with possible participation in an existing business, including establishment of a legal entity, with issues connected with employing of foreigners, legal conditions of an established business, transfers of a company within the group or outside it, with protection of copyright and industrial rights and with acquisition of real estate (land plots and buildings) for business and other purposes.
In the specified matters, we offer our legal aid during court proceedings (arbitrations) and proceedings before other public authorities, including performance of a decision (distrainment) and insolvency (registering of receivables etc.).
To our citizens, we offer a basic range of legal services in the area of legal relationships of private law. They include mainly the issues of property rights (transfers of ownership and ownership disputes, cancellation and settlement of sharing ownership), personality protection, protection of consumer rights, obligation relations (contracts and other legal acts, securing of obligations), insurance as well as rights arising from unlawful actions (damage compensation, unjustified enrichment). We are also focused on the matters connected with rights pertaining to real property (residential and non-residential premises), as well as their transfer for a charge as well as free of charge, encumbrance (pledges and rights of user), pre-emption rights and other reservations or conditions, settlement of legal relations in the period before concluding a contract and recording rights in the register and lease of real estate. Besides that, we also provide accompanying services, such as negotiations with a financing bank and custody of money for the purpose of its payment to the transferor.
We also focus on the area of labour-law relations and consumer law. We offer comprehensive legal consultancy concerning the position, remuneration, damage liability, rights and obligations of an employee and issues connected with application of equal handling principle, discrimination issues and abuse of the employer's rights in labour law relations, including collective relations (trade unions, employee councils). We also prepare and review employment contracts, management and similar contracts and agreement on work performed outside the scope of employment relationship (contract for work and contract on performance of work and contract on performance of task) and other similar agreements in this area (material responsibility, competition clause etc.). At the same time we provide consultation in the area of standing and rights of consumers and their associations. We also provide consultancy in the area of family law, including preparation of documents concerning premarital relations, divorces, adoption, narrowing and settlement of common property of spouses (by agreement as well as a court decision).
Besides the above specified, we offer consultancy concerning the possibility of commencement of business activities and its legal framework, including the connected risks, ownership interest in corporations and its transfer as well as ownership interest in other legal entities (associations, cooperatives, companies etc.) and solving of "personal bankruptcy" (debt relief).
In the specified matters, we offer our legal aid during court proceedings (arbitrations) and proceedings before other public authorities, including performance of a decision (distrainment) and insolvency (registering of receivables etc.).
We provide legal services to legal entities the subject matter of which is activities which are not usually connected with making a profit (not oriented on gaining a profit) dealing with administration of the assets of its members (founders) or enforcing of their interests, promotion of a profession or supervision of a professional activity, education, exercise of freedoms guaranteed by the constitutional order, handling of gifts and contributions or activities in the area of community service, such as associations (trade unions), chambers, foundations and endowment funds, community service companies, associations of unit owners, association of hunters, educational legal entities, churches and religious associations and other associations (societies).
For these organisations (their founders or establishers) we offer legal consultancy concerning the conditions of their establishment and formation, internal structure, appointment of members of their bodies, sphere of their main and secondary activities, provision of capital and incorporation in public registers, including preparation of establishment and foundation documents (deeds, contracts, articles and regulations). We also offer our legal assistance during existence of these organisations based on consultancy concerning changes of the establishment (foundation) documents, in their bodies, lease and borrowings of assets, administration of assets and their disposition as well as legal relations between the organisation and its founders (partners) and members of its bodies, labour law and similar relations, relations towards the state, self-administration and third parties, including preparation of all the connected documents. At the same time we offer legal services concerning dissolving and liquidation of these organisations, including their possible transformation and restructuring.
We also offer legal aid during court proceedings (arbitrations) and other public administration bodies, including execution of a ruling (distrainment) and insolvency (registration of receivables etc.).
For territorial entities (public corporations), interest and professional self-administration entities (chambers and associations), we offer legal services connected with their entrusted (transferred) as well as independent competence, their other activities, relations between their bodies, management of their assets and ownership interest in other entities, relations arising from exercise of their transferred (entrusted) competence as well as relations between these entities (unions, associations) and towards the state (public administration bodies).
In the same extent, we also offer legal aid to allowance, budgetary and other organisations (educational legal entity) in regional self-administration units (schools and educational institutions, centres of social services, libraries, hospitals and other institutes), including the issues of exercising of entrusted competence, extent of activities, changes of their establishment deeds and in their statutory bodies and their incorporation in the public register, solution of their relationship towards their founder, management of the entrusted assets and labour law issues.
We focus on legal consultancy concerning handling of assets (municipalities or regions), establishment (monetary and non-monetary contributions) and management of corporations controlled by a municipality or a region, including appointing members of their bodies, extent of their force and liability, exercise of rights of a partner or shareholder, including changes in the area of ownership interest (increasing of the registered capital, transfer of ownership interest). We also offer our legal assistance in the area of public support and during participation of a municipality or a region in various projects and partnerships with other entities.
Our services include legal meetings, legal standpoints, preparation and reviewing of contracts, internal regulations and representation during negotiations with third parties. We also offer legal aid during court proceedings (arbitrations) including execution of a ruling (distrainment).
Remuneration for legal services represents a consideration for what you receive as our client and beneficiary of legal services which are presented generally in the section Legal Services. Below we will try to describe briefly our basic principles for determination of the amount of our remuneration and provide you an idea of its amount in standard cases.
We always take into account the intensity of the relationship which is being built between us and our client and which is based on our mutual trust and on knowledge of the client's situation with the aim to achieve a long-term cooperation. This specific and gradually formed relationship usually influences also our remuneration for legal services.
However, at the same time we do our best to make sure that our legal services are available also to natural persons and legal entities not performing any business activities and therefore we adapt our attitude to their conditions. Besides that, by adapting the amount of our remuneration to the possibilities of the person interested in a legal service, we also try to support businessman starting their businesses or in various development stages where our mutual communication may develop in future. The same approach is also taken in projects the content or nature of which is close to the public interest or serves directly to it (pro bono).
In standard cases, the remuneration for our legal services ranges from CZK 2,000 to 4,000 per hour according to the applied law, language and form of the required legal service and also according to the complexity of the matter. The amount of our remuneration is determined without the corresponding value added tax rate. On the basis of the above specified principles, the remuneration is determined and negotiated with a client or a person interested in our legal services always individually according to the above specified criteria. Upon their request, a client or a person interested in legal services will always receive explanation of the reasons for the proposed remuneration, the expected extent of legal services and an estimate of the connected costs.
Besides an hourly rate, we also offer remuneration determined according to the budget which covers the needs of the assigned case regardless the time demands of the individual tasks within the legal services or a flat rate which includes solution of a number of matters which are not restricted in advance and which are assigned to us by a client for a determined period of time (a monthly rate).
If you want to establish a corporation or another legal entity or carry out a transformation, which is usually inquired in the form of a budget, we will inform you upon your request (after you provide closer specifications) about the total amount of our remuneration as well as an estimate of our further estimated expenses. A similar principle also applies to our remuneration for contractual transfer of items and rights, as well as for connected custody of financial funds as counter-value for the implemented transactions.
As regards possible issues concerning remuneration for advocates, costs of proceedings and other important information connected with provision of legal services, please see the section Rules of Legal Services.
As our goal is to provide you, our clients, with legal services at the highest achievable professional level, we consider one of the basic conditions to achieve this goal to be the highest possible degree of trust between you, as our client, and us, as legal assistance providers, including maintaining you fully informed about the basic issues connected with performance of legal profession.
We are convinced that mutual trust must be established and built from the very beginning of our cooperation which starts from your decision to approach us and use our services. In order to have enough information for your decision-making processes as well as assessment of our attitude to you, we have prepared for you a summary of the general information relating to provision of legal services in the Czech Republic. The individual parts include information concerning remuneration and compensations of advocates (solicitors), awarding of compensation for costs of proceedings, nature and content of the relationship between the advocate and the client as well as some measures interfering in the relationships between the client and the advocate in the public interest.
We do believe that the below specified information will serve to you as the basis for your further decisions as well as for assessment of the facts specified by us in Remuneration.
General information about remuneration and compensations for advocates
In Act No 85/1996 Coll. on legal profession, as amended, the stipulation of the amount or way of determination of remuneration for an advocate for legal services (counsel fee) is basically made by agreement between the person interested in provision of the legal service and the advocate approached by them and it is therefore governed by the contract concluded by and between them (so-called contractual remuneration). Specifically, as regards agreements about contractual remuneration, quite usually you can come across "hourly" remuneration (time-based remuneration) or "lump-sum" remuneration (task-based remuneration) which is connected with achievement of a certain legal situation or another goal or with efforts spent on this achievement, regardless the amount of the time actually spent on it. As regards the hourly remuneration, the client is entitled to ask the advocate to prepare a statement for the remuneration amount, i.e. an outline of the tasks performed by the advocate in favour of the client. And a commenced particularly agreed time period particular in which the advocate's task was being performed is always counted, according to the concluded contract. If lump-sum remuneration was agreed, then the advocate is entitled to the amount agreed for a particular time period regardless the time demanded for the tasks carried out by the advocate. Despite the advocate's remuneration being agreed in this way, it only includes the tasks which are subject matter of the agreed legal service. If the advocate performs tasks for the client also in another matter or tasks not included in the lump-sum remuneration, the advocate is entitled to charge for these tasks beyond the lump-sum amount.
You can also find e.g. proportionate remuneration tied with the revenue (the value or result) of a certain case or so-called "lump-sum" or "budget" which represents an amount agreed for a particular time regardless the amount of the cases or matters solved during that time or aiming to achievement of a certain goal regardless the actual demands of the performed tasks of legal assistance. It is also common to combine the above specified ways of advocate's remuneration.
In all the cases, the client should always realise that principally, as regards origination of the advocate's title for remuneration, the main criterion is not achievement of the expected result (solicitor's remuneration is not result based) but exerting all their possible efforts which can be required from the advocate and which are aiming to the desirable result. Therefore, unless agreed otherwise between the advocate and client, even if an advocate does not manage to achieve the aim expected by you despite exerting all the possible efforts, the advocate is entitled to the agreed remuneration.
Besides remuneration for legal services, the advocate is also entitled to request so-called compensations. It is a lump-sum compensation for the lost time and compensation for the out-of-pocket expenses (overheads) spent purposefully, all this again principally according to the contract with the client. The out-of-pocket expenses include mainly the court and other fees (duty stamps), travelling expenses, postage and telecommunication fees, vidimation and legalization, translation, price of expert opinions and other professional statements which were spent by the advocate in connection with provision of the legal service to the client. An advocate is entitled to compensation for lost time mainly for tasks performed outside the registered office of the advocate and for the time spent travelling there and back as well as for any delays with commencement of proceedings before the court or another public authority, their cancellation or adjournment without negotiating of the matter.
The above specified might suggest that negotiation of remuneration of a advocate is totally up to the will of the parties, but in reality it is not the case. While a person interested in legal services has no limits when negotiating the remuneration, despite the above declared freedom, an advocate has to take into account mainly the legal regulations binding for advocates and issued by the Czech Bar Association (CBA) (professional regulations) which include ethical principles, ban of certain agreements in favour of a client and rules of competition for advocates (adequate remuneration etc.). It is also necessary to add that a person interested in a legal service is always entitled to ask for a contract to be concluded in writing as well as to consult such a contract (favourability of its conditions) with another independent advocate.
In case contractual remuneration has not been agreed and the parties agree on provision of a legal service, so-called out-of-contract remuneration (tariff) shall be applied and its amount, or the way of its calculation is stipulated by the Ordinance of Ministry of Justice No 177/1996 Coll. on remuneration and compensations for advocates for provision of legal services, or so-called advocate's tariff. Calculation of out-of-contract remuneration is based on so-called tariff values of the individual (typical) legal service tasks enumerated in the ordinance regardless their time demands.
We have to point out that if an advocate is a value added tax payer, the advocate is obliged to add this tax to the calculated remuneration and possible costs and to pay the tax at the corresponding amount. The total charged amount therefore must be increased by the corresponding rate of the value added tax.
About compensation of costs of proceedings and contractual remuneration
It is necessary to add that if advocate's remuneration was agreed for representation in proceedings before court or another public authority body, that when determining compensation of costs for the legal representation (if at least one participant is entitled to it) the compensation of which is awarded to the client by a decision of the court or another body (predicate), the agreed advocate's remuneration as a cost of the proceedings of the client will not be taken into account and its amount will be acknowledged according to the advocate's tariff. Calculation of the costs of proceedings based on representation of a participant by advocate made by a public authority body is thus based on the amounts specified in the advocate's tariff (according to the number of tasks carried out by the solicitor).
Basically, as regards the costs, a public authority body can thus award to the participant of the proceedings only the amount specified in the advocate's tariff, not the amount (remuneration) which the participant really spent on the particular legal service. A person interested in legal service based on representation in proceedings when compensation of costs may be awarded should ask the advocate about this and take it into account when negotiating the remuneration.
About the nature of relations between the advocate and client
Basically, it is possible to say that while an advocate is a person who achieved the prescribed education, completed his/her legal practice and his/her professional experience and knowledge have been duly verified by the Czech Bar Association (CBA) during a advocate's test and therefore it is a person who should know and understand law (is professionally capable of providing legal assistance), a person interested in legal service and the advocate's future client is usually a person who perceives law rather spontaneously and requires legal aid for achievement or protection of their interests. These aspects turn the relationship between an advocate and his/her client into specific relationship based mainly on their mutual trust, which bring a number of obligations for the advocate. Existence and duration of their mutual trust is a crucial precondition for continuing of the relationship between the advocate and the client. Its absence or later partial or complete loss should principally lead to termination of provision of legal assistance by the advocate.
The relationship between the advocate and the client is based on the fact that the advocate provides legal aid to the client as an independent, unbiased (impartial) person who protects and enforces the interests of the client, acts according to the client's instructions and maintains strict confidentiality concerning all the facts the advocate learns about during this. The client should provide the advocate with timely and complete information about his/her matter, submit complete documents for solution of his/her mater and take into account his/her recommendation. Besides that, the client should inform the advocate about the nature of his/her interests in order to enable the advocate to choose a corresponding strategy or perform tasks of legal services in time. It is a usual practice that if according to the knowledge and practice of the advocate, enforcing of the client's interests is connected with an inadequate risk or if the client waives the required standard of legal protection for his/her interests, that the advocate will inform the client about the connected risks.
In this connection it is necessary to add that even though the basic obligation of the advocate as the mandatary is to follow the instructions (orders) from the client, the advocate is not obliged to perform the instructions if they are in contradiction with legal or professional regulations. In some cases, the advocate is even ordered by law to refuse an instruction from the client or to delay its fulfilment. Therefore we recommend discussing the content of the mandate and the individual aspects of the expected legal aid with the advocate in advance in order to prevent such situations which weaken the nature of the mutual relations.
Special interests of the client and their enforcing by the advocate
Special interests of a client may include interest in acquisition or transfer of a certain item or right or another advantage with a person (persons) selected in advance as counterparty (propriety interests). In these situations, the relationship between the advocate and client is determined a priori by this special interest of the client when the advocate becomes de facto an intermediary between the client's interest and subject matter of the interest (e.g. a certain real estate). In these situations, however, the above described principles will be applied when the advocate protects rightful interests of the client which also include achievement of the necessary degree of his/her legal protection, or an effort to avoid a situation when the client's rights would be with absolutely no legal protection, and therefore the advocate must attempt to enforce these principles even if the goal desired by the client will not be achieved after all. A reason for such a procedure, besides the actual reason for engaging an advocate in the matter, is mission of the advocate as a person independent of the subject matter of the client's interests in order to achieve the required degree of legal protection and prevent possible disputes in which the client would be left without legal protection for which he/she basically asked. Therefore when giving instructions to the advocate, the client should always take into account his/her recommendations, even in cases when his/her special interests are not achieved (e.g. real estate is not acquired).
Advocate's liability and insurance
When providing legal assistance (legal services), an advocate is obliged to proceed with professional care corresponding to their qualification and exert all the efforts (appropriate attitude) which can be reasonably required from the advocate in order to protect the client's interests as much as possible and to provide the client with the achievable legal protection. We can state that such an attitude is naturally expected by the client and with awareness of these facts the client also entrusts its matters to the advocate. The law therefore outlines special liability and connected obligations of the advocate. Besides others, the advocate is also obliged to maintain indemnification for liability for damage caused during provision of legal services (performance of legal profession). The minimum insurance coverage differs according to the way of performance of legal profession (an independent advocate or various associations of advocates) and according to the type of the provided legal services. As an example we can state that an individual advocate or association of solicitors are obliged to have indemnification at the amount of CZK 3,000,000 per an advocate (each member of the association). This basic amount of insurance then covers almost all the areas of applicable law, only in case of law of exchange, the advocate is obliged to arrange an additional insurance.
With regard to the range of the services provided by us and significance of interests of our clients, we are insured for the total amount of CZK 10,000,000 for each case of a mistake and solidary liability, including application of law of exchange.
Advocate's duty of confidentiality and its exclusions
Due to the nature of their profession, an advocate has a statutory duty of confidentiality from which the advocate can only be released by the client or his/her legal successor. Even in such cases, the advocate is obliged to maintain confidentiality if it is clear from the circumstances that the client or his/her legal successor released the advocate from this obligation under pressure or in distress. Advocate's duty of confidentiality survives even after his/her licence for performance of legal profession ceases to exist and it includes all the facts about which the advocate learnt in connection with provision of legal services to the client. With regard to the needs of the advocate's business, this obligation is stipulated by law also for his/her employees. An advocate as an employer should require observance of this obligation from his/her employees in an appropriate manner.
However, the advocate's duty of confidentiality will not be applied in case of certain measures aimed at prevention of criminal activities stipulated by law or by a legal norm of a higher legal force. Typically, except the below specified cases, these include e.g. an obligation of the advocate to prevent commitment of a criminal offence when the advocate is obliged to prevent commitment of a criminal offence in the phase of their preparation in case of criminal offences specified in law or to report their preparation to the prosecution bodies.
Finally, from a somewhat different point of view, it is necessary to mention an initiative of the client to release the advocate from the duty of confidentiality in relation to other entities performing activities for the client (e.g. auditors, accountants and other expert advisers etc.), which is desirable in some cases when on the contrary a mutual exchange of information between the advocate and persons engaged by the client is desirable for protection of the client's interests or when it is often necessary for provision of the services by the advocate. However, even this release from the advocate's duty of confidentiality should be included in the contract with the advocate or should be expressed otherwise in writing.
About measures against legalisation of revenues from criminal activities and financing of terrorism and about competences of proving executor
Advocates belong in a group of so-called obliged entities to which some specific obligations apply which are stipulated by Act No 253/2008 Coll. on some measures against legalisation of income from criminal activities and financing of terrorism (act on money laundering), as amended, and in relation to it also by the issued professional regulation. We have to point out that these specific obligations, which are, however, connected only with some activities of a solicitor, represent interference in the advocate's duty of confidentiality and they represent an interference in the client's privacy; all this in the interest of declared fight against legalisation of income from criminal activities and financing of terrorism through the financial system (in the public interest). However, an advocate is an obliged person only if he/she performs so-called monitored activities. These include activities based on custody of money, securities and other assets of the client and also services based on acting on behalf of the client or on his/her account during (i) sale and purchase of real estate, company or its part (ii) administration of the client's assets and opening of bank accounts (iii) establishment, management and operation of trading companies, business groups or similar entities and gaining (gathering) funds for these purposes and (iv) activities aimed at flow of funds or its direct initiation, mainly collection, payments, transfers, deposits or withdrawals within cash and noncash payment system.
If an advocate is a participant of statutorily qualified business, before its performance (unless a statutory exception is applied), the advocate is obliged to identify the client or his/her representative/attorney. Within this, the solicitor may copy submitted documents, process the obtained information and file it and the client is obliged to provide the required cooperation to the advocate. Besides identification of the client, in statutorily identified cases, the advocate is also obliged to perform checks of the client in the extent specified by law unless a statutory exception applies to the client, and to report every suspicious case to the Czech Bar Association, or in case of some transactions, to delay the client's order minimum by 24 hours after such a report is made.
However, a advocate does not carry out inspection of the client or reports if it is information about the client which the advocate obtained from the client or otherwise when providing legal services, mainly legal advice (consultations) and representation before courts.
Another case of interference in the advocate's duty of confidentiality is stipulated by Act No 120/2001 Coll. on proving executors and distrainment activities and on change of some other acts (distrainment regulations), as amended, within the statutorily ordered obligation of the advocate's cooperation with the proving executor when performing distrainment activities. Upon a written request from the executor, within the scope of the distrainment activities the advocate is ordered to provide the executor with the data concerning the account numbers of the client as the obliged party, as well as their balance and changes on them. An advocate is also obliged to inform the executor about the client's assets, his/her items, deeds or registered securities if the advocate administers the specified assets of the client or has it in his/her custody. However, it is conditioned by the fact that the client is specified in the request as the obliged party (debtor) and the executor submits to the advocate an order to perform the distrainment of the assets of the client as the obliged party and only in connection with its performance (forced performance of the distrainment right).
Filip Záděra | advocate
Slezská 949/32, 120 00, Prague 2, the Czech Republic
tel.: +420 222 519 980
fax: +420 222 519 980
Branch in Ostrava:
Nádražní 731/165, 702 00 Ostrava- Přívoz, the Czech Republic
tel.: +420 596 117 318
fax: +420 596 126 017
Invoicing details and bank connection:
Bank connection for payments in CZK:
UniCredit Bank Czech Republic, a.s., Acc. No. 2104181001/2700
ID No. 71465553, VAT No. CZ7902165612
Mgr. Filip Záděra, Ph.D., advocate
Registered in the list of advocates maintained by the CBA under registration no. 11 615, email: email@example.com, Data Box ID: umbpar9