Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2013
In Denmark, lawyers who are admitted to the Bar are subject to a duty of professional secrecy (also known as the attorney–client privilege). Admission to practise is granted by the Ministry of Justice and confers the right to bear the title ‘advocate’ (advokat). Only advocates are entitled to appear in court on behalf of other persons (with a few exceptions, especially in cases of minor value). Advocates are self-employed, although they can be partners or associates in a law firm. Law firms can be organised as partnerships or more commonly as limited companies. Shares in such companies must be owned by advocates. Advocates must comply with the Bar's code of ethics. In Denmark, there is one bar association for the nation as a whole (the Danish Bar and Law Society). The Bar Society covers Denmark, as well as the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The Society is governed by a council of fifteen members. The president is elected by direct votes, whereas the remaining fourteen members are elected from eight local constituencies.
Lawyers who work for a company (in-house counsel) are entitled to keep the practising certificate as advocate and must also be a member of the Bar. The companies in which such lawyers work may not, however, offer law services to the public. Lawyers who work for courts, the police or the prosecution service may not work as advocates and are not members of the Bar. Written legal advice prepared by company lawyers is not, as a rule, covered by the attorney–client privilege.