Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2013
In the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the legal profession is organised by the 1991 Law on the Profession of Lawyer (Loi du 10 août 1991 sur la profession d'avocat), as amended.
Within the limits of that Law, the legal profession is largely self-regulated. Article 19 of the 1991 Law grants the Bar the authority to regulate the profession by adopting Standing Rules (Règlement intérieur de l’Ordre) and the Luxembourg Constitution was amended in 2004 explicitly to confirm the legality of granting regulatory powers to professional bodies.
Only lawyers admitted to the Bar may assist or represent parties in the courts, give legal advice or draft private contracts, and the law allows only a few exceptions to this rule. Lawyers admitted to the Bar can be self-employed or employed by a law firm.
In-house lawyers employed by a company or public organisation cannot be members of the Bar.
Scope of and limitations on professional secrecy
Statutory basis and implications
The 1991 Law on the Profession of Lawyer recognises the existence of a legal professional privilege by stating that ‘Lawyers are held to a professional secrecy in accordance with Article 458 of the Penal Code.’
Article 458 of the Penal Code imposes a duty of professional secrecy on doctors and other medical professionals and ‘those who, owing to their status or profession, obtain knowledge of secrets which are entrusted to them’.