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Cyprus Property News

British High Commission in Cyprus does NOT have a list of recommended lawyers.

Date: 06/07/16

Often we are asked to recommend a lawyer to our vendors or to clients who want to buy.

When we are asked to provide a lawyer, we choose one who we know will be fast, independent, diligent and who will ask a fair fee for their services. On occasions we hear from our clients that they have chosen a lawyer based on the fact that the firm appears on the list of lawyers, produced by the British High Commission in Cyprus (Nicosia). 

We were intrigued by the list which is widely republished on many sites relating to Cyprus property and decided to find out more about this “lawyers’ directory”.

On one hand, the list is clearly seen by some members of the public as the only list of lawyers in Cyprus who can be trusted. Also some “professionals” related to the property field present the list as a recommendation from the British High Commission. However, the publication itself explicitly states that lawyers who appear on the list “are not recommendations and should not be treated as such.” Moreover the list contains the following disclaimer: “Further and alternatively, we cannot accept any liability to any person or company for any financial loss or damage arising from the use of this information or from any failure to give information.”

So, if it’s not a list of recommend lawyers in Cyprus and the British High Commission is determined to indemnify itself from any bad that may happen to anyone using a lawyer on the list, what type of list is it and is it of any use to member of the public? 

Using the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we asked the British High Commission in Nicosia exactly how the list of lawyers was compiled, as we wanted to see what substance was behind the publication. The results were very surprising. 

The form used for prospective applicants shows that only very basic criteria is required, i.e. being a qualified lawyer and a member of the Cyprus Bar Association. While the only recourse open to the British High Commission to punish the misbehaving lawyers is to remove them from the list.
In short the British High Commission lawyers’ list is simply populated by lawyers who have bothered to complete a small questionnaire, no more, no less. Undoubtedly British High Commission is a very much trusted source of information. In our view by simply publishing the list the British High Commission indirectly undermines any other law firm that is not on it. You as a member of the public, would you find this list useful or misleading?... We leave you to draw your own conclusions. 

P.S. Here are links to the List itself, application form for lawyers and the template letter for lawyers, asking to be included on the list. 

List Of Cyprus Lawyers

Cyprus Lawyers template

Cyprus Lawyers Request
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