26 juin 2011

In-house lawyers may not represent their companies, UKE, T-226/10

The EU General Court adjudicated in UKE v Commission, T-226/10, that in-house lawyers may not represent their companies in a litigation, since they are employees, and therefore aren’t independent. Even a dismissal of an in-house lawyer would not save the claim, since only the date of introduction of the claim counts (§ 2).

UKE tried to argue that it had a separate independent legal department, that the Polish law required maintaining independence, that the decision on litigation was made by the President of the company, and the 2 lawyers were employed by its Secretary General (§ 9).

However according to the General Court, only the EU institutions and Governments may be represented by in-house lawyers, but private companies and individuals must hire law firms (§ 12). A lawyer employed by secretary general has less independence than a lawyer from a private law firm (§ 21). The claim was declared inadmissible.

I often ask myself: what does the judge really think when she changes someone’s life due to such nonsense?

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