The system for licensed attorneys entered into force
Since the beginning of the year 2014, other attorneys than advocates and public legal aid attorneys have needed a licence in order to act as an attorney in the general courts, i.e. in district courts, courts of appeal and the Supreme Court. In the administrative courts, a licence is required in matters related to child welfare.
The existence of a licence may be checked in the register of licensed attorneys by the name of the attorney.
A licence is not required, if the attorney is in a contractual employment relationship or public service employment relationship with the party represented by the attorney. Nor is a licence needed when a lawyer employed by a labour market organisation deals with matters related to employment relationships. In addition, undisputed debt matters may still be dealt with also by other persons than lawyers. However, close relatives can no longer act as an attorney in a court if they do not have a licence.
Licences to act as an attorney are granted by the Licensed Attorneys Board. In addition to a Master's degree in law, a licensed attorney must have passed the Advocate's Examination, completed court training, or acquired other work experience in the judicial field for at least one year.
Licensed attorneys must observe similar ethical rules as advocates and public legal aid attorneys. In addition to the Chancellor of Justice, their activities are monitored by the Disciplinary Board of the Finnish Bar Association and the Licensed Attorneys Board.