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What is a "specialized" French attorney?

A lawyer who regularly deals with specific legal matters would commonly be referred to as a lawyer “specialized” in such matters.

As French law is complex, French lawyers often chose to specialize in one or several specific fields of the law (such as corporate law, employment law, tax law…). Consequently, if a case presents aspects relevant to other fields of the law, an attorney would generally seek the assistance of colleagues who practice such fields.

Thus, a corporate lawyer assisting with the acquisition of a company will most often deal with the corporate aspects of the transaction, and solicit other attorneys specialized in tax and employment law to assist with, respectively, the tax and labor law aspects of the transaction.

Within a specific matter, such as corporate law, certain lawyers may acquire specific experience on a specific type of transactions, such as venture capital and private equity transactions.

Similarly, a tax lawyer may be specialized in different aspects of tax law ("transfer pricing" or "tax structures" of corporate transactions).

However, according to the National Rules applicable to the Profession of Attorney ("Règlement Intérieur National de la Profession d'Avocat - RIN"), the terms “specialized in” or “specialist of” constitute the professional acknowledgment of a lawyers’ experience, which is subject to the obtaining of a specific diploma, and may consequently not be used to define a specific field of the law which is generally practiced by an attorney.

The French Bar Council considers the possibility of reserving a specific logo for French attorneys who are recognized as specialists in specific areas of the law.

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