It is absolutely prohibited for lawyers to mix their own money assets with the monies or the clients’ funds.
It is therefore obligatory for every new trainee to open a clients’ fund account at the start of his office.
This can be done with the bank of the trainee’s choice on condition that this bank has entered a contract with the Bar Association of the Province of Antwerp. Furthermore, the trainee must sign and return a proxy form and an undertaking. The proxy grants a right of inspection to the President of the Bar Association. In the undertaking the lawyer formally promises not to go overdrawn on this clients’ funds account. The interest earned on this clients’ funds account, our annually payable to the Bar Association.
A lawyer is obliged to adhere to Social Security fund for self- employed-agents and a sickness insurance fund, both of his/her own choice.
Furthermore, every lawyer is automatically insured, through his/her Bar Association membership scheme by the mutual sickness insurance fund covering the incapacity to work risk. This grants an entitlement to a daily allowance during the incapacity period. The lawyer is to fill in a form document for that purpose. The form document may be obtained from the Bar Association’s secretariat.
Through their Bar Association membership fees, lawyers are insured against professional liability claims. A collective accident insurance policy has been negotiated by the Bar Association, but each lawyer is required to take the necessary steps on an individual basis if so desired.
Prior to being registered on the list of trainees, the candidate trainee must be introduced by his / her supervisor to the President of the Bar Association in his office. The supervisor will wear a gown whereas the trainee does not.
The trainee period and the exercise of the legal profession starts by the decision of the bar Council by which the trainee is entered on the list of trainees