There are currently about 2.800 lawyers working in the Province of Antwerp.
Lawyers are independent and practice a liberal profession. Nevertheless, they are part of an Order of lawyers, led by the President and a council.
All the lawyers active within the legal district are members of the Bar Association, also called “The Bar”.
The President of the Bar Association is the Head of the Bar and is elected yearly by the members of the Bar.
The President of the Bar is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Bar.
He takes initiatives to uphold the members ‘professional interests and supervises the regulation of the legal profession.
He represents the Bar Association in its contacts with the Courts, the authorities and other Bar associations.
The President of the Bar mediates in disputes between lawyers, between clients and lawyers and between the Courts and the lawyers.
He investigates possible complaints against lawyers and if necessary, he will bring charges against lawyers before the Disciplinary Board.
The Antwerp Bar Council is composed of 16 members and is presided over by the President of the Bar Association.
The Council decides on the admission or refusal of lawyers or of trainees who want to practice in the legal district of Antwerp.
If admitted they are entered on the list of admitted lawyers or on the list of legal trainees.
The Bar Council organises the “Traineeship”, issues regulations and oversees the basic principles of the legal profession.
The Bar Council also organises the Legal Aid Bureau which can assign lawyers to the indigent members of the public at reduced or no cost at all.
Finally the Bar Council provides various services for lawyers, such as running the law library, with a documentation service, insurance cover etc…