Supervision of advocates

The primary supervisory function regarding the activities of advocates rests with the Finnish Bar Association. The Association also supervises public legal aid attorneys and, as of 1 January 2013, licensed attorneys. The Chancellor of Justice oversees, from a public interest standpoint, the actions of advocates to ensure that they are complying with the Advocates Act (Laki asianajajista 496/1958) and with the Code of conduct for advocates. The Chancellor of Justice cannot, however, interfere with the actual work of an advocate or impose any disciplinary sanction.

The Chancellor of Justice may, in matters decided by the Disciplinary Board of the Finnish Bar Association, take an appeal against the decision to the Helsinki Court of Appeal. The Finnish Bar Association supplies the Chancellor of Justice with copies of all of the Disciplinary Board’s decisions on matters related to the supervision of advocates. These decisions are reviewed for appeal consideration by the Chancellor of Justice.

Disputes related to the fees of advocates are handled and resolved by the Disciplinary Board of the Finnish Bar Association, which issues a recommendation for the amount of the fee. This recommendation is not binding. The interested party may bring the matter to court. The authority of the Chancellor of Justice does not extend to disputes related to fees.