- Published: Wednesday, 05 December 2012
Experts call corruption as a problem for the development of the legal services market in Kazakhstan.
Describing the overall legal market of the country, experts say that he now fully formed, having acquired and developed sufficiently branched structure.
The subjects of the legal services market
When breaking his basic views on the composition of corporate groups and associations that can be conditionally divided into four broad categories: 1) law firms and companies (both domestic and foreign), including consulting firms known brand audit, 2) lawyers (both domestic and in the cases provided for in international treaties, foreign), and 3) full-time lawyers organizations, and 4) independent private lawyers individuals.
There is also a special category of non-profit organizations (unions, associations, associations, confederations), specializing in the defense (including legal) interests of its members, participants or represented persons (children, the disabled, consumers, taxpayers, employers, and others). Their activities are also subject to the general laws of the market. They use the services of legal professionals (law firms, law firms) based on employment or civil law contracts. In addition, each category of lawyers acting in their judicial area, has its own customer base.
Activity is subject to the general law firms with the corporate lawyers association of owners and workers hiring lawyers for doing business in the legal market by providing them to those in need for profit. Clients such legal associations are mainly entrepreneurs, business organizations.
This group is characterized by its legal associations mobility, speed, wide range of services. Law firms more flexibility to react to any changes in the market and can be reconstructed as soon as possible under its current needs.
More recently, the provision of legal services not related to the lawyer's sphere is a licensed activity, but from April 2005, legislation established that it no longer needs to licensing.
Most law firms focused on Kazakhstan consumer services are concentrated in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau, but quite common situation where a company is often forced to practice a client in a particular region, and then there is the establishment of a branch or representative office. In this regard, the market offers a sufficient number of law firms, both domestic and international, which have a wide network of branches across the country.
Activities of lawyers is officially non-commercial and is regulated by a special law "On Advocacy". They operate on the principle of independence and can have any legal assistance not prohibited by law, including providing advice, make claims, complaints, carry out the representation and protection of the natural and legal persons in the bodies of the investigating agencies, the courts, state and other bodies and organizations and in relations with citizens. Customer advocates (barristers) can be anyone, from commercial organizations to ordinary citizens. But as a rule, lawyers represent and protect the rights and interests of specific individuals.
Lawyers, as opposed to law firms, some experts describe as a conservative structure. To some extent, this is due to the legal community isolation from other legal groups, its internal isolation and special treatment to his state. Not for nothing is even a separate law for the legal industry.
Private lawyers operate in the status of individual entrepreneurs or for one-time civil contracts or contract assignments. Their clients can theoretically be both organizations and individuals.
In principle, the work of lawyers and lawyers in private practice, by its nature is very similar, except for three major differences. First, advocacy is subject to licensing, and its implementation is possible under the condition of membership in the Bar. Functioning as lawyers in private practice not subject to licensing. Second, the activities of lawyers is not entrepreneurial. Lawyers in private practice are mostly regarded as entrepreneurs. Third, in its status last (as well as other lawyers, except lawyers) do not have the right to exercise professional protection of its clients in criminal matters. Such a right under the law is the exclusive prerogative of the lawyers.
House lawyers organizations (including law firms and companies) serving the needs of their corporate employers in labor contracts, where govern all aspects of their relationship with a single client. Sometimes the legal department into a company that serves the needs of large, establishing its corporations.
The claim advanced and diversified in composition system offers in the market or in any way imply the existence of an unconditional assurance of quality of the legal services. Those in Kazakhstan, as well as any other, must be of a quality of irreproachable up out of the ordinary.
Assess the quality of legal services, in the end, everyone can give their potential or actual consumer: only one (experienced users) prefer to do it not by the example of their own affairs, and through analysis and proposals at the stage of monitoring the choice of a lawyer and the other is destined experience it for yourself, here's as lucky.
The legal market of Kazakhstan has recently been a serious competition. It is caused primarily limited number of savvy consumers, and in most cases, and poor in general, the existing system of demand for legal services. Out of competition for a solid and loyal customers are law firms, law firms, just lawyers, has established itself as upscale and experienced professionals with an impeccable reputation. There are not many, and they are always in demand and price. Gossip itself leads to them yet, and they do not have a problem with it.
Private practice lawyer Sergei Utkin believes that legal services market in the country is very different from that of the market in Western countries. Primarily this is due, in his opinion, the high corruption of local government and, above all, the judicial system. Many service users are well aware that the benefit (protection) is available only through the appropriate sum of money or connections, and that there would write or say a lawyer - is secondary. But when opponents are in the same "weight class", can offer nearly equal amounts and boast an equal-patrons, that in this situation, the real work begins lawyer. It was then that the decisive role in the victory exert his intelligence and knowledge. But these things, says Mr. Utkin, still rare. Most of them are corny "divorce", respectively, and lawyers with lawyers prefer to specialize in exactly this "branch of the law", which can produce significant revenue. After all, the consumer is usually the end result is important, not by how it is achieved - a bribe or intellect.
It should be noted that the problem of corruption as a legal market noted by many interviewed experts. Talking about it and research. For example, a well-known political analyst Dosym Satpayev recently presented in the paper "Business, government and society in Kazakhstan," a separate chapter highlights the need to fight corruption in the judiciary of the country: "The judicial system is riddled with corruption ...".
By the way, experts say, and that to a large extent the quality of legal services and the level of competition in the market of legal entities governed by the degree of development of the users of these services and the quality of demand. Customers often do not have basic understanding not only of the market but also of their legal status, the state's own legal problems. So it is difficult to account for in determining the root of the evil of their problems, and in the selection designed to solve the problems of lawyers. Low level of legal awareness of the overwhelming number of people can be, and sometimes even thrive, charlatans and swindlers of jurisprudence.
In addition, many small firms (typically, there are not more than one year), provide any services to which only the demand is there, without worrying about their quality. Some companies do not have a permanent office, and many of them consist of only 2-3 people, which also can be and not enough qualified staff.
Here, as it is today in any other field services in Kazakhstan, is extremely acute problem of low quality of training in higher education and public policy flaws. Sergey Babkin, a lawyer of the Almaty City Bar Association, commented that: "As a specialty" lawyer "are extremely popular in almost all high schools prepare lawyers. Released to the market an incredible amount of lawyers, who prove to be incompetent. The number and range of services they are introducing consumer in the state of confusion by the realization of what he has to choose and what it can turn into him in the end. These circumstances significantly inhibit the development of the legal services market and hinder fair competition. "
Summing up the criteria that experts advise in the selection of a lawyer, you can write the following: 1) the quality (skills and experience) of its services, and 2) market reputation (successes and failures in his career), and 3) the cost of services.
In addition, the quality of service depends on strong performer, that is a particular specialist, who will be engaged in client projects. Therefore, when choosing a consultant, you must also know which experts are working on it, which they were trained and what college, what their experience and qualifications. The seriousness of the intentions and integrity of law firms may indicate the duration of their existence in the market, the number of in-house lawyers, customer base, positive customer feedback, the so-called good name.
Some domestic law firms have successfully been on the market for over 10 years, such as "Aequitas", "tax expert", "Grata."
Practiced law firms cases of cooperation with each other and their attraction to each other to solve problems of clients subcontracted. The main reason for such a partnership is usually a certain specialization, specific sectoral focus of specific companies. For example, there are companies who specialize in intellectual property or having tax specialization.
Typically, choosing a legal consultant, the client remains faithful to him and ask him for help over the years. But sometimes, especially if there is a difficult situation or require special knowledge in a particular field of law, the consumer insists that his problem involved several different consultants. In that case, you do not lose the location of the client, the firm is forced to "share" them with its competitor. Many companies are working in this way for many years, and doing it quite well, distinguishing between its area of competence and expertise. However, they noted that such cooperation is not only promotes the development of their own legal practice, but also a matter of respect and trust of clients.
However, a number of experts to speak about the state of the market rather critical. Thus, Executive Director - Head of Legal
service of JSC "BTA" Daulet Abzhanov notes that, firstly, the information on the sector is fairly closed. Reliable information about its volumes are not available, and to determine the proportion of a law firm in the market is practically impossible. Relationship between lawyers and clients are confidential, in many cases, legal obligation to keep confidential the company not only on matters of remuneration, but by the very fact of the consumer appeal for legal services. In addition, small law firms, not to mention the private lawyers prefer to provide services for the "black cash". These and other circumstances make it difficult to get the real picture of the market.
- Second, the legal services themselves are fairly specific type of service. Wide advertising as a way to advance in this case is not effective. Most consumers are turning to various law firms / lawyers not because of advertising, and on the recommendations.
Kazakhstan's largest bank can not do without the help of international law firms. Any access to the international level (Eurobond issue, participation in syndicated loans, not to mention the IPO) is accompanied by the services.
In large organizations, attempts to outsourcing legal services, where legal support activities is not their own legal services, and third-party companies. The objectives of such outsourcing is the optimization of the cost of the legal profession. However, the experience to date can not be considered a success (at least, the full legal outsourcing) because consumer organizations still prefer to have "their" lawyers. There are cases in which large companies refused legal outsourcing, re-creating their own legal departments. Availability affects fiduciary relations between the lawyer and his client.
Experts say the trend increase in the cost of payment of lawyers, at least, the legal staff in large organizations. So, if a few years ago for a good lawyer qualification salary of $ 1 thousand was considered quite acceptable at the present time, this strap has risen to at least two times. In part, this contributes to the process flow (repurchase) of qualified personnel by large organizations from each other.
- The legal services market is developed as far as the state can be considered legal. Unfortunately, the high level of corruption in the police, judiciary and the low credibility of the entire judicial system, splicing apparatus of state officials with business - all these factors are constraints in the country for the full development of the legal services market. In the presence of these factors skill level is not always the deciding factor in choosing a legal advisor and Assessment provides legal services. It is impossible not to note the low level of legal culture. Consumers often are not interested in the services of a highly qualified lawyer and mediator, use the links to the "right" people, or it is because of a lack of faith in the prospects for fair and lawful resolution of the situation, generally prefer not to resort to qualified legal assistance. Negative impact on the development of the market as the lack of highly qualified personnel. Law schools, as we know, a lot of the country. However, very few of them provide education on the proper level, - said Mr. Abzhanov.
However, in his opinion, the potential of this market is high. For example, Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO will increase the presence of foreign companies in the country, and this will mean an increase in demand for the services of international law firms. And, for example, picking up the pace consumer lending (granting loans without proof of income, no collateral, etc.) increases the risk of loan defaults. Accordingly, in the banks increased the need for services to return the funds. Own "digest" this volume of banking legal departments have not. Banks prefer to transfer its debt collection firms. This market is in its infancy in the country and most closely borders the legal market, largely interfering with it.
Specialization in the legal market
The legal services market has another unique feature: specialization.
- The right is no less complex than life itself, which it seeks to resolve the efforts of the state.