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Publication Date

Winter 2009


One goal of this article is to help EU Member States' policy-makers and citizens understand the broad-brush nature of the EU Initiative and remember that it was a call for further investigation by EU Member States. This article provides a detailed case study of the EU Initiative so that as many individuals as possible in the European Union can understand the issues at stake and participate in rigorous discussions about the justifications for, and costs and benefits of, particular lawyer regulation rules in particular countries. Although one goal of this article is to empower European stakeholders and policy-makers, it is not this article's only goal. The EU Initiative is certainly important because of the profound effect it has had and will continue to have on the regulation of the legal profession in Europe. There is an additional reason, however, why it is important. In a globalized world, regulatory changes that happen in one country are increasingly likely to be reproduced in some fashion in other countries.5 Thus, the European Union's legal profession antitrust initiatives are important because they have the potential to migrate and change the nature of the lawyer regulation debate in the United States. Other countries, including Canada, have launched similar inquiries. For this reason, it is useful for U.S. lawyers to be familiar with the EU Initiative. In my view, there is an important role to be served by a detailed case study that shows how and when the EU Initiative evolved so that U.S. lawyers can be better prepared to respond should a similar development "jump the pond" to the United States. This is particularly important in light of the EU Initiative's "tidal wave" momentum, which has been cited in OECD and EU studies and by countries such as Canada.

Publication Title

Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus.