Limoges: a law firm low cost prohibited to exercise in the name of “ethics”

Regulations of accounts in the courts in Limoges: AGN, a franchise of lawyers cutting prices on the French market since 2012, attack in front of the competition Authority and the Court of appeal, the local lawyers chamber that refuses to enter the bar. According to the Order of Limoges, the concept of AGN, which already has fourteen branches in eight different bars of France, is simply “not ethical”.

The firm, she shouts to the agreement”competitive”. “Four prohibitions were imposed against us: establishment, exercise, recruitment and opening of a internet site. As if the internet stops at the borders of Limoges”, says Philippe Charles, co-founder of AGN.

Divorce charged less than 1.000 euros

Inspired by the anglo-saxon model, AGN intends to break with the law firms of the traditional opening, for example, no door with glass, and offering the benefits of law in the major areas of daily life (work, family, real estate, business) charged to the package. “As in a bank branch or a service company,” says mr. Paul Fourastier, 34 years old, carrier of the project of the opening of the agency of the discord in Limoges. Founded by Philippe Charles and Frederick Moréas, of the Paris bar, also a teacher at HEC, AGN has been accepted in eight bars, including Paris, where the order has been “extensively audited our concept before concluding that it was consistent and innovative,” says Charles.

But with free calculators of compensation for breach of contract or its procedure of divorce by mutual consent online charged less than 1,000 euros, the brand annoys some colleagues. On the side of the Order of lawyers of Limoges, requested by the AFP, the official line is “no comment”, in accordance with the instructions of the bâtonnier of Abel-Henri Pleinevert.

Generational conflict ?

Under the cover of anonymity, however, the critical lawyers limougeauds abound. “AGN claims to democratize the law when the house of the lawyer exemption each year, some 1,500 consultations, without condition of resources, free and anonymous,” says one of them.

“Their “shop” offers no discretion: what happens to a woman who would like to learn about the divorce, if she is seen by her husband’s colleagues? And what about the financial independence of a young lawyer and of his freedom to refuse a case absurd or not plaidable when, before they could even pay, it must go back to the franchise more than 10% of its revenue?”, queries another. “The digital revolution has changed everything,” explains Philippe Charles, for whom “AGN defends the profession in the face of sites that offer legal services online delivered by non-lawyers, and therefore not subject to ethics.”

A fratricidal struggle

Prevented the oath by the ban issued by the College, Emilie Robelin, 28 years old, recruited by AGN, feels ostracized and unfairly. With his colleague Emilie Tabaraud, trainee-lawyer, they regret a “generational conflict” and claiming an “approach “business compatible” with the ethics”. In the position of referee moral in this fratricidal struggle, the national Council of bars (CNB), without real decision-making power, is torn by internal dissensions. These difficulties are ‘indicative of changes in the modes of exercise of our profession” lawyer who “aroused as always tensions,” commented Christiane Féral-Schuhl, president of the NBCC.

For her, “the mode of the exercise of the AGN does not pose any difficulty provided that the rules of ethics are respected”. But “the CNB did not intervene in the decisions taken by the chairpersons”…Seized by AGN, the Court of appeal and the competition Authority should not make their decision for several months.

(Source : AFP)

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