The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) initiated proceedings against the Hungarian Bar Association (HBA) in order to verify whether certain rules of the HBA regulating advertising by attorneys as well as the content of webpages of attorneys infringe Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 11 of the Hungarian Competition Act (the national provision similar to Article 81 EC). The HBA is a self-governing public association of attorneys, where membership is compulsory; only the members of the HBA are allowed to provide attorney's services to clients. The HBA in its Code of Ethics (CE), included a rule, whereby the attorney is inter alia prohibited from “any unfair method of client acquisition, including in particular the use of an agent”. The CE also generally prohibited any comparative
The Hungarian Competition Office finds certain advertising restrictions on lawyers contrary to Art. 81 EC and its national equivalent (Hungarian Bar Association)
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