Towards a Level playing field for the legal professions

Law & Economics Workshop organized by Concurrences review in partnership with MAPP and Fréget-Tasso de Panafieu.

Olivier Fréget

The conference will take place in two parts: firstly, a technical paper on the relationship between regulation of the regulated legal professions and competition; secondly, a more prospective reflection on the changes in the conditions of competition faced by the regulated legal professions and the need to adapt regulation to them.

The relationship between regulation of the regulated legal professions and competition

Virginie Beaumeunier

On 9 January 2015, the Competition Authority issued Opinion No. 15-A-02 on competition issues concerning certain regulated legal professions. It was largely taken up by the Macron Act. This intervention by the Authority seemed unnatural in the eyes of the professionals concerned, but the need for reform has long been defended (Rueff-Armand report, 1959; Attali Commission report, 2008; IGF report 2013). Two main problems arise: the abusive closure of access to certain professions; the existence of unjustified rents linked to the setting of tariffs. The Authority recognises the legitimacy of regulating certain professions in the light of the specific characteristics presented by them: the exercise of a public service mission as a ministerial public officer and the holding of a possible monopoly on certain activities, or for economic reasons (asymmetry of information, external effects of service provision on third parties, public good nature of the services offered). However, the restriction of competition must remain proportionate to the objectives pursued and benefit the consumer, and not protect the professions themselves.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet.

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