Very few jurisdictions have implemented clear and comprehensive rules for legal techs. Therefore, in many countries there is still a great deal of legal uncertainty in the development, licensing, application and monitoring of this – relatively new – field. In January 2021 the German Government finally proposed legislation to set ground rules for the competences and legitimacy of legal tech companies, operating as debt collection firms in Germany.
Legal Protection International aisbl invited Markus Hartung, renowned expert in the regulation of legal services, to explain the German situation to LPI members and non-members (more information will be available soon):
Wednesday 2 June 2021
15h00 CEST/2pm GMT
Germany is one of the most restricted legal services markets: with very few exceptions, nobody, unless registered as lawyer, is allowed to provide legal advice or assistance. Consequently, the competences and legitimacy of legal tech companies, operating as debt collection firms (e.g. flightright.de), have been fiercely disputed. Even the Highest Civil Court’s (BGH) Lexfox decision of 27 November 2019 (wenigermiete.de) did not clarify central issues but prompted numerous court actions afterwards, in particular with regard to bundling of claims. Now the German legislator wants to clarify the situation of legal tech-debts-collection and, in January 2021, tabled a draft law on the “promotion of consumer-friendly offers in the legal services market” to solve the substantive legal issues. At the beginning of May, there will be a hearing before the Legal Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag where several experts, including the speaker, will comment on the government’s draft law.
On 2 June 2021, Markus Hartung will outline how legal tech companies are presently regulated in Germany, explain the proposed law and its impact on legal tech companies as well as legal insurers. He will also evaluate whether the proposal delivers what it promises.