Breaking free: The role of the lawyer in a corporate environment

As WagArb continues to grow and attract young lawyers, students and trainees, I find myself often talking – or should I say lecturing? – about the role of the lawyer in today’s professional environment. I have been told by some that I should write this down.

My thoughts revolve around a central question: how and to what degree does the role of a lawyer, in the true sense of the profession, fit into the concept of a professional law firm with a corporate structure? Are the interests of each compatible, or are the characteristics of the corporate environment inherently at odds with the core duties and obligations of individual lawyers?

This question is pertinent because the legal profession is a liberal profession. This means that the lawyer maintains a free and independent position and is beholden to her or his conscience only, within the boundaries of the mandate that has been given to her or him by the client. Thus, the liberal profession of law is arguably not a service which should be submitted to the rules of business. Rather, it is a profession which entails individual responsibility in safeguarding the practice and the rule of law. How then can a legal professional truly fulfil their role, given the trend of developing corporate structures as we see in law firms today all around the globe?


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Pablo Ortega Krstulovic

Pablo Ortega Krstulovic is a Chilean-qualified lawyer who joins us as a visiting professional from the new class of the IDR LL.M at HU. He grew up in Arica, Chile and completed his legal education at the University of Chile in Santiago. Before moving to Berlin, Pablo gained experience as an associate lawyer at one of […]

Diego Melendez Hirezi

Diego Melendez Hirezi is a Salvadorean-qualified lawyer. He graduated from the Superior School of Business and Economics of El Salvador. Currently, he is a student in the International Dispute Resolution LL.M program at Berlin Humboldt University. For more than five years, he worked as an associate in the litigation and arbitration department of Arias Law, a […]

Filippo Furlano

Filippo Furlano is a qualified lawyer in the province of Ontario, Canada, and a current candidate of the International Dispute Resolution LL.M. program at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Leicester, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from McGill University. Prior to […]

About Wagner Arbitration

The law firm WAGNER Arbitration has its offices in Berlin and specializes in dispute resolution with a focus on arbitration. In addition, the firm offers comprehensive counseling services related to domestic and international business disputes and transactions.