Cyprus is an island in the Eastern Mediterranean south of Turkey. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. It gained independence from the British in 1960 and is a Unitary presidential constitutional republic.
The North of Cyprus is subject to a dispute over ownership between Cyprus and Turkey. Due to the ongoing dispute we can only advise clients in relation to legal issues relating to the South of Cyprus.
The legal system
The legal system in Cyprus is loosely based on British Law and therefore many of the things that happen will be familiar to British clients. However, the legal system has developed independently over many years and it should not be assumed that the law is exactly the same. Furthermore the law in Cyprus is codified, which is not the case with British Law. Because the law is based on British Law the system of Common Law still applies despite the codified legal system. Cypriot law isn’t just based on British law and has had influences from other countries including Greece and France and even has elements that date back to the time of the Ottoman rule over the island. As Cyprus is part of the EU there are also laws that have been introduced as a result of EU requirements.
How Judicare Law can help
Judicare is well placed to help you with your legal requirements in the Republic of Cyprus but regrettably cannot assist with legal matters in the Northern occupied part of the island.
We work very closely with our eminent team of Barristers in Cyprus who are highly regarded on the island and whom studied law in both Cyprus and the UK. As such we understand not only the similarities between British and Cypriot law but also more importantly the differences between the legal systems in the UK and Cyprus.
We have vast and very specialist experience both in the UK and in Cyprus of dealing with the Cypriot legal system and therefore not only understand how the law works in Cyprus but also how things advance on a procedural level.
Services we can help with in Cyprus
Within Cyprus and the Cypriot legal system we can help with a wide range of different legal issues including;
- The conveyance of properties. We can assist with both the purchase and sale of properties throughout Cyprus
- Mortgage problems. There is a particular issue in Cyprus where people in the past took out Swiss Franc Mortgages to help them buy properties in Cyprus. As these clients’ income was largely in Sterling this meant that borrowers were having to balance three different currencies in terms of exchange rates, interest rates and property prices and this has caused significant problems. We believe that we are the leading firm dealing with such issues in Cyprus.
- The inheritance of properties and other assets in Cyprus.
- Drafting Cypriot Wills to make sure that your beneficiaries receive what you want them to receive
- The recovery of debts either due to a contractual dispute or as a result of a failed investment in off plan property
- The cancellation of Timeshare in Cyprus
- Immigration and Golden Visa applications.
- Setting up businesses and branch offices in Cyprus
Differences and similarities between British and Cypriot Lawyers
- Cypriot lawyers will generally speak English as well as Greek. Our team are ideally placed to be able to explain things to you in a way that you will understand, both from a legal and language point of view.
- In the UK we have a separation between Solicitors and Barristers and they are two separate professions (although recently they have started to come together with the public now able to access Barristers directly and solicitors having wider rights of audience at Court). In Cyprus there is no distinction between Solicitors and Barristers.
- In Cyprus, unlike other countries such as Spain, a law graduate has to train at a law firm for at least 12 months before they can be considered to be a fully qualified lawyer.
- There is a requirement for lawyers in Cyprus to take out Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover the unlikely event that they make a negligent mistake with their advice. It is a criminal offence to practice law in Cyprus without an annual license to practice and in order to get that license you have to prove that you have Professional Indemnity Insurance. Having said that the minimum level of cover for Professional Indemnity Insurance in Cyprus is significantly lower than in the UK with a minimum requirement of €170,860 per claim and €341,720 per insurance period. In the UK Solicitors require a minimum of £3 million cover per claim.
- Lawyers in Cyprus are regulated by the Cyprus Bar Association.