In Germany, there is a so-called ‘mandatory lawyer representation’ in all proceedings at Regional Courts, Higher Regional Courts and the Federal Supreme Court and for some types of proceedings also at Local Courts, e.g. divorce and family dispute proceedings. That means that a party must be represented by a lawyer in such proceedings. On the other hand, that also means that no-one is forced to employ a lawyer for a dispute before a Local Court.
It nevertheless appears sensible in most case to also instruct a lawyer for proceedings where a representation by a lawyer is not mandatory because, without sufficient legal knowledge, it is sometimes difficult to find your way through the jungle of substantive law and procedural rules.
Alone the prior proceedings-compliant description of the facts of the case and the way they are best presented is a special art requiring the skills of a lawyer and will pose great difficulties to many people.
That applies generally and to court proceedings in other law areas where the representation by a lawyer is not mandatory, e.g. in proceedings at an Administrative Court (although the mandatory lawyer representation also applies to Higher Regional Courts and the Federal Administrative Court) or in proceedings at a Tax Court. The trained eye and the legal knowledge of a lawyer will also help here to successfully present the case to the court.
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Graduate in Tax Affairs,
Consultant for International Tax Law
Former tax inspector of the german tax authority