October 10, 2007

ABA ROLI Explains “How to Start a Law Firm in Kosovo”

Ivan Abrams, Technical Legal Advisor to the ABA Rule of Law Initiative Office in Kazakhstan; Fatmir Kutllovci, ABA Rule of Law Initiative Legal Staff; Zef Delhysa, vice-president of KCA; Musa Dragusha, CLE Committe of KCA; and Ibrahim Dobruna, KCA Pristina Branch President

October 10, 2007

On September 11 and 12, 2007, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative organized aseminar for attorneys on how to start a law firm in Kosovo.  The seminar was offered as part of the Kosovo Chamber of Advocates (KCA) Continuing Legal Education program and was funded by USAID. 

Ivan Abrams, ABA ROLI’s Kazakhstan technical legal advisor, discussed the nuts and bolts of how to structure a law firm and provided management and administration advice specific to running a firm.  Ilaz Ramajli, thefounder and partner of the first, and to date only, law firm established in Kosovo, also spoke on real life practice matters that come with running a firm in Kosovo.  Over 50 attorneys attended the one-day seminar which was heldin Pristina and in Prizren.

With the exception of the Ramajli firm, Kosovo attorneys work as solo practitioners. As more international investors and business arrive to the region, however, the solo model however must deal with new types of clients.These potential clients, used to hiring law firms elsewhere, are seeking the same in Kosovo and want to know that the attorney they are hiring has a support team in place to handle their complex legal matters. 

Senior members of KCA approached ABA ROLI in summer 2007 with the request tobring in an expert on the subject of establishing law firms, both to assist andto urge the membership to make the leap to a firm.  As former KCA president, Lirije Osmani, said, “Our future lies in law firms.” 

Legal professional development with the bar and the bench is one of the major areas of ABA ROLI’s work in Kosovo. Both KCA and ABA ROLI were very satisfied with the turn out for this program.  The restructuring of thelegal profession in Kosovo is inevitable, and the response of Kosovar advocates to this program was a positive sign that they are ready to consider alternatives to solo practice.

For more information, please contact Fatmir Kutllovci fkutllovci@ceelikosovo.org