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Advocates start fighting for lawfulness of Internet advertising

Advocates start fighting for lawfulness of Internet advertising

The Federal Chamber of Advocates sent a request to CEOs of Yandex LLC Alexander Shulgin and of Google LLC Julia Solovyeva to terminate breach of the law on advocate’s activity. It concerns prohibition of advertising advocate’s services.

The Federal Chamber of Advocates reminds that it is only admissible to inform about an advocate or a legal practice if such information does not contain assessment, reviews, comparison to other advocates or criticism. Besides, the law prohibits to use the word “advocate” and derivatives for informing about services provided by individuals who do not have the relevant status. According to the Federal Chamber of Advocates, companies should take action to prevent these violations - in particular, they should require links to the advocate’s registration number from persons advertising services of advocates (registers are held by regional departments of the Ministry of Justice).

President of the Federal Chamber of Advocates Yury Pilipenko says that the chamber undertook regaining order in the legal services market due to the expected reform (a new concept of the legal services market providing monopoly of advocates to court representation is being elaborated by the Ministry of Justice). The law provides no obligation for search engines to inspect the advertiser, and administration of such procedure is expensive, Pilipenko admits: “However, we rely on the fact that public companies care about their reputation and are ready to cooperate in this field”.

Adviser of YUST Law Firm Dmitry Seregin confirmed to Vedomosti newspaper that in most cases it is the advertiser who is responsible for the contents of advertisements, including false or unclear information: “There is a technical possibility of preventive control of advertising advocates’ services, but it can only be done if the advertiser understands his own social responsibility and acts in good will.”

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