posted 2 years ago
I am an Iranian lawyer working with LegaMart. In some countries, such as in Turkey, there are limitations for lawyers to accept cases from intermediaries. However, LegaMart's services is not an intermediary service. LegaMart does not refer cases to lawyers or work for lawyers to obtain referral fees. LegaMart is doing marketing services, such as lawyers' promotion, client acquisition, online services to both, in order to manage their inquiry and cases, as well as online tenders on behalf of clients to find the best fitting lawyers for them, in terms of price, jurisdiction, professional status, and so forth. This has been widely accepted in several countries, in which a marketing fee is not considered as an intermediary fee.
In addition, as you know well, in criminal law courts are obliged to hire strict interpretation, as to comply with the highest ruling principles of criminal law. The code you mentioned, as I understood, imposes a prohibition on "intermediary fee", no marketing fee. Many lawyers in Turkey do marketing activities, seeking more clients. Many online platforms are active in Turkey to promote lawyers and introduce them to potential clients. According to nullum crimen sine lege principle, which has been reflected in article 2 of Law Number 5237 (Passed On 26.09.2004) of Turkey, no one should "neither be punished nor be imposed cautionary judgment for an act which does not explicitly constitute an offence within the definition of the Law" (Article 2(1)). When there is no penalisation for marketing activities, there would be no criminal definition for that. Also in accordance with the same article, "application of provisions of the Laws relating to crimes and punishments by analogy is prohibited" (Article 2 (3)). Therefore, there is no restriction for marketing activities done by/for lawyers in Law No. 1136 a.48 you mentioned.
The fee LegaMart gains is a marketing fee, which does not threaten lawyers' independence or neutrality. Many states have regulated intermediary fees
UK and Canada
For example regulations in the UK require regulatory bodies for lawyers to ensure that consumers know when referral fees are in operation and to whom they are being paid, while in Ontario, Canada, a referral fee cannot exceed 15% of the fees paid to the lawyer or paralegal who received the referral for the first $50,000 of such fees for the matter and 5% of any additional fees for the matter up to a maximum referral fee of $25,000.
However, LegaMart does not charge anybody, any fee as an intermediary fee and, as I discussed above, there is no general provision restricting marketing for lawyers.
Last, but not least, lawyers on LegaMart, are all Lawyers, selected carefully to be of high qualifications. They can understand and analyse what affecting them, specifically on legal issues. So it is better to let them decide, whether to join LegaMart's Community or not.
You can also visit some other websites, doing the same as we do: