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CARPA

CARPA of the Chambers of Advocates
General information

According to the French legislation started from 1954 advocates have the right to receive such financial means of their clients which are results of judicial acts as well as decisions of the administrative bodies.

Each advocate deposits into one common cash desk /bank account/ such means attributed to the clients which is controlled by CARPA structure of the relevant bar association which the advocate is the member.

CARPA as structure (French model of bank account for advocacy payments) was founded in1957 and from 1986 it is mandatory for all advocates in France.

CARPA is not considered to be a financial structure, instead all advocates practicing advocacy in France shall deposit their financial means received for their clients as a result of judicial or legal acts as well as decision of the administrative bodies with CARPA.

It is considered to be an exceptional guarantee for the clients who feel more secure themselves by trusting their funds to advocates.

In particular, money deposited with the CARPA account of the advocate cannot be controled exclusively at the discretion of the advocate but upon receival a relevant instruction the funds under the control of the sub-structure of CARPA are transferred to the real owner of the funds.

Besides security which acquire both the client and his advocate or law office, CARPA is also considered to be a technilcal tool which guarantee supervision, confidentiality as well as security of transactions.

French laws clearly underline that financial means of the client which are result of judicial acts as well as decisions of administrative bodies can be received by the advocates solely in such cases when they are the outcome of advocates’ professional practice, in other words, not the financial means of the client can be directed to the advocate but only the means obtained as as outcome of the advocate’s practice which are result of judicial, administratve and extra-judicial acts and/or decisions.

The advocates in their turn can receive the financial means of their clients through the CARPA bank account opened especially for that aim by strictly following all regulating norms.

Each advocate has the right to receive the means directed to his client only on his personal account created on CARPA bank account which on its turn is devided into as many  sub-accounts as cases (civil, criminal and administrative) the advocate has.

Each flow between sub-accounts is forbidden except for prior special permission of the CARPA's president with appropriate reasoning.

No sub-account shall have a negative remainder balance.

Hence, clients’ financial means shall be immediately after receiving by the advocate deposited into the advocates’ bank account which can and shall be directed to the addressees after presenting relavant identification documents and maintaining the term of the contract concluded between CARPA and relevant financial construction (bank).

Each advocate who will receive such financial means, which amount exceeds the limit guaranteed by the insurance polis shall inform the president of the CARPA about it in order to provide additional guarantees before receiving funds.

Every advocate member of any Bar association of France shall apply to CARPA system with request to open a CARPA sub-account immediately after becoming a member of the relevant bar association. Thus,  one common CARPA account is divided in its turn into as many sub-accounts as many advocates practice at the relevant moment and did not suspend their license.

The advantages of CARPA system are:

  • Financing of organization of free legal aid,
  • Securing of complete and partial expenses concerning professional mandatory insurance of advocates,
  • Absolute guarantee for the clients and the third parties who entrust the advocates their means obtained as a result of decision of judicial acts and administrative bodies,
  • CARPA as a guarantee of payment of the honorarium of advocate,
  • Strong control over financial flows maintaining advocacy secret,
  • Continuous exits allow to invest money on available remainder balance in financial market with obligation of absolute capital guarantees,
  • Reduction in the membership fee amount as a result of operation of the formed means of CARPA account,
  • Acquisition of necessary means for operation of CARPA system and staff,
  • Social support to indigent advocates (professional pension),
  • Reduction of fees for mandatory trainings of advocates.

Except for the above mentioned advantages, CARPA is also an effective tool in the fight against money laundering. Many times in France with the help of CARPA “cleaning” experiments of financial means have been disclosed having questionable origin. Due to CARPA in France advocates manage to alert in case of suspicious transactions without violating the deontological principle of advocacy secret.