The profession

Traditional role of the lawyers

Lawyers are the only high-level legal partners who support and defend you in all areas of daily life, whether this concerns the lives of individuals or companies (commercial companies, small businesses, craftspeople, liberal professionals, practitioners, etc.).

Lawyers not only plead before Courts: they are your natural counsellors for everything to do with legal matters, even when no dispute is involved. Where appropriate, they intercede alongside or in partnership with other legal professionals (notaries, bailiffs, etc.) or financial professionals (chartered accountants). lawyers advise their clients and in the event of proceedings, defend them.


Arbitrators have a mandate to pass sentence. They reach a decision called an arbitration award. The aim is also to avoid recourse to a state court by appealing to one or more arbitrators or an arbitration court.


The CAREN, (Cour d’Arbitrage de l’Europe du Nord [Northern Europe Arbitration Court]) is a national and international arbitration institution established by legal specialists in Lille in 1989.

Respecting the parties' wishes as far as possible, CAREN organises the arbitration cases under its care rapidly and flexibly.

It deals with the following types of arbitration cases:

  •  National and sometimes foreign cases, domestic or crossborders, for example a dispute between two Belgian firms.
  • International, whatever the country concerned.

The arbitrators, who are of different nationalities, carry out their duties under the control of an arbitration committee which ensures the smooth operation of services and rules on any possible incidents.

The CAREN is also used in reconciling parties through mediation in arbitration.

Finally, it organises numerous conferences and develops contacts with other arbitration and mediation centres.

The CAREN has as its directors:

  • The Lille Bar Association
  • A certain number of qualified individuals
  • Regional legal and financial authorities (notaries, chartered accountants, external auditors)
  • The Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the City of Lille, Walloon Picardy and the Regional Chamber
  • The Nord Médiation association

Relevant information can be obtained by going to the website:

Collaborative law

In this area, there is no third party. This agreement brings together four people: parties in dispute are assisted by barristers specially trained in collaborative law, i.e.lawyers who are committed to working with their client as a team in order to come to the best solution. 

This obligation to negotiate in good faith is reflected in teamwork based on reasoned negotiation where the parties agree to take each other's interests into account.

Participatory procedure agreements

In order to reach such an agreement, it is necessary to be assisted by a lawyer. Here too, the agreement brings four people together (two parties each assisted by a lawyer).

It is a particularly interesting tool for lawyers who are the sole support of the parties in this matter. Unlike collaborative law, there is no obligation for the lawyer to withdraw in the event the process is a failure.