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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic

What are the legal bases of the legal counselling?

The Rechtsdienstleistungsgesetz (Legal Services Act) contains, in Part 3 thereof, provisions on legal advice by persons who are not admitted to practice as lawyers. Section 6 paragraph 2 of the Legal Services Act sets out rules for the provision of gratuitous legal advice. According to such rules, legal advice may be given by a lay person if he or she is guided by a lawyer qualified for judgeship in Germany. The contract you conclude with our counsellors amounts to a mandate within the meaning of the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (German Civil Code). Therefore, mutual rights and obligations arise from this contract:


  • According to Section 662 of the German Civil Code, the mandatary agrees to carry out a transaction entrusted to him by the mandator, for the mandator gratuitously.
  • According to Section 665 Sentence 2 of the German Civil Code, the mandatary must follow the instructions of the mandator. The mandatary is only entitled to deviate from these instructions if he is entitled to assume in the circumstances that the mandator would approve of such deviation if he were aware of the factual situation. The mandatory must notify to the mandator prior to any such deviation and must await the decision of the latter, unless postponement would entail danger.
  • According to Section 664 of the German Civil Code, the mandatary may not transfer the performance of the mandate to a third party. If he does so, he is liable for fault on the part of such third party.
  • According to Section 663 of the German Civil Code, the mandatary is obliged, when he does not accept a mandate to perform a transaction, to notify the mandator of the refusal without undue delay.
  • According to Section 666 of the German Civil Code, the mandatary is obliged to provide the mandator with the required reports, and on demand to provide information on the status of the transaction and after carrying out the mandate to render an account for it.
  • According to Section 667 of the German Civil Code, the mandatary is obliged to return to the mandator everything he receives to perform the mandate and whatever he obtains from carrying out the transaction (e.g. documents).
  • According to Section 670 of the German Civil Code, the mandator is obliged to make reimbursement to the mandatory, if the mandatory, for the purpose of performing the mandate, incurs expenses that he may consider to be necessary in the circumstances.