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Case Details

Case Details
National ID 2S-11
Member State Lithuania
Common Name link
Decision type Administrative decision, first degree
Decision date 23/04/2009
Court Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (Vilnius)
Subject
Plaintiff
Defendant UAB “Tikroji turto kaina”
Keywords attributes of the trader, black list, false impression, misleading advertising, misleading commercial practices, regulated profession

Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Chapter 1, Article 2, (d) Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Chapter 2, Section 1, Article 6, 1. Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Annex I, 1. Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Annex I, 4.

Advertising of attorney services, where a trader is not authorized under the laws as an attorney, constitutes a false claim that a trader (including its commercial practices) has been licensed (authorised) and, therefore, constitutes an unfair commercial practice and misleading advertising.
In the course of providing legal services the defendant used a number of advertising statements, including “The services of the best divorce attorneys”, “The best divorce lawyers” “Especially qualified and cheap attorney services”.

The defendant was not authorised to provide attorney services under the domestic laws.
The Competition Council has stated that the defendant’s activities in question constitute both advertising and commercial practices.



 The Competition Council further investigated the compliance of the defendant’s statements with the misleading advertising regulation which had been in place before introduction of an unfair commercial practices regulation.

 

The Competition Council referred to the Lithuanian Law on Advertising pursuant to which an advertisement is in all circumstances regarded as misleading if it falls within the misleading part of the blacklist. In particular, it has been referred to the prohibition to falsely claim that a trader (including its commercial practices) has been licensed (authorised).

The Competition Council found out that the defendant did not hold a license for providing an attorney services. Therefore, the said statements were concluded to be false claims that a trader (including its commercial practices) has been licensed (authorised).

 
Does advertising of attorney services, where a trader is not authorized under the domestic laws as an attorney, constitute a false claim that a trader (including its commercial practices) has been licensed (authorised), and, therefore, constitutes an unfair commercial practice and misleading advertising?
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A number of the defendant’s advertising statements were concluded to be an unfair commercial practice and a misleading advertising. A fine of LTL 11,500 (approx. EUR 3,286) was imposed on the defendant.