My name is Christopher Pirie, and I am a trial attorney in San José, Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, legal services are provided by attorneys and public notaries. My law firm offers a wide range of legal services. We have a team of lawyers and legal consultants who specialize in different areas of law. As a trial attorney, my client´s satisfaction is a priority.
It’s worth noting that the Costa Rican Bar Association (Colegio de Abogados de Costa Rica) regulates the legal practice of attorney services in Costa Rica. They do not regulate notary publics. All complaints against notaries must be made at the Notary Directorate (Direccion Nacional del Notariado) and (or) the Notary Disciplinary Jurisdiction. (Juzgado Notarial.) It’s important to know that complaints in these jurisdictions have a statute of limitations two years after the fact.
Attorneys and lawyers in Costa Rica are synonyms. We are professionals licensed to practice law. We provide a wide range of legal services. These vary from legal advice to complex representation in civil, criminal, and commercial jurisdictions. We also offer legal services in real estate transactions, contract drafting, family law, settlement negotiations, and other types of representation. In addition, we provide law interpretation, identify legal issues, and give guidance in legal matters.
To be an attorney, the person must first become a Licenciate in Law, equivalent to a Juris Doctor. The applicant must then be tested by the Costa Rican Bar, and if he passes the test, he will become an attorney. For more on the Costa Rican legal system, click here.
The notary public is the second step for any professional that becomes an attorney. Once you are an attorney, you can become a notary public. As notaries, we can certify legal documents and perform other legal acts such as real estate transactions, wills, and powers of attorney. We must be impartial when signing documents and warrant that the person signing is who they claim to be. We can make certified copies of documents, make sworn affidavits, deeds, and mortgages, and have public faith. Notary publics are also responsible for registering those documents at the Public Registry of Property for corporation registrations, real estate transfers, mortgages, and liens. In addition, all civil status documents (divorces and marriages) are registered in the Costa Rican Civil Registry.
Legal consultants provide legal advice and assistance but are not authorized to practice law or represent clients in court. However, they can guide on legal issues and help clients understand the legal process and their rights. They usually give their advice in university programs for free. These programs are called “consultorios jurídicos” and typically have attorneys supervising them on a pro bono standard. It´s important to note that falsely impersonating an attorney and the illegal practice of the law is a crime in Costa Rica.
The attorney services I excel in involve litigation as a commercial, corporate, and civil trial attorney. This is precisely what I have been doing for the last 20 years: representing clients as a civil trial lawyer. This propelled me to get a Ph.D. in Civil Procedures and Commercial Law. Since the beginning of my practice, I have argued complex civil and commercial trials. I am also an expert in family law as a divorce trial lawyer. We also practice outside ordinary jurisdiction in mediations and arbitrations.
I am also a corporate attorney. As a corporate lawyer and notary public, I can incorporate a company for you and help you with transactions, powers of attorney, sales, purchases, and estate planning. You’ll hire a trial attorney with more than twenty years of legal experience. Not to mention being fluent in English and with specialized legal services in Costa Rica.