Lazy Lawyer from Russia

Some lawyers have an odd concept of legal research.

As a lawyer from a civil law jurisdiction (Germany), I generally start with a look into the codes and statutes. If you are from a common law jurisdiction and nobody in your country has yet bothered to neatly and conveniently codify the law, you already have a tougher job.

But this one lawyer from Russia thought “why bother?” and just e-mailed me with the following question:

Betreff: residence permit in Germany

Von: Maria Vorontsova

Datum: Di, 16.08.2011, 07:16


Dear Andreas Moser!

I am writing to you to clarify what are the most convenient ways to get residence permit in Germany and how much does it cost? What documents should the client have? Thank you!

Kind regards,

Maria Vorontsova, the lawyer of “Honest & Bright Company Ltd” 125047, Moscow, the 3d Tverskaya Yamskaya Street, 26, office 5+7 (495) 661-60-48;

Honestly, even most non-lawyers would pose a better question. I was still patient and pointed out that I would need a few more details before I could answer this question:

Hello Maria,

that depends on the type of residence permit of course, whether it is for employment, for studying or for family reunion. But to give specific advice, i would need to know much more about the respective client because the requirements vary depending on the applicant’s citizenship, professional background, family ties, language capabilities and so on. In how much detail do you want the information? What is your budget approximately?

Andreas Moser

The fact that the immigration law of Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, is a bit more complex seemed to catch Ms Vorontsova by surprise:

Well, I see. Could you please provide us the information about different variants? We’d be happy for at least general information, not considering EU residenship, student status and so on. The budget is not important, we just want to know approximately how much that could cost in Germany.

Thanks in advance!

Kind regards,

Maria Vorontsova

Whenever I hear “the budget is not important” I already know that the client won’t pay. I quoted my price and – as expected – never heard from Ms Vorontsova again, despite my friendly reminder one week later.

The “Honest & Bright Company Ltd” offers “Legal services for serious people from true English company”, according to their own website. Well, the legal research they use is not better than their grammar. Better stay away from them. If you want to get a competent and free overview over German law, my FAQ about German law are a better source of information.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in German Law, Immigration Law, Law, Russia and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Lazy Lawyer from Russia

  1. John Erickson says:

    I could forgive the lack of written fluency. I worked with a number of Russian expatriates whose spoken AND written English were … shall we say. DEFINITELY below what I would deem permissible. But they could get the point across, so it wasn’t a big problem.
    This, though, is obviously somebody trolling the web for somebody to do their work – or has so little clue what they’re doing, they jumped on the first thing that looked even remotely like what they wanted. (No insult intended – you are far above what they wanted, in both talent and intelligence.)
    Just be glad she did NOT write you back, or you might still be trying to figure out what she wanted.

  2. Jennifer K. says:

    This is hilarious. I’ve already heard that there are plenty of less-than-conscientious lawyers out there in California, but I guess it’s a world-wide problem.

  3. Well darling I guess some people just want to keep your blog active!!;-) or
    if you can find somebody to do your job why not!!!
    Though this won’t work with me cause I always believe nobody can do it as good as me but here you are some people think you can do it better than them!!

  4. xa-xa… they’re just a bunch of con-men registered in London UK to fleece their compatriots. Attorneys… my foot! The founder’s background is a maintenance rainee for about one year, then education in rough gangs from 1989 through 2015…. maybe some prison time, too! see here in Russian: Public Profile –

  5. argentreivich says:

    Funny, I received a similar request but in relation to Luxembourg companies.
    The wording was identical though.
    It’s a tax fraud scheme. More info:

  6. Same here in Austria – with the following text:
    Dear colleagues!
    I’m writing to you to clarify the information concerning Austrian foundations.
    Is it necessary to have the supervisory board?
    Do you have a price list with costs for registration, nominal service of directors and annual maintenance?
    If you have such price, could you kindly send it to me?
    Thank you much!
    Yours sincerely,
    Maria Vorontsova,
    the lawyer of Honest & Bright Company
    125047, Moscow, the 3d Tverskaya Yamskaya Street, 26,office 5
    +7 (495) 661-60-48;

  7. Pingback: How to spot fake immigration advice | The Happy Hermit

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