The IBA’s response to the war in Ukraine
Madagascar International Trade in Legal Services
IBA Global Cross Border Legal Services Report:
Jump to category
- National licensing requirements
- Regulation of trade in legal services
- Regulation of foreign lawyers
- Regulation of foreign law firms
- Regulation of foreign and domestic lawyer partnership and employment
- Other useful links / sources
Frequently asked questions
- Has this jurisdiction made a binding international treaty commitment to allow foreign legal practice?
- Who is the licensing authority for lawyers?
- How do you qualify as a lawyer in this jurisdiction?
- Is it possible for a foreign lawyer to requalify?
- Can foreign lawyers practise law in this jurisdiction?
- Can foreign lawyers provide services on a fly in – fly out basis?
- Are there any foreign law firms present in this jurisdiction?
- Can foreign law firms establish offices in this jurisdiction?
- Are partnerships between foreign and domestic lawyers allowed?
Return to database
Download regional report
National licensing requirements
Loi N° 2001-006 du 9 avril 2003 Organisant la Profession d'Avocat
To become an avocat in Madagascar, an individual must: (i) be at least 21 years' old; (ii) have possessed Madagascan nationality for at least five years; (iii) have a Masters degree in law or an equivalent degree; (iv) Have passed the Certificat d’Aptitude aux Professions d’Avocats (CAPA) provided by the Institut de Formation Professionnelle des Avocats (IFPA); and (v) Be of good character. After completing the CAPA, an aspiring avocat must then: (vi) Complete a 3 year training contract, which can be extended for up to a further 2 years. Once qualified, annual registration is required.
A licensed lawyer can practise throughout the country (Article 19 of the 2003 Act)
Article 1 of Loi 2001-006 of 9 April 2003, reserves the right of advocacy and representation in courts and tribunals to Avocats, except where otherwise provided for in specific laws.
Yes. In order to qualify as an avocat in Madagascar, an individual must have had Malagasy nationality for more than 5 years or come from a jurisdiction which grants reciprocal rights to avocats from Madagascar.
Under article 48 of Loi 2001-006, Madagascan avocats may form associations. These associations must be governed by contracts approved by the Conseil de l'Ordre. Associations take the form of unlimited liability partnerships.
In addition to overarching ethical principles laid down in Loi 2001-006, avocats in Madagascar must also adhere to the requirements of the Règlement intérieur du Barreau de Madagascar
The Conseil de l'Ordre must approve and register all associations between Malagasy avocats.
The Ordre d'Avocats is responsible for maintaining the register of practising avocats and association between avocats. This is updated at least every two years and deposited with the Registrars of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Court of First Instance.
Regulation of trade in legal services
Madagascar joined the WTO on 17 November 1995
Madagascar has made no sectoral GATS commitments on legal services.
Madagascar is member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA). It is also a member of the Indian Ocean Commission which seeks to improve trade access amongst member countries and is a party to the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement and a beneficiary under the US African Growth and Opportunity Act.
Madagascar is also engaged in SADC negotiations on services trade liberalisation, which have not yet covered legal services as a priority sector for which parties are asked to make commitments. However, it is also a party to the second round of COMESA market access negotiations launched in 2017, which include legal services.
No but local law firms are members of the regional and international law firms networks (e.g. ALN and Eversheds). Madagascar is also the home jurisdiction of the multijurisdictional African law firm John W Ffooks & Co.
Regulation of foreign lawyers
There are no explicit rules on fly in fly out advisory practice by foreign lawyers.
Business visas may be obtained for up to 90 days and require only a letter from the applicant company stating the reason for the visit.
There is no foreign legal consultancy regime in Madagascar.
Act 98-019 of December 15, 1998, and Articles 439 to 464 of the Civil Procedure Code (2003) govern domestic and international arbitrations in Madagascar. The Arbitration Act is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law. The parties are free to select arbitrators of any gender, nationality, or professional qualifications in both domestic and international arbitrations and foreign counsel may represent the parties in arbitration proceedings. Parties are also free to choose any arbitral institution of their choice, including the Arbitration and Mediation Center of Madagascar (CAMM).
Under article 44 of Loi 2001-006, lawyers who are enrolled in a foreign bar which has a reciprocal agreement with the Malagasy Bar, may be allowed to represent the parties and to plead only with the authorization of the Minister of Justice , following the favourable opinion of the Bar Association of the Order and the Attorney General at the Court of Appeal Antananarivo.
Foreign lawyers can only be admitted if they have held Malagasy nationality for at least five years and have fulfilled the other requirements of entry to the profession set out in Article 23 of Loi 2001-006
Regulation of foreign law firms
There is no licensing regime for foreign law firms.
Foreign consultancy businesses may set up in a variety of forms in Madagascar. An LLC may be entirely foreign owned and investment authorisation is not required, however at least one executive must reside in Madagascar
Regulation of foreign and domestic lawyer partnership and employment
Not beyond the requirements imposed on foreign companies in general
A foreign law firm establishing a consultancy office in Madagascar cannot take a name which implies any connection to a local law firm
Article 27 of the Reglement Interieur implicitly prohibits this on the grounds that it would violate the lawyer's duty of independence.
Article 61 of the Reglement Interieur provides that associations can only be between lawyers who are registered with the Order.
There is no explicit rule to prohibit this but unless the foreign lawyer was also registered as an avocat, they could not hold themselves out as such.