LexisNexis

Kyrgyzstan International Trade in Legal Services

Kyrgyzstan International Trade in Legal Services

HOME COUNTRY LICENSING QUESTIONS

Is there legislation governing the legal sector

The Law “On Advocacy” (the “Law on Advocacy”) adopted on 21 October 1999 (last revised on 12 October 2013) governs the activity of advocates in the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Under what title do lawyers practise?

Lawyer, Legal Counsel, Attorney, Advocate.

How does an individual lawyer obtain a "licence" to practise law? How often must this be renewed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A licence to practice law in the Kyrgyz Republic is not required for the provision of legal counselling services and representation in courts under civil law cases (where only a valid power of attorney is required).  An advocate’s licence is only required by lawyers who act as advocates in criminal cases in the courts of the Kyrgyz Republic. The Law on Advocacy therefore only regulates the procedure for obtaining the Advocate’s Licence.
The Qualifications Commission of the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic sets the examination procedure for prospective advocates. In order to be admitted and pass the examination an individual must be a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic, hold a higher law degree, have at least one year of legal experience (or have experience of working as an assistant of an advocate for at least one year) and should not have been convicted of any deliberate crime. Once the Advocate’s Licence has been granted, there is no need to renew it (unless it was revoked in accordance with Law on Advocacy).
Individuals with five or more years of work experience working at the Department of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Prosecutor's Office, investigation divisions of law enforcement bodies, courts, the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and, the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, where the character of their work requires a mandatory legal education, as well as deputies of the Parliament of the Republic with law degrees, are exempted from the Advocate’s examination.

Does this entitle the holder to practise throughout the country? If the law license only permits one to practice on a sub-national level, please explain the jurisdictional limits

The Advocate’s Licence to practise law as an advocate in the Kyrgyz Republic is limited to the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic.

 

 

Are there certain activities that are "reserved" to those who are licensed to practise law in the jurisdiction?

Acting as an advocate and providing representation in criminal cases is strictly reserved to those lawyers who are licensed in the Kyrgyz Republic.  Other lawyers wishing to practise civil law are not required to obtain an Advocate’s License.

Do you need to hold local nationality to be eligible to practise law?

Local nationality is not required for practising law except for being an advocate and conducting legal representation in criminal cases, which is generally reserved only to the citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic.

What legal forms can lawyers work in? (e.g. self employment, partnership, limited liability partnership, multi-disciplinary partnership, incorporation)

There is no particular limitation in the legal forms through which lawyers may conduct their professional activities. Individual entrepreneurship, employment contract, incorporation in a form of a partnership, a limited liability or joint stock company are among the legal forms commonly used by lawyers in the Kyrgyz Republic.

What other ethical or regulatory requirements must a licensed lawyer comply with? 

A licensed lawyer must follow the general requirements of the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic and the lawyer’s professional ethics. The Rules of Professional Ethics of Lawyers were adopted by the Order of the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic (repealed in 2009).

Do law firms need to receive a "license" (or permission/approval) to practice law?

There is no separate requirement for a law firm to receive a license in addition to individual Advocate’s Licences.

Which authority issues licences? Are there different authorities for individuals and firms? 

Advocate’s licences are issued by the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic.

   

INDIVIDUAL FOREIGN LAWYERS

Are there any explicit rules or restrictions other than visas on fly in fly out practice of law? Ie. Do you need to obtain a licence for temporary practice?

There are no explicit rules or restrictions (other than visas and work permit) on the fly-in fly-out practice of law. Foreign lawyers cannot act as advocates in criminal cases in the courts of the Kyrgyz Republic unless the Kyrgyz Republic and the respective foreign country are parties to an international (bilateral) agreement which provides a mutual recognition of advocates’ licences.

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a visa to visit clients or to market but not to practice?

Foreign lawyers may obtain visas to visit clients in the Kyrgyz Republic. However, they should not be engaged in direct sale of legal services in the Kyrgyz Republic without obtaining a work permit.

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a licence to establish and practise as a foreign legal consultant and what is the scope of this limited licence?

There is no requirement for a foreign lawyer to obtain a licence to practise law as a foreign legal consultant in Kyrgyz Republic. Foreign lawyers cannot act as advocates and provide representation in criminal cases in the courts of the Kyrgyz Republic unless the Kyrgyz Republic and the respective foreign country are parties to an international (bilateral) agreement which provides a mutual recognition of advocates’ licences.

Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled once a foreign lawyer has been granted a limited licence (e.g. residency requirement)

Not beyond the general requirements with respect to visas and work permits for foreign nationals.

Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled for a foreign lawyer to qualify for a limited licence? (e.g. prior practice)

There is a quota on work permits for foreign-licensed professionals.

Are foreign lawyers permitted to undertake arbitration and mediation? Yes, foreign lawyers are permitted to undertake arbitration and mediation in the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Are foreign lawyers allowed to appear in court under any circumstances?

There is no restriction on foreign lawyers appearing in civil courts. As for the criminal courts, foreign lawyers may appear as experts but cannot provide advocacy services unless the Kyrgyz Republic and the respective foreign country are parties to an international (bilateral) agreement which provides a mutual recognition of advocates’ licences.

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?

The nationality requirement for local advocates makes it impossible for non-Kyrgyz citizens to requalify as local advocates.

FOREIGN LAW FIRMS

Can a foreign law firm obtain a licence to open an office?

There is no requirement for foreign law firms to obtain licences.

Even if a foreign law firm does not require a legal licence must they register in some form in order to set up an office? (e.g. with a ministry of company affairs etc)

In order to set up an office in the Kyrgyz Republic a foreign law firm may either set up a representative office/ branch or incorporate itself in  the form of a local company (partnership, limited liability company, joint stock company or any other legal form permitted by Kyrgyz law). In both cases a local registration in the relevant public authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic is required.
Are there different types of foreign law firm 'licence'  (e.g. Joint Law Venture, stand alone foreign licence etc)

Not applicable

Is there a quota on the number of licences available?

No

Are there geographical restrictions on foreign firm licences or on the number of branches a foreign firm can have?

No

Are there "scope of practice" rules that apply directly to foreign law firms (as opposed to lawyers themselves)? (e.g. home, host, international law), if so, what are they? N/A
Are there restrictions on the corporate form a foreign law firm can take? N/A
Are there rules about the name a foreign law firm can take? N/A
What entity grants a 'license' to a foreign law firm? If that entity is on the Internet, please provide the URL N/A
   

EMPLOYMENT AND PARTNERSHIP

Are there restrictions on the ownership share of foreign lawyers in a law firm?

No

May a domestic lawyer be employed by a foreign lawyer or law firm?

Yes

Can a domestic lawyer enter into partnership with a foreign lawyer?

Yes

Can a domestic lawyer or domestic law firm employ a foreign lawyer?

Yes

   

OTHER USEFUL LINKS/SOURCES

Other useful sources or comments or links

Information with respect to the advocate’s activities – the website of the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic: http://minjust.gov.kg/?page_id=2631.

Verified by

Kalikova & Associates Law Firm     www.k-a.kg   (October 2013)