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Paraguay International Trade in Legal Services

Paraguay International Trade in Legal Services


Is there legislation governing the legal sector

Decree No. 17.296 of March 2, 1943

Under what title do lawyers practise?


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




Under Article 6 of the Statute of the Colegio de Abogado, in order to be a practising lawyer, an individual must meet the following requirements: a) hold a qualification and be registered for the exercise of the profession, b) not hold an incompatible public office; c) not be affected by incompatibilities or disabilities that prevent the exercise of the profession, d) be of good character and e) be current in the payment of membership fees. 
The Supreme Court maintains the register of practising lawyers.

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 licence to practise is a single licence but Paraguayan abogados can only be registered in one city

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

Only Paraguayan lawyers have rights of audience in court and can provide advice on Paraguayan law.

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


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

Lawyers may work as sole practitioners or in partnerships

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

The Colegio has promulgated a code of ethics

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

There is no law firm licensing regime

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

The Supreme Court of Justice



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 is no requirement to register for activities permitted on a fly-in, fly out basis.

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

Lawyers may obtain business visas to enter Paraguay for business purposes but must not earn money in Paraguay.

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 foreign legal consultant licensing regime. The practice of law is not regulated outside of the courts.

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

Not applicable

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

Not applicable

Are foreign lawyers permitted to undertake arbitration and mediation? Paraguay's arbitration law is modelled on UNCITRAL and does not require arbitrators to be nationals nor to be lawyers.

Are foreign lawyers allowed to appear in court under any circumstances?


Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?



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

There is no explicit foreign law firm licensing regime which regulates these arrangements.

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)

Paraguay has a liberal regime for foreign investment and a foreign company may establish as a branch of a foreign organisation or as a local commercial company or partnership.
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?

Not applicable

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

Not applicable

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? There are no rules governing the practice of law outside the courts.
Are there restrictions on the corporate form a foreign law firm can take? Not applicable
Are there rules about the name a foreign law firm can take? There are no specific rules relating to the use of names by law firms apart from compliance with the general legislation on company names.
What entity grants a 'license' to a foreign law firm? If that entity is on the Internet, please provide the URL Not applicable


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

Not applicable

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

Not applicable

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


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

Yes although the foreign lawyer would not be regarded as a lawyer and would have no right to appear before the Paraguayan courts. Outside of the courts, the general practice of law is not restricted.



Other useful sources or comments or links

Colegio de abogados del Paraguay: http://www.colegiodeabogados.org.py/