Peru International Trade in Legal Services

Peru International Trade in Legal Service


Is there legislation governing the legal sector

The 1997 Código de Ética y Responsibilidad Profesional del Abogado (Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility for Lawyers) updated in 2012. This Code regulates all bar associations in the country, in every field of the practice of law. To practice law in Peru it is a requirement to be a member of a bar association in the country.

Under what title do lawyers practise?

Abogado/a - translated as lawyer

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


The requirements for admission to practice are a five-year university education, followed by registration with the Asemblea Nacional of Rectores and the Superior Court of Lima and incorporation into a Bar Association of Peru. 

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

No limits on practice within the country.  Registration is with regional Bar Associations but you do not need to work in the region you register.

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

Only Peruvian lawyers have rights of audience in court and can provide advice on the law of Peru.

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)

The ethical rules in Peru do not appear to prevent lawyers from adopting any particular legal form for conducting their business, however in practice, most lawyers practice either as sole practitioners or in general partnerships.

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

A code of ethics was adopted by the Junta de Decanos de los Colegios de abogados del Peru on 14 April 2012.

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

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

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

In Peru the responsibility of licensing lawyers is held by the Local Bar Associations (colegios de abogados).



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?

Yes, nationals of all countries except Brazil require a Business Visa.

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?

A foreign lawyer does not need to obtain a limited licence entitling him/her to offer advisory services in foreign and international law (i.e.. become a foreign legal consultant)

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

There are no additional requirements

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


Are foreign lawyers permitted to undertake arbitration and mediation? There are no limits for a foreign lawyer to act as counsel in any case (domestic or international). Article 37, paragraph 4, Arbitration Act.

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

No, not without requalifying

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?




A foreign lawyer can obtain a full licence to practise law in this jurisdiction.  For purposes of the professional practice in Peru by foreign graduates in law, Peruvian domestic legal framework establishes as a first condition the recognition and validation of degrees issued by foreign universities.  The National Assembly of Rectors recognizes the degrees, diplomas or educational certificates obtained in countries with which Peru has signed International Agreements for the Recognition of Degrees issued by foreign universities. These countries are the following: Argentina, Bulgaria, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, the Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.


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. Foreign firms are permitted to establish a commercial presence (a permanent office) to offer advisory services in foreign and international law.

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)

Legal services are not included in the list of sectors for which foreign investment requires prior approval.
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? Not beyond the requirements on individual foreign lawyers
Are there restrictions on the corporate form a foreign law firm can take? There are no additional requirements on law firms beyond those imposed on foreign companies in general.
Are there rules about the name a foreign law firm can take? There are no specific rules relating to use of names by lawyers or law firms, apart from compliance with the general Peruvian legislation on trade marks.
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?


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


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


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




Other useful sources or comments or links

For links to licensing bodies including regional bars in Peru: Bar Association of Lima: