Turkmenistan International Trade in Legal Services

Turkmenistan International Trade in Legal Services


Is there legislation governing the legal sector

The Law “On approving the Statute on the Bar of Turkmenistan SSR” of 14 May 1981. 

Under what title do lawyers practise?

Advocates (members of the Bar).

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

In Turkmenistan only a Turkmen citizen with a licence can become an advocate. In order to obtain a licence an individual must have a law degree and pass the examinations set by the Ministry of Justice. First,applicants have to show their knowledge of the book “Rukhnama” by Saparmurat Turkmenbashi the Great and after that they must take the examinations covering the law and Turkmen legislation.  Once he/she has obtained a licence a candidate with two year's experience as a lawyer may be admitted to the Bar. 

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

ThThe licence to practise law in Turkmenistan is national.

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

The 'Law on licensing of some kinds of activity' of 16 June 1999 requires those providing legal assistance to legal and juridical persons' to be licensed.

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

Only a Turkmen national can be an advocate.

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

Turkmen advocates may work either as individual advocates or in legal entities

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

There are no separate ethical provisions for lawyers beyond those outlined in the law.

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

Not known

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

Licences are issued by the Ministry of Adalat (Justice)which works through Colleges of Lawyers to initiate disciplinary action against lawyers as well as to set lawyers’ tari?s, codes of conduct and examinations.



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 restrictions on the fly-in fly-out practice of law outside the regulated area of criminal defence.

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

Business visitors may obtain a visa to visit Turkmenistan but must have an invitation from a Turkmen business.

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 defined licensing process for a foreign lawyer to 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)

Not beyond the general requirements for the issuance of work permits to foreign nationals.

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?

There is no specific arbitration legislation in Turkmenistan.

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



Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?


There is a nationality requirement which makes it impossible for non-Turkmen citizens to requalify as advocates.


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

There is no requirement for foreign law firms to obtain special licences to practise law beyond the usual company registration procedures.

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)

Foreigners may own shares in local enterprises, form joint enterprises and set up their branches, subsidiaries or representative offices. Registration is required as set out in the Law on Enterprises, the
Civil Code, and the Law on Corporations (joint stock companies).

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?

There are no quantitative limitations on law firms

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

There are no geographical restrictions on law firms

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?  
Are there restrictions on the corporate form a foreign law firm can take?  
Are there rules about the name a foreign law firm can take?  
What entity grants a 'license' to a foreign law firm? If that entity is on the Internet, please provide the URL  


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

There are no ownership limitations but at least 70% of the employees of a foreign owned company must be Turkmen citizens.

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

Legislation of Turkmenistan - http://www.turkmenistan.gov.tm/?rub=12