Ukraine International Trade in Legal Services

Ukraine International Trade in Legal Services


Is there legislation governing the legal sector

Law No. 5076-VI, "On Advocacy and Legal Practice in Ukraine" dated 5 July 2012 (hereinafter - the “Advocacy Law”) and general legislation which regulates economic activity of lawyers in Ukraine: Civil Code of Ukraine No. 435-IV dated 16 January 2003; Commercial Code of Ukraine No. 436-IV dated 16 January 2003 and Law No. 249-IV On Preventing and Counteracting the Legalization (Laundering) of Criminally-Obtained Proceeds or Terrorism Financing dated 28 November 2002, etc.

Under what title do lawyers practise?

Advocate, lawyer.

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

A lawyer does not need a license to practice, with the exception of advocates, who need to be admitted to practise.
In order to become an advocate, an individual must have a law degree, at least two years of legal experience, pass a qualification exam, complete a six-month internship with a practising advocate, take the oath and be included in the Ukrainian Advocates register. The admission is termless, but can be revoked or suspended under certain circumstances in accordance with the Law.

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 admission to practise law as an advocate in Ukraine is national.

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

Article 45 of the Criminal Procedural Code reserves the role of defence counsel in criminal court proceedings to Ukrainian advocates.  In civil proceedings, under Article 12 of the Civil Procedural Code, an advocate can provide representation as can any other person with legal capacity, being 18 years old or more who is authorized in accordance with the prescribed procedure to provide legal assistance in court.
Defence of the individual who committed administrative offence is also reserved to the advocate.

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

The Advocacy Law provides that both Ukrainian citizens and foreigners can become advocates.  Foreigners who received advocate licenses abroad must apply for the inclusion into the Ukrainian Advocates Register in order to practice law as advocates.
Both Ukrainian and foreign citizens can practice as lawyers.

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

Advocates may work either in sole practice, in law offices or in advocate associations in Ukraine. Lawyers may work individually, in law firms or in any other organizational forms.

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

Ukrainian Ethics Rules for advocates were adopted in 2012 by the Higher Qualification and Disciplinary Bar Commission of Ukraine.

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


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

The Higher Qualification and Disciplinary Bar Commission of Ukraine is responsible for admission of individuals-advocates.



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 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?

Foreign lawyers, advocates may obtain visas to visit clients etc. in Ukraine.  Ukraine has a visa-free regime with many countries.

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 license to practice as a foreign legal consultant in Ukraine taking into consideration that practice outside the areas reserved to advocates is unregulated.

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 employment 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. There are no limited licenses in Ukraine.

Are foreign lawyers permitted to undertake arbitration and mediation?

Yes, they are. The International Commercial Arbitration Act 1994 (ICAA) is based closely on the UNCITRAL model law and permits parties to challenge the appointment of arbitrators on the basis of impartiality or independence alone. Mediation is not officially regulated in Ukraine.

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


Foreign lawyers may appear in civil and commercial proceedings.  Foreign lawyers may also appear in criminal and administrative proceedings if they are included in the Ukrainian Advocates Register.

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?


A foreign advocate may be admitted to advocate practice in Ukraine, if he/she filed an application together with the approved list of the documents and had at least two years of experience in Ukraine and was included in the Ukrainian Advocates Register.
A foreigner who is not an advocate abroad must pass qualifications exams to become an advocate in Ukraine in accordance with the Law.
Foreign lawyers may practice in Ukraine on the same basis as Ukrainian lawyers. In practice foreign lawyer and foreign advocate must know the Ukrainian legislation.


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

There is no requirement for foreign law firms to obtain special licenses to practice law beyond the regular incorporation (or setting up a Representative Office) 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)

Limited Liability Companies must be registered with the Companies Register; Representative Offices must be registered with the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine.

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 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

Higher Qualification and Disciplinary Bar Commission of Ukraine -;
Ukrainian National Barristers Association  -;
Ukrainian Bar Association -


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RULG - Ukrainian Legal Group, P.A. , Ukraine