Articles
Vietnam’s Amended Law on Lawyers

07 - 02 - 2013
By Vo Huu Tu, Legal Assistant *) 

On 20 November 2012 the National Assembly promulgated the Law on amendment and implementation of a number of articles of the 2006 Law on Lawyers (the Amended Law).

The allowable practicing activities of foreign legal practicing organizations remain unchanged under the Amended Law despite the original draft which severely limited such activities. A foreign legal practicing organization may:

•    provide legal consultancy services and other legal services;

•    not appoint foreign lawyers to participate in legal proceedings in the capacity of defense counsel, of person protecting the interests of a litigants, or of representative or person protecting lawful rights and interests of litigants before the bodies of Vietnam conducting litigation procedures; and

•    appoint a Vietnamese lawyer to provide consultancy on the law of Vietnam and to participate in legal proceedings in the capacity of the representative or person protecting the lawful rights and interests of their clients being litigants before the courts of Vietnam, except in criminal cases.

The Amended Law also did not create additional conditions for a foreign legal practicing organization to practice law in Vietnam. A foreign legal practicing organization which is legally established and operating in a foreign country shall be permitted to practice law in Vietnam if it satisfies the required conditions as follows:

  • it undertakes to obey the laws of Vietnam;


•    it has at least 2 foreign lawyers, including the director of the foreign legal practicing organization who has been in Vietnam at least 183 days in 12 consecutive months; and

•    the foreign legal practicing organization's director has at least 2 years experience in practicing law.

One provision that remains unchanged is the prohibition of law lecturers from practicing law concurrently with their responsibilities of teaching. This provision was set forth based on the following arguments:

•    statistics have shown that lawyers holding down multiple jobs cannot devote all their time for lawyer practicing activities;

•    law lecturers working concurrently in multiple positions effects their teaching activities; and

•    the law does not prohibit law lecturers from participate in other law practicing activities, such as law consultancy (chargeable or un-chargeable), legal aid activities, etc.).

The Amended Law takes effect 1 July 2013.

*) Please contact the authors at tu.vo@indochinecounsel.com if you wish to have more information or specific advice for the topic of this article. 

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