We stand in support of Ukraine against the ongoing illegal invasion by Russian forces, and encourage the Scottish legal profession to take an active role in assisting Ukraine and its people where they have the skills, experience and capacity to do so.

Law Society of Scotland President Ken Dalling said when the invasion first began: “The Law Society of Scotland condemns the use of force by Russia against Ukraine. International Law is clear that such actions are both legally and morally reprehensible.

“The invasion of Ukraine is an egregious breach of the rule of law and we support lawful action that will help bring this terrible conflict to an end as swiftly as possible.”

 

Would you like to provide a home for someone fleeing Ukraine?

If so, you can do this in one of two ways.

1 - Become a sponsor through the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme

Anyone in the UK with a spare room or home can use this service, as long as:

  • you can offer and provide accommodation for at least six months
  • if you’re not a British citizen, you have leave to remain in the UK for at least six months

Find out more, record your interest and wait to be paired.

2 – Offer a home specifically to a Ukranian lawyer

If you are specifically interested in helping a lawyer fleeing Ukraine we can help to facilitate this and will reach out to the Ukrainian Bar on your behalf.

Send the details of your offer to our International Policy Executive, Adam Marks at AdamMarks@lawscot.org.uk

 

Ukraine Advice Project UK

A number of Law Society of Scotland members have already offered their time to help people fleeing Ukraine with advice on UK immigration, visas and asylum.

We encourage any further members with relevant expertise and capacity to contact the Ukraine Advice Project, an organisation set up by six friends from across the UK volunteering their time.

The project has registered more than 430 volunteer lawyers to date and given pro bono advice on around 700 requests.

The Ukraine Advice Project has now grown to a scale beyond the capacity of its six founders, so law firm DLA Piper has offered to assist in day-to-day operations.

DLA Piper’s pro bono team will draw on their experience running a similar initiative for Afghan refugees to triage and manage requests for advice and offers of assistance from volunteer lawyers through projectu@dlapiper.com.

Please use these new details to make contact to offer your services, or if you are no longer able to assist to withdraw from the project.

Lawyers seeking refuge in Scotland

Ukrainian lawyers who relocate to Scotland are entitled to practise under their home-country professional title.

They can provide legal services in Ukrainian law, international law and Scots law (other than areas which are reserved to Scottish solicitors).

They can work:

  • In a Scottish law firm or firms operating in Scotland.
  • In a corporate or government role as an in-house lawyer.

Requalifying in Scotland

Ukrainian lawyers who wish to requalify in Scotland can sit the Qualified Lawyers Assessment.

We welcome applications from lawyers from Ukraine and are happy to discuss individual circumstances. Decisions on applications will be made on a case-by-case basis, using the available evidence.

Where it is difficult to access certain required documents, alternative documentation can be used to support an application. We are considering what – if anything – we can waive to assist those coming to Scotland.

Active role of profession in sanctions against Russia

We also continue to remind our members of the important responsibilities of Scottish law firms to comply, in full, with the sanctions and other restrictions imposed on Russia and Belarus by the UK Government.

Diane McGiffen, Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “As the regulatory body for the Scottish solicitor profession we will continue to provide robust risk-based regulation and support our members to meet their legal obligations in respect of both the sanctions and Money Laundering regulations.

“The Law Society is committed to upholding the rule of law and we will continue to work with our members to ensure that our profession stands firm with those across the world condemning these violations of international law.”

We are providing answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the financial sanctions and other restrictions imposed by the UK Government to provide members of the Scottish legal profession, clarification on what is required of them.

Resolution on Ukraine and international rule of law

The Society's Council passed a resolution on Ukraine and international rule of law when it met today. Friday, 4 March 2022, which condemned the ongoing illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces.

The Law Society of Scotland emphasises the active role the legal profession must play in sanctions against Russia

The Scottish legal sector must be alert to the implications of the current crisis and has a shared responsibility to comply with UK Government sanctions and present a united front against Russia’s violations of international law.

Law Society of Scotland statement on Ukraine

The Law Society of Scotland condemns the use of force by Russia against Ukraine. International Law is clear that such actions are both legally and morally reprehensible. The invasion of Ukraine is an egregious breach of the rule of law and we support lawful action that will help bring this terrible conflict to an end as swiftly as possible.