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Recently, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights issued Regulation number 26 of 2017 regarding the Procedures and Requirements to Hire a Foreign Lawyer and the Requirements for Pro-Bono Services in Research and Education (New Regulation). The New Regulation applies to local law firms that intent to employ foreign lawyers. In this column we further discuss the procedures set by the New Regulation to employ foreign lawyers and their obligation to perform pro-bono activities.
Corporate Requirements for a Foreign Lawyer
Generally, Indonesian law firms are allowed to hire foreign lawyers, who are expert in foreign laws or international rules/laws (such as foreign arbitration rules). A law firm that intents to hire foreign lawyers must fulfill the following requirements:
- A ratio of local vs. foreign lawyers of 4:1. However in case a local lawyer employs 3 local lawyers, the ratio will be 3:1; and
- A maximum of 5 foreign lawyers
Procedure to Employ a Foreign Lawyer
Prior to application of the work permit for the foreign lawyer, law firms first need apply for an Approval from the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. The submission should be performed manually and by providing the following documents:
- Application letter
- Recommendation from the advocates association (PERADI)
- Employment Agreement
- Personal documents of the foreign lawyer
- Pro-bono service plan. The foreign lawyer will need to perform a presentation to the Director General of General Law Administration regarding the provision of the pro bono services.
The submissions will be approved or rejected by the Ministry, within 21 business days as of the date of submission. Upon rejection, the law firm shall have 7 days to complete the application. Approvals from the Ministry are valid for one year and can be extended. Extensions need to be submitted at latest two months before the expiry of the Approval.
Under the previous regulation, Ministry Decision No. M.11-HT.04.02, law firms were required to submit their applications for approval to three ministries, i.e.:
- Ministry of Manpower;
- Directorate General; and
- Director of Private Affairs at the Directorate General of General Law Administration
All foreign lawyers are required to provide pro-bono services in the field of legal education and research. The implementation of these services must be reported every semester to the Director General of General Law Administration. In case the pro-bono services are not performed by the foreign lawyer, the Ministry will not grant an extension of their Approval.
The New Regulation has been in force since November 21, 2017.
This column is provided by PNB Immigration Law Firm Indonesia