Support for Ukrainian lawyers and firms in England and Wales
On this page:
- career support for Ukrainian lawyers
- practising in England and Wales
- requalifying in England and Wales
- opening offices in England and Wales
- other support
Established in partnership with Kennedys and Stephenson Harwood, Spilka is a community for Ukrainian lawyers which bridges the gap between legal professionals and government representatives in the UK and Ukraine.
Spilka provides Ukrainian lawyers in the UK with comprehensive support, including English tutoring, mentoring, career development and valuable networking opportunities.
Further support for work and training
Other organisations providing opportunities for work or training in the UK:
- British Law Centre – diploma in English law and legal skills with funding options
- Barbri – SQE (Solicitors Qualifying Exam) preparation courses with funding options
- OSCEsmart – Skills-based SQE1 preparation courses adjusted to the needs of foreign-qualified lawyers with funding options
- Lexis Nexis – legal aid portal connecting Ukrainian lawyers with organisations providing job opportunities
- Law Society career clinics – free careers advice over Zoom or by phone
- RefuAid – employment, language and education programmes for refugees
- STEP Ukraine – 12-week English language and employment programme for Ukrainians in the UK
In addition, Gazette Jobs lists live vacancies in the legal sector by practice area, location and position.
Please note that the Law Society is not regularly monitoring updates to these pages and cannot verify their content. These opportunities are only the ones we are aware of at the time of publishing. There may be changes to these roles and training programmes in the future.
Webinar: Career transition tips – a guide for Ukrainian lawyers
Watch a free webinar with advice aimed at Ukrainian lawyers settled in the UK, including:
- the rules regarding Ukrainian qualified lawyers practising law in England and Wales
- re-qualifying in England and Wales and an introduction to the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE)
- the legal jobs market, making applications and where to look for opportunities
Ukrainian lawyers who relocate to England and Wales are entitled to practise under their home-country professional title.
They do not need to qualify as solicitors nor sit any exam in order to practise here.
They can provide legal services in Ukrainian law, international law and English law (including drafting contracts) with the only exception of a small number of activities.
They can work:
- in a UK law firm
- in a company as in-house lawyers
- as sole practitioners, or
- in partnership with, or be employed by, English and Welsh solicitors or other international lawyers
Ukrainian lawyers who wish to gain the professional title of 'solicitor' can sit the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), though this is not necessary to practise under your home professional title (see above).
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) welcomes applications from Ukrainian lawyers and is happy to consider requests for exemptions from parts of the SQE on the basis of candidates' qualifications or work experience. It will make decisions on a case-by-case basis, using the available evidence.
Where it is difficult to access to certain documents required for the exam, alternative documentation can be used to support an application.
Ukrainian law firms can open offices in England and Wales.
They do not need to register with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) unless they want to provide services in a small number of areas.
No permission is required to establish a business presence in the UK, although there are regulations on the use of business names and in certain business sectors.
There are various helplines that can provide free and confidential advice to individuals affected by the war in Ukraine, including:
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of organisations providing support to the people of Ukraine.
Communities for Ukraine
Communities for Ukraine is refugee sponsorship programme created by Citizens UK and the Ukrainian Sponsorship Pathway UK (USPUK) in response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.
The programme matches Ukrainians with individual host families and civil society organisations in the UK, including faith groups, community groups, businesses and universities.
Homes for Ukraine scheme
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the government introduced a scheme to support Ukrainians relocating to the UK. The scheme allows UK individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to open their homes and provide accommodation to Ukrainian nationals.
Ukraine extension scheme
Ukrainian nationals can apply to remain in the UK for up to three years if:
- they have gained permission to enter or stay in the UK for any period between 18 March 2022 and 16 May 2023, or
- previously held permission to be in the UK and that permission expired on or after 1 January 2022
How lawyers can show support for Ukrainian lawyers
The Law Society stands in solidarity with people in Ukraine following the Russian Federation’s illegal invasion of the country.