How lawyers can show support for people in Ukraine
Are you a Ukrainian lawyer looking for support?
England and Wales is open to Ukrainian lawyers and law firms.
Our past president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “The Law Society stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian National Bar Association and the Ukrainian Bar Association.
“We also stand with the Russian people who oppose their government’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and lawyers who are defending the rule of law in the region.
“We condemn the actions of the Russian Federation, which are in contravention of international law. There is no doubt that these actions are a direct threat to the rule of law.”
In June 2022, presidents of law societies and bar associations from G7 countries met and signed resolutions condemning the invasion and calling for protections of client-lawyer confidentiality.
How you can help
If you’re a lawyer looking to help advise Ukrainians pro bono, make sure that you have the requisite expertise in any areas you're volunteering to advise in.
Energy Community pro bono platform
Lawyers can provide pro bono legal advice to Ukrainian public energy companies through a dedicated platform established by the Energy Community Secretariat.
On this platform, lawyers can offer any amount of time to assist with specific projects that will enable Ukrainian energy companies to bring claims for damages against Russia in national courts and international arbitration centres.
Ukraine Advice Project UK
Immigration lawyers have launched an advice service to provide free help and support to Ukrainians seeking refuge in the UK in the wake of the Russian invasion.
The project is being supported by DLA Piper.
Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you're:
- a qualified immigration lawyer looking to volunteer pro bono advice, or
- a Ukrainian national seeking immigration legal advice
This is an initiative of the Polish Bar Council and partners.
Among other things, the project aims to:
- collect information and evidence of crimes and human rights violations committed in Ukraine as of 24 February 2022 to provide to national prosecutors and the International Criminal Court
- train lawyers on collecting such information
- provide guidance on psychological support to potential witnesses and victims
Homes for Ukraine scheme
Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the UK government has opened a scheme allowing individuals, charities, community groups and businesses in the UK to help bring Ukrainians to safety, including those with no family ties to the UK.
Communities for Ukraine
Communities for Ukraine is a 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.
There are many charities running appeals in response to the crisis in Ukraine. Some of the largest national appeals are:
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.
Lawyers and law firms can join Spilka’s efforts to help Ukrainian lawyers advance their careers in the UK through networking opportunities, knowledge sharing, mentorship and various other types of support.
Initiatives by the Ukrainian National Bar Association
The Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA) is carrying out various initiatives in support of lawyers affected by the conflict.
Please note that the Law Society is not regularly monitoring updates to this page and cannot verify its content.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine raises many issues of public international law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law.
Since the invasion, related cases have been brought and are pending before the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.
For more information, as well as guidance on evidence-gathering and expert views, visit the Ukraine transitional justice and documentation portal.
Resources for UK nationals in Ukraine
The British Embassy is operating a limited diplomatic function from Kyiv, but it cannot provide any in-person consular assistance.
If you’re trying to leave Ukraine:
- call +380 44 490 3660 or +44 (0)1908 516666 and select the option for “consular services for British nationals”, or
- use the online contact form