SECTION 33. Foreign lawyers. – Foreign lawyers cannot, directly or indirectly, practice law in the Philippines. (2023 Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability or CPRA)
Whether directly or indirectly, foreign lawyers are prohibited from the “practice law in the Philippines.
Foreign lawyers are prohibited from practicing Philippine law. While they may be qualified as a lawyer in other jurisdictions, this does not necessarily mean that they are qualified in the Philippines.
The first and foremost requirements for practicing law in the Philippines is Filipino citizenship. Thereafter, a person must complete a law degree, pass the bar exam, take an oath, and sign the rolls of attorney.
In certain jurisdictions, such as in Australia, there is a similar prohibition against foreign lawyers from practicing law. However, foreign lawyers may practice foreign law from where they were qualified overseas, subject to the certain conditions and limitations, and, in some cases, the compliance with a professional insurance policy or bond.
As it is currently worded, it appears that the CPRA has a carte blanche prohibition against foreign lawyers from practicing law, including foreign law from a jurisdiction where they were qualified.