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Concept Of Legal Privilege In Ukraine

Definition of professional legal privilege

The law of Ukraine ‘On Advocacy and Legal Practice’ defines the concepts and substance of legal professional privilege in Ukraine.

No. 10424 in Ukraine, dated 5 July 2012. Legal professional privilege (where applicable, as defined below) will exist in all forms of legal proceedings, on the basis of legislation (criminal, civil, competition, etc). There is no distinction in the law between the forms of legal proceedings to which legal professional privilege can be attributed. The Ukrainian Criminal Procedure Code provides a clear declaration that the prosecutor must maintain confidential information about the client (suspect, defendant).


Legal professional privilege scope

Only information obtained by members of the Ukrainian Bar Association-independent lawyers (attorneys-at-law) or members of an advocacy office or union, i.e. information obtained by ordinary lawyers or law firms, may be attributed to legal professional privilege. Legal professional privilege does not cover in-house lawyers or international lawyers who are not members of the Ukrainian Bar.

Any information that has become known to the lawyer, lawyer’s assistant or intern, or other person who has a working relationship with a lawyer, law office or partnership, protects legal professional privilege. In particular, such knowledge encompasses:

  • information on the consumer
  • information on the matters addressed to the lawyer by the client and the content of the advice and clarification received from the lawyer, all the documents collected (drawn up) by the lawyer and the documents and information obtained by the lawyer in the course of carrying out his professional duties, including electronic documents.

Without the client’s permission, the lawyer does not reveal or use privileged information in their own interest or in the interest of any third party.

It is prohibited to ask a lawyer (or his or her assistant or intern) to provide details that is subject to legal professional privilege. Except in situations where the person who submitted certain details (the client) released the lawyer, the lawyer will not be interrogated (from obligations to keep the information privileged).

State authorities (investigators) are forbidden from engaging a prosecutor in any confidential cooperation in the investigation process, given that such cooperation may lead to privileged information being revealed. Reasonable professional privilege should be waived: upon the client’s informed permission, and

In order to protect their own rights as a lawyer, the lawyer can reveal the protected information to the extent possible, for example if a disciplinary or criminal case is brought against them.