Under a new law, international law firms will be allowed to set up offices in Qatar and conduct their practice there.

The Qatari minister of justice will make the decision on which international law firms will be able to practice law here. However, they will also have to work within the strict confines of the tasks mentioned in their law licence.

The licence will have a period of validity of five years and is renewable.

The international law firms should be listed in the international register as well as in Qatar. Lawyers of the firm will have to be registered in Qatar’s register for lawyers.

Also according to the new Law No 23, attorneys practicing in Qatar will have to apply to be allowed to fall under its purview. The law currently in force will be in effect until the minister of justice issues the necessary directives to put the new one into force.

Non-Qatari lawyers will also be allowed to practice in the country provided they are registered to practice in their home countries.

Qatari law firms will be allowed to bring in non-Qatari lawyers to fight cases but this is only applicable for the Court of Cassation. Permission is to be given by the minister of justice based on suggestions made by a committee. Another stipulation is that the non-Qatari lawyer must have a partner licensed to practise in trying the particular case.

The non-Qatari lawyers will be allowed to appear in court under the name of the local firm for which he works provided he is licensed to practice back home. Also he must have joined the Qatari firm for a period of not less than three years.

The new law states that lawyers will not be allowed to hold ministerial positions while practising, be a parliamentarian, member of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) or be engaged in business. He will not be allowed to work in the government or a ministry, public institutions or societies, banks or any other company or individual. However, working under another lawyer is not part of these stipulations.