How a foreign company can obtain the urgent legal assistance in Ukraine?
Often foreign shipowners, operators, managers and other maritime business companies need urgent legal support and protection in the Ukrainian courts and other state authorities. This may be connected with the representation of the foreign company's interests in a court hearing, for example, in order to release a sea-going vessel from the arrest.
In accordance with the general provisions of the current Ukrainian legislation the person may act as the representative of the company in court in case his authorities are confirmed by the relevant power of attorney. The power of attorney shall be signed by the head of the company or another authorized person and certified with a seal of the company. In order to have the legal force in Ukraine the power of attorney which was issued by the foreign company must be translated into Ukrainian language and legalized or apostilled. Moreover, in order to participate in the court hearing the representative must provide the court with the original of the power of attorney. Thus, it takes al lot of time to arrange and deliver the power of attorney to the representative, what, in its turn, makes it hardly possible for foreign companies to receive the urgent legal assistance in Ukraine.
Practically until July 2010 the representation of the company in the Ukrainian court was possible only with the power of attorney. In this connection, the power of attorney usually was transmitted by electronic means or by fax, and the representatives had to persuade the Ukrainian courts to consider a copy of the power of attorney as an adequate proof of the authority. Sometimes the courts accepted the copy of the power of attorney, but usually did not allow the representatives of foreign companies to participate in the hearings until they provided the duly certified original of the power of attorney.
Some time ago, the Ukrainian Parliament enacted a number of changes to the current legislation of Ukraine. Due to these changes the solution of the abovementioned problem was found: to apply for the legal assistance to the advocate instead of a common lawyer. Advocate is a person who passed the bar examination and conducts legal practice in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "About Advocates and Advocacy" on the basis of the special license.
Until July 2010 advocates represented the clients’ interests pursuant to a warrant, but their authorities were limited. For example, under the warrant the advocate had no power to sign legal documents, to file a statement of claim to the court, to conclude a settlement agreement or to appeal against the unlawful judgments.
The agreement between the client and the advocate does not require the additional legalization, what significantly shortens the term of the full powers issuance in comparison with the representation by the power of attorney. Finally, the warrant also can be quickly issued by the advocate on his own.