Foreign Attorney Negotiating Property Settlement for Virginia Residents.

It is the opinion of the Committee that there is a clear possibility that the negotiation of a property settlement agreement disposing of property rights of Virginia residents with an attorney not licensed to practice in the State of Virginia may be the unauthorized practice of law in Virginia. The attorney providing services relative to a Virginia marital dissolution requires advice on Virginia law. Obviously, the Virginia opposing counsel runs the risk of not being able to enforce this agreement on behalf of his client for fear that the opposite party did not have proper legal advice, a problem which previously arose.

Further, it is the Committee’s opinion that the Virginia attorney’s participation as an attorney in negotiations under these circumstances could be considered aiding in the unauthorized practice of law.

Committee Opinion
April 7, 1989
Updated: Aug 28, 2006