Bar Council Of India Permits Foreign Lawyers, Firms To Practise In India

Foreign lawyers and law firms will also be able to practice law in India. The Bar Council of India (BCI) has agreed to open law practice in India to foreign lawyers, foreign law firms. 

The statutory body of lawyers has issued rules for registration of foreign lawyers and foreign law firms in India. 

The latest regulations enable foreign lawyers and foreign law firms to practice diverse international laws, international arbitration in India.

In its notification, the BCI said, ‘These rules are based on the principle of reciprocity in a well defined, regulated and controlled manner. To open up law practice in India to foreign lawyers in the area of ​​practice of foreign law, miscellaneous international legal issues in non-litigation matters and international arbitration matters to help in the development of the legal profession/domain in India for the benefit of lawyers in India Will have to go a long way.’

This apex body of lawyers in the country said that the move will not affect law practice in India, if done in a well controlled and regulated manner. 

The Bar Council of India was initially opposed to the entry of foreign lawyers and foreign law firms into India in any form. 

However, it was mandated by the legal fraternity of the country to explore the potential and possibilities of opening law practice in India for foreign lawyers in joint consultative conferences between BCI, State Bar Councils across the country and other stakeholders in the years 2007-2014 I went.

The BCI said in the notification, ‘These rules will also help in addressing the concerns expressed regarding the flow of foreign direct investment into the country and making India a hub of international commercial arbitration. If we fall asleep in this matter, India’s legal fraternity may lag behind in providing legal/professional expertise as per the rule of law in the best interests of this rapidly growing segment of clients in India’.

 Let us ensure opportunities for the legal profession and for the growth and development of the legal sector in India.

It is noteworthy that the Supreme Court had said in the BCI vs AK Balaji case that foreign law firms/companies or foreign lawyers cannot practice the profession of law in India either on the litigation or non-litigation side.

It said that they can advise Indian clients on ‘fly in and fly out’ mode only on a temporary basis. It also held that foreign lawyers cannot be barred from coming to India to conduct arbitration proceedings in respect of disputes arising out of contracts relating to international commercial arbitration.

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