Bar Council against foreign laws firms in India

The BCI, a statutory body of advocates, today decided not to permit foreign lawyers or their firms to practise in India, but assured that a more detailed and rational scrutiny of the subject would be done soon.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2010, 00:18 AM IST

New Delhi: The Bar Council of India (BCI),
a statutory body of advocates, today decided not to permit
foreign lawyers or their firms to practise in India, but
assured that a more detailed and rational scrutiny of the
subject would be done soon.

"The Bar Council of India has decided not to permit
foreign lawyers into India. However, the said decision is
subject to a more detailed and rational scrutiny in the light
of opinions and points of view of different stakeholders," a
BCI press release said here.

The BCI, which is concerned with the safeguard of rights,
privileges and interests of advocates, has received numerous
representations on the subject, the release said, adding it
was committed to taking steps that benefit the Indian legal
profession.

However, it informed that the BCI perceived the Indian
legal profession to be both service-oriented as well as based
on business principles and hence it was important to
understand the legal profession in the Indian context.

"At the same time, Indian lawyers are not averse to
self-upgradation and skill acquisition. Once the reforms
process is initiated, the profession could be stated to be in
some readiness to the opening up of the legal sector (for
foreign law firms)," it added.

The matter, the release said, had to be considered by the
BCI, which was presently laying a clear road map for the
purpose of ensuring legal reforms so that even entry of
foreign lawyers would cause no serious concern.

The Indian Advocates Act of 1961 includes a clause that
prevent foreign lawyers from practicing in India. However the
government was in favour of liberalisation of the Act.

PTI