By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2023-03-16 07:35:19
The Bar Council of India (BCI) took a huge step towards opening up of the Indian legal profession for overseas players by notifying the "Rules for registration of foreign lawyers and foreign law firms in India". The BCI is the apex regulating body for the legal profession in India. It has allowed foreign lawyers and foreign law firms to operate in India on reciprocal basis (meaning only lawyers and law firms of those countries which allow Indian lawyers and law firms to operate there will be allowed to work in India) and only in the field of foreign law and international issues in non-litigious matters. Although this is a very restrictive opening of the door, it is a good beginning and given the experience in a few years, more doors will be opened for such foreign lawyers and law firms.
With Indian companies and HNIs conducting more and more international transactions, the need for foreign lawyers and law firms to have offices in India was being increasingly felt. The issue was being examined by the BCI for a few years now. That it has taken this decision is welcome.
The entry of foreign lawyers and law firms is expected to cause a boom in the hiring of talented Indian lawyers as well as fresh law graduates. There will also be huge internship opportunities for law students. Further, Indian law firms will also gain by tying up with them and handling the litigations in courts. It is going to be a win-win situation for all.
Now it remains to be seen which foreign lawyers and law firms set up offices here. There is no doubt that India's growing business clout will see a host of top names from overseas grab this opportunity to work in the country.