Foreign law firms get a foot in door

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3 min read . Updated: 15 Mar 2023, 10:42 PM IST

Priyanka Gawande

One good  people     successful  the rules is that support   is taxable  to reciprocity. Premium One good people successful the rules is that support is taxable to reciprocity.

The assembly volition archetypal analyse the applicable rules to ascertain reciprocity with the state concerned

The Bar Council of India connected Wednesday allowed overseas lawyers and instrumentality firms to practise overseas instrumentality successful India, offering a constricted opening to a assemblage that has remained unopen to overseas entities truthful far.

According to experts, this volition assistance code concerns astir the travel of overseas nonstop concern into the state and marque India a hub of planetary commercialized arbitration. The Bar Council of India is simply a statutory assemblage that regulates and represents the Indian bar.

“Time has travel to instrumentality a telephone connected the issue. Bar Council of India is of the presumption that opening up of instrumentality signifier successful India to overseas lawyers successful the tract of signifier of overseas law; divers planetary ineligible issues successful non-litigious matters, and successful planetary arbitration cases would spell a agelong mode successful helping ineligible profession/domain turn successful India to the payment of lawyers successful India too," a gazette notification by the assembly said.

It added that the Indian ineligible assemblage is improbable to acquisition immoderate disadvantage erstwhile the state opens up instrumentality signifier to overseas attorneys successful a limited, well-regulated mode based connected the rule of reciprocity.

So far, overseas instrumentality firms oregon overseas lawyers were not allowed to practise instrumentality successful India either connected the litigation oregon non-litigation broadside unless they fulfilled the request of the Advocates Act, 1961 and the Bar Council of India Rules. However, neither the Act nor the Rules restrict overseas instrumentality firms oregon overseas lawyers from travelling to India temporarily connected a “fly-in and fly-out" ground to supply ineligible proposal to their Indian clients regarding overseas instrumentality oregon their location country’s ineligible system, arsenic good arsenic assorted planetary ineligible issues.

Many countries person already allowed overseas lawyers to practise overseas law, divers planetary ineligible issues, and arbitration matters successful their countries with immoderate riders.

“It is bully to spot a definite absorption successful spot now. However, I bash not spot immoderate knee-jerk interaction oregon overnight mushrooming of overseas instrumentality firms oregon overseas lawyers successful the country," said Rohit Jain, managing spouse astatine instrumentality steadfast Singhania and Co.

One good people successful the regulations is that support is taxable to reciprocity which means that the assembly volition archetypal analyse the applicable rules to ascertain reciprocity with the overseas state concerned, Jain said.

“Effectively, this whitethorn necessitate amendment successful the rules of the corresponding overseas state besides for these regulations to beryllium implemented. In the agelong run, possibly we mightiness witnesser consolidation oregon acquisition of mid-size and smaller firms," Jain said.

According to Jain, overseas instrumentality firms volition person to clasp Indian lawyers to counsel connected Indian law. Regulation 8 of Bar Council rules indicates that the intent is to let overseas lawyers to counsel connected matters successful which the laws of their respective countries are progressive oregon successful planetary arbitration.

Essentially, the rules marque it wide that a overseas lawyer oregon instrumentality steadfast volition not beryllium allowed to practise instrumentality successful India without archetypal registering with the Bar Council of India.

Sameer Jain, managing spouse astatine PSL Advocates and Solicitors, believes the occupation country appears to beryllium Rule 8(2)(v) of Bar Council rules which prohibits an India-qualified lawyer moving arsenic a spouse oregon different successful an India-registered overseas instrumentality steadfast from undertaking contentious tribunal litigation.

“Essentially, the aforesaid restrictions volition use to them arsenic is applicable to overseas lawyers. The intent appears to beryllium parity, and I spot immoderate logic successful it," said Jain of PSL Advocates.

While planetary arbitration practices person been allowed for India-seated planetary commercialized arbitrations, overseas lawyers and firms tin lone correspond overseas companies and, possibly, Indian companies with an bureau successful a overseas country, Jain added.

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