Indian Government Plans on Opening Legal Sector to Foreign Firms

The UK and US have been trying to push India to open up the legal sector for foreign firms, even though, The Advocates Act, which is administered by the BCI, already allows for foreign law firms or lawyers to visit India on a reciprocal basis for temporary periods to advise their clients on foreign law and diverse international legal issues. Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher said that discussions are also taking place with the Society for Indian Law Firms (SILF), a representative body of corporate law firms, and that they are broadly agreeing it is necessary to open up the sector in a calibrated manner.

SILF President Lalit Bhasin added that foreign law firms should be allowed in phased manners, meaning it would take 5 to 7 years. He also claimed that Indian law firms should be allowed to take advantage of basic quality services by liberalizing the norms of the Bar Council of India and others.