Foreign Lawyers to Practice in India on Reciprocal Basis
By Team Legistify / 2016-06-01
Allowing Foreign Lawyers to Practice in Indian can have many implications. If the entry is allowed, it is imperative to enhance the positive implications for the Indian Legal system which suffers from a large number of pending cases.

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For decades, there has been a lot of debate and ambiguity on whether foreign lawyers can fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) to India to counsel the clients. With India evolving as a hot destination for multinational companies for making the investment and the increasing corporate disputes, the foreign law firms are eyeing to enter the legal market. Codification of the law on this subject is essential. Under Section 7(1) of the Advocates Act, 1961, the Bar Council of India (BCI) recognizes foreign law degrees on a reciprocal basis, and legal academics can teach and engage in legal research without any bar. However, foreign nationals are prohibited from “practising law” in India as per the Act.

Foreign lawyers and Indians practising law abroad came together in November 2012 to raise a fresh plea to permit foreign lawyers to practice in India. They demanded appropriate amendments in the Advocates Act to enable foreign lawyers to practice in India and set up law firms in India.

Retired Cheif Justice of Indian JS Khehar on Foreign Lawyers

Chief Justice of India JS Khehar on Saturday supported the entry of foreign lawyers into the Indian legal sector, saying it will improve the overall judicial system, Speaking at a seminar in Delhi, the CJI said Indian lawyers should have no apprehensions that foreign lawyers will take away their business. Currently, the Advocates Act, 1961, does not permit foreign lawyers to practice law in India.

“I feel the international exchange of lawyers will improve the system,” Chief Justice Khehar said while inaugurating an All India Seminar of the International Law Association. “If anybody thinks foreign lawyers will come to India and snatch our professional positions and substitute us, it’s not correct. Indian lawyers are no less than those across the world.”

Allowing Foreign Lawyers to Practice in Indian can have many implications. If the entry is allowed, it is imperative to enhance the positive implications for the Indian Legal system which suffers from a large number of pending cases.

Have a Legal Issue?

Get connected to the Best Lawyers and Chartered Accountants Near You!


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