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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 29 March, 2023

  • 3 Min Read

BCI Allows Foreign Lawyers to Practice in India

In Context of

  • The Bar Council of India (BCI) recently approved the practise of foreign lawyers and law firms in India.

  • While they can advise clients on International Law and work on corporate transactions, it is done with an exception allowing them to appear in court.

About BCI Decision

  • Rules for Registration and Regulation of Foreign Attorneys and Foreign Law Firms in India, 2022, were recently announced by the Bar Council of India (BCI), allowing foreign lawyers and law firms to practise in India.
  • However, it prohibited them from testifying in front of courts, tribunals, or other statutory or regulatory bodies.
  • BCI has been against permitting Foreign Law Firms in India for more than ten years.
  • The BCI now claims that its action will allay worries over the flow of foreign direct investment into the nation and turn India into a centre for International Commercial Arbitration.
  • The regulations provide international law firms operating in India in a very limited capacity with legal certainty.
  • The BCI declared that it "resolves to apply these Rules to enable foreign attorneys and foreign law firms to practise different international law and international arbitration cases in Incates and by setting up funds to provide financial assistance to organise welfare programmes for them, to carry out certain representative duties. dia on the principle of reciprocity in a well-defined, regulated, and controlled way."

Significance of The Decision

  • Concerns over the amount of foreign direct investment coming into the nation will be allayed by the action.
  • As a result, India will become a centre for international commercial arbitration.
  • Foreign law firms that currently conduct very little business in India will now have legal certainty thanks to the rules.
  • Ultimately, it is anticipated that the action may alter the landscape of legal practise in the nation.
  • It is likely to open the door for future consolidation, particularly for businesses engaged in the cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process.
  • The desire of India to become more valuable and visible globally, particularly in terms of International Trade and commerce, will be greatly aided by the entry of foreign law firms.
  • This will completely change the game for mid-size businesses and also help law companies in India become more effective in managing talent, IA, technology, domain expertise in a global context, and management.

About the New Law

  • The Advocates Act states that lawyers must be registered with the Bar Council in order to practise law in India.
  • All other parties, such as a litigant, may only do so with the consent of the court, relevant body, or party to the proceeding.
  • In essence, the notification permits foreign attorneys and law companies to register with BCI in order to practise law in India if they are qualified to do so in their home countries.
  • On a reciprocal basis, they will be permitted to practise transactional work and corporate work, such as joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions, intellectual property issues, contract drafting, and other connected matters.
  • The Advocates Act of 1961 states that attorneys must be registered with the Bar Council in order to exercise law in India. All other parties, such as a litigant, may only do so with the consent of the court, relevant body, or party to the proceeding.
  • They will be permitted to engage in transactional work and corporate work (non-litigious practise) on a reciprocal basis, including joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property issues, contract drafting, and other connected matters.
  • They are not allowed to participate in or carry out any job related to title research, property conveyancing, or other tasks of a similar nature.
  • The restriction of only engaging in "Non-Litigious Practice" will also apply to Indian attorneys working with foreign law companies.

About Bar Council of India

  • A statutory organisation called the Bar Council of India was established by Parliament to oversee and defend the Indian bar.
  • The Advocates Act of 1961, which created the Bar Council of India, was passed by Parliament.
  • BCI's goal is to fulfil the regulatory role by establishing guidelines for appropriate behaviour and manners as well as by employing its disciplinary authority over the bar.
  • to establish criteria for legal education and to recognise universities that award law degrees that can be used to become an advocate.

by defending the rights, privileges, and interests of advocates and by setting up funds to provide financial assistance to organise welfare programmes for them, to carry out certain representative duties.

Source: Indian Express


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