Entry of Foreign Law Firms in India

  1. Hon’ble Law Secretary Mr Suresh Chandra convened the meeting to discuss Draft Rules of the Bar Council of India with regard to the above subject with few invited stakeholders

On 5th July, 2016, Hon’ble Law Secretary Mr Suresh Chandra convened the meeting to discuss Draft Rules of the Bar Council of India with regard to the above subject with few invited stakeholders. INBA was represented by its Chairman of General Counsel Section Mr. S. Ramaswamy. Other participants included SILF, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, ICCA, Bar Council of India and representatives from the Ministry of Commerce, Finance and Home Affairs.

INBA submitted its initial written suggestions to the Law Secretary. INBA through Mr. S. Ramaswamy submitted at the meeting that while generally there is agreement in disagreement to the entry of Foreign law firms in India, there is a need to review nuances in the Draft rules relating to high registration fees, procedure, Advertisement, Corporation of Law firms, Level Playing field vis a vis Indian Firms etc. Also Mr. S Ramaswamy added legal process outsourcing should be treated under FDI rules not under BCI Rules. It was further submitted that General Counsels also should be part of the Larger Stakeholders pool which found resonance with ICCA also seconding it. Hon’ble Law Secretary agreed to the view that larger base of stakeholders should be invited for their views in the next meeting where all are required to submit their representations. Likely period of next Meeting could be on or before August 15, 2016. Hon’ble Law Secretary stressed on the point that the process must be expedited to finalise rules which will allow the entry of foreign law firms in India to practice Foreign Law with a level Playing field for Indian Lawyers and Law Firms based on reciprocity.

The Law Secretary desired that INBA should make a proper presentation of its recommendations in the next meeting which was agreed to.

INBA has therefore circulated email to all its members seeking comments on draft rules. After receiving the comments from its members, INBA will collate the same and shall be giving the presentation to Law Ministry in the next meeting.

Report Submitted on draft BCI rules for registration & regulation of foreign lawyers in India, 2016