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Blog: Singhania, FoxMandal NRI London partners bag Nat'l Law Day Award

Are you still an Indian advocate if you are abroad? For the purposes of India's National Law Day Awards this year, yes: Singhania & Co London office managing partner Vijay Goel and FoxMandal London partner Ajit Mishra have won the prize, alongside Amarchand Mangaldas Delhi managing partner Shardul Shroff.


Goel (pictured top) and Mishra (pictured right) are both Non Resident Indians (NRI) although they have retained their Indian citizenship. And probably for good reason, judging by our currently raging forum discussion on whether you need to be an Indian citizen to become an Indian advocate.

Singhania's Goel told Legally India that he was very happy and said that the award was bestowed partly because of his contribution to commercial law and business between India and Europe, particularly in setting up the Indo-EU Business Forum in 2007.

Goel is the managing partner of Singhania's London office of a total of two partners and 15 fee-earners.

Goel said: "As Singhania & Co, if you see our case yesterday, we were the first Indian law firm to come to London in 1990.

"My point is that when we as an Indian lawyer we can practice in the UK and have an office in the US too, why an English lawyer should not be allowed to practice in India?"

In London, Singhania mostly practises Indian law but also handles some domestic law.

The firm also has an office of one partner in New York and several offices across India with around 140 lawyers.

Other recipients of the 2009 award were the chief minister of Haryana B S Hooda, Singh Hooda, Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, senior advocate KV Vishwanathan and criminal advocate Ramesh Gupta.

The selection is made by the Indian Council of Jurists, which is an organisation that aims to promote, recognise and improve the legal profession in India.

The prize was awarded by the President of India Smt. Pratibha Devi Singh Patil at a Delhi ceremony on 21 and 22 November, which was attended in part by India's Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Law Minister Veerappa Moily and Singapore's Chief Justice.

Previous recipients of the award include Luthra & Luthra founder Rajiv Luthra in 2008 and India's former Chief Justice AS Anand, Bar Council of India chairman Gopakumar Nair, Titus & Co managing partner Diljeet Titus and Society of Indian Law Firms president Lalit Bhasin in 2007.

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