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20 law firm lawyers to go on BCI secondments

Exclusive: The Bar Council of India (BCI) is to take 20 lawyers on secondment from law firms to help it regulate transactional law practice better, said BCI chairman Gopal Subramanium and Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) chairman Lalit Bhasin on Friday.

Bhasin and Subramanium told Legally India that 20 lawyers from SILF member firms would in future be seconded, probably on a full-time basis to the BCI offices.

Subramanium said that reforms for the law firm side of the profession were necessary, during a SILF event to felicitate AZB & Partners co-founding partner Zia Mody’s career achievements.

“We don’t even seem to have a proper page of ethics and guidelines which can work in all situations,” said Subramanium in his speech, adding that there were no separate rules for law firms and advocates.

“With SILF taking up the initiative I think it’s perfectly doable and perfectly necessary and that’s why the first thing which we did is to have the new draft code of ethics which is in simple English, defining conflicts of interest, defining what should be the role models which a lawyer must look forward and through the BCI website to have consultations with different members of the community.”

Subramanium said: “We have reached the end of this and we have a fairly good modern code of ethics, which we will hopefully bring into operations within a months’ time.”

Bhasin commented that there were no specific rules for law firms: “They are going to draw up the rules and regulations for the conducts of lawyers and specifically also that would for the first time include the law firms.”

Bhasin said that the 20 secondees at a time would probably be lawyers at different levels of SILF member firms: “This is approved in principle but how it will be implemented will be worked out - we have to work it out and we are going to have a SILF meeting first.”

In early March the BCI had published its draft code of ethics.

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