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Friday potluck / Issue 61

Legally India newsletter
Legally India newsletter
Lawyering is beginning younger and younger these days as a number of 2010 graduates won the first court victories of their careers in a controversial high-profile case.

This does more than just highlight that national law school grads are getting their fingers into litigation work (NLIU Bhopal was the latest campus to see 18 students get snapped up by corporate and law firm recruiters), but it also shows the difficulties in eventually enforcing the bar exam and a lack of clarity in the rules surrounding the exam and "practice".

Nevertheless, surprisingly few eyebrows were raised about one of the students having been perfectly happy to state that he is allowed to practice law without passing the bar exam.

The word on the street is that on Monday the Bar Council of India (BCI) plans to proffer an explanation.

Politics around the issue will continue with the Maharashtra bar council having made its first public appearance and garnering newspaper column inches by opposing the bar exam. And while the battle lines are continuing to be drawn with a majority of local bar councils now opposing the exam, the ball may ultimately not be in their court.

Contentious practice are flourishing, also at the high-end. JSA won a historic High Court order against the stock market regulator SEBI, forcing it to take a decision on whether or not to admit JSA-client MCX Stock Exchange. For a full expert analysis of the legal underpinnings of the case read our review and watch the video of the latest episode of CNBC TV18's The Firm

Bhasin & Co secured a victory for hospital operators that underlines that they have no criminal responsibility for their negligent doctors. Following the recent outcry about the Bhopal gas tragedy verdicts, the government could count on public support in introducing corporate manslaughter laws.

But judging by the 2010 Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, holding companies to account is not at the top of the agenda in India at present, as this legal opinion exposes the lacunae and gaps that have been left by the Nuclear liability bill for nuclear power station operators.

On the transactional front ARA Law, which has been cautiously carving out a strong niche in corporate and private equity work, has now begun moving forward with its expansion plans by taking on its third partner who will focus on infrastructure.

And Amarchand and Dorsey & Whitney bagged themselves the Hindustan Copper disinvestment - although at a price. If competition for government capital markets work increases, fees will continue seeing downward pressure there. See Legally India next week for the latest chapter in this competition.

For those looking for jobs outside of India, blogger nandii reywal comes to the rescue with advice on how to succeed in that dreaded foreign law firm interview (and which buttons are best left unbuttoned).

Finally, a warm thank you to all readers of the Legally India newsletter as we welcomed reader number 5,000 this week. Please let your colleagues and friends know and keep sending us feedback, we love to hear from you.

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