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Lighting the Way / Issue 73

Legally India newsletter
Legally India newsletter

Diwali is usually a quieter time in India, as lawyers spend time at home with their families basking in the warm glow of candles and rainbow fairy lights.

Not so for the Veerappa Moily, apparently, whose ministry unveiled an ambitious proposal that could signal the end of an era of Bar Council of India (BCI) dominance (or irrelevance as some might say).

The draft Bill aims to establish the Legal Services Board, which will create a legal services watchdog that will supervise many functions of the BCI. Interestingly, unlike the Advocates Act, it would apply not just to advocates but also to “legal professionals”, which would include accountants, consultants and perhaps even foreign lawyers travelling to India on business.

On a different note, India post-Diwali was infected by Obamania, as the POTUS made his three-day visit with an entourage of 200. However, unlike during the UK prime minister’s visit earlier this year, legal market liberalisation was deliberately dropped from Obama’s agenda despite two US law firm partners having followed Air Force One to India.

The past two weeks were also a time for friendship and sharing as Desai & Diwanji referred an £18.4m cross-border M&A deal to UK international firm BLP, and start-up Phoenix Legal capitalised on an old referral client from Proskauer Rose and together with Tatva Legal and Travers Smith arranged the sale of a $92m Indian airline caterer Skygourmet.

Self-styled “lawyers’ lawyer” boutique start-up Finsec Law Advisors meanwhile has scored an assist role alongside JSA and Naik Paranjpe on the latest chapter of the financial securities litigation saga of MCX-SX vs SEBI.

Diwali also appears to have slowed down the bar exam court cases so much that litigants have now run out of options and steam. And despite the deadline for registrations yet again having been extended until Monday (15 November), it is now fair to call the situation and how we arrived here a fine mess, as Legally India’s analysis of the history reveals. Although the mess might yet prove to be salvagable.

The young Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) caused waves over the holidays as it forged an alliance with Yale and two other US colleges with more to follow. Institution building is never a quick process but JGLS seems to be laying the right brick work.

In time for Diwali cricket season also kicked off in Delhi with AZB, Dua, Luthra and Titus rekindling old rivalries on the field of the TURF and SILF T20 Cup.

And finally, in this week’s opinion Sanjay Bhatia argues against darkness and for the introduction of a US-styled anti-corruption law in India.

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Diwali is usually a quieter time in India, as lawyers spend time at home with their families basking in the warm glow of candles and rainbow fairy lights.

Not so for the Veerappa Moily, apparently, whose ministry unveiled an ambitious proposal that could signal the end of an era of Bar Council of India (BCI) dominance (or irrelevance as some might say).

The draft Bill aims to establish the Legal Services Board, which will create a legal services watchdog that will supervise many functions of the BCI. Interestingly, unlike the Advocates Act, it would apply not just to advocates but also to “legal professionals”, which would include accountants, consultants and perhaps even foreign lawyers travelling to India on business.

On a different note, India post-Diwali was infected by Obamania, as the POTUS made his three-day visit with an entourage of 200. However, unlike during the UK prime minister’s visit earlier this year, legal market liberalisation was deliberately dropped from Obama’s agenda despite two US law firm partners having followed Air Force One to India.

The past two weeks were also a time for friendship and sharing as Desai & Diwanji referred an £18.4m cross-border M&A deal to UK international firm BLP, and start-up Phoenix Legal capitalised on an old referral client from Proskauer Rose and together with Tatva Legal and Travers Smith arranged the sale of a $92m Indian airline caterer Skygourmet.

Self-styled “lawyers’ lawyer” boutique start-up Finsec Law Advisors meanwhile has scored an assist role alongside JSA and Naik Paranjpe on the latest chapter of the financial securities litigation saga of MCX-SX vs SEBI.

Diwali also appears to have slowed down the bar exam court cases so much that litigants have now run out of options and steam. And despite the deadline for registrations yet again having been extended until Monday (15 November), it is now fair to call the situation and how we arrived here a fine mess, as Legally India’s analysis of the history reveals. Although the mess might yet prove to be salvagable.

The young Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) caused waves over the holidays as it forged an alliance with Yale and two other US colleges with more to follow. Institution building is never a quick process but JGLS seems to be laying the right brick work.

In time for Diwali cricket season also kicked off in Delhi with AZB, Dua, Luthra and Titus rekindling old rivalries on the field of the TURF and SILF T20 Cup.

And finally, in this week’s opinion Sanjay Bhatia argues against darkness and for the introduction of a US-styled anti-corruption law in India.

 

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