•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences

Mooting change / Issue 24

This week a cyclone was forecast to ravage Mumbai. Government offices closed at 3pm, slums were evacuated and several law firms shut their doors and sent staff home as a precaution.

However, the cyclone fizzled out and Khaitan & Co managed to go ahead with its new Mumbai office housewarming party, the paint barely dry on the walls.

In Delhi meanwhile, an overheating lamp caused a small fire in Phoenix Legal's office. Just like in Mumbai's supposed cyclone, fortunately no one was hurt and the tiny inferno was brought quickly under control by firefighting lawyers.

But not just forces of nature caused excitement this week.

The Lawyer magazine first reported on Monday that Amarchand Mangaldas Delhi has hired a non Indian-qualified competition law expert from Ireland.

Several law firms have reason to be happy (no, the Advocates Act's restriction on foreign lawyers practising has not been repealed).

Judging from conversations in recent months and a call from a managing partner in response to the news story, a few others have also toyed with the idea of hiring international lawyers on a non-law-practising basis.

Certain skillsets, so the firms argue, can be hard to find in Indian-qualified lawyers.

Experience in day-to-day dealings with a fully-fledged competition authority, for example, are hard to come by in India; the Competition Commission of India (CCI) is still in its infancy and severely understaffed, according to a newspaper report this week.

And as a bonus, an EU competition lawyer in India might even be able to comply with the letter of the Advocates Act and not technically practise any law. After all, a large part of competition law is economic analysis of markets and the new recruit will be able to guide local lawyers on how the EU commission has approached things.

Then again, the definition of what exactly counts as the "practice of law" has never been an easy one but since Amarchand is happy to lead the way it may become a moot point.

Practice of law in India is not a moot point for Clifford Chance, which has now entered the Supreme Court in its long-running tax dispute and will have to show how much legal work it has done in India on four projects it billed for more than 10 years ago.

Another firm too is spreading its wings, albeit domestically - SN Gupta has set up a corporate practice in Mumbai and is looking to start a litigation arm in a new office.

In the legal political sphere, a second law firm partner has entered the race for the Mahrashtra & Goa state Bar Council elections. It appears ALMT's Hitesh Jain was not put off by law firm voter apathy displayed in last week's poll.

Talking of moot points, we have launched a league table of law school mooting results, as NUJS Kolkata won the NLU Delhi All India Corporate Law Moot.

We will keep refining this throughout the season so that by the end of the academic year, one law school will prevail and claim the title of Top Mooting Law School.

Law students are also very active on the conference circuit, organising events left-right-and-centre. Read our feature for more and let us know about your future non-commercial conferences.

And finally, this week's legal opinion addresses how the Securitisation Act (SARFAESI) will continue being incomplete without an effective central registry.

No comments yet: share your views