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liberalisation

05 July 2012

Reports of foreign law firms' death greatly exaggeratedContrary to media reports, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the Madras high court judgment on foreign law firms, expressly permitting the “fly-in-fly-out” of foreign lawyers, while reiterating the law laid down in the Bombay high court’s Lawyers Collective judgment preventing foreign lawyers from opening up offices in India.

04 July 2012

Round 2 Breaking: The Supreme Court has given 10 weeks to serve 31 foreign law firms and the respondents in the apex court appeal against the AK Balaji Madras writ petition, with the Bar Council of India (BCI) arguing that the law should prohibit foreign lawyers from even temporarily travelling to India to advise clients.

29 June 2012

allen-overy-Jonathan-Brayne Aiming to rekindle a “constructive debate” on the liberalisation of the Indian legal sector, UK headquartered magic circle firm Allen & Overy (A&O) has started a public relations (PR) offensive with an independent survey that confirmed overwhelming support for the entry of foreign law firms among Indian corporate lawyers and clients.

01 April 2012

BCI gives green lightExclusive [but not true]: The Bar Council of India (BCI) passed a resolution late yesterday to allow English and Singaporean lawyers to practice in district and lower courts, paving the way for an eventual staged entry of foreign law firms into India.

24 February 2012

1960s Advocates Act: Kaputt? The ruling in the Chennai writ petition was hailed as pragmatic for solving the nearly two-year-old deadlock foreign firms were in. But frankly it is likely to continue exposing the deficiencies of the 1961 Advocates Act in dealing with modern-day India. And it could possibly  plunge a number of industries into a world of pain via the Bar Council of India (BCI).

21 February 2012

The Chennai High Court has cleared foreign lawyers from flying in and out of India to advise on foreign law, as well as the operations of legal process outsourcing (LPO) outfits, although it added that foreign lawyers would not be allowed to practice domestic law unless they registered with the Bar Council of India (BCI).

02 February 2012

Foreign firm crossing: Stop and Go The Madras High Court reserved its judgement yesterday and has begun deliberating on the fate of 31 international law firms and legal process outsourcing (LPO) outfit Integreon, and whether they face a ban of flying into India, after counsel for all sides concluded arguments.

27 January 2012

Uncertainty still prevails over whether overseas lawyers can fly into India to advise on foreign law, concluded an animated panel-discussion at the first American Bar Association (ABA) conference in India held last week at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai.

23 December 2011

image Legally India’s last Mint column in 2011 gives its verdict on some of the past year’s biggest stories related to corporate law firms, with an unashamed slant bias towards UK-Indo relations. Click here to read more.

17 November 2011

Cross-ex recipe: Legally India bumped into senior counsel and BJP parliamentarian Ram Jethmalani on 5 November, relaxing on a grassy lawn of Goa’s Grand Hyatt hotel on the fringes of Tehelka’s Thinkfest, where he was a speaker.

We asked the undisputed champion of cross-examination for a master class in the subject, covering Oscar Wilde, the Bible and being a hermit in preparation. We also wondered whether politicians cared about legal sector liberalisation at all.

20 October 2011

imageLegally India editor Kian Ganz will now blog regularly in The Lawyer magazine’s new blogs section about the Indian legal landscape. Here is the first post.

By far the personal question that I get asked the most by lawyers in India and abroad is: “Why India?” You might want to ask A&O, CC, Links or Freshfields or the rest of the pack the same question.

03 October 2011

Legally India newsletterLast week British lawyers made a push for India again with Lord Chancellor and justice secretary Ken Clarke turning up with entourage and rekindling the liberalisation talks that had become a little tepid of late. But are they following the right strategy?

28 September 2011

imageExclusive interview: Following a high-powered UK delegation’s meeting with the Indian law minister and the Bar Council of India (BCI), ex-Allen & Overy (A&O) partner and current Law Society of England & Wales president John Wotton says he is optimistic about the progress of Indian legal market liberalisation.

He is not the first foreign lawyer to have felt that way.

27 September 2011

Yesterday’s closed-door afternoon meeting between UK justice secretary Kenneth Clarke, Indian law minister Salman Kursheed and Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Ashok Parija stopped short of reaching an agreement on the entry of foreign law firms but the countries would trial cooperation on the legal education front for the next six months.

19 September 2011

Legally India newsletterIn the seemingly never ending story of Indian legal market liberalisation a new player has entered the field.

14 September 2011

image Kenneth Clarke, the UK’s Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor who will visit India in the coming weeks, said at a speech today that it was in the interests of Indian business to open up the legal sector to foreign law firms or suffer because of “restricted domestic legal provision”.

10 August 2011

dead-end-sign_by_Andrew-Mason The Bar Council of India’s (BCI) counter-affidavit filed in the AK Balaji Chennai case against 31 foreign law firms said that the BCI has decided not to relax the restrictions prohibiting foreign lawyers from practising and that the issue raised by the writ was “no longer res integra” because it had been settled in the 2009 Lawyers Collective case.

Legally India understands that the BCI’s thinking is that internal disparities at the Indian bar need to be eradicated through reform before making any decision on foreign firms.

08 March 2011

The writ petition against 31 foreign law firms in Chennai has been adjourned to 19 April following the Bar Council of India (BCI) having failed to hold a meeting to discuss the legal position of foreign lawyers.

31 January 2011

Law Minister-Veerappa Moily Law minister Veerappa Moily admitted that the entry of foreign firms could be good for business if local lawyers were allowed to build capacity before an “onslaught from the rest of the world” and that he had seen 80 national law school graduates prosper at London firms, in a revealing interview with the Mint paper today, adding that the door was still open to transfer the Chennai writ petition against foreign firms to the Supreme Court.

Arguing that legal education should be taken away from the BCI, he denied that the Bar Council of India (BCI) should feel threatened by the Legal Practitioner’s Bill.