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liberalisation

16 October 2014

lshf5damSupreme Court advocate, Lok Sabha member and BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi, speaking at a legal conference yesterday, said that she would ‘extend protection’ for Indian lawyers against the entry of foreign law firms to India.

29 April 2014

Foreign lawyers should be allowed to work on arbitrations in India to make domestic arbitration more attractive and to unburden the courts said Supreme Court justices SS Nijjar and PC Ghose and retired judge AK Ganguly, reported Kolkata paper The Telegraph.

Nijjar said at the seminar by the Indian Council of Arbitration that “we need to open up. Let’s come up with a comprehensive act (and become) an arbitration-friendly nation and judiciary”, adding that the process must be liberalised and foreign lawyers should be allowed to participate.

Ganguly added “It is natural that foreign companies will depend on foreign lawyers. If we want the arbitration process to become popular in India, we need to provide a level playing field to foreign lawyers. This will improve the legal system in India.”

Foreign lawyers are currently banned from practising in Indian courts or running offices here.

26 March 2014

Top speed: GlacialTwenty months after the Supreme Court (SC) had given 10 weeks to complete serving notices on foreign law firms, the Bar Council of India (BCI) appeal against foreign law firms practicing in India, remains stuck at the service stage.

05 March 2014

RaGa: Not a lawyerWith Lok Sabha elections now scheduled to start on 7 April it is fair to ask: what has the current government done for India's legal profession? And can any of the others do better?

19 July 2013

SalveThe senior advocate, who will join top English barristers’ set Blackstone Chambers, argued forcefully for liberalisation of the Indian legal market.

25 April 2013

NewsletterEverything you need to know.

21 March 2013

Senior counsel Anil Divan wants practical position paper on liberalisation from government.

28 February 2013

Liberalisation: Stop or go?Legal services in India grew by an average of 8.2 per cent each year between 2005 and 2012, according to the 2012-13 economic survey that was prepared by the finance ministry. It also noted that “liaison offices” by foreign law firms were permitted under Indian law and recommended “exploring” greater access for foreign law firms, which would “improve the competitiveness of the Indian market”.

20 February 2013

The American Bar Association (ABA) has ruled that foreign qualified lawyers may work as in-house lawyers in all 50 US states with limited authority.

In India in-house lawyers have to surrender state bar council registrations, meaning they can effectively work without oversight of the legal regulator. Some foreign-qualified lawyers therefore also work within companies' legal teams in India, although non-Indian lawyers are not permitted to practice in law firms or courts.

Until the ABA’s vote last week, foreign lawyers were barred from practising in-house in all but seven states. Although that rule has now been lifted, foreign qualified in-house lawyers will not be allowed to advise on US law without consulting an authorised US attorney.

The rule change was affected by Resolution 107A and 107B, two among several other resolutions passed by the ABA’s 560-member house of delegates in its mid-year meeting.

The new policy was motivated by the growing presence of multinational companies in the US, which, the ABA stressed, already had foreign lawyers practicing in the US albeit with little oversight. Authorising their registration will help to regulate them better, reasoned the body. [Law Gazette UK/Bizjournals]

Opponents argued that the resolution could pave the way for legal malpractice. Yale law school lecturer and former ABA standing committee chair Larry Fox said:

Foreign lawyers, for example, could file tax returns improperly, mishandle contracts and misunderstand domestic regulations.

Even the lawyers who have a good education engage in malpractice every day. Why should we add to the malpractice by adding to our profession people who by definition don't have an education in these matters? [Reuters]

19 February 2013

Ten foreign law firms will now be allowed to practice local law in Singapore, after the country’s law ministry approved four new Qualified Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences out of 23 total applicants.

11 December 2012

London-headquartered firm Clifford Chance has entered into a Formal Law Alliance (FLA) in Singapore with newly-founded litigation boutique Cavenagh Law, under the Singapore government's new structure for international firms to operate in Singapore and offer local law advice.

The boutique firm was set up by three lawyers from Singaporean law firm Wong Partnership and will be able to share up to 33 per cent of its profits with its international alliance firm with the recently expanded FLA structure. [The Lawyer]

Clifford Chance was previously in a joint law venture (JLV) alliance with WongPartnership in Singapore for six years and in a best friendship with AZB & Partners in India until early 2011.

03 October 2012

Trilegal Anand Prasad Exclusive: Trilegal, which is claimed to have been growing at 25 per cent per year, has converted into nearly a full equity partnership, created an elected management committee and a democratic model where the founding partners could theoretically be ousted by an equity partnership vote.

Legally India was candidly walked through the changes and examines the back story to the end of its best friendship with Allen & Overy (A&O), the grief lawyers can cause, one-way referrals and the inevitability of associate attrition when a firm has to run fast without godfathers.

27 September 2012

BrayneBreaking: Law firms Allen & Overy and Trilegal have ended their five-year best friend relationship, according to a press release from both firms.

10 July 2012

imageHave you missed the Legally India newsletter? Good, we’re happy we’re back too.

For those who’ve not had time to follow what has happened in the industry for the past few months, please take out five minutes and peruse Legally India’s crisp summary and analysis of everything you need to know or may have missed in the Indian legal market.

09 July 2012

Bhasin_Company-Lalit-Bhasin Contrary to the approach taken by the Bar Council of India (BCI), foreign lawyers should be allowed to fly into India temporarily to advise clients and assist in arbitrations, decided the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) in its general board meeting on Saturday, while noting that chartered accountants have been flouting the rules.

06 July 2012

COTW: Witty, pretty and fineAgain this week, LI’s readers got to excavating the bizarre, fecund and true layers beneath LI stories. Here’s the best of the best.