Entrance Of Foreign Law Firms And Lawyers To Practice In India


People used to live in tight-knit communities back in antiquity. Although there were no experts to deal with such cases, people typically went to the King to seek justice and redress for their concerns. The King of the separate kingdoms addressed such situations and administered justice to his subjects based on the opinion of the council of ministers. Also, the King’s court conducted an investigation into the situation and dispensed justice as they saw fit.

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Foreign law firm

For a brief period, the Mughals ruled over mediaeval India, but despite new advancements, the legal profession was not particularly active at this time. Yet, it was allowed for both sides to choose their vakils.

While the British Raj was in power in India, the Model Law System was developed. The charter of 1661 contained a description of English law. Before to 1726, the East India Company, not the British throne, had control over the courts.

The Indian government established committees and acts in the post-independence era to control the legal profession there.

1)The following are the organisations that regulate attorneys and law companies in India

1951 All India Bar Committee

Judge S.R. Das served as the All India Bar Committee’s chairman when it was created in 1951. In its report, the committee recommended that state bar councils and the All India Bar Council be constituted. It was urged that the common function of advocates be maintained and that they be permitted to practise in all courts throughout the nation. Also, it was suggested that no additional mukhtars or non-graduated pleaders should be hired.

1961’s Advocate Act

because of the “All India Bar Committee Act, 1961” findings. The Advocate Act of 1961 was passed by the Central Government.

2)The Indian Bar’s registration requirements for attorneys are as follows

The applicant must be an Indian citizen and a law graduate.

The person must be at least 21 years old.

To be admitted as a “lawyer” under the India bar, a person must hold a law degree from a university that is accredited by the Bar Council of India or have obtained a foreign degree that husing as been duly recognised by the Bar Council of India.

-In India, a foreign law degree to practise law requires several rounds of legal speculating to ensure its authenticity and legality.

Analysis Of New Rules

In a limited capacity and on a reciprocity basis, the Bar Council of India (BCI), the nation’s top disciplinary and regulating authority for legal education and profession, has finally permitted international law firms and attorneys to practise in India. For years, the BCI had fought against the admission of foreign law firms and attorneys. To ease the registration and practise of foreign lawyers in India, the Bar Council of India (BCI) published the Bar Council of India Rules For Registration and Regulation of Foreign Lawyers and Foreign Law Firms in India, 2022, on March 10.

This occurs five years after the Supreme Court approved the temporary entry of foreign law firms and attorneys but deferred to the BCI to develop the necessary regulations. The BCI has crafted the restrictions so as not to jeopardise the chances of Indian lawyers, from limiting international lawyers and firms to acting only as advisors to their clients in India to making registration renewal obligatory every five years. It’s time to make a decision regarding the matter.

It’s time to make a decision regarding this. According to the BCI notification on the rules, “BCI is of the view that opening up law practise in India to foreign lawyers in the field of practise of foreign law; diverse international legal issues in non-litigious matters and in international arbitration cases would go a long way in helping the legal profession/domain grow in India to the benefit of lawyers in India as well.” The BCI resolved to implement these regulations, it continued, “Taking an all-inclusive view, the BCI resolves to enable foreign lawyers and foreign law firms to practise foreign law and diverse international law and international arbitration matters in India on the principle of reciprocity in a well-defined, regulated and controlled manner.”

Subject to registration, foreign attorneys and law firms will only be permitted to engage in non-litigious work, and even then, only in an advising capacity. With regard to instances involving international arbitration, exceptions are made.

According to the rules, such attorneys and firms are not permitted to appear before tribunals or other judicial or regulatory bodies. They would be allowed to practise transactional work/corporate work such as joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property matters, contract drafting, and other related matters on a reciprocal basis, but they would only be allowed to provide advice regarding the law of the country in which they received their primary qualification.

The guidelines are clear that such attorneys are not permitted to work on anything related to property-related issues.

Expectations of the new rules

The guidelines are clear that such attorneys are not permitted to work on anything related to property-related issues

In a media interview, Lalit Bhasin, the president of the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF), said that the organisation is open to welcoming foreign law firms into the Indian market, but that this should happen gradually. Out of the four phases, the Indian businesses should be permitted to own websites and brochures during the first phase. Foreign firms should be permitted to advise their Indian clients on foreign laws during the second phase. They should be permitted to provide one another guidance during the third phase. With a few exceptions, they should be permitted to practise domestic laws throughout the final and fourth phase.

Bhasin emphasised, however, that foreign law firms should be kept out of important industries like defence, using Singapore as an example. Foreign law firms have already begun hiring recent graduates from domestic law schools. They provide them with financial benefits that are significantly greater than what Indian law companies typically give. The plain message from them is that if you won’t allow us to work in your nation, we’ll take your best legal grads and camp them in ours while paying you in pounds, dollars, or anything else.

The Indian legal business will undoubtedly be impacted by this trend, but on a good side, if law firms do enter India, they will bring with them more professionalism and a western work ethic, as well as aid freshmen in getting exposure to a global market. The majority of Indian legal companies will probably have the choice to work in tandem with multinational firms or may eventually merge with the Indian sections of foreign law firms. They wouldn’t be able to go on their own. Reforms to the legal and judicial systems would also result from it.

The government seems to have lost some strength after fighting against permitting international law firms to build offices in India for so many years. India is emerging as a flourishing market in this region and has a wealth of potential to host future lawyers as 20% of the world’s lawyers are Indians.

The development of legal services and enterprises in Local Indian lawyers have typically catered to such segments of the Indian market, but foreign firms do not want to do so. They have no interest in this area and would rather concentrate on counselling both internal and outward investors in the global business community.

The English lawyers are permitted to provide legal advice in accordance with English legislation. English attorneys are permitted to partner with Indian attorneys in India and hire them.

Threat of lawsuits and other regulatory barriers, such as taxation, fierce competition from local firms, competition from other foreign firms already in the market, continued global buy-in from partnerships, and upholding international quality standards are major obstacles for foreign law firms if they establish themselves in India.


Foreign businesses and lawyers entering India would enhance competition. Indian businesses must also make an effort to offer the finest price and service. Using the software industry as an example, India is the premier developing nation in the globe, making it the finest place for international investors to place their money.

In my opinion, it is extremely positive that the entry of foreign law firms into our country will not only help our foreign reserves and, eventually, GDP, but also lead to a boom in employment for recent law graduates who are just entering the legal profession, with better coverage and a high pay package, it will also boost the internship opportunity.

Everything comes with its own set of boon and bane so does these new rules

Author: : Komalpreet Kaur, A Student at Hidayatullah National Law University, in case of any queries please contact/write back to us via email to chhavi@khuranaandkhurana.com or at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorney.







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