Foreign lawyers, firms can operate in India: BCI

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Source: The post is based on the article “Foreign lawyers, firms can operate in India: BCIpublished in The Hindu on 16th March 2023

What is the News?

The Bar Council of India(BCI) has opened up a law practice in India to foreign lawyers and law firms.

What is the Bar Council of India(BCI)?

The Bar Council of India is a statutory body established under section 4 of the Advocates Act 1961.

It regulates legal practice and legal education in India. 

Its members are elected from amongst the lawyers in India and as such represents the Indian bar. 

It prescribes standards of professional conduct, etiquette and exercises disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar. 

It also sets standards for legal education and grants recognition to universities whose degrees in law will serve as a qualification for students to enrol themselves as advocates upon graduation.

What has the BCI decided about Foreign Lawyers?

BCI has notified the Rules for Registration and Regulation of Foreign Lawyers and Foreign Law Firms in India, 2022.

The rules allow foreign lawyers and law firms to register with BCI to practice in India if they are entitled to practice law in their home countries.

The foreign lawyers will be allowed to practice transactional work /corporate work such as joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property matters, drafting of contracts and other related matters on a reciprocal basis.

However, foreign lawyers cannot practice Indian law in any form or before any court of law, tribunal, board, or any other authority legally entitled to record evidence on oath.

What is the significance of these rules?

These rules will help attract foreign direct investment and make India a hub of international commercial arbitration. 

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