Sunday, June 13, 2010

Develop Capacity Before Foreign Law Firms Are Allowed In India

Kunal Koel

Entry of foreign law firms in India is a moot question before the Indian government. There is no doubt about the proposition that entry of foreign law firms in India depends upon a reciprocal arrangement and similar treatment for lawyers of all those countries who claim such entry of law firms in India.

Although the matter is sub-judice before Madras High Court yet the outcome would not make much difference till the same is finally settled by the Supreme Court of India. Particular important are the obligations under the WTO regarding opening of service sector of India for foreign players. This includes legal profession as well but the government is treading very cautiously.

What is most important for the Bar Council of India (BCI) to understand is that it must immediately start capacity building measures for the legal fraternity of India. There is an emergent need to rejuvenate the skills of Indian lawyers as very soon there would be no difference between a national practice and international practice.