Igniting a major transformation in Indian legal scenario, the Central government has finally declared its move to open up India's non- litigious services and international arbitration legal services to foreign law firm. This will be completed in a phased manner after the proposal for the reform is put up for approval of the committee of Secretaries and then will be sent for cabinet approval.
Commerce Secretary, Rajeev Kher Speaking to The Hindu, told that “The Bar Council of India, which regulates the legal fraternity, and the Society of Indian Law Firms, which represents the interests of large law firms, have, in principle, agreed to the proposal”. Supreme Court and the Union Ministry had sought Bar Council of India to give its view regarding permitting foreign lawyers to practice in India, to which BCI had expressed it discontent.
BCI had maintained that, there is no problem about foreign law firms entering India, if reciprocal arrangements were made with their home countries. But in the latest affidavit BCI expressed it opinion through its Member, S. Prabhakaran, reversing its stand by making it clear that to practice the profession of law in India, a foreign law firm has to fulfill the qualification of being enrolled as advocates under the Advocates Act, 1961. It also observed that allowing foreign law firms even on reciprocal basis would be detrimental to Indian lawyers.