Friday, 20 April, 2018


SC asks Bar Council for its stand on lawmakers practising as lawyers

SC asks Bar Council for its stand on lawmakers practising as lawyers SC asks Bar Council for its stand on lawmakers practising as lawyers
Bennie Garza | 13 March, 2018, 19:31

However, there is no limitation for them to visit India for a temporary period on a "fly-in and fly-out" basis for giving legal advice to their clients in India relating to the law which is applicable to their country. The top court upheld the judgements by the Madras High Court in 2012 and the Bombay High Court in 2009 that foreign lawyers may only offer advice on foreign laws on a "fly-in-fly-out" basis.

However, the bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said that foreign lawyers could come to the country and participate in global commercial arbitration. The ball has now been passed to the government's court in order to consider appropriate legislation in connection with allowing foreign lawyers to come into India.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) too had issued notice to MPs, MLAs and MLCs who continue to practice law, following Upadhyay's submission that since the MPs, MLAs etc. are being paid salary by the government, they can not be allowed to practice, as per the Advocates Act and BCI Rules. It has maintained that although, it is not averse to the idea of practice of law by foreign lawyers and firms, it should be based on reciprocity and regulated by the Advocates Act.

Ajay Shaw, partner, DSK Legal, said: "This judgment will not have any bearing on Indian law firms at this stage".

Earlier, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh had told the court that the Centre supports the entry of foreign firms in the Indian legal sector. Last year's amendment was made by the commerce ministry, while whether to allow a foreign law firm in India is a purview of ministry of law and justice, said industry experts at the time.

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