The Bar Council of India issued a press release clarifying upon the misgivings regarding the misgivings in the recent gazette notification allowing the foreign lawyer and law firms entry in India and said that the entry is limited to allowing such firms and lawyers to advice on foreign/international laws and the advice can only be rendered to foreign clients. Further they cannot appear in any court, tribunal, board, or regulatory authority that can take evidence on oath.
Foreign lawyers will be allowed to practise only in non-litigation areas and their entry into India will be on a reciprocal basis.
The press release further stated that the foreign lawyers would only be allowed to appear for their clients in International Commercial Arbitration. The bar body also assured that it is dedicated to defending the interests and well-being of lawyers in the country and that the implementation of the new regulations will not have any effect on Indian lawyers as the entries would be on reciprocal basis and only lawyers of those countries would be permitted in India, where Indian lawyers are also permitted to practise. All this will subsequently lead to promoting India as hub for International Commercial Arbitration.
“Experience and facts show that MNCs and foreign commercial entities, in case of International Commercial Arbitration, don’t prefer India as a venue of Arbitration Proceedings, because they are not allowed to bring lawyers and law firms from their own countries to advise them in International Commercial Arbitration Proceedings, thus, making them to prefer London, Singapore, Paris etc. as the venue for Arbitration Proceedings. BCI’s rules will, now, encourage India being preferred as a venue for such International Arbitration Proceedings, thus, helping India become a hub of International Commercial Arbitration,” the press release stated.