Categories:India & Pakistan

CC sends ambassador to Indian ally AZB

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  • If this is not an attempt of entering India by the back door, I don't know what is!

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  • This is a blatant and flagrnat violation of the BAr Council regulations. CC is really running a massive risk by doing this and retribution may be swift by the Bar quarters.

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  • I am just curious to know if the Attorney General is mandated under law to appear for the Bar Council of India before the SC!!

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  • To anomymous at 2.41. Sorry I could not follow your question. Can ypu please explain what AG (presume still Milon Banerji) has to do with appearing before SC for Bar Council? What is BCI moving to SC for?

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  • There are no rules preventing lawyers or partners from seconding to an Indian law firm and there have been many such secondments before.
    Unless the Bar Council wants to make an example of CC and AZB, which seems unlikely, it will not interfere.
    See the article below for some more background of what Wyman will be doing, which is roughly similar to what any other UK partner visiting India does.
    http://www.legallyindia.com/index.php/Law-firms/clifford-chance-sends-senior-partner-to-live-in-india-with-azb

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  • Kian Ganz is sadly misguided on this issue. The spirit of the Bar Council regulations are being violated by this aggressive act on part of CC and AZB. If a case is made against Chris Wyman to the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council, he could face upto 6 months of imprisonment in India - wonder what that would do to the Magic Circle halo.

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  • This is tempting fate - just the kind of move that will prompt a hasty response from the Bar Council and the Law Ministry who will look to appease their constituents. Foreign firms will have to wait for the liberalisation to be rolled out rather than jumping the gun with their 'innovative' solutions to serve their objectives. This could put the entire liberalisation process at risk and harm the rest of the magic cirle. Bad move CC.

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  • To Anonymous | 8-Jun-2009 3:16 pm
    Read about the new appointment?? Read between the lines!!

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  • No - the Attorney General is not mandated under law to appear for the Bar Council of India before the SC. And, neither is he mandated to represent other interested parties or their interest . Maybe CC's ambassodorial venture has just about queered the pitch for everybody else. Perhaps good sense will prevail - what's the need to muddy the waters? Instead send AZB senior partners to CC to make introductions and ensure both sides have the right connections.

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  • The arrangement reported above certainly does not literally violate the provisions of the Advocates Act or the Bar Council Regulations. Nonetheless, if during the course of the secondment Wyman is found to practice the profession of law then he may attract action under the law. Therefore, everything would depend upon the interpretation of the term - "practice of law". However, considering the immense clout enjoyed by AZB and similar firms it is unlikely that any action would be taken.

    In fair terms, the above arrangement should not be attacked since at the least it affords an opportunity to the AZB lawyers to learn and understand the way a CC partner approaches the practice of law.

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  • I can never understand this hype about foreign firms entering India. We keep beating our chest in the world about how outsourcing is good and how we are entitled to benefit from it but when it comes to accepting the flip side of globalisation , i.e. liberalisation of banking and legal sectors we want to cry murder. Bar Council is merely trying to prevent these people from coming in because it will be the end of pan chewing, unethical lawyering as we know it currently. They know that clients will start demanding more professionalism which they are fundamentally incapable of, given the culture of laziness currently prevalent. And they also know that this will mean the best talents in the country will work with foreign firms and not become their unpaid slaves in the form of juniors because of the substantial pay difference. They should wake up and smell the coffee and stop their reprehensible habit of paying juniors 10,000 buks a month (110 pounds) to do all their work. Bar Council is a hypocrite. They keep crying about how the National Law School experiment was to produce good lawyesr and judges but secretly they are pleased that NLS graduates dont join litigation because then the salary expectation and the quality of litigation would automatically go up... Sheesh ... hypocrites all of these senior counsels and self proclaimed becons of the legal profession in india.

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  • Nothing wrong with this apart from its effect of providing anti-liberalization lobbies with some ammo. Having said that, I don't see why BCI should allow entry of foreign firms when the parent countries of these magic circle firms don't allow Indian firms & lawyers to carry out the "practice of law" there.

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  • @anonymous above: thats not true ! We can practice in the UK after passing the QLTT and Foz Mandal already has a London office !!!

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  • Entry of foreign law firms in India is a welcome and indeed it will eventually help native Indian lawyers and India. The law school graduates are very talented and have chosen law as their profession which wasn’t the case a generation before. However, it is not clear which model the bar councils and the bar associations are working out. Is it the Singapore model or the China model? Or should we choose model implemented by the big four in India. Or device a completely new model? The second question is why the entry be opened up hurriedly and fully. Can't it be a gradual process? The mighty law schools and law firms of the developed countries should first work towards improving the quality of legal education in India. This should be the starting point. Then only they will have right to a legitimate argument based on demonstrating long-term stake In India. Any quick and fast decisions will be irrational and bound to create chaos leading to resistance. On the other hand, Indian Government, bar councils and lawyers should set priority to create robust infrastructure for the legal and justice system like new court buildings, increasing the number of judges and training programs for lawyers and judges so that they can compete with the contemporaries. Because the argument against opening up the legal services would be whether Indian legal system, justice system and lawyers are really ready to demonstrate the skill, quality and professional approach comparable o that in the developed countries. Moreover, the Indian Government should adopt a well thought policy and need not succumb to the pressure exerted by the developed countries, leave alone the professional services sectors like law, accountancy etc. Neither the liberal nor the protectionist approach should be taken. A very calculated and calibrated approach and keeping the paramount interest of Indian people and long term benefits to India should be welcome.

    It is not only surprising but also horrifying that there is so much chaos surrounding the opening up of the legal sector. Because the proposals and the counter proposals as to which model India should adopt is neither in the public domain nor debated or any concrete consultative process is undertaken in public eye. The debate on every aspect on this subject should not be limited to the four corners of the law ministry or the bar councils or the meetings of Indian bar council and the foreign bar council and the societies’.

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