Categories:India & Pakistan

India debates liberalisation after Anglo-Indian tie-ups

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  • So, no change then...?

    If the Indian Bar Council wants reciprocity it should note that there are at least two Indian law firms with offices in London already. Getting visas etc may have proven complicated for the lawyers involved, but they have got them and they are running legal businesses here in the UK. The same cannot be said for UK firms hoping to enter India.

    Equally, can the Indian Bar Council really expect the British Government to change visa laws just for Indian citizens with a law degree/practising certificate? If it softens up visa rules for non-EU citizens with a legal qualification then it will need to do that for all other countries too - which would be unlikely. Is this the Bar Council delaying things again?

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  • Reciprocity is a two way street

    The previous poster misses the point that at issue is the liberalisation of the Indian legal market. If the market is opened and if UK/English lawyers can open offices in India and practice there then they will be working there and if that is allowed by India under whatever visa/work permit rules they apply then the UK should also provide a level playing field in its home legal market. To the extent it already does and firms like Singhania and Fox Mandal have either long ago or recently opened in London that is a step in the right direction towards reciprocity. Still, I doubt anything will happen before the 2009 elections in India and any moves even after that will be at a snails pace.

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  • BCI please think about the lawyers

    BCI s acting against the interests of thousands of individual lawyers who seek better career and professional prospects. BCI is actually protecing owners of few law firms (if any body can really call them 'law firms') who are always exploiting individual lawyers. BCI is acting as a front of these monopolists who cant see other people in the profession in India grow.

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  • BCI

    The BCI must carefully deliberate this issue - few lawyers sitting in London and NY who wish to return to India on boat sponsored by a foreign law firm or thos ein India workign with informal tie-ups seem to be pushing this issue endlessly.
    But the question to be answered is - if the BCI allow foreign firm will a Indian firm ever be able to become the largest law firm in world? I think not.

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  • Tie-ups

    Indian lawyers working in informal tie-ups r desperate for the openeing up - but for the larger community of corp lawyers in India - there is nothing to gain out of this.

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  • Change is must..

    Well be it on reciprocal basis or otherwise, what India needs is progressive market in the legal industry. That's true that BCI has adopted conservative stand citing level playing for Indian lawyers in UK. But the question is well beyond UK's immigration/visa/work permit policies for the fact that it's EU and not individual member countries control entry/exit/work permit laws in Europe. I guess it is dead lock here. It will now depend on India's commitment and implementation of WTO obligations, so will UK's.

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  • What Value Liberalisation

    Why do Indian lawyers worry about the entry of firms from US/UK?

    Each jurisdiction is independent, and irrespective of what anybody says, you simply can't pick up a lawyer from New York and plump him down in India and expect him to understand Indian law, doesn't work like that. If the threat is perceived from US/UK firms being better managed, Indian LPOs are re-engineering and documenting the work of US/UK law firms, which are frankly, currently run like artist's communes. Its true that US/UK firms are richer, however, the vast share of the market would never be able to afford them. They aren't Maggie two minute noodles, at best, they're Kellogs Corn Flakes, limited in their appeal and their influence. All that said, if the Indian market opens up to US/UK firms, we're closer to a harmionized World Law. This is highly desirable and must be encouraged by lawyers everywhere.

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  • Crux of the matter...

    I think most of the posts have missed the point. In any event, to get to the crux of the matter: while liberalization of the Indian legal market may not immediately change things, it will definitely help with the entry of professionally managed entities. The real opposition to the liberalization are the existing Indian law firms, in particular Amarchand Mangaldas - for years, Amarchand has enjoyed a virtual monopoly while running a 'sweat shop' in India. Their advantage of having the most number of lawyers in a single firm was balanced by their lack of uniform standards. The time has come for India to liberalize!

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  • Aren't we missing the point?

    India has only been free of british rule for 60 years. Prior to independence, 'law' was surely a laughing stock to most Indians, who knew that a white 'Sahib' would never be tried for the murder of an Indian, and the nation's resources were being plundered by European imperialist nations. This rule of 'law' was what paid for our middle and upper class so-called heritage...

    Whatever the current situation is in the country, many Indians are quite rightly resistant to foreign firms which would dominate any industry sector in their country. Legal imperialism is as bad as any other form. Isn't it enough to exploit your own citizens?

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  • Where are we headed?

    Most young lawyers think it fashionable to get into the galss and granite "Firms" and presume that they are on the path to greatness.. I think there must be a compulsory court clerkship of 4-5 years for all law graduates.. just so that the young uns understand what being a lawyer truly means.

    for god's sake, the powers that this vocation gives you, must be used for overall betterment (of personality as well as of society) and not for the top-lines of some remote entity or people.. anyone who's been any one in the history of mankind has by and large been educated in and a practitioner of law. "practitioner' meaning the Actual practice of understanding a matter/system/process in its entirety and then procuring a favourable outcome for the client.. not merely sucking up to seniors/partners etc within an artificial environment (by whatever name called!)...

    the term "limited liability" is actually the devils disguise and umbrella.. nature has no limited liability. humanity had no limited liability Ever (except in the past 150-odd years).. did we not do just fine back then?? if liabilities must be limited, then obversely so must profits!! kids, please wake up and smell it!

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