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The Bar Council of India (BCI) has scheduled talks on liberalisation following the signing of a number of allegiances between Indian and UK firms.
A meeting of all BCI members will take place later this month to gauge whether members are now supportive of allowing international firms to practise in the country.
Bar Council of India member Shri Jagdev said: “We’ll take a decision in the last week of this month, but the position of the Bar Council of India is the same unless there is a proposal of reciprocity with UK work visas for Indian lawyers.”
Clifford Chance recently caused a stir when it announced an alliance with AZB & Partners, the second largest firm in the Indian market (14 January).
A year ago fellow magic circle firm Allen & Overy signed a referral relationship with Indian law firm Trilegal (22 February 2008), while Linklaters entered into a relationship with Mumbai-based Talwar Thakore & Associates in early 2007 (14 December 2006).
The BCI has traditionally been strongly opposed to market liberalisation, although more liberal noises were beginning to be made late last year when the BCI said it was “ready to discuss” the matter (TheLawyer.com, 30 October 2008).
Late last year the Indian Parliament paved the way for LLP partnership structures under Indian law, which could be employed by law firms looking to modernise and compete with international firms (TheLawyer.com, 7 January 2009).
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