India’s minister of law has promised that foreign law firms will be allowed to practise in India.
Anglo-saxon law firms have been planning their entry to the booming jurisdiction in anticipation of this groundbreaking decision.
India’s law minister, HP Bhardwaj said that foreign lawyers would not be allowed to practice Indian law in the country.
“Only Indian lawyers could practice Indian law here. Foreign lawyers would be allowed to practice their respective country’s law only,” he said following a meeting of over 100 Indian law firms last week.
The Indian Ministry of Law is issuing a concept note to address the issue of bringing foreign law firms into the country.
Bhardwaj also said that a committee would be established to maintain and regulate the entry of foreign firms into India.
The meeting was held as the Indian government continues attempts to form a consensus on the proposed opening up the local legal industry.
In a bid to appease concerned local lawyers, the Ministry also said that it would put certain “safeguards” in place to protect their interests.
“Some of the firms said we are new firms, we would not be able to face them (foreign law firms). I asked them what safeguards do you want? We will provide them,” he said.
Bhardwaj also said that the opening up of legal services would bring in investment by foreign firms and would therefore provide job opportunities to Indian lawyers adding that the legal community should not shy away from competition.