Bar Council of India Rules for Registration and Regulation of Foreign Lawyers and Foreign Lawfirms in India, 2022
The Bar Council of India Rules for Registration and Regulation of Foreign Lawyers and Foreign Law Firms in India, 2022 (“BCI Rules 2022”) was notified in the Official Gazette on March 10, 2023 to enable foreign lawyers and foreign lawfirms to practice in India. They can practice in the field of foreign law, diverse international legal issues in non-litigious matters, and international arbitration cases.
The BCI Rules 2022 permits foreign lawyers and foreign lawfirms to practice in India based on the principle of reciprocity in a well-defined, controlled manner. Pertinently, subject to obtaining registration under the BCI Rules 2022, foreign lawyers and foreign lawfirms can only take up non-litigation matters and act in an advisory role and are restricted from appearing before any courts, tribunals or other statutory or regulatory authorities.
The Bar Council of India is of the view that opening up of law practice in India to foreign lawyers in the field of practice of foreign law, diverse international legal issues in non-litigious matters and in international arbitration cases would go a long way in helping legal profession/ domain grow in India to the benefit of lawyers in India too. It is noteworthy that the standards of Indian lawyers in proficiency in law are comparable with the international standards and the legal fraternity in India. It is not likely to suffer any disadvantage in case law practice in India is opened up to foreign lawyers in a restricted and well controlled and regulated manner on the principle of reciprocity. As it would be mutually beneficial for lawyers from India and abroad and the Rules is an attempt by the Bar Council of India in this direction.
Taking an all-inclusive view, the Bar Council of India resolves to implement the Rules enabling the foreign lawyers and foreign lawfirms to practice foreign law and diverse international law and international arbitration matters in India on the principle of reciprocity in a well-defined, regulated and controlled manner.
This contribution was made by Anish Ghoshal from our Indian member firm Dua Associates.
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