There is a reform being done to the Indian legal section by the government in order to make the foreign law firms to enter into domestic field which will help in development of the nation. Government officials said that as there are many multinational companies in India and Indian firms are also investing in foreign countries, the government is making better ways for the foreign law firms to enter India for the growth and development.
India has signed General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS), it is under obligation to liberalise the legal field, which was not done before as there was a stiff opposition from Indian advocates body, Bar Council of India and Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) to allow foreign law firms to practice international law in India. President of SIFL Lalit Bhasin, told that anything done in this regard by the government must be done after they consult with the body that works for the interest of the lawyers. Bhasin told that they were not against the reforms in the legal field but it should be made in a proper way. He further stated that it has to be internally liberalised as there was lot of internal controls like one cannot have websites or brochures etc which has to change before allowing foreign law firms to work in India. He further commented that in the last meeting which was held in February with the government lawyers had told that such foreign law firms must be allowed to enter only on fly-in and fly out basis where they could advise to the clients later involve themselves in arbitration and then they must be given permission to start an office in India. Bhasin also said that foreign law firms must be permitted to start an office in India to practice international law only and not Indian law and there has to be an Indian partner in their office. Abhimanyu Bhandari who is a Supreme Court lawyer told that these foreign law firms should abide by domestic rules of India. Bhandari also said that many students who studied in National Law School were the best lawyers in US and UK who are from India.
by Sushma Javare.