Legal fraternity opposed to entry of foreign law firms

Legal fraternity opposed to entry of foreign law firms

However, Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily has said that he is open to the entry of foreign law firms, but not without consulting the legal fraternity.

Legal education

“I will give importance to spreading better legal education. I laid the foundation of information technology sector in Karnataka. We are the best in the IT sector in the world. At least 25 per cent of the engineers in the American silicon city, Buffalo, are from Karnataka,’’ Moily said.

 “I also took initiatives to set up the National Law School in Bangalore. We can provide quality law education in the country. The entry of foreign law firms will not be an issue, once we produce quality lawyers in India.’’

The Bar Council of India (BCI), the highest regulating body which frames policies for legal fraternity in the country, is strongly opposed to the move.

BCI president Suraj Narain P Sinha told Deccan Herald:  “Our stand is clear. We should not allow entry of foreign law firms in the present scenario.’’

BCI member Jagdev said: “So far it is clear that the Bar Council of India is not supporting the entry of foreign lawyers to India.

 “We have categorically informed the law minister about the decision taken by the BCI, Supreme Court Bar Association and Bar Associations of all the high courts that there would be no entry of foreign law firms in India,’’ Jagdev added.

The United Kingdom did not issue work permit for Indian lawyers, but it expected British law firms to open business in India, he said. Foreign lawyers will be charging huge consultancy fees prohibiting the common man from getting justice, said S K Das, a Supreme Court lawyer. 

Supreme Court Bar Association President M N Krishnamani said: “On principle, we oppose the entry of foreign law firms to India. If there is a need, it should be a conditional entry.’’ Enumerating the conditions, he said the entry should be on a reciprocal basis. Also, the foreign lawyers should have qualification equivalent to the Indian law degree and they should be conversant with the Indian law, Krishnamani added.

Delhi High Court Bar Association President K C Mittal said: “The BCI and different Bar Councils have decided not to allow foreign law firms to India. There is no change in that decision as of now.’’

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