SILF - Announcements
GIFT - Foreign Law Firms

Dear Colleagues, 
 
There has been a sudden and significant development with regard to foreign law firms.  Please read front page of Economic Times of today.
 
It appears that the Department of Commerce, Government of India has allowed foreign law firms and accountancy firms to be established in SEZs.  Certain issues would require consideration such as
 
a)    Whether such a notification can be issued by the Department of Commerce?
 
b)   Whether this has the approval of the Bar Council of India which is the regulatory body of the legal profession?
 
c)    Whether this could be done without amendment of the Advocates Act which only permits Indian citizens to practice any law in the territory of India?
 
d)   Who will monitor the activities of such foreign law firms?
 
e)    What prevents these foreign law firms from practising throughout India from SEZ?
 
The news item is attached for ready reference.  I am circulating the same for immediate response from the law firms about their views and comments.  This should preferably be done before 25th January, 2017 and this will be followed by a proper meeting of SILF members to consider this important development.  
 
I await your views.
 
Warm regards,
 
LALIT BHASIN

 

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