Why it’s a good idea for foreign law firms to be barred from practice in India
The entry of foreign law firms will hurt the average Indian’s ability to find adequate legal representation.
During a recent visit to India, Shailesh Vara, the United Kingdom’s minister for the Courts and Legal Aid, expressed optimism about the government opening up the legal services sector to law firms and lawyers from abroad. With the present government’s enthusiasm for foreign investment, he said, India should not miss out on the opportunity the draw the best international legal talent to its shores.
Yet the path to convert this into reality is tough and twisted, and for sound reason. Since 2009, the courts and Bar Council of India have opposed the liberalisation of the Indian bar not out of fear of competition – as many claim – but on principle.