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India Considers Opening Nation to Foreign Law Firms

HR Bhardwaj, India’s justice ministerHR Bhardwaj, India’s justice minister, says his government has circulated draft regulations on allowing foreign law firms to practice in India.

International law firms have been barred from practicing in India since a High Court ruling in 1995. Foreign lawyers have since either provided advice on Indian legal issues from offices in other countries, or more recently formed alliances with domestic Indian firms.

Announcing the move after a meeting with UK Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, Bhardwaj encouraged Indian lawyers to drop their longstanding opposition to liberalization, saying that allowing foreign law firms to practice in India would create “thousands” of legal jobs.

“The initiatives we are taking at the government level will not harm lawyers here,” Bhardwaj said.

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