In a landmark move, the Indian government has announced that foreign lawyers will now be allowed to practice law in the country, albeit with certain limitations. The decision has been welcomed by the legal fraternity as a significant step towards liberalizing the legal sector and making it more accessible to foreign talent.

However, there are some key restrictions that foreign lawyers will have to abide by. They will not be allowed to appear in court on behalf of clients, but can only advise them on matters relating to foreign and international law. This means that they can offer legal opinions, draft documents, and provide guidance on cross-border transactions and arbitrations.

India Opens its Legal Market to Foreign Lawyers, but Court Appearance Restricted

The decision has been long-awaited, as India has traditionally been a closed market for foreign lawyers. This has limited the country’s ability to attract international clients and investors, as well as prevented Indian lawyers from gaining exposure to global legal practices and standards.

The move also aligns India with other major legal jurisdictions, such as the UK and Singapore, which have already opened up their legal markets to foreign lawyers. The decision is expected to boost India’s legal services industry and make it more competitive on the global stage.

However, the decision has not been without controversy. Some Indian lawyers have raised concerns about foreign lawyers taking away work from local practitioners and diluting the standards of the profession. Others have pointed out that the restrictions on appearing in court may limit the practical impact of the decision, as most legal disputes in India are resolved through litigation.

Despite these concerns, the government has stated that the move is a step towards modernizing India’s legal sector and bringing it in line with global best practices. It is expected to provide opportunities for Indian lawyers to work alongside and learn from international practitioners, as well as give foreign lawyers a chance to gain exposure to India’s diverse legal system and market.

Overall, the decision is being seen as a positive development for the legal sector in India, and one that has the potential to bring significant benefits for both local and international practitioners.


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