Foreign Lawyers and Law Firms Are Only Permitted to Advise ‘Foreign Clients’ on ‘Foreign/International Laws- BCI Clarifies New Rules

The new Bar Council of India Rules for Registration and Regulation of Foreign Lawyers and Foreign Law Firms in India, 2022, have been clarified by the Bar Council of India.

The Council has stated that it does not want to leave any room for misinformation in order to clear the air about the Rules Notified to Allow Entry of Foreign Lawyers and Law Firms in India.

According to the Rules, Foreign Lawyers and Law Firms may only advise their clients on Foreign/International Laws.

The clients will be foreigners only, and the Rules will prevent them from acquiring Indian clients.

They are also not permitted to enter the litigating arena and must limit their activities to non-litigating areas.

They are not permitted to appear in any forum legally entitled to take oath evidence or to have a court recorded.

Only countries where Indian lawyers/law firms are allowed to practise and seek entry into India are eligible for entry. It’s the crux of the Rules.

Foreign lawyers are permitted to represent their clients in International Commercial Arbitration in order to make India a more appealing venue.

The Bar Council has requested that the Rules not be misconstrued to allow any non-lawyer or any BPO etc. any agent to come to India and start practising in any sphere and/or under any trading style if in essence and substance it amounts to practise of law as held in A.K. Balaji & ors.

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