GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Law & Justice
DEPARTMENT OF LEGAL AFFAIRS
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1904
TO BE ANSWERED ON 15.03.2010
Entry of foreign Law Firms
1904. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of LA W & JUSTICE be pleased to state:
(a) whether, in a recent judgment, Bombay High Court has barred foreign law firms operating in India from carrying on non-litigious practices unless they follow Advocates Act, 1961;
(b) whether the High Court has also directed Government to quickly decide whether foreign law firms can operate in the country as this issue has been pending with Government for more than 15 years;
(c) whether the High Court has also observed that RBI was not justified in granting the foreign law firms permission to open liaison office as it violated the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961; and
(d) if so, Government's reaction thereto?
MINISTER OF LAW AND JUSTICE
(Dr. M. VEERAPPA MOILY)
(a) Yes, Sir. The foreign law firms are bound to follow the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961 to practice in non-litigious matters in India.
(b) Yes, Sir.
(c) The High Court has held that the RBI was not justified in granting the permission to open liaison offices in India under section 29 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973.
(d) The Government is studying the implications of the said judgment in consultation with the Bar Council of India and other stake holders.