Foreign law firms can’t practice in India, but their lawyers can advise: SC

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that foreign law firms cannot set up offices in India but their lawyers could give legal advice on foreign laws.



However, the bench headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that foreign lawyers could come to the country and be consoled by international commercial arbitrator ship. Civil lawyer in Patiala


Justice Goel, while enunciation the judgement, said that even for the limited intention they would object to the Bar Council of India’s Code of Conduct.


The court also said that BPO companies dissipated in rendering legal services did not come within the compass of the Advocate Act and thus they can mobilisation in India.


The court judgment came on pleas convene judgements by the Bombay and Madras High Courts.


Madras High court had said that foreign lawyers can fly in and fly out for present legal advice on foreign laws.


The foreign lawyers and firms, which would take a section in international arbitration proceedings, “will be administered by a code of conduct exercisable to the legal profession in India,” the court said.


The apex court also improved the Madras High Court stream that the BPOs, which provide customised and reposeful services, do not come within the purview of the laws regulator the legal profession here.


“We hold that mere label of such services cannot be demeaned as conclusive. If in pith and material the services amount to the practice of law, the provisions of the Advocates Act will apply and foreign law firms or foreign lawyers will not be assent to do so,” the top court said in its 52-page judgment.


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