THE Bar Council of India (BCI) has agreed to permit foreign lawyers and law firms to practice in the country in a restricted and well-controlled and regulated manner on the principle of reciprocity, which would be mutually beneficial for lawyers from India.
The BCI has come out with the Bar Council of India Rules for Registration and Regulation of Foreign Lawyers and Foreign Law Firms in India, 2022 to enable international lawyers and arbitration practitioners to advise in India.
As per the rules, foreign lawyers and law firms will be entitled to practice only in non-litigious matters. The three broad areas which have been opened up for them include foreign law, arbitration matters, and international legal issues.
According to the BCI, a statutory body, opening up of law practice in India to foreign lawyers in the field of practice of foreign law; diverse international legal issues in non-litigious matters and in international arbitration cases would go a long way in helping legal profession/ domain grow in India to the benefit of lawyers in India too. Foreign lawyers or firms would not be able to practice in India without registration with the BCI, and the registration fee for a foreign lawyer is $25,000, and for a law firm it is $50,000.