Bar Council of India signs MoU with UK to share knowledge

BCI's MoU England Wales Bar Councils Legal Exchange
Manan Kumar Mishra

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has signed an MoU with the Bar Council and the Law Society of England and Wales to foster mutual exchange in training and knowledge between lawyers and law students.

The BCI will recommend young lawyers to the Law Society and the Bar Council of England and Wales to avail training opportunities in international law firms, reputable law offices, and even English law courts, the MoU said.

However, these lawyers will not be permitted to practise law in the UK under the terms of the MoU. The end goal is for lawyers to learn and gain experience in both legal systems.

The MoU also provides for select law students recommended by the Bar Council of India to access internships with legal bodies in the UK, and training opportunities to be extended to solicitors and barristers from England and Wales. However, trainee solicitors and barristers will not be allowed to practise in any capacity in India. The 90-day programme will focus solely on training.

BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra believes that this MoU will greatly contribute to the exchange of legal knowledge, skills, training and ideas between the legal communities of both countries, opening avenues for Indian lawyers internationally. The bar aims to sponsor and recommend deserving and meritorious advocates who may not have the means to pursue such avenues.

The historic signing of the MoU took place on 5 June 2023 in London at the meeting hall of the Law Society of England and Wales. Mishra told delegates that crucial changes are required in the regulations concerning the entry of foreign lawyers into India.

S. Prabakaran, vice chairman of the Bar Council of India, said the BCI has received representations from Indian law firms and a section of the Indian bar, and welcomes input from foreign bodies on this matter.

Mishra assured that amendments to the regulations will be completed soon, and the registration of participating foreign lawyers and law firms will commence after completion.