India Business Law Journal investigates recent moves to open the legal market to foreign firms and hears reactions from a wide range of stakeholders, Ben Frumin reports from New Delhi
As autumn began in India with sweltering summer temperatures, national newspapers and other publications featured enthusiastic stories heralding the imminent opening of India’s legal market to foreign law firms.
“Government begins paving way for foreign law firms,” declared one headline on livemint.com.
“Indian govt says ‘yes’ to foreign law firms,” was another on thelawyer.com.
The proof behind such pronouncements, it seems, is comments reportedly made by the minister of law and justice, HR Bhardwaj, along with at least one meeting he held with partners at several Indian law firms to debate market liberalization. Bhardwaj reportedly said that a “cushion package” would be worked out with domestic firms by December to help them deal with the entry of foreign competitors. A regulatory mechanism would be developed, the playing field would be levelled and foreigners would soon be allowed to practise foreign law in India.
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