India: Opening up the legal profession to foreign law firms - The next International Arbitration Hub?

March 20 2023

The Bar Council of India has recently published Rules for Registration and Regulation of Foreign Lawyers and Foreign Law Firms in India (the “Rules”) paving the way for foreign lawyers and law firms to practice in India, subject to the conditions and limitations set-out in the Rules.

According to the World Economic Forum, India is now the 5th largest economy in the World and therefore an economic power. This is likely to entail more interaction between Indian and foreign businesses.

Kartik Mittal, Partner at Zaiwalla & Co, said that: “We are delighted with this good news! It was a pleasure for my firm to have contributed to this development as part of Law Society’s India Working Group (IWG) which has long campaigned to support the opening up of India’s legal services sector to foreign law firm. As the first law firm to be started by an Indian in the City of London, the firm always has had India at its heart and shares its aspiration to become an International arbitration hub. We thank the Indian Government and Bar Council of India for taking this positive step towards achieving this goal”.

“We hope that this positive development will make it more attractive for UK entities/persons to agree to arbitrate in India whilst entering into contracts with their Indian counterparts. The Rules now provide them with a greater choice of legal representation in International arbitration cases conducted in India.”

“The entry of foreign law firms in India is likely to be mutually beneficial for Indian as well as foreign law firms as there is a great potential to learn from each other. These are exciting times for young Indian lawyers as these recent changes are likely to create employment opportunities. Equally foreign firms will benefit from the skilled and talented workforce that India has to offer.”

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