Friday, July 13, 2012

Foreign law firms can't open liaison offices in India: SC to RBI

The Supreme Court directed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) not to allow foreign law firms to
open liaison offices in the country. The order was passed on an appeal filed by the Bar Council of India against a February judgment of the Madras High Court that allowed foreign advocates to visit India to offer legal advice to their clients. It also clarified that under section 29 of the Advocates Act, 1961, the term 'practice' covers consultation, legal drafting and all other non-litigious matters, besides litigious matters. The BCI had sought clarification on the Madras HC's order as it was opposed to an earlier ruling of the Bombay High Court, which had asked the BCI to take action against firms that were flouting provisions under the Advocates Act. Based on the BCI's appeal, the Supreme Court
also issued notices to 31 law firms in the country.

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