The BCI Rules 2022 permits foreign lawyers and foreign law firms to practice in India based on the principle of reciprocity in a clear, controlled manner. Pertinently, subject to obtaining registration under the BCI Rules 2022, foreign lawyers and foreign law firms can only take up non-litigation matters and act in an advisory role and are prevented from appearing before any courts, tribunals or other statutory or regulatory authorities.
The Bar Council of India is of the view that 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 the legal profession/ domain grow in India to the benefit of lawyers in India too. It is noteworthy that the standards of Indian lawyers in proficiency in law are comparable with the international standards and the legal network in India. It is not likely to suffer any disadvantage in case law practice if India is opened up to foreign lawyers in a restricted and well controlled and regulated manner on the principle of reciprocity. As it would be mutually beneficial for lawyers from India and abroad, the Rules by the Bar Council of India attempt to take a step in this direction.
In summary, the Bar Council of India resolves to implement the Rules enabling the foreign lawyers and foreign law firms to practice foreign law, diverse international law and international arbitration matters in India on the principle of reciprocity in a well-defined, regulated and controlled manner.