London: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has expressed support for enabling foreign lawyers to establish a presence in India.
Britain’s Justice Minister Shailesh Vara welcomed the announcement.
Jaitley made the statement in course of the 8th UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue which he held with his counterpart George Osborne.
Britain has been seeking access to the Indian market to offer legal services for several years.
Jaitley’s support was for foreign lawyers to “provide legal advice on non-Indian law”.
Such advice is to be rendered as per regulations to be framed, which are likely to include employing or entering into partnerships with Indian lawyers.
The implementation in the matter is subject to a memorandum of understanding being signed between the Law Society of England and Wales, the Bar Council of England and Wales and the Bar Council of India.
Justice Minister Vara commended the positive discussions on liberalisation of the Indian legal services sector at the Economic and Financial Dialogue.
Welcoming Jaitley’s support for the process, Vara said: “I am delighted with the progress made in seeking to liberalise the Indian legal sector and I commend Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s commitment.
“This is a cause that I have been championing personally for many years, ever since I saw the value liberalisation would bring when working as a solicitor.
“The UK’s experience of an open legal services sector has been a hugely positive one, giving business the access it needs to international legal advice and helping make London the global legal hub it has become.
“I am confident that India’s decision to move down this path will benefit everyone, and be a real catalyst for bilateral trade and investment. My department stands ready to help the Indian government progress this important reform in any way that would be helpful.”

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