Harish Salve expressed his views on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to allow foreign law firms to operate in India.
“I agree to the fact that foreign law firms have been obstructed so far from setting up practice in India to be one of the most unfortunate ways in which certain members of my fraternity have created a scare to preserve their turfs, I am sorry to say”, he said.
“First of all, its important to be clear what do you mean by saying foreign law firms practising in India, the impression given to the lawyers of India who then gets upset is that you will have English and American and German and French and Australian lawyers flying down to argue divorce and bail applications, certainly not. Nobody is interested in your litigation practice here. Foreign law firm in India will work just as the foreign accountancy firms have worked and operated in India so far. Indian lawyers will be directly hired by these firms, added Salve.
Salve also pointed out great advantages that Indian lawyers will have by foreign law firms coming in:
If the foreign firms steps in, the firm will set up its own bunch of Indian Lawyers, now that has two huge advantages, one is that you directly get hired by the foreign firm. The second is, that Indian lawyers will get an opportunity to work with global firms and that should be a fantastic training for Indian lawyers.
Within a span of just five to seven years, Indian lawyers will be not just intellectually, which we are on par with everybody , but even practice and culture wise we will be on par with everybody else.
If an Indian law firm intends to go st up practice overseas and an Indian lawyers if he gives is a commitment I will not practice English Law, can practice in the UK. And if he is a barrister or a Solicitor he can practice in the UK. And they have conversion courses which we don not have in India. By doing the conversion course, you can practice with complete reciprocity.
We are the only people who have these high walls against people coming in and that is why because we want it to be the preserve of a handful of people. And that is wrong, you know, said Salve.