Liberalisation of Cross Border Legal Services – India and UK
Nov 19 2008
Members of Birmingham Law Society and UKTI West Midlands travelled to New Delhi India on a Legal trade mission in the wake of liberalisation of legal services between UK and India.
Mr. Makhan Singh and Mr. Aman Chhina participated in the delegation to India to establish links regarding cross border legal transactional work with Delhi Lawyers. The event was hosted British Deputy High Commission in New Delhi Valuable “Best Friend” associations were made with Indian lawyers to exchange Cross Border transactional work.
Caroline Coates President of Birmingham Law Society, Steve Cunane Regional International Trade Adviser UKTI, Carla Hull Chair of the BLS International Committee together with others UK Lawyers met leading International and Dual Qualified Lawyers from across India at a networking event held at the residence of Ian Gibbons, Deputy Director UKTI, New Delhi on the 17th November. Steve Cunane and Ian Gibbons both commented that the event was one of the most successful to develop ‘Best Friend’ Relationships with nearly 100 lawyers attending from both jurisdictions.
The Delegation also visited the High Court, Supreme Court and Presidents House to gain a first hand insight into the Indian legal system. Carla Hull echoed the general consensus amongst the visiting lawyers that the ‘Future for UK lawyers lies in cross border transactional work rather than contentious litigation work in the domestic courts of India’.
Birmingham Law Society founded in 1818 with over 3000 members also hosted a meeting at the India International Centre on the 18th November 2008 to develop a dialogue with the Bar Council of India regarding ‘Liberalisation of legal services’ in India. The President of Birmingham Law Society Caroline Coates thanked the Bar Council for affording an opportunity for UK lawyers to meet Bar Council of India to ‘gain a greater understanding and the issues of the Indian Legal market’
Invited guests included Dr Justice AR Lakshmanan Chairman of the Law Commission of India, the Chairman of the Bar Council of India Mr S N P Sinha ,The Vice Chairman BCI Mr Beniwal, Secretary BCI Mr Radhakhrishnan,The Additional Solicitor General of India Rajendra B Raghuvanshi.
The Chairman of the Indian Bar Council Mr Shina stated liberalisation in the legal services in India would no doubt happen in the future he stated ‘it is not a problem only a solution has got to be evolved’. He urged patience and emphasised the importance of reciprocity and proper regulation in both jurisdictions.
Makhan Singh Partner Murria Solicitors and member of BLS addressed the delegation stated that the purpose of the visit was to develop and build strong legal networks and to build ‘best friend relationships’ between law firms in UK and India. The visit also afforded the opportunity to have first hand discussions with lawyers regarding free exchange of legal services and in particular cross border transactional work which was necessary to facilitate delivering quality legal services in both jurisdictions.
Mr Creon Butler Deputy High Commissioner British High Commission India commented on the strong links between the legal profession of the two countries and from a UK prospective their was a vision regarding liberalisation which would be mutually beneficial to both jurisdictions and be a tremendous boost for young lawyers entering the profession in India it will give the chance to develop international practices. However he recognised that Bar Council and Law Society would have to be comfortable before liberalisation takes place and that events of this nature were important for such debate.
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