India opens up to English and Welsh solicitors and law firms
This historic development follows decades of campaigning by the Law Society of England and Wales, most recently through a visit to India by president Lubna Shuja and our international team in March to discuss these matters with the Bar Council of India and the Ministry of Law and Justice.
Law Society president Lubna Shuja said: “The Bar Council of India’s decision is a significant step forward in this long-standing issue and will create huge opportunities for solicitors and Indian advocates in both countries."
Following the publication of the new rules, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bar Council of India on 5 June 2023.
What the changes mean for solicitors and firms
The new rules will include allowing registered solicitors and other foreign lawyers to:
- provide legal advice on home country law (English and Welsh law) and international law in non-contentious matters
- represent clients based outside of India in international arbitration matters in India.
They will also include allowing registered law firms to:
- open offices in India to provide the services above, and
- “procure the legal expertise/advice of any Advocate enrolled with any State Bar Council in India on any subject relating to Indian Laws”.
(For more details, see chapter IV on page 21 of the rules, available to download below.)
The new rules also confirmed that foreign lawyers can also advise foreign clients in India on their home-country law and international law on a fly-in-fly-out basis for up to 60 days in a year. These lawyers will not need to register with the Bar Council.
How to register
Both individual lawyers and law firms will need to register with the Bar Council of India and will need to pay a fee and a security deposit.
- will be valid for five years
- must be renewed six months before its expiry date
Applicants will need to submit documents listed in chapter III of the rules (see page 18).
For fees, see the table below:
|Registration fee||Security deposit||Renewal fee|
The new provisions are subject to reciprocity.
We are committed to ensuring England and Wales remains an open market to Indian and other foreign lawyers.
We look forward to engaging with our Indian counterpart on:
- how the regulations are carried out
- ways to further strengthen the links between our professions, including the possibility of joint partnership between Indian and foreign lawyers
Get in touch
Through our dialogue with foreign governments and bar associations, we’re helping secure market access for you and your colleagues in key jurisdictions around the world, and we’re pushing hard for more support and opportunities to help our sector reach its full global commercial potential.
If you would like to discuss emerging opportunities from these developments, email us at email@example.com.