New enhanced trade partnership with India to focus on trade in legal services

Hopes of removing barriers preventing UK lawyers from practising in India have been raised after the UK and India agreed an enhanced trade partnership (ETP) on 4 May. The ETP includes a focus on legal services with a commitment to work to remove barriers in the Indian legal services sector that prevent UK lawyers from establishing in India. Such a step could significantly increase UK legal services exports and imports from India.

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This will be a priority issue for the upcoming negotiations on a full free trade agreement (FTA).

We welcome this focus and are fully supportive of the UK government’s efforts to address barriers on trade in legal services between the UK and India.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson, who agreed the ETP at a virtual meeting with his Indian counterpart, prime minister Narendra Modi, said: “In the decade ahead, with the help of the new partnership signed today and a comprehensive FTA, we will double the value of our trading partnership with India and take the relationship between our two countries to new highs.”

It is worthwhile to note that major international firms headquartered in London have India desks serving corporate clients with business interests in India, and high-value India-related legal work is done through London, if not Singapore or Dubai.

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