American and British lawyers looking to cash in on India’s economic boom might want to consider investing in some heavy armor first. Since late February, thousands of Indian lawyers have taken to the streets of New Delhi to protest a proposed overhaul of the country’s legal system. Among the hot-button issues: a move to lift the ban on foreign lawyers.
India currently has some of the strictest law licensing rules in the world. Only Indian citizens are admitted to practice, and they’re prohibited from partnering with or working for foreign firms. But now the country, a member of the World Trade Organization, is under mounting pressure to open its borders to comply with WTO rules. In recent months, India took a step in that direction when a prominent Indian law commission formally recommended that foreign law firms and multidisciplinary practices be allowed in.
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