Salman Khurshid, Minister of Law & Justice has today indicated in a meeting with United Kingdom’s Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Kenneth Harry Clarke that the government will soon take a decision on the issue of allowing foreign law firms to operate in India. The meeting was held to further strengthen the co-operation between the two countries in the field of law, reports PIB.
Salman Khurshid (pictured left), Minister of Law & Justice has today indicated in a meeting with United Kingdom’s Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Kenneth Harry Clarke (pictured right) that the government will soon take a decision on the issue of allowing foreign law firms to operate in India. The meeting was held to further strengthen the co-operation between the two countries in the field of law, reports PIB.
Law Minister said the concerns of the Bar will be addressed before taking a final call. “Of course there are some issues that have to be addressed. There are some perceptions that are to be addressed more than the issues. There are some concerns that are to be addressed,” he said addressing a seminar on UK-India cooperation on emerging legal issues here, reports ET.
Law Minister Khurshid assured UK’s Secretary of State for Justice Kenneth Clarke that New Delhi will “put your issues on the fast track” and give decisions quickly and “decisions which have quality”.
The Minister said the government and the Bar were equally committed “to enhance the level of our cooperation and contribution in the most meaningful way for advancement of legal services in our two countries”.
UK is one of the several countries pressing for entry of their legal firms in India.
The UK Minister was accompanied by a High Level delegation that included: Suma Chakrabarty, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice; Kathryn Laing, Special Advisor to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice; John Wooton, President, Law Society of England and Wales; Khawar Qureshi QC of the UK Bar Council; and Richard Stagg, UK High Commissioner to India.
From the Indian side Law Secretary, D.R. Meena; Secretary, Legislative Department, V.K.Bhasin; Secretary, Justice, Neela Gangadharan and Chairman, Bar Council of India, Ashok Parija were present during the bilateral talks.
UK Minister for Justice Kenneth Clarke is visiting India from September 25-28, 2011 to discuss UK-India bilateral co-operation and potential reforms to the legal sector.
Speaking to Bar & Bench about the seminar and issue of entry of foreign firms, Bar Council Chairman Ashok Parija said, “Seminar was a good step to bring both the legal communities together. No decision on entry of foreign law firms has been taken as of now. But we may be moving in that direction. We propose to do a few things right away mainly we would want bi-lateral exchange programmes in the field of legal education i.e. law students, law deans and bi-lateral training programmes for lawyers of both jurisdictions. All this might ultimately create an environment where we could think of opening up some of the sectors. But the stand of BCI is not that they are averse to it. The issue is that right away we are not ready, we may get ready in six months or one year. Once these bilateral relationships grow, then the next steps will be considered in the right spirit”.