Another step towards the liberalisation of the Indian legal market was taken today. A meeting convened by Law Secretary Suresh Chandra was attended by SILF President Lalit Bhasin, Luthra & Luthra’s Rajiv Luthra, the ICCA’s Ashok Sharma, the BCI’s Bhoj Thakur and government officials across different ministries..And the initial signals coming from the meeting appear to be positive..Ashok Sharma told Bar & Bench that,.“All stakeholders appear to be on board with the idea. They need to submit detailed comments on the Draft Rules in writing so the government can consider the comments and ask the BCI to come out with revised draft Rules.”.At the meeting itself, Bhoj Thakur had the task of explaining the draft rules to those attending. SILF President Lalit Bhasin, who had said that the draft rules were ultra vires the Advocate Act, said that SILF is no longer opposed to the entry of foreign law firms..Bhasin also mentioned the fact that SILF had made a detailed representation to the Commerce Ministry on a phased approach for the entry of foreign law firms. He said that both, SILF and the Commerce Ministry, favor a phased entry of foreign firms..After today’s meeting Bhasin told Bar & Bench that,.“We informed the Law Secretary that the entry of foreign firms has to be in according with our representation.”.“We had earlier submitted to the Ministry of Commerce that first we need to internally liberalize our own legal market, which includes removal of difficulties in the LLP format, permitting issue of firm brochures, maintaining websites, directory listings etc However, the same is not reflected in the Draft Rules.”.With respect to the government’s stance, Bhasin said that the Law Secretary was “receptive” to the comments made and would be examining the points of contention..The stakeholders will now submit a detailed representation within four weeks and the next meeting will be held in Mid August..The process of framing the rules had begun in March this year, when officials from the BCI met the then Law Secretary PK Malhotra, and had agreed to prepare draft regulations..Read the BCI Draft Rules below.