Breaking: Foreign Law Firms entry case to be heard in first week of January 2018
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Breaking: Foreign Law Firms entry case to be heard in first week of January 2018

Murali Krishnan

A Bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit today heard an application by the central government for early listing of the matter, and decided to post it for January next year.

Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the central government, told the Court today that the Centre is inclined to frame Rules in relation to opening up of the legal market and allowing entry of foreign law firms.

Singh requested the Court to observe that the case will not come in the way of the Centre framing such Rules.

The Court, however, refused to make such an observation with Justice Goel remarking,

“We won’t say anything on that”.

Senior Advocate Arvind Datar along with Advocate Rishi Kumar appearing for Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Clyde, Eversheds, Bird and Bird and Ashurst, suggested a hearing date in November and briefly took the Court through the issues in both the SLPs.

Both the Government and the Bar Council of India, represented by Advocate AK Prasad consented to hearing in November. However, Advocate Nakul Dewan, appearing for the Global Indian Lawyers requested for a later date.

The Court then proceeded to order that the matter be listed in the first week of January, while reminding the parties not to seek adjournment during the next hearing.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court Registry directed that the application filed by the Central government for early hearing in the foreign law firms case be listed before Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

Back in August, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has instructed the Law Ministry and Commerce Ministries to allow the liberalisation of the legal market, and to submit a draft notification in four weeks.

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