The hearing in the Foreign Law Firms case resumed today in Supreme Court before a Bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit..Senior Advocate Arvind Datar advanced his submissions on behalf of six law firms from United Kingdom..Datar’s submissions revolved around the scope of Section 30 and 33 of the Advocates Act, particularly the ambit of the term “practice’’ with special emphasis on International Commercial Arbitration..Datar told the court that his prayer is to uphold the Madras High Court judgment, which had permitted foreign law firms or foreign lawyers to visit India for a temporary period on a ‘fly in and fly out’ basis, for the purpose of giving legal advice on foreign law to their clients in India. The Madras High Court had also held that foreign lawyers cannot be debarred from coming to India and conducting arbitration proceedings in disputes involving international commercial arbitration..“Madras High court has permitted ‘fly in fly out’. The role of BCI is only after enrolment. I am praying that the Madras High Court judgment be upheld”, he said before addressing the Court on the scope of Section 30 and 33 of the Act..His submission was hinged on the argument that only litigation work or court practice of a lawyer is regulated in India by the Advocates Act..“As of now, there is no regulatory mechanism for non-litigation work. So, opinions given by CAs, former judges etc. do not fall within ‘practice” of law.”.Justice AK Goel retorted that CAs are indeed regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India..“Yes, but not by Advocates Act. My argument is “fly in and fly out” will not amount to practice. International Commercial arbitration involves a party who is not Indian and law which may be foreign law. Indian lawyers and retired judge regularly go abroad to Dubai, UK etc to appear for arbitrations. Do they enrol in those jurisdictions? No”, submitted Datar..Datar, therefore, contended that foreign lawyers and law firms should be allowed to appear in International Commercial Arbitrations in India..He then proceeded to deal with the scope of Section 30. He contended that Section 30 confers a privilege on lawyers but is not a disability on a foreign lawyer..“Enrolment is necessary only for pleading or acting. So, a non-lawyer can give legal opinion. Section 30 is only with respect to court practice. Practice of profession of law means practice in courts..The interpretation of Section 30 cannot be that nobody can touch anything related to law unless he is lawyer”..Senior Advocate Rajiv Dutta then intervened and cited the case of In Re Roel in which a Mexican lawyer residing in USA was advising Mexicans on Mexican law. The said lawyer was barred from practicing law in USA..Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya, appearing for US law firms, however retorted to same stating that the said case was from 1950s and the “entire matrix” [in USA] has changed since then.. The hearing in the matter will continue tomorrow.