Tuesday, April 28, 2009

“In India legal profession is not a business and it is not up for sale”

Lalit Bhasin, the President of the Society of Indian Law firms, in one of his interviews to the Economic Times of India remarked

"The demand for opening legal services sector in India does not come from Indian businesses or professionals or even foreign multinational companies…. the demand comes from foreign lawyers and particularly those from the U.K. It is obvious that the U.K. is witnessing a negative growth so far as legal profession is concerned. Accordingly, India and China offer good prospects -- but the problem is that, in India, the legal profession is not a business and it is not up for sale."

Mark Ross had in his blog commented on this statement by saying “It is simply impossible to separate the law from the economic forces that impact every other professional services industry. The lack of reciprocity, which Bhasin references, for Indian attorneys wishing to practice within the UK or US, is also a false comparison. This is purely a protectionist stance, nothing more, nothing less.”

In the current state of volatile economy coupled with accelerating pace of change in the legal sector, it is rather strange that some people still try to insulate the legal sector from the dynamics of globalization. The recent LLP Act is one such indicator where the Indian legal sector has started opening its doors for the foreign firms.

The call of the time is not to be like an ostrich and shut one’s eyes to happenings around us rather it is the opportunity to scale-up the quality of our domestic Indian firms and give a tough but healthy competition to foreign firms. After all, competition is good for the consumers.