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PROPOSED RULES REGULATING FOREIGN LEGAL CONSULTANTS

I.

QUALIFICATIONS

To qualify for a license to practice as a foreign legal consultant, the applicant shall be a
person who:
(a)
has been admitted to practice in a foreign country as an attorney, counselor at
law, or the equivalent for a period of not less than 7 of the 10 years immediately
preceding the application for certification under this chapter;
(b)
has been consistently and solely engaged in the practice of law of such foreign
country for a period of not less than 5 of the 7 years immediately preceding the
application for certification under this chapter and has remained in good standing as an
attorney, counselor at law, or the equivalent throughout said period;
(c)
is admitted to practice in a foreign country whose professional disciplinary
system for lawyers established by the professional regulator (Foreign Bar Council) is
generally consistent with that of an Advocate under the rules of the Bar Council of India
and such Foreign Bar Council shall have agreed to abide by and honour the disciplinary
action that may be taken by the Bar Council of India in terms of these Regulations ;
(d)
has not been disciplined for professional misconduct by the bar or courts of any
jurisdiction within 10 years immediately preceding the application for certification under
this chapter and is not the subject of any such disciplinary proceeding or investigation
pending at the date of application for certification under this chapter.
(e)
has not been denied admission to practice before the courts of any jurisdiction
based upon chapter or fitness during the 10 year period preceding application for
certification under this chapter;
(f)
has submitted, pursuant to requirements determined by the Bar Council of India,
an application for certification under this chapter and the appropriates fees;
(g)
agrees to abide by the applicable rules regulating the Bar Council of India and
submit to the jurisdiction of courts of India for disciplinary purposes;
(h)

is over 35 years of age;

(i)
is a tax resident of India and will remain resident in compliance with applicable
immigration laws of India.
II.

SCOPE OF PRACTICE AND ACTIVITIES:

2.1
A person licensed as a foreign legal consultant under this rule will be entitled to
render legal advice and services only in the following matters:
(a)
preparation of instruments and rendition of advice with respect to real and
personal property where such property is governed by the law of a jurisdiction in which
the foreign legal consultant is admitted to practice as an attorney, counselor at law, or
the equivalent (Foreign Law);
(b)
preparation of and rendition of advice with respect to any will or trust instrument
relating to or affecting the disposition of any property or the administration of a
decedents estate, located in jurisdiction in which the foreign legal consultant is admitted
to practice as an attorney, counselor at law, or the equivalent (Foreign Jurisdiction);
(c)
preparation of any instrument with respect to the marital relations, rights, or
duties of a person or the custody or care of the children of a person, who is resident of
the Foreign Jurisdiction;
(d)
preparation of instruments and rendition of legal advice with respect to
establishment of businesses and operations thereof including investments in the
Foreign Jurisdiction by any resident of India; and
(e)
preparation of documents and rendition of legal advice with respect to
commercial transactions where the governing law is expressly stated to be the Foreign
Law and the transaction is a cross border transaction in which at least one party is from
the Foreign Jurisdiction.
2.2

A foreign legal consultant shall not:

(a)

undertake any activity or any service constituting the practice of the law of India;

(b)
quote from or summarise advice concerning the law of India which has been
rendered by an Advocate duly admitted under the law India;
(c)
appear as advocate, pleader or attorney in India in any civil or criminal court,
tribunal, regulatory or statutory authority, quasi-judicial or quasi-governmental agency,
any central, state, or municipal or local government authority, or prepare or file

pleadings or any other papers in any action or proceedings brought in any such court,
tribunal, agency, or authority;
(d)
prepare any deed, mortgage, assignment, discharge, lease, agreement of sale,
or any other instrument affecting title to real property located in India or personal
property located in India;
(e)
prepare any will or trust instrument affecting the disposition of any property
located in India and owned by a resident thereof nor prepare any instrument relating the
administration of a decedents estate in India;
(f)
prepare any instrument with respect to the marital relations, rights, or duties of a
resident of India or the custody or care of the children of such a resident;
(g)
prepare documentation, render advice or assistance in any transaction or matter
where the laws of India expressly or impliedly apply;
(h)
render any legal services without utilizing a written retainer agreement that shall
specify in bold type that the foreign legal consultant is not admitted to practice law in
India nor licensed to advise on the laws of India, and that the practice of the foreign
legal consultant is limited to the concerned Foreign Law;
(i)
render professional legal advice with respect to Indian immigration laws, customs
laws or trade law or intellectual property law;
(j)
directly, or through a representative, propose, recommend or solicit employment
of himself or herself, his or her partner, or his or her associate for pecuniary gain or
other benefit with respect to any matter not within the scope of practice authorized by
paragraph 2.1; and
(k)
advertise or solicit anywhere in the world that foreign legal consultant or any firm
or entity or organization or any Connected Entity (defined below) is engaged in the
practice of laws of India.
3.

Title

(a)
Any foreign legal consultant licensed to render services under these regulations
shall not represent in any manner whether in India or any other part of the world, that he
is admitted to practice laws of India.

(b)
Persons licensed under these regulations shall not use any title other than
Foreign Legal Consultant, Not Admitted to Practice Law in India, although such
persons authorized title and firm name in the foreign country in which the person is
admitted to practice as an attorney counselor at law, or the equivalent may be used
provided always that the title, firm name, and the name of the foreign country are stated
together with the abovementioned designation. Nothing may be added to title to create
the impression that the Foreign Legal Consultant is licensed or authorized to practice
laws of India.
4.
Relationship with Advocates admitted in India to practice by the Bar
Council of India
A foreign legal consultant or any other person who is not an Advocate, or any firm, entity
or organization of which such foreign legal consultant or person is a owner, partner,
consultant, employee, retainer or with which the foreign legal consultant is connected in
any other similar capacity (collectively Connected Entity), shall not, directly or
indirectly:
(a) (i) partner with; or (ii) participate in the sharing of profits and assumption of risks in
any joint venture, arrangement, or association, with an Advocate or firm of Advocates in
the practice of law in India irrespective of where such partnership, venture, association
or arrangement is constituted;
(b)
establish a joint office with, or assign, depute or designate any of its partners,
associates, employees, or other personnel to, any Advocate or firm of Advocates to
engage in practice of law of India;
(c)

manage, operate, control or enjoy equity interests in any firm of Advocates;

(d)
employ an Advocate as a part of foreign legal consultants operations in India or
any where in the world, provided that if an Advocate is so employed, then such
Advocate shall cease to be an admitted member of the Bar Council of India and shall
not be entitled to practice law of India; or
(e)
cause any support staff employed, engaged, retained or hired by it provide legal
services to clients.
Explanation:
For the purposes of Clause 4(d), any of the following circumstances shall be regarded
as the employment of an Advocate, where:

(a)
an employment has been entered into with an Advocate by the foreign legal
consultant or any Connected Entity;
(b)
an Advocate or the firm in which such Advocate is a partner, is wholly or
substantially retained by or is dependent on foreign legal consultant and/or the
Connected Entity for referral of matters to such Advocate;
(c)
any agreements for profit and risk sharing, or for sharing of costs and expenses,
or for participating in management has been entered into by a foreign legal consultant
or a Connected Entity with an Advocate or firm of Advocates concerning the practice of
law of India;
(d)
remuneration, expenses or business-related distributions have been paid to an
Advocate or a firm of Advocates; or
(e)
an Advocate or a firm of Advocates has been engaged to conduct business
activities for clients in the name of foreign legal consultant or any Connected Entity.
5.

Discipline

(a)
Each person licensed to practice as a foreign legal consultant under this chapter
is expressly subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct and to continuing review of
such consultant's qualifications to retain any license granted hereunder, and shall be
subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of, and the rules therefor prescribed by, the Bar
Council of India.
(b)
The Bar Council of India may notify the concerned Foreign Bar Council of any
disciplinary action taken against such foreign legal consultant and such Foreign Bar
Council shall take action against the foreign legal consultant as if the foreign legal
consultant had breached the rules of such Foreign Bar Council.
6.

Withdrawal or termination of license

License to perform services as a foreign legal consultant shall cease immediately upon
the earliest of the following events:
(a)
notification by the Bar Council of India, in its discretion, at any time, with our
without cause, stating that permission to perform services under this chapter has been
revoked. The foreign legal consultant shall have 15 days to request reinstatement for
good cause; or

(b)
the failure of the foreign legal consultant to comply with provisions of these
regulations.
7.

Procedures and documents for licensing