Banks not to grant approval to any branch office, project office, liaison office to foreign Law firms for practicing in India
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2018 held that advocates enrolled under the Advocates Act, 1961 alone are entitled to practice law in India and that foreign law firms/companies or foreign lawyers cannot practice profession of law in India.
As a result, foreign law firms/companies or foreign lawyers or any other person resident outside India, are not permitted to establish any branch office, project office, liaison office or other place of business in India for the purpose of practicing legal profession.
Earlier, during the pendency of the interim order of the Apex Court, the RBI had advised the banks that no fresh permissions/ renewal of permission shall be granted by the Reserve Bank/AD Category-I banks to any foreign law firm for opening of Liaison Office in India, till the policy is reviewed based on final disposal of the matter by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
RBI forbids Banks to grant approval to foreign Law firms to practice law in India
Accordingly, RBI has now advised banks not to grant any approval to any branch office, project office, liaison office or other place of business in India under FEMA for the purpose of practicing legal profession in India.
The Banks are required to bring to the notice of the Reserve Bank of any case of violation of the provisions of the Advocates Act coming to their notice.
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