The Bar Council of India has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bar Council of England and Wales & Law Society of England and Wales to permit the exchange programme for Lawyers from three countries.

The MoU was signed for an exchange programme of Lawyers and Law Students for mutual exchange of training & learning amongst each other's jurisdiction.

The MOU was signed on June 05, 2023, at a meeting held in London attended by several delegates of BCI, the Chairman of the Bar Council of India, the President of the Bar Council of England and Wales as well as the President of the Law Society of England and Wales.

Under the MoU, the Bar Council of India has been authorized to recommend some young Lawyers to the Law Society and the Bar Council of England & Wales to provide opportunities for training and learning in International Law Firms, good Law Offices, and English Law Courts. However this does not give them the right to practice in the UK, the purpose of the MOU is only to facilitate an opportunity of learning about each other's jurisdiction.

The Lawyers recommended by BCI will be gaining experience in the field of International arbitration, and get opportunities to attend offices of reputed International Law Firms and Offices of renowned Solicitors and Barristers. As per the Terms of MOU, For the Solicitors & Barristers of England and Wales, the 90 days programme shall be confined to training and learning only and they will not be allowed to practice in any form in India.

As per the press release Manan Kumar Mishra, Chairman of BCI, mentioned that this MOU will pave the way for fostering the exchange of legal acumen skills, training, and ideas between the legal fraternity of both countries and Indian Lawyers will be benefitted. Referring to the entry of foreign lawyers in India, Mr Mishra stated that the regulations regarding the entry of foreign lawyers in India need certain crucial changes and very soon after the necessary changes are made the registrations of foreign lawyers and law firms will begin.

Addressing the same issue, the Vice Chairman of BCI Mr S. Prabakaran mentioned "BCI has received representations from Indian Law Firms and a section of the Indian Bar. The opinion of Foreign bodies will also be welcomed on this issue."

Moreover, it was made clear that the issue of the practice of foreign/UK Lawyers in India and vice versa in the UK in any form including International Commercial Arbitration, relating to laws of their respective countries, and in non-litigious areas are not governed or touched upon in the MoU and they remain to be governed by the Bar Council of India Rules for Registration and Regulation of Foreign Lawyers and Foreign Law Firms in India, 2022 framed by BCI (which the BCI is proposing to revisit, with a view to addressing the issues raised by Law Firms & a few Lawyers of India & abroad).

Click here to read/ download the press release