Outlook Still Positive For Indian LPO’s

The bad news might well be piling up in the legal industry worldwide but every story we read about LPO’s in India still has a shiny patina..

The Financial Times reports this week..


Outsourcing: Law firms fuel the demand for offshore services
By Amy Kazmin in New Delhi
Published: January 30
A few months ago, Ayetree Gogoi, 28, was practising law in a provincial court in India’s remote tea-growing state of Assam, litigating civil matters.

Today, Ms Gogoi is part of a team of 75 Indian lawyers and medical professionals combing millions of pages of internal e-mails, annual reports, clinical trial data, and medical publicity material belonging to GE, as the US-based company prepares its defence for a high-profile pharmaceutical product liability lawsuit.

The task of Ms Gogoi and her colleagues – all employees of UnitedLex, a three-year-old New Delhi-based legal process outsourcing company – is to identify documents relevant to the case.

“If I was still in Assam arguing in a provincial court, I would not have got this exposure,” she says in UnitedLex’s ultra-modern office in Gurgaon, just outside the Indian capital. “Here we are part of a big product liability litigation that will impact the world.”


And in further good news for lawyers in India (if not for local law firms who don’t like competition) the Times of India reports

Foreign law firms can register in India, says Law minister
24 Jan
MUMBAI: The newly-enacted Limited Liability Partnership Act could be the way out for foreign law firms to set up shop in India, Union law minister H R Bhardwaj said on Friday.

The minister, who has been advocating the entry of overseas law firms into India, asked top India law firms to "stop opposing” the opening up of the legal sector and to instead "benefit from it”.

"Foreign law firms can register in India under Section 59 of the LLP Act, for which rules are being framed, and offer consultation. But they can’t practise law as right to legal practice is controlled by the Advocates Act which permits only an Indian lawyer enrolled in Bar Council here to do so,” he tried to explain to the media after meeting UK business secretary Peter Mandelson in Mumbai on Friday. Mandelson said in UK, law firms "do not shy away from competition.”



And World Law Direct has published a well informed piece about the need to let foreign law firms practice in India entitled

Will India open up to foreign lawyers?

Most lawyers agree that it is a question of when, rather than if, the Indian market will be liberalised. But change will happen slowly. Even if the foreign firms win their court case, the Indian lawyers are likely to appeal. And although there is political support for the legal market to be opened up to international competition, there is an election looming. Doug Peel of White & Case’s India practice, based in Singapore, says political will is "wavering" as a result.

The consensus among Indian lawyers in favour of liberalisation is that the market should be opened gradually, to give Indian firms more chance to compete against the foreigners. For this to happen, the strict rules regulating domestic firms would need to be relaxed, perhaps over five years. "We’ll learn a lot from the international profession, and maybe we’ll teach them a bit too, but before we open we must correct all these ills," says Mr Luthra.

International firms will have to sit tight for the time being, like expectant children waiting for Disney World to open. Meanwhile their clients will have to keep racking up the air miles to India.

Full article at http://www.worldlawdirect.com/forum/indian-law/20749-will-india-open-up-foreign-lawyers.html