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Britain beckons Indian solicitors

posted Dec 8, 2013, 6:19 PM by FLE Learning   [ updated Sep 28, 2016, 5:51 AM ]
20th November 2005, NEW DELHI: At a time when the Bar Council of India is opposing the entry of foreign lawyers tooth and nail, Britain has opened up opportunities for Indian lawyers willing to practise in that country, especially in the corporate sector.

As a first step, an Indian lawyer aspiring to become a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales no longer has to travel to that country to take the eligibility exam-- Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test-- as centers are being launched in New Delhi and Mumbai from April next year.

 

"Indian lawyers are welcome in UK. We are taking steps to increase the accessibility of Indian lawyers to English courts. This is one such step," British High Commissioner Sir Michael Arthur said launching the QLTT in India.


He said the "positive development" demonstrates the "growing practical cooperation" between India and the UK, not just in the legal sector but in so many areas.

Without passing the QLTT, an Indian lawyer could practise only Indian law in England, but would not be able to do activities reserved for solicitors like conveyencing, applications for probates and litigation.

The tests will be conducted twice a year for a fee of 275 pounds (approximately Rs 22,000).

Urging Indian lawyers to "grab the opportunity", Director of UK-based Central Law Training (CLT) Paul W Whitehouse said by passing the QLTT, Indian lawyers would be able to offer more comprehensive services to their clients and benefit from an increase in referrals to their firms.


"This should increase the confidence of overseas firms investing in India, as they will be doing business with more Indian lawyers with additional qualifications.

Nick Olley, Director of the College of Law in Wales, says at present Indians comprise only a negligible number of the 5,000 who get solicitor certificates issued in the UK but now it is expected to increase substantially with the centres being launched in India.

Though the tests are being launched in Delhi and Mumbai, he said more centres will be started when there is sufficient demand.

On the elegibility to appear for the tests, he said Indians who want to become solicitors in India need to be registered by the Bar Council of India and need a minimum two years experience in courts.

The test is divided into four heads namely Property (covering conveyancing and wills, probate and administration), litigation, professional conduct and accounts and principles of common law.


"With the increasing globalisation of legal firms, today's lawyers often find that being qualified across several jurisdictions enhances both their own practice and their international marketability," said Daniel Shepherd, trade policy adviser in the British High Commission.


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