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Abstract

Until 2012 India, barred foreign lawyers from formally practicing law in the country. On February 21, 2012, however, the Madras High Court, in A.K. Balaji v. Gov’t of India, handed a victory to international law firms keen on entering the Indian market alongside their globalizing clients. The Balaji decision marked the Indian judiciary’s first concerted effort to carve back the blanket prohibition, by permitting foreign lawyers to enter India on a temporary basis to conduct arbitrations, or advise clients on matters of foreign and international law. Although many practitioners and scholars alike applaud the Madras Court’s decision, the case also exposes the numerous regulations governing India’s legal profession, thus raising concerns about domestic lawyers’ ability to compete in a now increasingly global market.

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