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Government Should Open Up Legal Market For Foreign Players: Lalit Bhasin, Corporate Lawyer

In an interview with BW Businessworld, Lalit Bhasin talks about the current legal scenario.

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Lalit Bhasin, a well know corporate lawyer, is a veteran who has represented the legal industry for decades now in various governments at the centre with rightful issues, concerns that the country has been reeling under for decades and centuries ranging from insolvency, courts' set up that serves no purpose, removing obsolete laws, make amendments in Advocates Act among others. In a relaxed chat with BW Businessworld, Bhasin shares his views on the current legal scenario. 

On opening up of the legal industry to foreign players Bhasin thinks, it's time the legal industry should be opened to foreign law firms. "The Supreme Court recently said that only Indian lawyers can practice the law in the country. The legal profession is globalised, we need to open up the market for foreign players for a level playing field in a phased manner though, by making amendments in the Advocates Act. He said that the best friends' alliance doesn't work in today's time."

He had made a presentation with Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and the later was positive towards it.

On legal delays that are plaguing the judicial system, he said, "There are too many outdated, overlapping, obsolete laws that need to be removed. We need to rationalize the laws. He said the government is the largest litigant with 60-70 per cent cases fought by the government. "There has to be an inbuilt mechanism within the government to resolve the cases. The mediation will let go of 40 per cent of the cases. Tribunals’ decision should be final and not challenged in the upper courts and this will reduce the pendency   of the cases", said Bhasin.

Prime Minister Modi in his previous stint rightly mentioned that India could be an arbitration hub of the world with the likes of London, Dubai, Paris, Singapore. Bhasin says that despite the repealing of the old Act we have failed to take off. "We need to set up an exemplary institutions that will show confidence among disputing parties. The institutions should create a database of technocrats, chartered accountants, engineers and architects. Arbitration is expensive and prolonged. The retired judges may or may not have the necessary domain knowledge of a particular case, therefore experts from every industry should be involved", said Bhasin. He further stated that existing institutions do not inspire confidence.

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