Deepa Kurup

Bar Council is opposing entry of foreign law firms

‘Arbitration and counselling are

here to stay’

BANGALORE: For one of the country’s leading criminal lawyers, Sidharth Luthra is down-to-earth and easy to talk to. Having handled some of the important cases of his time, he speaks with complete authority as well as humility when he says that he is no expert in matters related to arbitration or its internationalisation.

“We need to establish a level-playing field and strengthen our structure before we go that way,” he says, responding to questions on whether foreign law firms should be allowed in the country.

Though the Bar Council has been opposing this move to the hilt, Mr. Luthra feels that the litigation system is not averse to it.

“However, unlike in some places where the U.S. and U.K. firms may have subsumed local law firms, we need to ensure there is enough space for everyone,” he spells a word of caution, while speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the International Moot Competition at National Law School of India University.

“Arbitration and counselling is the future of litigation and is here to stay. The 1996 Act made it streamlined and as a fraternity we need to gear up to it,” Mr. Luthra admits. The moot court brings forth this very idea of arbitration and he feels that it is an “excellent way of creating awareness.”