India, the UK, and US law firms

Cite this Article
Larry Ribstein, India, the UK, and US law firms, Truth on the Market (September 27, 2011),

The Law Blog reports that India is considering letting in U.K. law firms after long barring all foreign law firms from having offices in India.

The LB notes that the UK would have to reciprocate by allowing Indian firms and that “[i]t’s unclear whether U.S. firms would be invited to the party.”

Well, I imagine that if the U.S. wants to join the “party” it would have to allow in Indian firms.  Which could open U.S. lawyers to all kinds of pernicious global competition. We wouldn’t want that, would we?  Even if it means that our counterparts in the U.K. will have access to a huge market denied to U.S. lawyers.  Because that would mean that the U.S. would have to allow, say, U.K. firms, and maybe all the new ownership structures permitted under the UK’s new Legal Services Act.

The question is how long will U.S. lawyers be able to hide from the rest of the world behind their regulatory wall.