Bhubaneswar: A mega conclave of law firms on ‘Globalization of Legal Services: Issues and Challenges’ was held at KIIT University on August 10, 2015. The conclave, organized jointly by KIIT University and Confederation of India Bar, was inaugurated by Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Hon’ble Former President of India in the presence of Hon’ble Shri Justice G. T. Nanavati, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India, Mr. Pravin H. Parekh, President, Confederation of Indian Bar, Prof. P. P. Mathur, VC, KIIT University and Prof. N. K. Chakrabarti, Director, KIIT School of Law.

Inaugurating the conclave, Smt. Patil said, globalization has brought about a sea change in the entire fabric of legal profession. To a large extent, legal profession today requires sound knowledge of legal system of the country as well as beyond national boundaries, she stated. Legal service is classified as professional service as per the World Trade Organization’s classification list of services sector, she observed, elaborating that Indian lawyers are competent not only in the field of litigation, but also in the field of contract, arbitration, joint venture, import-export laws and company laws. Globalization of legal services presents lots of new opportunities and Indian advocates and law firms should make the best of these, she added.

Delivering the presidential address, Shri Justice G. T. Nanavati said, globalization in simple term is closer integration of countries and people. Since the emergence United Nations Organization and World Trade Organization, the process of globalization has been becoming more visible. In the age of globalization, an individual can do business anywhere of the world. This has lead to various requirements, including legal services. Globalization of legal services is posing some problems as well as opportunities for Indian lawyers law firms, he said, adding that higher degree of professionalism and efficiency are important to make the best use of the opportunities.

Bar Council of India controls and regulates the legal services and lawyers in India, Justice Nanavati said. This control can be extended to foreign lawyers and foreign law firms operating in India. The problem is how to control and to regulate the foreign non-legal firms which render legal services, he said, while suggesting Bar Asociations and Bar Councils should find a mechanism to regulate their activities.

A large number of advocate-delegates, including top representatives from over 75 law firms from India and abroad, participated in nine parallel sessions of the conclave. Representatives from foreign law firms like Essex Court Chambers, U.K.; Vision & Elkins LLP, Hong Kong; and Koffels Solicitors & Barristers, Australia also participated.

Mr. Pravin H. Parekh gave the welcome address, while, Prof. P. P. Mathur proposed vote of thanks.