“Opening a legal market fully to the world works to
44© Allen & Overy LLP 2012 Time to liberalise India’s legal market?|2012
In almost every area of professional or commercial life, opening what has previously been a closed domestic market to foreign participants is contentious. It involves change and change can be a threat as well as an opportunity.
Every country contemplating theopening of its legal market undergoesa period of intense debate as to theadvantages and disadvantages of
by the change. There are three mainstakeholder groups: the clients; the
government. The debate becomesharder because cultural values and therule of law, for which the legalprofession is custodian, are involved. The voice of each of the groups is notalways accorded equal coverage or weight in the media and there can beambiguity as to whether there is aconsensus within each group and what that consensus is. Any initiative which introduces into the debate hard,independently developed, statisticalevidence is therefore a useful guidefor productive debate.I welcome this survey, which has beenconducted by YouGov, anindependent opinion research agency,at the request of international law
shed light on the current debate aboutlegal market opening in India, but italso contributes data which is relevantto similar debates currently under way in a number of other countries.In practice, the opening of a domesticlegal market to foreign participants
which advise large corporations, sincethe overwhelming majority of law
home countries are targeting largecorporations, not small enterprisesor individuals.My own experience at the Japanesebar indicates that opening a legalmarket fully to the world works to the
provided the change is introduced inan extremely carefully planned way.
By Akira Kawamura, President, International Bar Association
PresidentInternational Bar Association
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