Advertising for Advocates

Topics: Lawyer, Law, Advertising Pages: 16 (4933 words) Published: March 24, 2013
“A bar on advertising for Advocates in India under Advocates Act,1961 and Bar Council of India Rules” ANALYSED BY: MOSES PINTO 5TH YEAR LL.B.(HONS.) ROLL NO. 512 ACADEMIC YEAR: 2012-13

After the Second World War the International Economic Order which emerged, encouraged Free Trade in goods & services.  India was a founder signatory to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) since 1947, which led to the formation of WTO, on 1st January 1995.  This has led to a whole wide debate in India over the stringent laws governing code of ethics and morality of Legal Professionals on one hand and the WTO laws on the other hand. This debate revolves around major issues pertaining to the objectives of legal profession, consumerism, social justice, Indian commitment to WTO regime, competition law etc. Some professionals argue that the shift in trade nature of legal services shall hamper ‘professional ethics’ and concept of ‘justice to all’. Some others say that the regulations imposed on the legal services sector are contrary to the goals and purpose of competition policy and Competition Act, 2002. At the heart of this controversy lies the issue of legal advertising. The lawyers in India are barred from advertising their profession considering the profession to be a noble one and such advertising to be derogatory to that profession. Advertisements are a forum for establishing the utility of goods and services. Further, it enhances and encourages competition in the relevant market by providing a forum for launching of new products.   To cope up with the WTO laws and norms and looking at the current trend which has subjected legal profession to trade laws, it has become inevitable to allow the legal professionals to advertise and to rethink about the policy of law in India. People think whether this kind of ban based on age old norms is viable in this modern era. The debate of the hour in the Indian legal world is on why the profession should have very strict curbs on promoting its services stemming from laws that originate from British thinking when the country from where it originates has itself done away with the curbs? In the view of the above background, I would like to discuss the laws banning the advertising for legal professionals in India and their implications, considering the position of such laws in other developed countries owing to the WTO norms. INDEX

I. CHAPTER I: The Law on Legal Advertising in India
* The law under Bar Council of India Rules;
* The Judiciary on this rule
II. CHAPTER II: Law in other Countries
* Position in U.K.
* Position in U.S.
* Position in other countries
III. CHAPTER III: The Constitutional validity of Rule 36 IV. CHAPTER IV: Disadvantages of banning Legal Ads * Consumerism and Informed Choice

* Advertisement on Internet
* Other disadvantages
* Need for regulating the advertising
I. CHAPTER I: The Law on Legal Advertising in India After taking into account the recommendations of the Law Commission on the subject of Reform of Judicial Administration relating to the Bar and to legal education and to implement the recommendations of the All India Bar Committee made in 1953, the Indian Legislature came up with the Advocates Act, 1961. This act under the section 4 forms a Bar Council of India to regulate all the legal professionals and legal education in India. The Bar Council of India is the central institution for supervising and monitoring the growth and...

Bibliography: Articles, Websites, Reports and others:
1)  Abhibav Kumar, “Lawyers must be allowed to advertise”, at (last visited on 25th November, 2007).
2)  Anubha Charan, “Is it unethical for lawyers to put up their own Website?”, October 15, 2001, at (last visited on 24th November, 2007).
3)  Bar Council Entry of Foreign Lawyers in India, August 30, 2003 at (last visited on 22nd November, 2007).
4)  Bhadra Sinha, “Lawyers may be allowed web ads”, September 19, 2007, at (last visited on 20th November 2007). Also see Supra note 6.
5)  Cyber Search – What Does Search Engine Marketing Mean For Solicitors?, at (last visited on November 25, 2007).
6)  David L. Hudson, “Bates participants reflect on landmark case”, at (Last visited on 22nd November, 2007)
7)  http:// (last visited on 22nd November 2007).
8)  Lawyer can’t be blamed if his name appears in print, says Punjab A-G, May 25, 1999, at (last visited on 18th November 2007).
9)  Legal Websites, A World Wide Web Of Opportunies, at (last visited on 22nd November, 2007).
10)  Malathi Nayak, India debates letting lawyers advertise, at (last visited on 25th November, 2007).
11) Rajiv Dutta, “World Trade Organization and Legal Services: The Indian Scenario”, at (last visited on 23rd November, 2007).
14)  Statement of Objects and Reasons, The Advocates Act, 1961.
15)   Swapnil Joshi, “Changing Face Of The Legal Profession In India In The Era Of Globalization”, at (last visited on 25th November, 2007).
17) World Bank Report on Emerging Service Sector, 1999 quoted in The Raghvan Committee Report on Competition Law, 2000.
18) (official legal marketing Italia website, last visited on 24th November 2007).
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