The General Counsels’ Association of India (GCAI) calls for due recognition of in-house counsels as practicing lawyers with equal rights and privileges

GCAI is representing the interests of in-house legal counsel who are qualified lawyers with a law degree recognized by the Bar Council of India.

Key stakeholders from the law, policy, and business came together on Friday at the India International Centre to discuss and deliberate upon the role of General Counsels as strategizers, enablers, and protectors of corporate India.

The event, which was organized by the General Counsels’ Association of India (GCAI), saw participation from eminent guests, including senior GCs of some of the largest corporates in the country, members of the the judiciary, renowned senior advocates, academicians and researchers, and partners of leading law firms.

The evening began with the think-tank, Daksh, presenting its research on the professional standing of in-house counsels in the Indian legal system, in comparison with jurisdictions like the U.K. and U.S. and the specific changes in the law which need to be addressed to give due recognition to the in-house legal profession.

no business house can run without General Counsels as they play an integral role in decision-making at every stage of the company.

Gracing the event as Guest of Honour was Hon’ble Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri. Congratulating the GCAI, on this occasion, Hon’ble Justice Sikri said, “Today

This is one reason GCs are given a seat on companies’ Board of Directors. They also play a major role in the legal industry and have the same skills as practicing lawyers.

They have an edge as they have deep domain knowledge.

When this is how important the role of GCs is, why should their rights not be recognized?” Sharing an example from the U.S., Justice Sikri said that their highest law officer, the Attorney General, has joined a corporation as a GC after retirement.

That’s how coveted this role is. Lending his full support to the GCAI, Dr. Lalit Bhasin, President of the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) and the past President of the Bar Association of India emphasized that General Counsels are the backbone of the legal profession, and they should have all the rights which practicing lawyers have.

Addressing all the in-house counsels present, Mr. Bhasin said, “You are the ones who know the intricacies of the business and bring out the best in external lawyers so that clients receive the best quality advice.
There is no amendment to the Advocates Act required. This issue falls directly under the jurisdiction of the Bar Council, and you must ask for full rights.”
Support for the cause also came from Mr. Gourab Banerji, Mr. Sukumar Patjoshi, and Mr. Basava Prabhu Patil, Senior Advocates; Mr. Shubhashis Gangopadhyay, Dean, Indian School of Public Policy; Mr. Ranji Dua, Founder, M/s Dua Associates; Mr. Mahesh Agarwal, Partner M/s Agarwal Law Associates; and Prof. Prateek Sharma, Vice Chancellor, TERI School of Advanced Studies.
Thanking everyone for sharing their views and support, Mr. C.V. Raghu, President, GCAI said, “We are committed to taking forward our crucial objective of recognizing the experience and expertise of the General Counsels and securing equal recognition for in-house legal counsels.
GCAI looks to leverage upon the combined power of the General Counsels pan India, legal luminaries, and all the views shared Today to achieve this objective.”
The evening ended with GCAI’s felicitation of two of the iconic General Counsels, Ms. Vijaya Sampath and Mr. Ajit Yadav for their significant contribution to the in-house legal profession and the industry at large.
About the General Counsels’ Association of India: The General Counsels’ Association of India (GCAI) is a body formed, managed, and spearheaded by General Counsels with a vision to create a distinct professional identity for General Counsels and institutionalize the in–house legal function as a separate specialized stream of legal practice.
GCAI is representing the interests of in-house legal counsel who are qualified lawyers with a law degree recognized by the Bar Council of India.
Its purpose is to work to ensure the statutory recognition of the in-house legal profession, enhance awareness in the industry about the role and contributions of GCs, advance the highest ethical standards in their functioning and thereby strengthen their participation in the justice delivery system.
This article was shared with Prittle Prattle News as a Press Release.
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