Indian Advocates can Advertise Now : BCI Rules Amended

Indian Advocates can Advertise Now : BCI Rules Amended
We all know that the Advocates Act, 1961 had barred the Indian Advocates from making any kind of advertisement in any kind of media whether it be newspapers, internet, banners, etc.
After the Second World War the International Economic Order which emerged, encouraged Free Trade in goods. 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 has come in due to the phenomenon of globalization developing world over. 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 anti-competitive and contrary to the goals and purpose of competition policy and Competition Act, 2002. But in all Advocates were not allowed to Advertise.
                      The BCI have said earlier that the legal profession was not a trade and hence, advocates could not be permitted to advertise their services.
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The Indian Express Newspaper, published an article on their website on New Delhi, July 28, 00:43 hrs, regarding the new decision of Bar Council of India for letting the Advocates to advertise on the internet.
The Newspaper has been noticed to claim that the Bar Council of India [BCI] told that a three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice B N Aggarwal that it has decided to let advocates advertise on the internet.

Mr.V B Joshi had filed a petition challenging the Rule 36, Section IV of BCI rules, which stops Indian Advocates from advertising their services in public in the Supreme Court. The bench was hearing to the said petition. The BCI had made amendment in the above said rule, thereby allowing the Indian Advocates to Advertise their legal services in the website of their choice. This amendment allows advocates to mention their names, telephone numbers, e-mail IDs and professional and educational qualifications on the websites of their choice.

Advocates advertisements in foreign newspapersJustice S H Kapadia who was part of this three member bench perusing the amended notification, made a suggestion that Advocates may also add their area of specialization and number of years of experience to their profile on the website.

However, BCI said that the advertisement published should be within the fixed parameters and should abide the new rules and regulations. Any breach of the rules would be taken as professional misconduct. It also said that the Western standards cannot be applied to India Legal fraternity  as that would lead to unbalance in the Indian Legal System. You can have a look at the new set of rules framed by BCI regarding, advocates advertisement on websites, 2008.

According to a recent article on the Wall Street Journal, the US Lawyers are highest bidders on Google AdSense (an online advertising system by Google), with "Asbestos attorney" going for $51.68, "Oakland personal injury lawyer" going for $58.03 and "Mesothelioma attorney Texas" fetching a record $65.21 per click! This shows that there is a vibrant market for advertising by lawyers in the US.

We have noticed on law related websites across internet like this one, that ads have started appearing from Indian advocates, lawyers, attorneys and law firms. We can't say for sure whether they are taking the advantage of this new regulation through advertising themselves, as after all, ads do matter. In case you think you have better information about this topic, contact us and we'll update with credits to you. Those interested in exploring deeper can also test the variation across different Indian regions with the help of an Indian VPN by adjusting your virtual location.

So, when you'll be advertising ? Please do give your valuable comments, about this new regulation, and whether you think you'll do better if you will advertise ?
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Puneet Batish - Founder & AuthorAbout: Puneet Batish - ♂ GeekUpd8 Author                      GeekUpd8  Find Geek Upd8 on Facebook  Follow Geek Upd8 on Twitter  Add Geek Upd8 on Google+ Circle  Subscribe Geek Upd8 on your Browser
An Advocate at District & Session Court and Punjab & Haryana High Court, Chandigarh. He is the founder & author of GeekUpd8 and a Contributor at, the online encyclopedia.


  1. Indian Lawyers/Advocate/Attorneys/Law firms can Advertise Now : Bar Council of India Rules Amended says Indian Express published on Geek Upd8 - Law Blog by Puneet Batish -

  2. Ajay Mishra, Advocate, Ranchi14 January 2013 at 20:55

    I feel it is a right step by the BCI. when foreign lawyers can advertise, why cant indian lawyers do the same, besides young advocates need this, for making their profession better. it is an old decision of 2008, but i wasn't aware of this, thanks for updating.

  3. do we really need to advertise ? i think, yes. with the change in time, requirements have changed too. doctors, religious leaders and even politicians are advertising, though they are noble professions as well, they too are for serving the humanity and nation, and if they can advertise, why cant we lawyers advertise. good decision.
    - Prakash verma, lawyer

  4. Dr. ASHOK KUMAR CHANDOK16 January 2013 at 18:28

    Since long it has been felt that one must engage an Advocate who is having expertise in a particular field for which a case is to be filed or defended and who has got experience in that field, instead of engaging an advocate who is next to your door or is an acquitance . This is more necessary where there are limited courts in that field or is only one court throughout India as is in the case of EPF Appellate Tribunal which is at Delhi only. In such a case, client has to struggle hard to find a expertise which can be found out through Internet easily.
    So keeping in view above situation, I am of the opinion that Advocates must be allowed to advertise strictly as per guidelines of BCI.

  5. Perhaps it's right, but the reason BCI was giving earlier was that , if advertisement is allowed, only rich advocates would take it's benefits, whereas economically weaker advocates won't be able take the advantage.
    May be internet have changed the scenario, but still advertisement is not free.

  6. ABHISHEK BHATNAGAR18 January 2013 at 20:33

    Good news indeed.

  7. RAVINDRA NATH PAREEK18 January 2013 at 20:34

    I welcome the same but at the same time we should follow a certain standard for it.

  8. Pramod Kumar Partner, International Jurix LLP18 January 2013 at 20:35

    yaa, I totally agree, but situation has been change now,

  9. Fakeeragouda Patil24 January 2013 at 22:31

    Ya.... a regulated and ethical advertising is not bad for advocates.... the scenario of practice has changed, so must the rule governing this ancient profession..

  10. Adv George Cherian25 January 2013 at 19:31

    beware of advt.bci can start media for advt.

  11. Nikhil Rajpurohit25 January 2013 at 19:32

    thanks for info, a good share................

  12. jagadish paranjape25 January 2013 at 19:32

    People do not always choose Advocates by reading Ads,but by mouth publicity and by observing performance in courts.Therefore ads may give only temporary advantage to some Advocates,but ultimately performance shall prevail.Advertisement is no substitute to hard work.

  13. @Jagdish Paranjape I agree sir, but that temporary boost can bring big results, if one have the caliber to act upon at right time.

  14. Srinivasaraju Chitrapu26 January 2013 at 18:24

    Your note refers to Supreme court judgement, I tried but I could not get the same. I could not get the confirmation on the amendment to the statute. Will you be able to provide to know more?

  15. Padmaja Dholakia26 January 2013 at 18:25

    I agree that allowing advocates to advertise their professional skills and expertise is a good thing that BCI has done. I do also understand that maybe the bigger law firms and the 'rich' advocates may have an initial advantage by being able to spend more on advertising, however, it is always merit that counts and not just how glamorous the office or the advertisement or website of the law firm is. I have personally experienced a reverse flow of clients from big law firm to the medium or small law firms / individual advocates, based on merit.

  16. @Srinivasaraju Chitrapu Please a look at the article again, i have referenced to the newspaper, link to which can be found in the article itself. It was basically a petition challenging the Rule 36, Section IV of BCI rules by Mr.V B Joshi. I suggest you to have a look at the article again, hopefully you'll be able to find the same.

  17. This is a step in right direction. The Internet users are now in millions on Computers, Laptops, Tablets and Smartphones. Because of this growth even e.commerce business is increasing rapidly. people try to find out on internet what they want. Why Lawyers should be deprived of benefits of modern technology. Ultimately it will help the people to solve their problems without spending their time to take appointment of a Lawyer, go to his Office at a given time, spend on conveyance and valuable time, pay heavy fees and in spite of this his work may not be done at the first instance and he may have to repeat the process. Sometime people think that problem is not serious and avoid to consult a lawyer which may land him in serious trouble later on.
    A Website by a Lawyer is considered as an advertisement.We must understand the difference between a Website of the Lawyer and a Legal Website. There are numerous website in India providing paid and/or Free Legal Services. Even some such websites are not run by Lawyers. Such a website provides a platform to bring Lawyers and Clients/Users to gather. This concept is gaining ground and in last couple of years many such Websites have come into existence. It is very much doubtful as to how BCI can control this?. In view of this also it is high time that Lawyers are allowed to advertise and take benefit of New Age technology. If this is done then only we can keep pace with international trend.

  18. i am an advocate in gujarat, can i adrvetise legally in internet?

  19. sir,
    i am an advocate in gujarat, can i legally advertise my profession on net and in papers?
    i want to work with some good lawyer of m.a.c.t. and revenue in rajkot
    pl. help me soonest
    i am the grand son of hamirji gohil who saved somnath temple and king and poet kalapi of lathi
    help me soonest

  20. Ofcourse @Anonymous, you can advertise following the guidelines of BCI

  21. Can you provide the copy of such amended rules ... please tell which rule got amended and when??


  22. It is good decision by Supreme Court thanks

  23. Go with wind, sail with tide...



Geek Upd8 - Law Reporter: Indian Advocates can Advertise Now : BCI Rules Amended
Indian Advocates can Advertise Now : BCI Rules Amended
Geek Upd8 - Law Reporter
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