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Vol.14 Issue 1 (2018)

Dual Capacity of Advocates: Implications for IP Law Firms

Arpan Banerjee & Manasi Chaudhari

Due to the global nature of intellectual property (IP) infringements, a fair number of plaintiffs in Indian IP cases turn out to be foreign entities with no offices or agents in India. Such entities often appoint partners of law firms as their constituted attorneys. However, Indian law prohibits an advocate from acting in the dual capacity of a lawyer and client’s representative. In this article, we discuss the law on the subject, including case law involving IP law firms, and interview leading IP law firms to understand their practices. We suggest strategies which law firms can use to skirt the dual capacity issue, such as appointing non-advocates as constituted attorneys.


Assistant Professor, Assistant Dean and Executive Director, Centre for IP & Technology Law, Jindal Global Law School (on research leave); Scientia Doctoral Scholar, University of New South Wales, Sydney. ** Advocate, High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad. The authors wish to thank the individuals who granted them interviews.

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