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Thursday, February 29 2024
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Delhi Bar Council orders ‘big four’ audit firms to stop practicing law

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bar councilNew Delhi: The Bar Council of Delhi, in an interim order on Friday, May 3, directed four big accounting firms — E&Y, Deloitte India, Price Water House Cooper’s and KPMG — to refrain from practising law until further orders from the lawyers’ body.

The Bar Council has also asked these firms for a list of all advocates enrolled across all their offices, in any capacity.

The Bar Council action came on a complaint by senior advocate Lalit Bhasin alleging that though all these firms were accounting firms originally, they were engaged in law practice, which was not legally permissible.

Bhasin, who is also the President of the Society of India Law Firms
said that the accounting firms have been encroaching into legal practice.

While Chartered Accountants are governed by the Chartered Accountants Act, legal practice is governed by the Advocates Act.

“The Council is of the view that in the meantime, all the firms… refrain themselves from indulging in any such practice until further orders,” said a statement from the Delhi Bar Council.

As per media reports, in November 2018, an expert panel constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs suggested an amendment to the Advocates Act to allow audit firms to offer legal services.

The Bar Council of Delhi will hear the matter next on July 12.

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