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Arun Krishnan (Student)     12 October 2009

All member Lawyers of LCI Please Remember This

There is a complete ban on advertising for lawyers in India. The Bar Council of India, pursuant to its functions mentioned under Section 7(1)(b)of the Advocates Act read with its powers to make rules under Section 49(1)(c) has framed Rule 36 of the Bar Council of India Rules under Section IV(Duty to Colleagues) of Chapter II(Standards of Professional Conduct and Etiquette) of Part IV(Rules Governing Advocates). Rule 36 reads as under:

“An advocate shall not solicit work or advertise, either directly or indirectly, whether by circulars, advertisements, touts, personal communications, interviews not warranted by personal relations, furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments or producing his photographs to be published in connection with cases in which he has been engaged or concerned. His sign-board or name-plate should be of a reasonable size. The sign-board or name-plate or stationery should not indicate that he is or has been President or Member of a Bar Council or of any Association or that he has been associated with any person or organisation or with any particular cause or matter or that he specialises in any particular type of worker or that he has been a Judge or an Advocate General.”

Thus, it is against an advocate’s code of ethics to solicit or advertise work and amounts to a misconduct on the part of the advocate. Both direct and indirect advertising is prohibited. An advocate may not advertise his services through circulars, advertisements, touts, personal communication or interviews not warranted by personal relations.


 19 Replies

N.Ramakrishnan (Advocate/ Senior Partner)     12 October 2009

Dear Arun,

I fully endorse your views and people like Kiran and myself have already raised this issue in the forum. It is unfortunate that our esteemed members still continue to disregard the same. I think the website should ban members who indulge in such unethical practises.

It is also heartening to note that you have raised this issue even while being a student and the same goes to show your sense of ethics even at this age which is sadly lacking with a number of our senior members.


N.Ramakrishnan, ADV


1 Like

Rajan Salvi (Lawyer)     20 October 2009

One way is to post all or any personal information except phone numbers and addresses.

1 Like

Vishwa (translator)     02 November 2009

I have been subjected to blatant sollicitation by members after posting messages in this forum. I do not think this is in itself bad.

If a stuggling lawyer tries to find a client or a litigant succeeds in finding a lawyer to defend him. Afterall, there should be some benefit derived from participating in the forum. But there should be some rules for this purpose. Perhaps one way could be to have the lawyers list their profiles in a standard format so that persons can contact them according to their need and according to the profile of the lawyer.

We are not living in an ideal world, we have to put up with a lot of bad things in order to obtain some good.




Sarvesh Kumar Sharma Advocate (Advocacy)     02 November 2009

"RESOLVED that the following amendment of Rule 36 in Section IV, Chapter II, Part VI of the Bar Council of India Rules by incorporating a proviso in terms of resolution passed by the Joint Consultative Conference be and is hereby approved."




"PROVIDED that this Rule will not stand in the way of advocates furnishing website information as prescribed in the Schedule under intimation to and as approved by the Bar Council of India. Any additional other input in the particulars than approved by the Bar Council of India will be deemed to be violation of Rule 36 and such advocates are liable to be proceeded with misconduct under Section 35 of the Advocates Act, 1961"

Gundlapallis (Advocate)     03 November 2009

A good advocate does not need an advertisement... he is always found on reference by his satisfied client group and so he is busy with handful of work and no necessity for him to solicit a new client through advertisement.

2 Like




With all due respect to the Bar council rules and the discussions in this thread, I believe there is no harm in advertising ones services. I think the problem arises when its misused to be blatantly soliciting business. There is a difference between the two although very close.  There should not be any concerns if one just highlights the service areas that one specializes in and offers advice. I agree though that this is not the right forum to do that. But as a concept overall its still important in the sense that customers need to have a ready resource of lawyers to look at and make an informed decisions. Advertising in no way diminishes r comments on the capabilities of an advocate. Blatant solicitation is wrong but  there is certainly a case for having a platform where lawyers can identify their niche areas and advertise accordingly. it augurs well for both, lawyers as well as potential clients. 

Anil Agrawal (Retired)     12 November 2009

 What is the problem if it is advertised? Why such a rule has been framed? In what way it lowers the dignity of the law, bar, and court?

G V S Jagannadha Rao (-)     13 November 2009

Quite an interesting discussion. I endorse the views expressed by my learned brothers that no advertising should be permitted. We members should show restraint and should not cross the "Lakshman rekha".

On the issue raised by Mr. Tushar and Mr. Anil, my person view is that - A Rule is a Rule and at least the members of legal profession should not question the rule.

It is however open to any person to challenge a bad rule. But till the rule is thus challenged and set aside by a competent court, it has to be respected and followed.

Anil Agrawal (Retired)     13 November 2009

 With due respect, I submit that it is the not question of a rule being struck down. What is archaic should automatically get removed. It is very interesting to note that because a rule is there, even if not required, it should be followed. What is the genesis for framing this rule?


 Following rules blindly undermines independent thinking. If our social reformers had thought sati is the custom and we should not question it, it would have still be been prevalent. Avoiding arguments to ensure convenience doesnt augur well for a consultative approach towards rule making.

G V S Jagannadha Rao (-)     13 November 2009

Mr. Anil, I am sure, knows , that there is no provision in any law for "automatic removal" of any "archaic" (rule). Any advocate in the first instance should not advocate the theory that a rule should not be followed. Any such thing would adversely affect the judicial process. I have already stated that if any advocate feels that the rule is in the first instance wrongly made or that its continuation in the rule book is not justified, steps can be taken for its removal, by due process of law. I am not against a public debate about the merits and demerits of a rule. I welcome such debate. I only wish to state that no advocate can unilaterally decide that the rule is bad and therefore need not be adhered to. I agree with Mr. Tushar about critical analysis of any provision of law and about promoting independant thinking. I however differ with his equating the practice of Sati with the ban against advertising by an advocate. 

Sivan (Manager)     18 January 2010

Mr Arun,

Any way nice to know that as a student you admit code of ethics. But kindly note that this code we are follows since British Victorian term! But UK modified a lot in code of ethics and they realised that  advocacy is a service in all meaning and many meaning it is a HIDDEN TRADE WHICH ACCEPT WAGE AS GIFT. So bar organization should consider this fact before forieng legal busioness organization will take over our market.

Arun  can easily make voice because he never tasted the effect of code of ethics and still he is outside of the field and looking to enter inside. Arun it is time is already exceeded to leave some orthodox mind bounded only for legal professionals.



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