What Should You Do to Become a Successful Panel Lawyer?

January 15, 2017
successful panel lawyer

This article written by Anubhav Pandey takes a dig on What’s required from a lawyer to become a Panel Lawyer of the institutions like – Banks, financial institutions, PSUs or Courts.

Every institution, either it is financial, regulatory, policy-making or educational, needs a lawyer. The skills required for interpreting statutes and judgment is what that creates a demand for a panel lawyer in every field. Here is a detailed know-how on, how can a lawyer get empaneled by banks and other institution in India.

Role of Banking & Finance Lawyer in India

Requirements to be a Panel Lawyer of Banks in India

Duties of A Panel Lawyer in Banking Institutions

While pursuing/defending any litigation on behalf of the bank, the Panel advocate should:

Not make any submission before the Court without proper instructions from the concerned branch/office of the bank.

Salary Paid to Panel Lawyers in Banks in India.

Salary differs from institution to institution. ICICI bank pays at around 9.05 lakhs for a new joiner who has joined as a panel lawyer or law officer.

The different banks offer different packages depending upon the experience(s) of the candidate. Salary is normally decent enough, along with various (DA & HRA).

 Designing of Resume for Selection as a Panel Lawyer in Indian Banks

To apply for panel lawyer or law officer one needs to design a resume in a manner which reflects one’s work with banking and commercial laws. If a law student, one should intern with banking institutions. Sample CV is attached with this link below-

Sample CV for law officer or panel lawyer posts for banks in India

Panel Lawyers in Courts in India

Panel Lawyer(s) is/are selected under Regulation 8 of the National Legal Services Authority (Fee and Competent Legal Services) Regulation, 2010 to render free and competent legal services to the deserving, the needy persons under the scheme.

Every court, either it is the Supreme Court, the High Courts or the District Courts, have a panel of lawyers. These panel lawyers do various functions appointed to them by the court. A panel lawyer must possess an honest reputation and often are recognized at the bar.

Selection Procedure for Panel Lawyers in India

Different courts have different selection procedures. As the practice at the apex court is considered as the most difficult, so is the selection procedure for the panel lawyers in the Supreme Court.

Here is a detailed procedure for the selection of a panel lawyer in Delhi Legal Service Authority-
Advocates are appointed by the members of the Interview Board, comprising of

  1. Hon’ble Chairman, District Legal Services Authority
  2. Senior Additional District Judge
  3. Senior Additional Sessions Judge
  4. Secretary, District Legal Services Authority

Here is Brief Working, Selection of Panel lawyers in District Court in India-

It is the duty of the District Magistrate to maintain a list of all the panel lawyers involved with the court to fight civil or criminal cases.

Fees Paid to a Panel Lawyer in India

Fee paid to the panel lawyers depends upon court to court and also depends upon the experience of the lawyer empanelled.

Panel Lawyer in PSUs: MTNL

MTNL, a major telecom service provider licensed to provide all types of telecom services (Basic, Cellular, Internet, long distance etc) in licensed service areas of Delhi & Mumbai intends to have a panel of Advocates/ Firms for representing MTNL before various Courts in Delhi and Mumbai.

Duties of a Panel Lawyer in PSUs (MTNL) in India

It is the duty of a panel lawyer to represent the PSU in all courts, including – District Courts at Delhi & Mumbai; CMM Delhi, Mumbai, any High Court, Supreme Court, Tribunals, Judicial Forums, and Arbitrators etc.

Requirements to be a Panel Lawyer in a PSU in India

The panel of lawyers consists of Advocates from diversified fields viz. Telecom Regulatory laws, constitutional law, civil law, commercial law, property law, taxation law, corporate law etc, having the expertise, experience to handle cases in court.

For being a panel lawyer of a PSU in India, a minimum tenure of practice at the bar is required in most of the cases.

At times PSU demands certain infrastructural requirements too. In MTNL, the following requirements are demanded:

  1. Advocates/ Firms should have their own chambers in the Supreme Court, High Court or major District Courts or should have good office space with facilities like – telephone, fax, computers, internet, etc.
  2. The advocate/ firm must have an adequate manpower.
  3. The office of the advocate/ firms should be situated within 8 to 10 Kms of the office of MTNL.

Tenure for panel lawyers in PSUs in India

Every PSU has a criteria that a panel lawyer will have a minimum tenure of a certain year, subject to reappointment, which differs from PSUs to PSUs. In MTNL the initial tenure is for 2 years. However, if MTNL finds fit, it can increase the tenure for another 2 years.

Procedure for Selection as a Panel Lawyer in PSUs in India

Every PSUs have a different criteria but, a general guideline followed while selecting a panel lawyer is:

  1. Length of practice and specialization.
  2. Proper and adequate infrastructure such as – office premises, number of junior advocates, assistants, clerks and fax, mobile phone, fixed phone, internet connection etc.
  3. An annual income-tax return filed with the Tax Authorities.
  4. Track record and integrity.
  5. If considered necessary, an inquiry with the respective Bar Council/Bar.
  6. Association about the claims and conduct of the advocate to be empanelled may be made and credentials may also be verified.
  7. If the advocate is empanelled by other organizations/authorities, their opinion may also be obtained, if felt necessary.

Can an Empanelled Lawyer in PSUs Continue his Private Practice?

Most of the PSUs allow private practice by empanelled lawyers on a condition that their practice should not interfere in any way with their work associated with that PSU. Making it simpler, private practice is allowed but, work of PSU is to be given primary importance. An advocate/firm is not allowed to take any sort of case against the PSU with which they are working.

Bonus Read: Right of a lawyer to practice in India and the duties of a lawyer.

More than anything else, a Panel lawyer should be sincere & honest towards his work. If he’s doing justice, anybody would appoint him & he’ll be fulfilling his duties without fail.

To all the lawyers-to-be out there, I hope this article helped you to garner information on how to become a panel lawyer & what all garnishing, at your end, is required to become the one. In case of any queries or, in case you want to strike a conversation with us or our author, feel free to drop a comment below.

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[1] http://dslsa.org/panel-lawyers-2/
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