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Sr. Advocates Cannot Charge High Fees: Bombay High Court Petition

Shri. M. P. Vashi, legal crusader, has filed a Writ Petition in the Bombay High Court being W. P. No. 632 of 2011 claiming that the provisions of the Advocates Act which permit advocates to be termed as “senior advocates” is unconstitutional on the ground that while its purpose was to encourage advocates with special knowledge & experience to use their skills for the common man, the designated counsel are using their position to defend anti-social elements who are able to afford their exorbitant fees.

The Petition points out there was earlier a norm that senior advocates would not charge more than Rs. 1,650 per matter. That norm has now been violated rues the Petition.

The Petition cites examples of several senior advocates who are charging “exorbitant fees”. Leading the list are Harish Salve & Mukul Rohatgi, who are neck-to-neck with an appearance fee of Rs. 3 lakhs and a full day of Rs. 25 lakhs. Abhishek Singhvi is not too far behind with an appearance fee of Rs. 2.5 lakhs. The others in the hot-list include Satish Maneshinde, the celebrity lawyer, who is stated to have an appearance fee of Rs. 10 lakhs.

The Petition claims that the only way in which the common man can avail of the services of the celebrity senior advocates is by forcing the latter to drastically cut their fees. The Petition suggests that a ceiling of Rs. 30,000 per day per appearance should be imposed on senior advocates.

The Petition is fixed for hearing in September 2011 and will undoubtedly be followed with bated breath by all senior advocates. Junior lawyers are also very apprehensive because a ceiling on the senior’s fees will result in a drastic cut in their fees as well.

A copy of the Writ Petition, uploaded by Bar & Bench, can be downloaded here.

Share your thoughts on whether you agree with Mr. M. P. Vashi’s views or not.


8 comments on “Sr. Advocates Cannot Charge High Fees: Bombay High Court Petition
  1. mohanajay says:

    Yes I do agree that fees need to reasonable and affordable for common man as per intention of the act. Such learned professionals should not be beyond reach of a common man to ultimately have the justice done.

  2. Surrender says:

    Very laudable initiative.. fees need to commensurate with the expected outcome without valuation of such outcome..as is being weighed by such high profile lawyers…who some times simply charge for the day without even appearing..on the pretext of being busy in another court .. they don’t even show the courtesy to refund or mere adjusting for next hearing date…When can this Writ be fast trekked?

  3. devdutt says:

    if people are willing to pay fees of lawyers then what is the problem?. expertise comes with cost, friend.

    • S Kumar says:

      Most times the client has no choice ! Senior counsels plan amongst themselves to keep taking adjournments and keep fleecing clients.

  4. CA Mahendra Turakhia says:

    it is a highly commendably writ. However, any restrictions placed may lead to Cash Payment under the table as it is being done by Medical Faculty.

  5. SAYED ZAFARUL ISLAM says:

    WILL MR. M. P. VASHI TAKE UP A PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION FREE OF CHARGE AS IT IS A MATTER OF
    LIVES OF LAKHS OF PEOPLE OF MUMBAI AND THEIR PROPERTIES DUE TO CORRUPT & ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES OF
    THE OFFICERS OF MUMBAI POLICE, MUMBAI TRAFFIC POLICE AND MUMBAI MUNICIPAL CORPORATION. I TOTALLY
    AGREE WITH MR. M. P. VASHI’S VIEW AND THOUGHTS AND PRAY TO GOD TO GIVE HIM A VERY LONG LIFE SO THAT HE CAN TAKE UP SUCH CAUSES.

  6. i agree with the views expressed. myself being an advocate i do charge what is easily payable by the client, as i do not want the client is unnecessarily worried about fees and take stress that may affect his health. i am on original side

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