Indo-German Lawyer’s Forum Initiative

Also available in Deutsch

The India Office of KAS organized an exploratory visit from 16-20 June 2017 of Mr. Nalin Kohli to Germany, an eminent lawyer as well as National Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Mr. Christian Hirte, Member of the German Parliament and a lawyer himself.

Image 1 of 9
Mr. Nalin Kohli signing the book of condolences for Helmut Kohl

Mr. Nalin Kohli signing the book of condolences for Helmut Kohl

The Indo-German relations have never been as vibrant and mutually complementary as they are now. Multiple exchanges of visits between the Heads of States, Shri Narendra Modi and Dr. Angela Merkel together with political delegations as well as industrial delegations are opening new frontiers of cooperation. With Brexit and the new inwards-looking policy of USA as well as an aggressive China (in more ways than one) materializing into hard realities, interest in India seems to intensifying all round, especially in Germany.

Given the high degree of respect accorded to the democratic value of ‘Rule of law’ by both the democracies and the increasing trade (USD 18.73 billion in 2016-17), number of joint ventures both in India (cumulative investment of more than USD 16 billion from 2000- 2017) as well as Germany (more than USD 6 billion as of 2016) (data source the multilateral platforms of taxes, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), it was but a logical step in the right direction of exploring the possibilities of establishing a joint forum of legal nature to support the whole expansion of the Indo-German compact.

Towards this end and at the initiative of Mr. Nalin Kohli, an eminent lawyer as well as National Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Mr. Christian Hirte, Member of the German Parliament and a lawyer himself, the India Office of KAS organized an exploratory visit of Mr. Kohli to Germany from 16-20 June 2017. The idea was to meet individual lawyers, law and apex institutions, Mayors and Members of Parliament so that the viability of this mission could be analyzed as to its necessity, its usefulness and its ultimate relevance, not just in terms of present but also in context of an eye to the future.

In the federal state of Thüringen, prominent persons encountered included Mr. Martin Henkel, Mayor of Geisa, Dr. Juergen Aretz, former State Secretary, Prof. Dr.Norbert Lammert, President of German Parliament, Lawyers Dr. Holger Jakob and Hardy Herbert. In the meetings with these elected officials, lawyers and businessmen, the common thread through many conversations was the fact that (besides Israel), India was the only country with whom Germany had a strategic partnership and yet despite 1900 German companies present in India and 600 joint ventures, there was no interactive and working platform for lawyers or judges or academics existing between the two countries. There were a lot of questions as to the Indian legal system and Mr. Kohli went to great lengths to explain the status and the reforms being done by the current Government like repealing of more than 1200 archaic laws, framework being mooted vis-à-vis Non-Performing Assets and Indian banks, Arbitration and Reconciliation mechanisms being created, new bankruptcy and debt recovery laws being framed as well as passed and such other confidence –building measures being undertaken to give a sense of security and safety to the incoming investors from Germany and other countries as well as the soon to be implemented “Goods and Services” (GST) tax regime.

In Berlin, Mr. Kohli and Mr. Hirte had discussions on this initiative, in chronological order, with Dr. Martin Abend- Vice President and Dr. Veronica Horrer- Director of the „Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer“, Mr. Alfons Schneider of the Foundation of Family-owned Enterprises, Members of Parliament- Mr. Ralph Brinkhaus, Mr. Albert Stegemann and Mr. Andreas Scheuer, Mr. Frank Priess and Ms. Rabea Brauer of KAS and at the end Ms. Mukta D. Tomar, Madam Ambassador of India to Germany. While „Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer“ promised to give full support in terms of expertise and speakers for envisaged forums without becoming an institutional member, Mr. Schneider suggested that this initiative may be registered as a ‘Stiftung’ in Germany. The parliamentarians were all, without exception, totally supportive of this initiative while KAS promised support in various forms. Madam Ambassador was expressed her enthusiasm by offering to designate a couple of her officials to support the endeavor in Germany itself.

With the enthusiastic support from all directions, Mr. Kohli and Mr. Christian Hirte agreed to formalize this platform soon after deciding upon the contours of which entity form it will have and content scope of the work that it will perform. 26th September 2017 as the tentative date of launch in Germany was agreed to.

The visit was deemed successful beyond expectations by both Mr. Kohli and Mr. Hirte and opens up yet another chapter of enrichment in the Indo-German relations catalyzed by KAS.


Pankaj Madan

Publication series

Event Reports


India, July 30, 2017


Peter Rimmele

Resident Representative India

Peter Rimmele
Phone +91 11 26113520
Fax +91 11 45506836
Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Français,‎ Bahasa Indonesia