Role of Proxy Counsel in the Court Proceedings

proxy counsel

The general definition of the word ‘Proxy Counsel’ is the attorney who is not the actual lawyer but acts in the information of the filing attorney on behalf. Proxy Counsel as a matter of fact refers to someone who is authorized to serve in one’s place, especially as a substitute counsel with the right to vote and equal recognition as given to the former counsel.

In Indian legal terms, Proxy Counsel is a person who fills the position of main counsel i.e., The Main Advocate, in the court proceedings. The main counsel issues a ‘Vakalatnama’ stating the authorization to a lawyer to act as a Proxy Counsel on behalf of the main advocate on record.

Vakalatnama: A Vakalatnama is a document empowering a lawyer to act for and on behalf of his client. A Vakalatnama under which a lawyer is empowered to act may be general. It may specifically confer wide authority upon a lawyer. A lawyer holding a Vakalatnama can hardly be said to be a person without authority.

Current Scenario of Young Law Graduates

Talking about fresh law graduates, it seems unfair when they’re working in a reputed firm and earning as low as Rs.15000 per month and surviving in metropolitan cities mostly away from their homes just to build a stable career in the legal profession.

Many of the senior advocates owning big law firms have restricted the pay and independency of work of the junior advocates even though the junior advocate manages most of the paperwork as well as the court work and still the credit of the case and the work is given to the senior advocates.

The main issues faced by fresh law graduates are that they’re paid very less according to the work they’ve been doing for their seniors, irrespective of time and work load.

Not only Fresh law graduates but also interns are facing the same problem. Being a final year law student, I’ve interned in a few law firms and none of the firms has offered any stipend for the extra work given to an intern.

The overtime and extra load of work given to interns and to the junior graduates without the appropriate payment has only demotivated and deprecated the work. Young law graduates come with the hope to bring a change in the system but the system has been exploiting them in different ways.

The people in the system are our senior advocates whom we young interns and lawyers thought to be father figures in the field to guide and help us to build a stable career. Law profession may look appealing from the outside but there are many issues that are faced by fresh law graduates on an everyday basis. It is the profession which is believed there to help the needy but who helps the helper? Who helps the junior advocates who manages all the workload without encouragement and appreciation?

Case Laws

  1. Doki Adinarayana Subudhi and Brothers vs. Doki Surya Prakash Rao (AIR 1980 Orissa 110)

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi future relied on the Judgement delivered by the Hon’ble High Court of Orissa wherein it has been held as under: “An Advocate, who appears on behalf of another Advocate engaged by a party can only plead but he has no power to ‘act’ on behalf of a party without a document in writing in his favor.

It is the agency created by a client in favor of his Advocate which clothes the latter with the power to act on behalf of the former and it is by virtue of the vakalatnama that the client becomes bound by the actions of his Advocate within the limits of authority.”

  1. Nitika Gupta vs Sudha Gupta

The Delhi high court remarked that junior counsel, who works in the filing counsel’s chamber, is aware of the facts, and assists the court, ought not to be described as proxy counsel. This would enable junior counsels to ensure that they are not merely taking Passovers and adjournments but also get prepared in the matters and are ready to make submissions.



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