Signing the Vakalatnama in Australia

Appointing a lawyer in India - Vakalatnama

If you're involved in legal proceedings in India and you need to appoint a lawyer to represent you and plead your case in the courts, your lawyer will probably ask you to sign a Vakalatnama.

The Vakalatnama is essentially evidence of your authority for your lawyer (generally referred to being your 'attorney') to act on your behalf, appear in the court on your behalf, prepare and file documents on your behalf and do all things generally required to represent you in court and in those legal proceedings.

Although we provide you with an example below, generally your lawyer should prepare the Vakalatnama for you (including all of the details rather than just provide you with a blank form) for your signature. If you are in Australia but you need to send the Vakalatnama to India, you will need to have your signature witnessed by a notary public and the notary public will need to notarise your document accordingly.

Often the wording used in the Vakalatnama will be as follows:

KNOW ALL to whom these present shall come that I/We [your name] the above named [your role in the litigation] do hereby appoint (herein after called the advocate/s) to be my/our Advocate in the above noted case authorized him :-
  1. To act, appear and plead in the above-noted case in this Court or in any other Court in which the same may be tried or heard and also in the appellate Court including High Court subject to payment of fees separately for each Court by me/ us.
  2. To sign, file verify and present pleadings, appeals cross objections or petitions for execution review, revision, withdrawal, compromise or other petitions or affidavits or other documents as may be deemed necessary or proper for the prosecution of the said case in all its stages.
  3. To file and take back documents to admit and/or deny the documents of opposite party.
  4. To withdraw or compromise the said case or submit to arbitration any differences or disputes that may arise touching or in any manner relating to the said case.
  5. To take execution proceedings.
  6. The deposit, draw and receive money, cheques, cash and grant receipts thereof and to do all other acts and things which may be necessary to be done for the progress and in the course of the prosecution of the said case.
  7. To appoint and instruct any other Legal Practioner, authorizing him to exercise the power and authority hereby conferred upon the Advocate whenever he may think it to do so and to sign the Power of Attorney on our behalf.
And I/We the undersigned do hereby agree to ratify and confirm all acts done by the Advocate or his substitute in the matter as my/our own acts, as if done by me/us to all intents and purposes.

And I/We undertake that I/we or my/our duly authorized agent would appear in the Court on all hearings and will inform the Advocates for appearance when the case is called.

And I/we undersigned do hereby agree not to hold the advocate or his substitute responsible for the result of the said case. The adjournment costs whenever ordered by the Court shall be of the Advocate which he shall receive and retain himself.

And I/we the undersigned do hereby agree that in the event of the whole or part of the fee agreed by me/us to be paid to the Advocate remaining unpaid he shall be entitled to withdraw from the prosecution of the said case until the same is paid up. The fee settled is only for the above case and above Court. I/We hereby agree that once the fee is paid. I/we will not be entitled for the refund of the same in any case whatsoever. If the case lasts for more than three years, the advocate shall be entitled for additional fee equivalent to half of the agreed fee for every addition three years or part thereof.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I/We do hereunto set my /our hand to these presents the contents of which have been understood by me/us on this [day] day of [month] [year].

Accepted subject to the terms of fees

We disclaim any liability arising in connection with the use of these documents or reliance on their contents either in original or altered form. We give no warranties and we make no representation in respect of the documents including, without limitation, any warranties as to quality, standard or legal efficacy.

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This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at

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Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.