A full-blown salary war has erupted in India in response to increased local and international competition for talent, resulting in pay increases of more than 50 per cent at most top Indian law firms in the last year.
Indian law school graduates can now earn around £15,000 per annum at firms such as FoxMandal Little, while Luthra & Luthra has hiked its base salary for the third time in a year by a total of nearly 80 per cent.
Abhishek Saxena, a partner at Trilegal, with which Allen & Overy (A&O) has a non-exclusive referral arrangement, said: “It’s because there are competing forces for a short supply of good-quality lawyers.
“Good-quality lawyers are not only being hired by law firms in India, but various international firms have started hiring lawyers straight from law school or from Indian firms.”
In recent years A&O, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Linklaters, Olswang and SJ Berwin have recruited many Indian law school students and laterals. Clifford Chance is understood to have received more than 100 applications and has taken on more than 10 trainees from India in the latest round.
One UK firm partner said: “I feel a bit sorry for [Indian firms]. It’s a bit like it was with us when the Americans first came to London.”