The UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (Jetco) legal team is travelling to India this week (15-20 January) in a bid to progress talks about the liberalisation of the Indian legal services market.
As first reported by The Lawyer (8 January), the UK Jetco team consists of the Law Society of England and Wales, Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Clifford Chance and Pinsent Masons. Representatives of CMS Cameron McKenna, Eversheds, Herbert Smith and US firm White & Case have also travelled to India, where they will visit New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
Law Society head of international Alison Hook told The Lawyer: “This really is an important time to be in India because there’s a changing mood in terms of the willingness to talk about opening the legal market.”
During the trip the Law Society will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Society of Indian Law Firms and the Bar Association of India. This will be the first time that the Law Society has signed such an agreement with an Indian entity.
“This is a landmark for us because it’s the first time we’ve achieved a formal relationship with an Indian organisation,” Hook said.
As first reported by The Lawyer (8 January), Clifford Chance made its first formal recruiting trip to India last November and has subsequently made job offers to around a dozen applicants, with Herbert Smith set to follow suit.
The chair of Herbert Smith’s India group Chris Parsons told The Lawyer: “In March we’ll travel to India to recruit up to 10 newly qualified solicitors from Bangalore’s law school.”
Herbert Smith already has ties with Indian firms Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co, AZB & Partners and Fox Mandal Little.