UK firms outpace US rivals in India

  • Print
  • Comments (3)

Readers' comments (3)

  • UK firms have more lawyers who are experienced in working in India. See Linklaters and Freshfields, who are the leaders in India today. Probably it has to do with the ease with eacjh qualified Indian lawyers requalify in UK. While US firms have to choose amongst Indian students graduating out of US universities

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I can't understand why an international firm would want to tie itself to one Indian firm. A lot of the Indian firms are relatively new on the scene and there will be a lot of movement, so why tie yourself down? The better strategy for international law firms is to be unaligned so that you can get referral work from all Indian firms, not just one.

    Saying that, I think that the UK firms are not tying up with Indian firms for referal work but rather to be ready for liberalisation. When that happens the Indian names on the door will be gone and the UK firms will staff up these offices with their UK-trained Indian lawyers. The magic circle firms have been bringing over Indian law graduates for a few years now. The only issue with Indian lawyers from a UK perspective is that some of them still draft using an Indian English style rather than the English used in legal drafting in the UK. This only a training issue and one that is relatively easy to fix.

    I predict that within 10 years of liberalisation, there will be more lawyers in the Indian offices of the UK firms than in London. We have already seen BPO go to India in a big way - the same thing will happen with legal services. With virtual data rooms now common place and internet service so quick, there is no reason that all diligence work can't be done in India. Already in law firms most communication is done by email; laywers send emails to colleagues two doors down. Therefore, it does not matter if your colleague or client is in the same building or in a diffferent continent. Partners will still have the client contact, but most non-client contact work will get done in India.

    As a senior lawyer, the upcoming revolution will not affect me. In fact, I may well make more money through increased leverage off lower paid Indian lawyers. However, the future does not bode well for junior lawyers, people in law school in the UK or indeed the city of London.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I feel that the UK firms are joing hands with Indian entities in the hope that when the Indian market liberalises, it will allow a JV model rather than full practice rights to foreign firms. This approach is bound to backfire for either of the following two reasons:

    (i) Under US pressure the indian legal market will open to allow full practice rights and the UK firms will then have to either divorce their Indian partners or be saddled with dead weight, while the US firms hire a few smart lawyers and work efficiently; or

    (ii) the market opens up as a joint venture and then the US firms (and other UK firms that do not have a tie-up) simply poach a few smart lawyers in India and ask them to set up their own practices with which they will do a joiont venture. They wont have to pay a huge premium to the owners of Indian law fimrs and will get the right talent without any baggage.

    Thus, either ways the strategy of joining hands with an established India firm and paying a huge premium to their owners will not pay.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (3)