Linklaters ousts Allen & Overy to top list of foreign India practices

Linklaters has supplanted magic circle rival Allen & Overy (A&O) as the international firm seen to have the most robust India practice, with the firm coming highly-recommended by clients and Indian firms.

Legal strategy consultants RSG asked 514 buyers of legal services and 26 Indian law firms to name the foreign firms they felt had the best reputations in India and those they had instructed in the past 18 months. It also scored firms according to the value and volume of Indian deals they had advised on in 2013 and 2014.

The research found that Linklaters received a ‘total mentions’ score of 26 out of 30, with the aggregate number taking account of recommendations from clients and Indian firms as well as recent instructions.

With a ‘deals score’ of 15 out of 20 the firm topped the chart overall (see table below) on a total score of 41, overtaking previous number one firm A&O.

Having topped the chart when it was last compiled two years ago (22 April 2013), A&O scored 25 for mentions and eight for deals this time round, with its total of 33 putting it in joint second place with Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF). The latter did better on the deals front than on the reputation front, with respective scores of 18 and 15.

In addition to Linklaters, A&O and HSF, RSG found that Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance and White & Case were in the group that received the greatest number of instructions on Indian matters in the past 18 months. 

Of those, A&O and Linklaters received the bulk of their instructions from foreign clients while White & Case received a majority from Indian ones.

All of the magic circle enjoyed a strong reputation among domestic Indian law firms, although the firms with the most mentions from indigenous firm managing partners were Clifford Chance, A&O and Bakers, respectively.

RSG ranking of top 20 foreign law firm India practices

RSG Ranking 2015 RSG Ranking 2013 Ranking change 2013-2015 Firm Country of Origin Mentions score /30 Deal Score /20 TOTAL SCORE /50
1 2 1 Linklaters UK 26 15 41
2 1 -1 Allen & Overy UK 25 8 33
2 4 2 Herbert Smith Freehills UK/Australia 18 15 33
4 6 2 Baker & McKenzie US/UK 25 7 32
5 3 -2 Clifford Chance UK 26 5 31
6 9 3 White & Case US 13 17 30
7 17 10 Davis Polk & Wardwell US 8 20 28
8 7 -1 Jones Day US 14 12 26
9 8 -1 Slaughter and May UK 9 16 25
10 14 4 Shearman & Sterling US 8 14 22
11 11 0 DLA Piper US/UK 10 10 20
11 10 -1 Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom US 10 10 20
13 5 -8 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer UK 15 4 19
14 33 19 Sullivan & Cromwell US 3 13 16
15 15 0 Latham & Watkins US 7 8 15
15 17 2 Norton Rose Fulbright UK 10 5 15
17 38 21 CMS UK 6 8 14
17 25 8 Weil, Gotshal & Manges US 3 11 14
19 33 14 Simmons & Simmons UK 1 12 13
20 22 2 Kirkland & Ellis US 7 4 11
20 Morrison & Foerster US 3 8 11

Source: RSG Consulting