A survey of India’s lesser-known law firms unveils a rich universe of high–quality legal solutions. Until now, clients may have been unaware of the depth and diversity of services on offer. Alfred Romann reports
Finding and choosing the right Indian law firm is a daunting task. The legal market is rich and diverse. There are hundreds of thousands of lawyers working in thousands of firms, well over 100 of which undertake work for foreign clients. Most international corporates seeking India-related legal advice are well-acquainted with the largest firms: Amarchand Mangaldas, AZB & Partners, J Sagar Associates and others have become familiar names on the international stage. But many corporate clients are unaware of the large number of accomplished Indian law firms that occupy positions just below the international radar.
Some are small, specialist firms, offering high-quality advice targeted at particular niche markets. Others are medium-sized general practice firms that routinely work for prestigious foreign clients, but have yet to gain the level of international recognition afforded to the country’s largest firms.
India Business Law Journal is proud to introduce some of India’s most promising rising stars, and equally, its unsung heroes. The firms highlighted are often well known and respected within their respective circles, but may be known to a lesser extent, if at all, among the global legal community.
Many of these law firms have honed their skills to become leaders in their fields of specialty, undertaking groundbreaking work and providing advice that is sharp and effective and often comparable in quality to the services offered by the largest and best-known Indian firms. Clients may enjoy the added benefits of lower hourly billing rates, more attentive service and greater levels of partner attention.
Access, attentiveness and efficiency
Sandeep Farias, managing director of Unitus Equity Fund, which focuses on investing in companies that provide services to the poor, says: “For me, size does not matter. It is depth of experience, responsiveness and client focus that matter.”
Farias’ company is a client of Indus G&D Law, a firm created by the 2004 merger of Indus Law and G&D Law Chambers. He says he is “more than happy” with the service he receives.
One of the key attractions of many small and medium-sized firms is the accessibility of senior partners. Piyush Bhagat, managing director at Space Group, which is a client of R Ginodia & Co, says his company prefers to use “law firms where we can get constructive and meaningful advice without much hindrance.
“In large Indian law firms, there is very little scope to interact with their partners directly,” he says.