Alternative patterns rival hourly billing as legal fees escalate. Vandana Chatlani reports
The rupee’s tumultuous journey over the past few months may have upset deal-making in corporate India but, luckily for the country’s lawyers, currency woes have had little impact on the pricing of legal services. Indeed, some have profited from the depreciation. “As most of our clients are based out of India, the fall of the rupee has obviously increased our revenue,” says Diljeet Titus, the managing partner at Titus & Co in New Delhi.
The rupee crunch has “helped us maintain or even cut down our rates in dollar terms a little bit,” says Gautam Khurana, the managing partner at India Law Offices in New Delhi.
Wise clients purchased rupees overseas and remitted their legal dues in the currency, “thereby pocketing all the exchange rate profits,” says an amused Rajan Gupta, a partner at SRGR Law Offices.
Others have been less fortunate. Noida-based Fidus Law Chambers requires new Indian clients to pay a foreign associate’s estimated dues in advance for projects outside India and then remits those fees once it receives an invoice from overseas. “Even a few days’ holding time impacted us severely this year because of the daily currency fluctuations,” says managing partner Shwetasree Majumder.