The high-growth Indian legal market provides a potentially tantalizing opportunity for international law firms seeking further growth, but such moves are presently stifled by a closed market. That should change, according to leading law firms and companies who responded to a recent survey.
Over 96% of respondents believe the India legal market should be liberalised, according to research by independent research agency YouGov in association with Allen & Overy that sought opinions of 301 stakeholders including C-suite executives, general counsel and partners and associates from India’s top 50 law firms.
“This research confirms that as India’s corporate champions continue to expand and compete globally, they see a need for greater choice of legal services at home to ensure their success overseas. It also shows that India’s leading lawyers welcome the opportunities that liberalisation would present for both their clients and their own careers,” Jonathan Brayne, Chair of Allen & Overy’s India Group said.
However, the support for liberalisation isn’t due to any perceived shortcomings in the local legal market itself as 89% of respondents felt the quality of legal services provided to large corporations by Indian law firms is either good (56%) or very good (33%).
So how exactly can liberalisation help? Over 90% of respondents feel that opening the Indian legal market will provide easier access for clients and Indian lawyers to international legal expertise and an equal number also believe it will provide a wider choice for clients.
“Liberalization always helps sector to grow faster,” says Chandu Mehta, Managing Partner of Mumbai based corporate law firm Dhruve Liladhar & Co. “It will provide global exposure to Indian lawyers as well.”