A Glimpse into the Future of a Liberalized Legal Landscape


We conducted a survey with our client community for an understanding of how the entry of foreign law firms into the Indian market would affect their engagement with external legal counsel. The survey was attempted by 78 professionals, including General Counsel, Head-Legal, CFOs, CEOs, and Founders and other CXOs from start-ups, growth companies and listed and unlisted MNCs. Some of the key takeaways from the survey include: 

  • About 81% of respondents have a positive outlook on the impact of foreign law firms entering the Indian market, with reasons ranging from increased competition to better opportunities for lawyers.

  • About 44% of respondents expect no significant change in legal service fees in India, while approximately 37% anticipate a 10%-30% increase.

  • 82% of respondents believe that service levels will improve and that both Indian lawyers and clients will benefit from the entry of ILFs.

  • International arbitration, corporate law/M&A, and intellectual property rights are the top three areas where respondents would like to engage foreign law firms.

  • More than 80% of respondents expect domestic firms to explore alliance opportunities with foreign law firms. More than half of the respondents agree on the need to come up with plans to attract and retain talent.

The talent war will impact in-house legal teams as well. Our research shows that 20% of lateral moves in the in-house space are from law firms. A segment of this talent pool may now prefer a role in an ILF or their affiliates over an in-house gig. As remuneration in domestic law firms improves, we are also likely to see an increase in remuneration levels in in-house legal teams. 

We'd love to hear your thoughts and perspectives on India's legal liberalization and its impact on the industry.

Your input is invaluable to us, and we invite you to share your point of view or experiences related to this evolving landscape. Please feel free to write back to us at consulting@vahura.com. Let's engage in a constructive dialogue and contribute to shaping the future of India's legal sector together!

  • Experienced Professionals - Part 1

    Lawyers with cross-border deal experience and international arbitration expertise will be in high demand. There will be a premium on dual-qualified lawyers (DQLs), especially those with ILF experience. We will see movement of DQLs to ILFs looking to strengthen their India-oriented practices. Such…

  • Indian Law Firms - Part 2

    We expect to see groups of partners and teams from large law firms break away to set up on their own. The goal will be to establish a reputed, high-quality law firm that is well suited to partnering with international law firms.

  • International Law Firms - Part 3

    We are already seeing increased recruitment activity around India-oriented practices. These are primarily in the areas of M&A, Disputes and Banking & Finance, out of the UK or Asia. The demand is primarily for lateral lawyers in other international firms, who also have an India-focus as…

  • Litigators and Chambers - Part 5

    One of the stated objectives of liberalisation is to make India a preferred destination for international commercial arbitration. International lawyers are being encouraged to represent their clients in international arbitration being held in India. But the BCI Rules and subsequent clarifications…

  • Law Students - Part 6

    India’s demographic dividend is expected to pay out over the next couple of decades, with the country expected to host the world’s largest working population by 2030. The entry of international firms will create increased demand for talent in Indian law firms, in-house legal teams, chambers and in Legal Tech.

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