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 make it clear that international lawyers are not permitted to appear before any court or tribunal in India. Consequently, barrister-side litigation in India is not likely to be directly impacted.
The impact will be more indirect. The entry of international firms will create a new category of client for some chambers and disputes firms. International firms will take on the solicitor role in selecting and briefing domestic counsel on a case. These matters will largely concern the domestic litigation leg of international arbitration (for eg., appointment of arbitrator or seeking interim relief) and high-stakes corporate litigation involving an international company.
This new client category can catalyse an improvement in the service levels of litigation chambers. To be able to work more effectively with ILFs, domestic litigators will be encouraged to put a premium on clearer and more concise drafting, sharper client communication and accessible knowledge management systems. This upgrade will potentially raise the standards of service quality across the high-stakes commercial litigation ecosystem.
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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…
Corporate Legal Departments - Part 4
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…
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.