Thursday, January 22, 2009

Indian legal market attracts the Magic circle firms

Clifford Chance is planning to have a tie-up with Indian company AZB & Partners. This business proposal is an indicator of the growing interest seen in British legal firms about entering the Indian legal market. Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters already have tie-ups with the Indian firms Trilegal, Bharucha & Partners and Talwar Thakore & Associates, respectively.

Such associations appear to have a dual impact on the Indian economy. In addition to aiding the practice of the Indian entity, such relationships in a way help bring in foreign investment to India, which in turn helps maintain economic growth at 7%.

One might argue that if foreign investment boosts the growth of the Indian economy, then the Indian government needs to ensure that it encourages more of such investment by opening up the legal sector for overseas firms. This should help attract many more US and European law firms which are known to be eager to setup direct presence in India. Benefits emanating from this include access to superior legal support to Indian corporations willing to expand practice overseas, quality employment to the tens of thousands of legal graduates passing out each year, and improved competitiveness of the Indian legal sector. With far reaching benefits like these appearing achievable, it should only be a matter of time that someone in the Law Ministry gets the logic, and soon!