TOP 40 INDIAN LAW FIRMS

RSG Top 40 Ranking Methodology


The RSG India top 40 Ranking for 2017 is based on extensive research into over 250 Indian law firms and reviews from over 450 clients.


The TOTAL SCORE out of 40 is the sum of weighted and banded scores for the following four criteria:

1. CAPACITY (out of 10): number of partners, lawyers, offices, leverage ratios, and ability to handle large scale work.

2. PROFILE (out of 10): market profile, including the number of spontaneous mentions and recommendations the firm received in independent client interviews.

3. QUALITY OF MANDATE (out of 10): an analysis of the firm’s client base and recent work, including their major directory rankings.

4. CLIENT SATISFACTION (out of 10): the average satisfaction score from the firm’s own clients on 12 key indicators.

The banded scores against the four indicators are not shown. They are derived from 35 different data sets, weighted and ranked based on RSG Consulting’s Top 40 Indian Law Firms methodology.

 

The Amarchand Mangaldas Split

The Amarchand split led to unusual turmoil in the market and a downward pressure on fees for most of RSG’s top 40 law firms.

 

The split of India’s premier law firm affected the market in two ways. First, it resulted in an unprecedented level of movement of both partners and clients between firms. The majority of firms were affected by these lateral moves. As SAM and CAM became increasingly competitive over fees, so, in turn have other top law firms, with the result that many other law firms experienced a reduction in their fees and costs.

 

The rest of the top six

The split of Amarchand Mangaldas into two law firms, each respectively led by one brother, has led to a shift in India’s premier firms. AZB & Partners secured the top spot as India’s best law firm. Overall it came out on top when assessed against RSG’s four indicators of capacity, profile and reputation, quality of work and client satisfaction, doing particularly well on client satisfaction, quality of work and reputation.

 

However, the market is potentially still fluid and clients did note though that as the market settles down, the pecking order might reshuffle. Khaitan holds its spot in the top ranks but a significant mover up the ranking is Trilegal. It now holds fifth place displacing JSA. Overall, it received the highest client satisfaction scores of the top firms but, in terms of reputation, the Indian corporate establishment still perceives it as challenger brand. Significantly, it was the one firm not to be affected by any partner losses during the period of musical chairs that followed the Amarchand split. It was a net beneficiary in terms of lateral partners.

 

Smaller firms and new entrants

The RSG India research shows that with this turmoil at the top of the market, clients have become more willing to instruct smaller firms. Quality smaller firms that received commendation are S&R, Phoenix and Indus Law. There are some notable new entrants into the India report this year, including Veritas which come in at 27th place, having been set up by the ex-CEO of AZB, Abhijit Joshi. Clients and foreign law firms alike say they enjoy the amount of senior partner engagement they receive from smaller firms.

Between SAM and CAM

 

Both firms have been building significant practices in each other’s key cities, Mumbai and Delhi. To a large extent, they have been successful. As it stands, SAM has a better reputation amongst Indian law firms, whilst CAM has a better reputation amongst clients and foreign law firms.

 

In terms of the firm’s respective composition and ratings, SAM’s senior partners received near perfect feedback whist CAM’s senior partners were rated slightly lower and more in line with the market average. However, CAM’s partner rating was marginally higher than SAM’s. When it comes to the strengths and weaknesses of the firms, each has its strong points. Clients feel that SAM scores higher than CAM in its service and expertise, but CAM outperforms SAM in its modern and commercial approach with a focus on risk-taking and new ideas.

 

It should be stressed that despite these differences, both brothers continue to be rated as leading practitioners in the Indian legal market. Their different strengths, though, are particularly exciting because it means that the future rankings could be subject to change. Both firms will need to keep their client satisfaction levels high if they want to re-take pole position in the next RSG India Report.

 

**TOTAL Score out of 40 is the sum of weighted and banded scores for CAPACITY (/10), PROFILE (/10), QUALITY OF MANDATE (/10) and CLIENT SATISFACTION (/10). These banded scores against the four indicators are not shown. They are derived from 35 different data sets, weighted and ranked based on RSG Consulting’s Top 40 Indian Law Firms methodology. 

 

2017 Rank 2015 Rank Firm Total no. lawyers TOTAL SCORE
1 =2 AZB & Partners 400 34.4
2 =1 Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. 521 34.0
3 =1 Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas 630 33.6
4 =2 Khaitan & Co 550 32.8
5 6 Trilegal 281 29.6
6 4 J. Sagar Associates 300 29.4
7 5 Luthra & Luthra Law Offices 350 26.5
8 7 S&R Associates 70 24.9
9 =19 Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan 342 24.1
10 12 Nishith Desai Associates 82 23.9
11 14 Kochhar & Co 192 23.6
12 8 Economic Laws Practice 183 23.5
13 18 Anand and Anand 101 23.2
14 10 Talwar Thakore & Associates 36 21.2
15 15 Bharucha & Partners 80 20.8
16 13 Platinum Partners 40 20.3
17 30 Link Legal - India Law Services 154 20.1
=18 17 Phoenix Legal 75 19.8
=18 9 Desai & Diwanji 217 19.8
20 25 HSA Advocates 108 19.3
=21 =19 Vaish Associates Advocates 112 19.2
=21 16 DSK Legal 111 19.2
23 =31 IndusLaw 120 19.0
24 28 Fox Mandal 216 17.7
25 =22 Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe 101 17.5
26 35 Samvād Partners, Advocates 66 17.3
=27 - Veritas Legal 33 17.0
=27 36 ALMT Legal 92 17.0
29 27 Majmudar & Partners 57 16.8
30 28 Juris Corp 49 16.7
=31 - Clasis Law 49 15.7
=31 =22 Kanga & Co 43 15.7
33 37 Krishnamurthy & Co (K Law) 85 15.5
34 - Bathiya Legal 34 15.3
=35 =31 Rajani Associates 40 15.1
=35 =31 Singhania & Partners LLP Solicitors & Advocates 50 15.1
=37 - Vertices Partners 18 14.4
=37 21 Tatva Legal 80 14.4
39 - ARA Law 18 14.0
40 39 SB Partners 14 11.1


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