TOP 40 INDIAN LAW FIRMS

 RSG Consulting has published its top 40 ranking of Indian law firms since 2008. This year, we have added an additional indicator to capture client satisfaction with their law firms, and focused the quality indicator on law firms’ ‘quality of mandate’.

 

The RSG Top 40 ranking is based on four key indicators, comprised of 35 different metrics:

 

1. Capability

2. Profile

3. Quality of mandate

4. Client satisfaction

 

The metrics used to compile the ranking are drawn from 100 telephone interviews with major legal purchasers, over 350 client ratings scorecards, analysis of 180 law firms, on the ground fieldwork with Indian law firms and clients, interviews with foreign law firms, and analysis of Zephyr deals databases and published league tables from other sources.

 

The RSG ranking shows that to be a top 40 Indian law firm is not straight-forward. The sometimes meteoric rise up the ranking of firms such as S&R Associates, Platinum Partners and Phoenix Legal (who each achieved higher client satisfaction scores than the incumbent firms of Amarchand & Mangaldas, AZB & Partners, Khaitan & Co and J Sagar Associates), speaks volumes on how the pecking order of Indian law firms is not as well established as the top firms might like to believe. Some of the enablement of the ‘upstarts’ is down to the purchasing patterns of foreign clients and foreign law firms who find the younger firms more compatible with their service values and approach to clients.

 

In the client satisfaction review, the largest Indian law firms received the lowest scores for service delivery. Availability, timeliness and budgeting were areas where the top firms often fell far behind smaller and newer competitors in the eyes of clients. The average client satisfaction score for Amarchand & Mangaldas, AZB & Partners and Luthra & Luthra was 7.8 compared to an average of 9.3 for Phoenix Legal and 8.9 for both S&R Associates and Platinum Partners. Of the top six firms, only Trilegal, who had a client satisfaction score of 8.5, scored consistently over the market average of 8.2.

 

Amarchand & Mangaldas remains the best known and largest law firm with the most influential network of contacts. Its footprint and spread of practice areas means it remains as the powerhouse of Indian law firms. However, it does fall down in its client ratings compared to many peers. This is similar for other large firms who grapple with maintaining client satisfaction as they undergo rapid growth (the average partner growth for the top six law firms was 24% between 2011 and 2013).

 

The threatening firms are Khaitan & Co and JSA who score higher client satisfaction scores. Khaitan in particular also received the second most mentions in terms of usage from the control group of 100 major purchasers interviewed.  This increased scope of practice has taken Khaitan up to an equal second place position alongside AZB.

 

Clients were more likely to spread their top tier recommendations this year and, in particular, showed increased willingness to shop around for genuine expertise in specialist areas. As a result, firms with a specialist practice area focus like Nishith Desai Associates, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan, Vaish Associates Advocates and Anand & Anand continue to do well in the ranking.

 

Some new firms entered the top 40 ratings for the first time in 2013 including Link Legal on the back of its strong infrastructure practice and Krishnamurthy & Co who received strong independent recommendations from some of India’s top companies.  Another small firm to enter the ranking includes Mundkur & Partners (based in Bangalore). Singhania & Partners, a more established firm, also seems to be riding the litigation wave and enters the ranking for the first time with good client reviews and a higher profile than previous years.

 

*Headcount numbers based on RSG research and estimates. All other headcount figures supplied by the law firms.

**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. However, we do show data against two indicators: profile score which shows the total number of mentions (which includes a weighting for top and second tier commendations) and the actual average client satisfaction score each firm receives from their scorecards from their clients. In addition, we show headcount figures for total number of partners and lawyers based on the firm’s submissions to RSG Consulting.

 

Rank Company Name Practice Areas Number of partners Number of lawyers RSG Profile Score RSG Client Satisfaction Score Total Score
1 Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co Full Service 69 600 196 7.83 36
=2 AZB & Partners Full Service 20 250 152 7.84 34
=2 Khaitan & Co Full Service 57 300 130 8.14 34
4 J Sagar Associates Full Service 50 240 70 8.06 30
5 Luthra & Luthra Full Service 45 290 61 7.79 29
6 Trilegal Full Service 20 150 58 8.55 28
=7 Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Tax 28 120 6 9.05 27
=7 Nishith Desai Associates Funds, Tax 7 67 33 8.67 27
=7 S&R Associates Full Service 7 42 18 8.93 27
=7 Talwar Thakore & Associates Full Service 4 20 33 8.68 27
11 Platinum Partners Full Service 5 27 12 8.93 26
=12 Anand and Anand IP 13 84 13 8.15 25
=12 Desai & Diwanji Full Service 24 187 16 8.32 25
=12 Economic Laws Practice Full Service 19 99 31 8.32 25
=12 Wadia Ghandy & Co Corporate, Litigation 27 155 27 8.38 25
16 Phoenix Legal Full Service 6 45 15 9.33 24
17 Vaish Associates Full Service (Tax) 13 91 7 8.41 23
=18 DSK Legal Full Service 15 104 34 7.34 21
=18 HSA Advocates Power, Infrastructure 14 70 3 8.63 21
=18 Kochhar & Co Full service 35 160 4 7.33 21
=21 ALMT Legal Full Service 20 100 0 8.52 20
=21 Fox Mandal Full Service 30 250 6 7.98 20
=21 Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe Full Service 14 100 19 7.92 20
=24 D H Law Associates Corporate, Litigation 9 44 2 8.39 19
=24 Majmudar & Partners Full Service 10 60 2 8.07 19
=24 Tatva Legal Full Service 12 65 7 7.75 19
=27 Bharucha & Partners Full Service 5 32 0 8.54 18
=27 Kanga & Co Full Service (Real Estate) 12 50 5 9.25 18
=27 Rajani Associates Full Service (Cap Markets, PE) 9 33 7 8.86 18
=30 Link Legal Finance, Aviation 9 43 6 9.08 17
=30 Singhania & Partners Full Service 12 65 0 8.37 17
=32 Juris Corp Full Service 15 62 8 7.25 16
=32 Seth Dua & Associates Full Service 9 30 2 8.62 16
=34 Indus Law Full Service 10 53 2 8.47 15
=34 Krishnamurthy & Co (K Law) Full Service 5 70 4 9.01 15
=36 Crawford Bayley & Co Full Service 17* 100* 18 5.58 14
=36 Mundkur Law Partners Full Service (Finance) 3 8 0 8.92 14
=36 P&A Associates Corporate, Litigation 1* 20* 0 9.09 14
=39 Dua Associates Full Service 40* 190* 4 8.58 13
=39 Lexygen Infrastructure, Private Equity, Real Estate 3 12 2 7.72 13


» Download pdf here