Time to liberalise India’s legal market?

Survey of India market opinion in association with Allen & Overy
|
June 2012
www.yougov.com | www.allenovery.com
All
agreed?
www.allenovery.com
3
Contents
Foreword 04
Survey analysis and summary 06
The survey results 08
Methodology 22
Appendix: Survey data tables 23
© Allen & Overy LLP 2012
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 2
There is a clear consensus
that the Indian legal market
should be liberalised, according
to 96% of respondents.
HITEC city in Hyderabad
5
www.allenovery.com
“Opening a legal market
fully to the world works to
tbe great beveft of att of
the stakeholders.”
44
© Allen & Overy LLP 2012
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012
Foreword
In almost every area of professional or commercial
life, opening what has previously been a closed
domestic market to foreign participants is
contentious. It involves change and change can be a
threat as well as an opportunity.
Every country contemplating the
opening of its legal market undergoes
a period of intense debate as to the
advantages and disadvantages of
opening to each stakeholder anected
by the change. There are three main
stakeholder groups: the clients; the
lawyers and law Frms, and the
government. The debate becomes
harder because cultural values and the
rule of law, for which the legal
profession is custodian, are involved.
The voice of each of the groups is not
always accorded equal coverage or
weight in the media and there can be
ambiguity as to whether there is a
consensus within each group and
what that consensus is. Any initiative
which introduces into the debate hard,
independently developed, statistical
evidence is therefore a useful guide
for productive debate.
I welcome this survey, which has been
conducted by YouGov, an
independent opinion research agency,
at the request of international law
Frm Allen & O·ery. Not only does it
shed light on the current debate about
legal market opening in India, but it
also contributes data which is relevant
to similar debates currently under way
in a number of other countries.
In practice, the opening of a domestic
legal market to foreign participants
anects, in the Frst place, law Frms
which advise large corporations, since
the overwhelming majority of law
Frms which expand outside their
home countries are targeting large
corporations, not small enterprises
or individuals.
My own experience at the Japanese
bar indicates that opening a legal
market fully to the world works to the
great beneFt oí all oí the stakeholders,
provided the change is introduced in
an extremely carefully planned way.
By Akira Kawamura, President, International Bar Association
Akira Kawamura
President
International Bar Association
Construction of the Mumbai Sealink
7
So why do Indian corporates and
the profession itself believe the legal
market should be liberalised? Because
Indian corporates are competing
on a global stage. In total, 90% of
respondents either “Strongly agree”
or “Agree” that opening the Indian
legal market will provide easier access
for clients and Indian lawyers to
international legal expertise. Another
89% believe it will provide a wider
choice for clients.
But it’s not all just about the needs
of Indian corporates. Respondents
also believe (89%) that it will lead to
more career opportunities for Indian
lawyers and will result in improved
legal education, while 80% agree it will
improve pay and work conditions for
lawyers in Indian law Frms.
So what will the impact be if the
market is opened to íoreign law Frms
and lawyers? According to 77% of the
respondents, it will be positive or have
no impact. A further 21% believe it will
be negative and 2% don’t know.
It is then just a question of how much
liberalisation to allow and when. When
asked about the general principle of
liberalisation, most respondents appear
to err on the side of partial liberalisation
(78%) as opposed to complete
liberalisation of the market (18%).
However, when this is tested further
in speciFc terms it becomes clear
that the overwhelming majority of
respondents are actually more in
favour of greater liberalisation.
Just 51° say íoreign law Frms should
be allowed to establish o+ces in India
on a stand-alone basis and practise only
foreign law. This rises to 60% when
asked if they should be allowed to open
o+ces in India, employ and go into
partnership with Indian nationals, but
again practising only foreign law.
But when asked if they should be
allowed to open o+ces in India,
employ and go into partnership with
Indian lawyers, and merge with Indian
law Frms, to practise both Indian and
foreign law, the number saying yes
jumps to 79% overall. Again, partners
in law Frms are e·en more supporti·e
with 84% saying yes.
On both partial and full liberalisation,
the majority, 62%-63%, believe that
this should happen within two years
of new rules being introduced. Very
few of the respondents want to
wait any longer than F·e years, with
between just 6% and 9% choosing this
timeframe, depending on the level
of liberalisation.
So if the how and the when have
become clearer, the more fundamental
question of why still remains. While
this has been answered above from
the perspective of all the respondents,
including the private practitioners,
we also asked just the C-suite and the
general counsel what direct impacts
they envisaged for their companies if
the market were to be liberalised.
The answer is clear – the largest
number of respondents (71%) believe
it will make their business more
globally competitive. This is followed
by making them better able to defend
their businesses from international
litigation (66%); receiving better
quality legal support (65%); and
easing their company’s international
expansion/trade (64%), among others.
Only 11% think there will be no
percei·ed beneFts. Just 9° oí C-suite
and general counsel respondents
belie·e it will harm Indian law Frms
to the detriment of their company’s
own business.
The possibly surprising outcome
of this survey is the large level
of agreement among the major
stakeholders in the liberalisation debate
in India. They believe liberalisation
should happen, that it will have a
positive impact for both clients and
the profession and that it should
happen soon.
“I think this is the right time to identify the needs
of tbe ivav.tr, ava .bovta attor ívaiav frv. tbe
opportunity to prove themselves.”
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 6
But the Indian legal market remains
closed to íoreign law Frms. Many
reasons have been put forward over the
years as to why this should remain the
case. However, the debate has tended
to be between senior members of the
profession in private practice. The
views of the Indian corporates, who are
stepping out onto the world stage to
compete with their international peers,
and of younger Indian lawyers, whose
careers will be most anected by the
outcome of the debate, have not
been prominent.
In order to understand the views of
all Indian stakeholders in the debate,
Allen & Overy engaged the services of
the independent international research
company, YouGov, to gauge the
opinions of 100 C-suite executives and
100 general counsel from India’s largest
companies on the topic of liberalising
the Indian legal market. It also
surveyed the opinions of 101 Indian
partners and associates from India’s top
50 law Frms.
YouGov asked questions about:
–The quality of legal services provided
by Indian law firms
–Whether the Indian legal market
should be liberalised
–The extent of liberalisation
–The impact of liberalisation
–The impact of other legal changes
–The timing of liberalisation
–The conditions of liberalisation
The responses made for some
surprising reading.
There is a clear consensus that
the Indian legal market should be
liberalised, according to 96% of
respondents. Only 4% of respondents
believe it should not be liberalised at
all. One C-suite executive commented
that he thought there would be protests
írom existing law Frms in India ií there
was liberalisation, but the survey seems
to suggest otherwise. In response to
nearly all questions, partners from
India`s top 50 law Frms are more
positive about change than executives
and general counsel – 98% of Indian
partners think there should be some
form of liberalisation.
The support for liberalisation is not,
however, because of any perceived
shortcomings in the local legal market
itself – 89% of respondents believe the
quality of legal services provided to large
corporations by Indian law Frms is either
good (56%) or very good (33%).
As one C-suite executive commented:
“I think this is the right time to identify
the needs of the industry and should
allow |Indian| Frms the opportunity to
prove themselves.”
of Indian partners think
there should be some
form of liberalisation
98%
Survey analysis & summary
The pace of change in the Indian legal market continues to accelerate.
Law Frms in India are widely reported to be hiring management
consultancies to advise them on modernising their businesses.
Their clients, India’s leading corporations, are competing on the global
stage – and winning.
www.allenovery.com © Allen & Overy LLP 2012
C-suite executive
The survey results
It should be completely liberalised
It should be partially liberalised
It should not be liberalised at all
16%
TOTAL
Gen Counsel C-Suite
Partner Associate
C-SUITE
4%
TOTAL
Gen Counsel C-Suite
Partner Associate
ASSOCIATE
2%
20% 27%
TOTAL
Gen Counsel C-Suite
Partner Associate
PARTNER
2%
TOTAL
Gen Counsel C-Suite
Partner Associate
GENERAL COUNSEL
7%
13%
78%
18%
4%
Ouest|on asked: Wh|ch of the fo||ow|ng best refects your own v|ews on whether or not the lnd|an |ega| market shou|d be ||bera||sed?
78% 71% 80%
80%
COMPLETELy, PARTIALLy OR NOT AT ALL?
TOTAL
The vast majority (96%) agree there
should be some form of liberalisation,
with most people opting for partial
liberalisation (78%) as opposed to
complete liberalisation of the market
(18%). But only 4% believe the market
should not be liberalised at all.
As is consistent throughout the
research, partners oí law Frms were
more pro-liberalisation, having the
largest proportion of respondents in
favour of completely liberalising (27%)
and the smallest proportion saying there
should be no liberalisation at all (2%).
Should the Indian legal market
be liberalised?
www.allenovery.com
9 Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 8
© Allen & Overy LLP 2012
While most respondents say they
favour partial liberalisation, when
this is tested in more speciFc terms it
becomes clear that the overwhelming
majority of respondents are actually
more in favour of full liberalisation.
Just 51° say íoreign law Frms should
be allowed to establish o+ces in India
to practise foreign law only. This rises
to 60% when asked if they should
be allowed to open o+ces in India
employing and going into partnership
with Indian nationals, but again
practising only foreign law.
But when asked if they should be
allowed to open o+ces in India,
employ and go into partnership with
Indian lawyers, and merge with Indian
law Frms, to practise both Indian and
foreign law, the number saying yes
jumps to 79% overall. Again, partners
in Indian law Frms were e·en more
supportive, with 84% saying yes.
Shou|d fore|gn |awñrms be
a||owed to estab||sh ofñces
in India to practise foreign
lawonly?
yes
51%
Should they be allowed to
employ and go into partnership
with Indian nationals, but to
practise foreign lawonly?
yes
60% Should they be allowed to
employ and go into partnership
with Indian lawyers, and merge
w|th Ind|an |awñrms, to pract|se
both Indian and foreign law?
yes
79%
Which laws should foreign law
Frms be allowed to practise·
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012
wHICH LAwS PRACTISEd By wHOM?
FOREIGN LAw
wITH FOREIGN
LAwyERS
FOREIGN LAw
ONLy wITH INdIAN
LAwyERS
INdIAN ANd FOREIGN
LAwwITH INdIAN ANd
FOREIGN LAwyERS
The desire for liberalisation is not
dri·en by a lack oí conFdence in the
local legal market. The majority (56%)
of respondents describe the quality
of legal services provided to large
corporations by Indian law Frms as
“Good”. A further one-third (33%)
describe it as “Very good”, with 11%
describing it as “Adequate” and 1%
saying it is “Poor”. There is very
little ·ariation across the dinerent
respondent groups.
There is a near-even split between
those who believe the current quality
of legal services provided to large
corporations by Indian law Frms is
“Acceptable” (51%) and those who
feel it “Could be better” (48%).
Interestingly, partners and general
counsel, the people who probably have
the best understanding of the Indian
legal market, are the only groups where
a majority, 51% and 50% respectively,
said the quality “Could be better” –
but again, this is closely matched by
the number of respondents in those
groups who say it is “Acceptable”
(49% in both cases).
Most people do feel that the quality of
service is improving but the majority
(58%) think only by a small margin
(“Getting a little better”). Again,
partners were most likely to say it was
“Getting a little better”, with 69%
choosing this option. Associates were
the most optimistic, with 40% stating
the quality of service was “Getting a
lot better”. C-suite and general counsel
had the highest number of respondents
who belie·ed it was Not changing`,
but with just 14% believing this to be
the case.
Indian law Frms pro·ide
quality service
11
vIEwS ON THE qUALITy OF SERvICE
Very good
Good
Adequate
Poor
Very poor
Don’t know
33%
56%
11%
1%
HOwGOOd? ACCEPTABLE? CHANGING?
51% 48%
Acceptable
Could be better
Unacceptable
Don’t know
Getting a lot better
Getting a little better
Not changing
Getting a little worse
Getting a lot worse
Don’t know
29%
58%
11%
1%
Howwould you describe
the general quality of
legal services provided to
large corporations by
Ind|an |awñrms?
Howacceptable to you is
the current general quality of
legal services provided to
large corporations by Indian
|awñrms?
do you feel the quality of
services provided to large
corporations by Indian law
ñrms |s chang|ng?
¨·º betiere tbat foreigv tar frv. .bovta be abte
to practise both Indian and foreign law
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10
\hen asked about the beneFts that
might now írom opening up the
Indian legal market to allow foreign
Frms to practise both international
and, through Indian qualiFed lawyers,
Indian law in the corporate Feld,
people see many beneFts.
In terms oí beneFts íor clients, the
vast majority either “Strongly agree” or
“Agree” that it will lead to easier access
to international legal expertise (90%);
wider choice for clients (89%); and
better service for clients on transactions
(78%) and litigation (63%).
There was no clear agreement as to
whether íees oí íoreign law Frms
working through o+ces in India
will be lower than at present, with a
33% versus 44% split between those
agreeing and those disagreeing, while
21° Neither agree nor disagree`.
But the beneFts oí liberalisation íor
Indian lawyers were well understood,
with big majorities again “Strongly
agreeing” or “Agreeing” that it will
lead to more career opportunities for
Indian lawyers (89%); better training
for Indian lawyers (83%); improved
legal education (89%); and improved
pay and conditions for lawyers in
Indian Frms ,80°,.
In terms of threats to the top 50
Indian law Frms, respondents belie·e
,63°, that íoreign law Frms will attract
away írom Indian law Frms some
of the most talented Indian lawyers.
There is much more agreement
among general counsel and C-suite
respondents on this point, with 76%
and 68% either “Strongly agreeing”
or “Agreeing”. Whereas partners and
associates are more evenly split, with
47% either “Strongly agreeing” or
“Agreeing”, and 44% either “Strongly
disagreeing” or “Disagreeing”.
However, it was less clear-cut as to
whether respondents agree that work
will now írom Indian law Frms to
íoreign law Frms - 45° Strongly
agree` or Agree`, 14° Neither agree
nor disagree”, and 39% “Disagree”.
While more people “Disagree” (48%)
that íoreign law Frms will take jobs
away from Indian lawyers, 36%
“Agree”, 1% “Strongly Agree” and
another 11° Neither agree
nor disagree”.
In certain ways, respondents believe
liberalisation will beneFt e·eryone:
75% of respondents believe it will
bring international legal work being
done overseas into India; and 53%
belie·e that íoreign law Frms will
contribute in the corporate and social
responsibility arena.
There is one suggestion that people
overwhelmingly disagreed with – that
the image of India’s legal profession as
a “noble profession” will be damaged.
Over two-thirds (69%) “Disagree”
with a further 3% “Strongly
disagreeing”. Just 13% “Agree” with
this statement, 1% “Strongly agree”
and 14° Neither agree nor disagree`.
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012
Given the vast majority of respondents
are in favour of liberalising India’s legal
market, it is probably no surprise they
believe it will have a positive impact on
the quality of legal services provided to
large corporations in India.
However, as is consistent with other
results, the respondents are less
enthusiastic about letting foreign lawyers
practise only foreign law in India, with
just 47% saying it will have a “Positive”
impact on the quality of service.
But when it comes to allowing foreign
law Frms to practise Indian law
through Indian qualiFed lawyers ,ie
full liberalisation), those who see the
impact as “Positive” jumps to 83%.
The explanation for the variance, as
explained above, seems to come from
the large majority of respondents
who agree that allowing foreigners to
practise both international and Indian
law will be a good thing. That is, the
respondents feel that there will be less
positive impact from allowing foreign
law Frms only to practise international
law, presumably because even with the
recent increase in international activity
by large Indian companies, their main
requirement from the legal profession
remains their need for Indian, not
international, law advice.
Again, partners are the most optimistic
on this area, with 69% saying that
allowing foreigners to practise
foreign law will be “Positive” and an
overwhelming 90% saying it will be
Positi·e` ií íoreign Frms are allowed
to practise Indian law through Indian
qualiFed lawyers.
The impact on the quality of
legal services
General 38%
counsel
C-suite 48%
Partner 69%
Associate 44%
General 78%
counsel
C-suite 83%
Partner 90%
Associate 84%
47%
83%
18%
33%
7%
9%
2%
1%
Positive
No impact
Negative
Don’t know
Question asked: What impact on the quality of legal services
provided to large corporations would each of the following
have? A||ow fore|gn |awyers to pract|se fore|gn |aw |n lnd|a
Question asked: What impact on the quality of legal services provided
to |arge corporat|ons wou|d each of the fo||ow|ng have? A||ow fore|gn
|aw frms to pract|se lnd|an |aw through lnd|an qua||fed |awyers
POSITIvE, NEGATIvE, NONE?
%SAYING POSITIVE
%SAYING POSITIVE
FOREIGN LAwONLy INdIA LAw
13
Other impacts of full liberalisation
agree liberalisation
will lead to more
career opportunities
for Indian lawyers
89%
There is one suggestion that people overwhelmingly
disagreed with – that the image of India’s legal profession
as a “noble profession” will be damaged.
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12
Other impacts of full liberalisation
AGREE OR dISAGREE?
Wider choice for clients 12% 77%
4 5 1 1
More career opportunity for Indian lawyers
11% 78% 5% 5% 1
Better training programmes for Indian lawyers who join those foreign
frms compared to programmes offered by ex|st|ng lnd|an |aw frms
11% 72% 9% 7%
Improved legal education for Indian law students through participation
by fore|gn |aw frms |n the|r teach|ng programmes
14% 75% 7% 4%
Easier access for clients and Indian lawyers to international legal expertise 79% 7% 3% 11%
Oompet|t|on from fore|gn |aw frms w||| |mprove pay and work cond|t|ons
for |awyers |n lnd|an |aw frms
10% 12% 9% 70%
Oompet|t|on from fore|gn |aw frms w||| |mprove the qua||ty of the serv|ce
prov|ded by lnd|an |aw frms to the|r c||ents |n the transact|ona| fe|d
12% 11% 10% 66%
Oompet|t|on from fore|gn transact|ona| |aw frms w||| |mprove the qua||ty of
the serv|ce prov|ded by lnd|an |aw frms to the|r c||ents |n the ||t|gat|on fe|d
9% 16% 20% 54%
lnternat|ona| |ega| work wh|ch wou|d otherw|se be performed by |aw frms
outside India will be performed by them inside India
6% 69% 10% 15%
Fees of fore|gn |aw frms work|ng through offces |n lnd|a w||| be |ower than
at present
1 32% 21% 41% 3% 2%
Foreign lawyers will take jobs away from Indian lawyers 1 36% 11% 48% 3%
Fore|gn |aw frms w||| attract away from lnd|an |aw frms some of the most
talented Indian lawyers
4% 59% 10% 26% 1
Work wh|ch wou|d otherw|se have been performed by lnd|an |aw frms w|||
|nstead be performed by fore|gn |aw frms
1 44% 14% 39% 1
The image of India’s legal profession as a “noble profession” will be damaged
1 13% 14% 69% 1 3%
Fore|gn |aw frms w||| contr|bute |n the corporate and soc|a| respons|b|||ty arena
1 52% 16% 29% 1 1
Ouest|on asked: lf lnd|a a||owed fore|gn |aw frms to estab||sh offces |n lnd|a and merge w|th lnd|an |aw frms to pract|se both |nternat|ona| |aw and,
through lnd|an qua||fed |awyers, lnd|an |aw |n the corporate fe|d, to what extent do you agree or d|sagree that each of the fo||ow|ng w||| occur?
Strongly agree Nether agree nor disagree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 15
www.allenovery.com © Allen & Overy LLP 2012
5% 4% 1 1
14
Given the position that large Indian
corporations are carving out for
themselves on the global stage, we
also asked just the C-suite and the
general counsel what direct impacts
they envisage for their companies if the
legal market is to be liberalised.
The answer is clear – the largest
number of respondents (71%) believe
it will make their business more
globally competitive. This is followed
by making them better able to defend
their businesses from international
litigation (66%); receiving better
quality legal support (65%); easing
their company’s international
expansion/trade (64%); generally
improving the professional nature of
their business (56%); making them
better able to exploit commercial
opportunities in India (51%);
and making them better able to
exploit commercial opportunities
internationally (49%).
Only 11% think there will be no
percei·ed beneFts. Just 9° oí C-suite
and general counsel respondents
believe it will harm Indian law
Frms to the detriment oí their
company’s business.
The views of large Indian
corporations
IMPACT ON yOUR COMPANy
It will ease our international expansion/trade
Makes us more globally competitive
Makes us better able to defend ourselves
from international litigation
We will receive better quality legal support
Generally improve the professional
nature of our business
Makes us better able to exploit commercial
opportunitites in India
Makes us better able to exploit commercial
opportunitites internationally
91
90
89
75
72
65
60
Ouest|on asked: What d|rect |mpacts to your company, |f any, do you perce|ve
|f the lnd|an corporate |aw market were to be opened up to fore|gn |aw frms?
Harm lnd|an |aw frms to our detr|ment
l see no perce|ved benefts
Don’t know
71%
71%
68%
64%
64%
67%
64%
65%
54%
58%
52%
51%
48%
49%
8%
10%
10%
12%
1%
General counsel
C-suite
There was a strong feeling among all
respondents that there are a number
of potential reforms, in addition
to allowing íoreign law Frms to
practise in India, which would have
a “Positive” impact on the quality of
service provided to large corporations
in India. Most notably, 91% think the
establishment of specialist courts for
commercial dispute resolution will
be “Positive”.
Similarly, nearly all respondents
(90%) think taking steps to enhance
the credibility of arbitration will be
“Positive”. About the same number
of respondents (89%) think that
putting in place a system of continuing
professional education will also
be “Positive”.
Structural changes to how law Frms
operate, such as allowing limited
liability partnerships (75%), allowing
law Frms to ha·e websites and place
ads ,¯2°,, and allowing law Frms to
have more than 20 partners (60%), are
all seen as having a “Positive” impact
on the quality of service provided to
large corporations in India.
Likewise, opening the Indian legal
market to foreign lawyers and law
Frms is seen by 65° oí respondents
as being something that will have
a “Positive” impact on the quality
of legal services provided to large
corporations in India. In fact 75%
oí partners at law Frms belie·e it
will be “Positive”, again the highest
proportion for any group. The C-suite
are similarly “Positive”, with 71%
believing it will improve the quality of
service their businesses receive.
The impact of other legal changes
on the quality of legal services
IMPACT OF OTHER CHANGES ON qUALITy OF SERvICE
Provide clarity on LLP (limited liability partnership)
|eg|s|at|on to enab|e |aw frms to reconst|tute
themselves as limited liability partnerships
Establish specialist courts for commercial
dispute resolution
Take steps to enhance the credibility
of arbitration
Put in place a system that requires lawyers
to obtain continuing professional education
A||ow |aw frms to have webs|tes and p|ace
advertisements in professional news publications
Open the indian legal market to foreign
|awyers/|aw frms
Amend the |aw to a||ow |aw frms to have
more than 20 partners
91% 7%
90%
89%
75%
72%
65%
60%
8%
9%
17%
16%
12%
23%
11
11
1
3%
10%
5%
1
21% 2
12% 4%
Question asked: Please state what impact each of the following might have on the quality of legal services provided to large corporations in India.
Postiive

No impact Negative Don’t know
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 16 17
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On both partial and full liberalisation,
the majority of respondents
(62%-63%), believe that this should
happen within two years of new rules
being introduced. Very few of the
respondents want to wait any longer
than F·e years, with between just
6% and 9% choosing this timeframe
depending on the level of liberalisation.
Interestingly, in view of the perceived
beneFts to them oí allowing íoreign
law Frms in ,more career opportunity,
better training and improved pay and
conditions), associates tended to be
more conservative than others, albeit
still with only between 10% and 14%
opting íor more than F·e years.
The timing of liberalisation
TIMING OF LIBERALISATION
Question asked: If Indian rules are changed to permit “full” entry of foreign law
frms |nto the lnd|an |ega| market, but on a phased bas|s, how |ong after the
|ntroduct|on of the new ru|es shou|d each of the fo||ow|ng be perm|tted?
22%
17%
28%
9%
26%
6%
27%
28%
8%
24%
17%
14%
19% 22%
32%
Immediately
1 year
2 years
3-5 years
6-20 years
FOREIGN LAw
wITH FOREIGN
LAwyERS
FOREIGN LAw
ONLy wITH INdIAN
LAwyERS
INdIAN ANd FOREIGN
LAwwITH INdIAN ANd
FOREIGN LAwyERS
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 18 19
www.allenovery.com © Allen & Overy LLP 2012
Full liberalisation
should happen within
two years, according to
63% of respondents.
The Lotus Temple in New delhi
The conditions of liberalisation
Should liberalisation happen, which
the respondents indicate they think it
should, the question then turns to: on
what terms?
Respondents were asked what
conditions, if any, must be met before
íoreign law Frms could be allowed
either to establish o+ces in India to
practise foreign law only, or to employ
and go into partnership with Indian
lawyers, and merge with Indian law
Frms, to practise both Indian and
foreign corporate law.
Respondents indicate there should
be some basic reform to the Indian
legal sector, such as allowing Indian
law Frms to market themsel·es and
their services, subject to rules to
protect the good reputation of the
Indian legal profession – chosen by
71% in the case of both Indian and
international law and 64% in the case
of opening up the market for foreign
law competition only.
Likewise there is strong agreement
that the law should be clariFed so
that Indian law Frms are clearly
entitled to practise as limited liability
partnerships – chosen by 75% for
both and 69% for Indian law only.
When it comes to practising foreign
law only in India, 70% of respondents
belie·e the Indian o+ces oí the
íoreign law Frm should be subject
to professional regulation by the Bar
Council of India. Should they be
allowed to practise both Indian and
international law, 66% say they should
be subject to regulation by
the Bar Council of India and, if its
home country laws so require, its
home regulator(s).
In light of the consensus that
íoreign law Frms should be subject
to Indian professional regulation, it
is not surprising that there is little
enthusiasm íor the Indian o+ce,s,
oí íoreign law Frms to be subject to
regulation only by the íoreign Frm`s
home regulator(s), with just 19% and
35% saying this should apply (for
foreign only, and both respectively).
Ií íoreign law Frms are to be allowed
to practise foreign law only, 64%
believe the country in which the
íoreign law Frm is established should
oner Indian law Frms reciprocal
rights. Surprisingly, this drops to just
13° ií íoreign law Frms are allowed
to oner both Indian and international
legal advice.
In the case of allowing foreign law
Frms to pro·ide both local and
international advice in India, 70%
believe there should be a limit on
the number oí íoreign law Frms
permitted to do this.
!bev it cove. to foreigv tar frv. ¡racti.ivg botb ívaiav
and foreign law in India, 75% of respondents believe the
tar .bovta be ctarifea .o tbat ívaiav tar frv. are cteart,
entitled to practise as limited liability partnerships.
lnd|an |aw frms shou|d be a||owed to market
themse|ves and the|r serv|ces, subject to ru|es
to protect the good reputation of the Indian
legal profession
The lnd|an offce(s} of the fore|gn |aw frm
should be subject to professional regulation
by the Bar Council of India
The |aw shou|d be c|ar|fed so that lnd|an |aw
frms are c|ear|y ent|t|ed to pract|se as ||m|ted
liability partnerships
The country |n wh|ch the fore|gn |aw frm |s
estab||shed shou|d offer lnd|an |aw frms
reciprocal rights
The lnd|an offce(s} of the fore|gn |aw frm
should be subject to professional regulation
only by its home regulator(s)
lnd|an |aw frms shou|d be a||owed to market
themse|ves and the|r serv|ces, subject to
rules to protect the good reputation of the
Indian legal profession
The lnd|an offce(s} of the fore|gn |aw frm
should be subject to regulation by both the
Bar Oounc|| of lnd|a and, |f |ts home country
|aws so requ|re, |ts home regu|ator(s}
The |aw shou|d be c|ar|fed so that lnd|an
|aw frms are c|ear|y ent|t|ed to pract|se as
limited liability partnerships
There should be a limit on the number of
fore|gn |aw frms perm|tted to do th|s
The lnd|an offce(s} of the fore|gn |aw frm
should be subject to regulation only by its
home regulator(s)
The country |n wh|ch the fore|gn |aw frm |s
estab||shed shou|d offer lnd|an |aw frms
reciprocal rights
CONdITIONS FOR FOREIGN LAw ONLy
CONdITIONS FOR INdIAN ANd FOREIGN LAw
70%
69%
64%
64%
19%
75%
71%
70%
66%
35%
13%
Ouest|on asked: What cond|t|ons, |f any, must be met before fore|gn |aw frms
cou|d be a||owed to estab||sh offces |n lnd|a to pract|se fore|gn |aw on|y?
Ouest|on asked: What cond|t|ons, |f any, must be met before fore|gn |aw frms cou|d be a||owed to emp|oy and go |nto
partnersh|p w|th lnd|an |awyers, and merge w|th lnd|an |aw frms, to pract|se both lnd|an and fore|gn corporate |aw?
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 20 21
www.allenovery.com © Allen & Overy LLP 2012
www.allenovery.com
PROjECT METHOdOLGy
Allen & Overy developed this research with YouGov in
order to understand the views of all Indian stakeholders in
the liberalisation debate. Researchers carried out
quantitative interviews with 301 major stakeholders in
India, including C-suite executives, general counsel,
partners and associates.
The research was conducted through telephone
interviews with 100 C-suite executives and 100
general counsel, all from large publicly listed
(BSE-500) or equivalent private companies in India.
C-suite executi·es co·er chieí executi·e o+cers and
other senior corporate executives.
From India’s legal profession, 51 partners and 50
associates from the top 50 legal practices in India
were also interviewed. The list of the top 50 legal
practices was developed by YouGov, relying primarily
on the top 40 list contained in the “2011 RSG
India Report”, but drawing on other sources and
directories to expand the list to 50 legal practices.
The responding sample has not been weighted in
any way.
This sample was chosen because experience shows
that it is the market for legal services to large
corporations, not small and medium-sized companies
or pri·ate indi·iduals, which íoreign law Frms target
when a country liberalises its legal market – and this
corporate sector is ser·iced by the top law Frms in
the market. It is the members of this sample who will
thereíore be most anected by any liberalisation oí the
Indian legal market.
About YouGov
YouGov is an international, full service market
research agency onering added ·alue consultancy,
qualitati·e research, Feld and tab ser·ices, syndicated
products and comprehensive market intelligence
reports. YouGov’s sector specialist teams serve
Fnancial, media, technology and telecoms, lMCG
and public sector markets. The study was completed
by YouGov’s reputation practice which specialises in
researching hard-to-reach opinion formers around
the world.
YouGov is considered a pioneer of online market
research and has a panel of 2.5 million people
worldwide. \ouGo· has o+ces in the U.S., UK,
continental Europe and the Middle East.
A|| fgures, un|ess otherw|se stated, are from YouGov p|c. Tota| samp|e s|ze was 301 lnd|an |ega| and bus|ness profess|ona|s. F|e|dwork
was undertaken between 20 February 2012 and 11 Apr|| 2012. The survey was carr|ed out by te|ephone. The fgures have not been
weighted in any way.
301
For further information visit yougov.co.uk
50 Featherstone Street
London
EC1Y 8RT
United Kingdom
Tel +44 20 7012 6000
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 22 23
Survey data tables
© Allen & Overy LLP 2012
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
Which of the following best refects your own views on whether or not the lndian legal market should
be liberalised?
It should be completely
liberalised
18 13 16 27 20
It should be partially
liberalised
78 80 80 71 78
It should not be liberalised
at all
4 7 4 2 2
Should foreign law frms be allowed to establish offces in lndia to practise foreign law only?
Yes 51 56 42 55 56
No 45 40 55 41 40
Don't know 4 4 3 4 4
lf foreign law frms are permitted to open offces in lndia, should they be allowed to employ and go into
partnership with lndian nationals, but to practise foreign law only?
Yes 60 58 57 65 64
No 37 38 40 31 32
Don't know 4 4 3 4 4
lf foreign law frms are allowed to open offces in lndia, should they be allowed to employ and go into
partnership with lndian lawyers, and merge with lndian law frms, to practise both lndian and foreign law?
Yes 79 83 79 84 68
No 18 14 19 12 32
Don't know 2 3 2 4 0
Completed May 2012
YouGov A&O survey results
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
How would you describe the general quality of legal services provided to large corporations by lndian
law frms?
Very good 33 28 37 31 34
Good 56 58 49 61 58
Adequate 11 13 11 8 8
Poor 1 0 2 0 0
Very poor 0 0 0 0 0
Don’t know 0 1 0 0 0
How acceptable to you is the current general quality of legal services provided to large corporations by lndian
law frms?
Acceptable 51 49 51 49 60
Could be better 48 50 48 51 40
Unacceptable 0 0 1 0 0
Don't know 0 1 0 0 0
Do you feel the quality of services provided to large corporations by lndian law frms is changing?
Getting a lot better 29 25 29 27 40
Getting a little better 58 60 55 69 52
Not changing 11 14 14 4 8
Getting a little worse 0 0 0 0 0
Getting a lot worse 0 0 0 0 0
Don’t know 1 1 2 0 0
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 24 25
www.allenovery.com © Allen & Overy LLP 2012
THE NUMBERS BELOw ARE REPRESENTEd AS PERCENTAGES, NOT ALL ANSwERS wILL Add UP TO 100% dUE TO ROUNdING
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
What impact on the quality of legal services provided to large corporations would each of the following have?
Allow foreign lawyers to practise foreign law in India
Positive 47 38 48 69 44
No impact 18 22 21 12 10
Negative 33 40 31 20 40
Don't know 1 0 0 0 6
Very bad 0 0 0 0 0
Allow íoreign law Frms to practise Indian law through Indian qualiFed lawyers
Positive 83 78 83 90 84
No impact 7 9 9 0 4
Negative 9 12 5 10 8
Don't know 2 1 3 0 4
Very bad 0 0 0 0 0
Completed May 2012
YouGov A&O survey results
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
lf lndia allowed foreign law frms to establish offces in lndia and merge with lndian law frms to practise both
international law and, through lndian qualifed lawyers, lndian law in the corporate feld, to what extent do you
agree or disagree that each of the following will occur:
Easier access for clients and Indian lawyers to international legal expertise
Strongly agree 11 10 15 10 4
Agree 79 75 72 88 90
Neither agree nor disagree 7 12 7 2 4
Disagree 3 2 6 0 2
Strongly disagree 0 1 0 0 0
Don't know 0 0 0 0 0
Wider choice for clients
Strongly agree 12 8 15 14 10
Agree 77 74 76 82 82
Neither agree nor disagree 4 7 3 2 4
Disagree 5 8 6 0 2
Strongly disagree 1 3 0 0 0
Don't know 1 0 0 2 2
Competition írom íoreign law Frms will impro·e the quality oí the ser·ice pro·ided by Indian law
Frms to their clients in the transactional Feld
Strongly agree 12 7 19 14 8
Agree 66 65 64 67 72
Neither agree nor disagree 11 12 7 12 16
Disagree 10 15 10 6 4
Strongly disagree 0 1 0 0 0
Don't know 0 0 0 2 0
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 26 27
www.allenovery.com © Allen & Overy LLP 2012
THE NUMBERS BELOw ARE REPRESENTEd AS PERCENTAGES, NOT ALL ANSwERS wILL Add UP TO 100% dUE TO ROUNdING
Completed May 2012
YouGov A&O survey results
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
Competition írom íoreign transactional law Frms will impro·e the quality oí the ser·ice pro·ided by
Indian law Frms to their clients in the litigation Feld
Strongly agree 9 4 18 10 2
Agree 54 60 53 51 50
Neither agree nor disagree 16 18 12 12 22
Disagree 20 17 17 27 26
Strongly disagree 0 1 0 0 0
Don't know 0 0 0 0 0
lees oí íoreign law Frms working through o+ces in India will be lower than at present
Strongly agree 1 1 2 2 0
Agree 32 30 31 37 30
Neither agree nor disagree 21 24 16 16 30
Disagree 41 43 42 41 34
Strongly disagree 3 2 5 4 2
Don't know 2 0 3 0 4
More career opportunity for Indian lawyers
Strongly agree 11 11 15 12 2
Agree 78 76 74 82 84
Neither agree nor disagree 5 5 4 6 8
Disagree 5 6 7 0 6
Strongly disagree 1 2 0 0 0
Don't know 0 0 0 0 0
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
Better training programmes íor Indian lawyers who join those íoreign Frms compared to programmes
onered by existing Indian law Frms
Strongly agree 11 9 18 10 4
Agree 72 73 71 71 76
Neither agree nor disagree 9 8 6 12 12
Disagree 7 9 5 8 8
Strongly disagree 0 1 0 0 0
Don't know 0 0 0 0 0
Impro·ed legal education íor Indian law students through participation by íoreign law Frms in their
teaching programmes
Strongly agree 14 10 22 10 12
Agree 75 75 70 84 74
Neither agree nor disagree 7 12 4 6 6
Disagree 4 3 4 0 8
Strongly disagree 0 0 0 0 0
Don't know 0 0 0 0 0
Competition írom íoreign law Frms will impro·e pay and work conditions íor lawyers in Indian law
Frms
Strongly agree 10 9 12 10 6
Agree 70 65 71 75 72
Neither agree nor disagree 12 17 7 10 12
Disagree 9 9 10 6 10
Strongly disagree 0 0 0 0 0
Don't know 0 0 0 0 0
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 28 29
www.allenovery.com © Allen & Overy LLP 2012
THE NUMBERS BELOw ARE REPRESENTEd AS PERCENTAGES, NOT ALL ANSwERS wILL Add UP TO 100% dUE TO ROUNdING
Completed May 2012
YouGov A&O survey results
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
loreign law Frms will attract away írom Indian law Frms some oí the most talented Indian lawyers
Strongly agree 4 3 5 8 0
Agree 59 73 63 35 50
Neither agree nor disagree 10 7 13 12 8
Disagree 26 16 18 45 40
Strongly disagree 1 1 0 0 2
Don't know 0 0 1 0 0
\ork which would otherwise ha·e been períormed by Indian law Frms will instead be períormed by
íoreign law Frms
Strongly agree 1 0 3 2 0
Agree 44 52 49 33 30
Neither agree nor disagree 14 15 10 20 14
Disagree 39 32 34 43 56
Strongly disagree 1 1 2 2 0
Don't know 0 0 1 0 0
Foreign lawyers will take jobs away from Indian lawyers
Strongly agree 1 2 1 2 0
Agree 36 41 42 22 26
Neither agree nor disagree 11 14 12 6 10
Disagree 48 41 42 61 62
Strongly disagree 3 2 1 10 2
Don't know 0 0 1 0 0
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
International legal work which would otherwise be períormed by law Frms outside India will be
performed by them inside India
Strongly agree 6 6 6 10 0
Agree 69 69 73 65 66
Neither agree nor disagree 10 10 11 6 10
Disagree 15 13 10 20 24
Strongly disagree 0 1 0 0 0
Don't know 0 1 0 0 0
loreign law Frms will contribute in the corporate and social responsibility arena
Strongly agree 1 0 0 4 0
Agree 52 52 54 51 52
Neither agree nor disagree 16 20 11 16 20
Disagree 29 27 35 25 26
Strongly disagree 1 1 0 2 0
Don't know 1 0 0 2 2
The image of India’s legal profession as a “noble profession” will be damaged
Strongly agree 1 2 0 0 0
Agree 13 13 14 12 10
Neither agree nor disagree 14 21 10 10 10
Disagree 69 59 73 73 78
Strongly disagree 3 4 2 6 0
Don't know 1 1 1 0 2
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 30 31
www.allenovery.com © Allen & Overy LLP 2012
THE NUMBERS BELOw ARE REPRESENTEd AS PERCENTAGES, NOT ALL ANSwERS wILL Add UP TO 100% dUE TO ROUNdING
Completed May 2012
YouGov A&O survey results
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
What direct impacts to your company, if any, do you perceive if the lndian corporate law market were to be
opened up to foreign law frms? Please select all that apply. Only Corporations
Makes us more globally
competitive
71 71 71 n/a n/a
Makes us better able to
defend ourselves from
international litigation
66 68 64 n/a n/a
We will receive better
quality legal support
65 64 67 n/a n/a
It will ease our international
expansion/trade
64 64 65 n/a n/a
Generally improve the
professional nature of our
business
56 54 58 n/a n/a
Make us better able to
exploit commercial
opportunities in India
51 52 51 n/a n/a
Make us better able to
exploit commercial
opportunities internationally
49 48 49 n/a n/a
Harm lnd|an |aw frms to
our detriment
9 8 10 n/a n/a
Other 0 0 0 n/a n/a
l see no perce|ved benefts 11 10 12 n/a n/a
Don't know 1 0 1 n/a n/a
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
Please state what impact each of the following might have on the quality of legal services provided to large
corporations in lndia. Choose between: Positive, No impact, Negative, Don't know.
Establish specialist courts for commercial dispute resolution
Positive 91 87 91 96 96
No impact 7 10 9 2 4
Negative 1 1 0 2 0
Don't know 1 2 0 0 0
Take steps to enhance the credibility of arbitration
Positive 90 88 90 100 84
No impact 8 8 9 0 12
Negative 1 3 0 0 0
Don't know 1 1 1 0 4
Put in place a system that requires lawyers to obtain continuing professional education
Positive 89 90 89 84 92
No impact 9 8 10 14 6
Negative 1 1 1 2 2
Don't know 0 1 0 0 0
Pro·ide clarity on LLP ,limited liability partnership, legislation to enable law Frms to reconstitute
themselves as limited liability partnerships
Positive 75 77 68 88 72
No impact 17 14 21 10 22
Negative 3 4 4 2 2
Don't know 5 5 7 0 4
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 32 33
© Allen & Overy LLP 2012 www.allenovery.com
THE NUMBERS BELOw ARE REPRESENTEd AS PERCENTAGES, NOT ALL ANSwERS wILL Add UP TO 100% dUE TO ROUNdING
Completed May 2012
YouGov A&O survey results
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
Allow law Frms to ha·e websites and place ad·ertisements in proíessional news publications
Positive 72 65 74 82 74
No impact 16 23 17 6 12
Negative 10 10 7 12 14
Don't know 1 2 2 0 0
Open the Indian legal market to íoreign lawyers,law Frms
Positive 65 59 71 75 58
No impact 12 15 10 8 14
Negative 21 25 16 18 24
Don't know 2 1 3 0 4
Amend the law to allow law Frms to ha·e more than 20 partners
Positive 60 53 59 75 64
No impact 23 26 23 16 24
Negative 12 13 14 10 10
Don't know 4 8 4 0 2
www.allenovery.com
THE NUMBERS BELOw ARE REPRESENTEd AS PERCENTAGES, NOT ALL ANSwERS wILL Add UP TO 100% dUE TO ROUNdING
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
lf lndian rules are changed to permit °full" entry of foreign law frms into the lndian legal market, but on a
phased basis, how long after the introduction of the new rules should each of the following be permitted:
loreign law Frms permitted to establish o+ces in India to practise íoreign law only
Immediately 22 19 18 25 30
1 Year 17 14 18 24 14
2 Years 24 28 22 12 30
3-5 Years 28 26 34 35 12
6-10 Years 9 12 7 4 14
loreign law Frms permitted to employ and go into partnership with Indian nationals but to practise
foreign law only
Immediately 26 26 24 24 30
1 Year 17 21 16 16 14
2 Years 19 18 18 18 24
3-5 Years 32 27 36 41 22
6-10 Years 6 7 5 2 10
loreign law Frms permitted to employ and go into partnership with Indian lawyers, and merge with
Indian law Frms, to practise both Indian and íoreign law
Immediately 27 25 27 31 26
1 Year 14 17 14 12 12
2 Years 22 23 23 18 24
3-5 Years 28 27 24 37 28
6-10 Years 8 7 11 2 10
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 35
© Allen & Overy LLP 2012
34
Completed May 2012
YouGov A&O survey results
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
What conditions, if any, must be met before foreign law frms could be allowed to establish offces in lndia to
practise foreign law only? Please select all that apply.
The lnd|an offce(s} of the
fore|gn |aw frm shou|d be
subject to professional
regulation by the Bar
Council of India
70 69 60 86 76
The |aw shou|d be c|ar|fed
so that lnd|an |aw frms are
clearly entitled to practise
as limited liability
partnerships
69 67 64 80 74
The country in which the
fore|gn |aw frm |s
established should offer
lnd|an |aw frms rec|proca|
rights
64 59 65 78 58
lnd|an |aw frms shou|d be
allowed to market
themselves and their
serv|ces, subject to ru|es to
protect the good
reputation of the Indian
legal profession
64 64 59 71 68
The lnd|an offce(s} of the
fore|gn |aw frm shou|d be
subject to professional
regulation only by its home
regulator(s)
19 28 21 10 4
Other 1 1 0 2 0
None of these 0 0 0 0 0
jOB TITLE
TOTAL General Counsel C-suite Partner Associate
Sample 301 100 100 51 50
What conditions, if any, must be met before foreign law frms could be allowed to employ and go into
partnership with lndian lawyers, and merge with lndian law frms, to practise both lndian and foreign corporate
law? Please select all that apply.
The |aw shou|d be c|ar|fed
so that lnd|an |aw frms are
clearly entitled to practise
as limited liability
partnerships
75 76 70 84 72
lnd|an |aw frms shou|d be
allowed to market
themselves and their
serv|ces, subject to ru|es to
protect the good
reputation of the Indian
legal profession
71 69 71 82 66
The lnd|an offce(s} of the
fore|gn |aw frm shou|d be
subject to regulation by
both the Bar Council of
lnd|a and, |f |ts home
country |aws so requ|re, |ts
home regulator(s)
66 67 61 73 70
The country in which the
fore|gn |aw frm |s
established should offer
lnd|an |aw frms rec|proca|
rights
13 17 14 10 8
There should be a limit on
the number of foreign law
frms perm|tted to do th|s
70 74 63 75 74
The lnd|an offce(s} of the
fore|gn |aw frm shou|d be
subject to regulation only
by its home regulator(s)
35 28 41 33 36
Other 0 0 0 0 0
None of these 1 1 1 0 0
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 37
www.allenovery.com © Allen & Overy LLP 2012
THE NUMBERS BELOw ARE REPRESENTEd AS PERCENTAGES, NOT ALL ANSwERS wILL Add UP TO 100% dUE TO ROUNdING
36
Time to liberalise India’s legal market? | 2012 38 38
www.allenovery.com © Allen & Overy LLP 2012
Bangalore skyline
39
The possibly surprising outcome of this survey is the
large level of agreement among the major stakeholders
in the liberalisation debate in India. They believe
liberalisation should happen, that it will have a
positive impact for both clients and the profession
and that it should happen soon.
www.allenovery.com
© Allen & Overy LLP 2012 l CS1205_CDD-3083
FOR MORE lNFORMATlON, P|EASE OONTAOT:
Allen & Overy LLP
One Bishops Square
London
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United Kingdom
Tel +44 20 3088 0000
Fax +44 20 3088 0088
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