Indian business and lawyers overwhelmingly back liberalisation of India's legal market
There is near unanimous agreement among leaders of India's largest companies and top law firms that the country's legal market should be liberalised, according to research published today by independent research agency YouGov in association with Allen & Overy.
The research sought the opinions of 301 major stakeholders in the liberalisation debate. Respondents included 100 C-suite executives and 100 general counsel from India's largest companies, as well as 101 partners and associates from India's top 50 law firms.
Key findings include:
96% of respondents believe the India legal market should be liberalised, including 98% of Indian partners;
90% either "Strongly Agree" or "Agree" that it will lead to easier access to international legal expertise;
Indian business leaders (71%) say that liberalisation will make their business more globally competitive;
79% of respondents say foreign law firms should be allowed to employ and go into partnership with Indian lawyers, and merge with Indian law firms, to practise both Indian and foreign law;
63% of respondents believe this should happen within two years; and
89% "Strongly agree" or "Agree" that liberalisation will lead to more career opportunities for Indian lawyers.
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 firms is either good (56%) or very good (33%).
Commenting, Jonathan Brayne, Chair of Allen & Overy's India Group, said: "This research confirms that as India's corporate champions continue to expand and compete globally, they see a need for greater choice of legal services at home to ensure their success overseas. It also shows that India's leading lawyers welcome the opportunities that liberalisation would present for both their clients and their own careers."
Read the full survey of the India market opinion in association with Allen & Overy.