India Business Law Journal turned to in-house counsel and other legal professionals from India and around the world to identify the top law firms of 2012 in a wide range of practice areas
Vandana Chatlani reports

India’s legal community is showing greater entrepreneurial spirit than ever before. The year 2012 brought further breakaways, stiffer competition and a skirmish for roles on deals thrown up by the global financial crisis. Some firms sought a new lease of life by bringing in young blood, while others recruited experienced talent and enlarged their service offerings to cope with heightened activity in areas such as corporate debt restructuring.

As we begin a new year, we take pleasure in revealing India Business Law Journal’s top Indian law firms. We select six winners of equal standing in 20 categories; name six best overall law firms; highlight three best new firms; and one overall law firm of the year.

Tough decisions

In arriving at our decisions, our editorial team considered the work not only of India’s most prominent law firms, but also of smaller firms, whose achievements sometimes go unnoticed, and of the country’s legacy firms, which may no longer rule the roost but continue to be held in high esteem by clients and peers alike. Our best overall law firms rightly dominate the award tables. However, recognizing the dynamics of India’s economic development, we felt it was important to also select winners from the talented pool of mid-size law firms that are engaged consistently for their legal expertise, commercial acumen and competitive pricing. As Indian and international companies reassess their balance sheets and aim for financial recuperation and growth, they are relying on India’s mid-size firms, reassured by steady partner involvement, practice area specializations and the leanness of their operations.

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Winners at a glance