The services of an experienced advocate may be critical to making it through the Indian court system. But what should you know when choosing the best senior counsel to stand by your side?

Last year was a good one for litigation lawyers in the Mumbai and Delhi high courts. The Bombay court designated 15 senior advocates in September 2011, while in Delhi the court bestowed the same honour on nine lawyers in January 2011 and eight more in July – record highs for both courts.

But some observers don’t see this as a sign that greater numbers of advocates are achieving a superior standard.

“Earlier advocates who were ‘senior material’ were invited to apply, but now that’s hardly followed … one goes ahead and applies,” remarks Sumeet Kachwaha, a dispute resolution expert and managing partner at Kachwaha & Partners.

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