Legal fees have plateaued, but clients have misgivings over billing arrangements, transparency and the value for money they receive

Vandana Chatlani reports

India’s top 100 companies are expected to increase their legal spending to US$555 million this year, an 11% rise from last year, according to London-based RSG Consulting. In three years’ time, RSG estimates that this number will surpass US$1 billion.

Pharmaceuticals company Wockhardt, for example, spends about US$5 million a year globally on legal fees, and that excludes its patent-related expenditure.

Bharti Enterprises also runs up large legal bills. “Last year was rather high; around US$8.5 million on account of a large deal,” says Vijaya Sampath, the company’s group CEO. “However, the real costs are in litigation where there is no control of any nature and cases can drag on for years with adjournments.”

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