India Business Law Journal reveals its definitive list of the country’s most recommended private practice lawyers. Rebecca Abraham reports

For the second year running India Business Law Journal has put together a list of India’s top lawyers. Identifying and honouring individual lawyers in this manner is useful and necessary given that the Indian legal market – unlike that in several other jurisdictions – continues to be dominated by personalities. Clients seek out individual lawyers and not necessarily law firms when they need legal counsel.

Law firm brands in India are growing in importance, but are yet to build the overall consistency and more importantly the clout that clients are familiar with when dealing with law firms in more developed jurisdictions. Chances are this will change when international law firms are allowed to set up offices in India and the legal market reacts to the change in status quo.

Rich variety of skills

What does it take to be ranked as one of India’s top lawyers?

“Competency, clarity, and professionalism,” says Jack Whittier, a senior technologist at global engineering company CH2M Hill, describing Avirup Nag, a partner at IndusLaw. Whittier applauds Nag for his “superb language and writing skills” that allow him to “accurately convey precise meanings” and for being “timely, courteous and respectful”.

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Compiling the A-List

The A-List is based on extensive research conducted by India Business Law Journal. For this we turned to thousands of inhouse counsel in India and around the world, as well as India-focused partners at international law firms, and asked them to nominate private-practice lawyers (excluding senior counsel) for this list of India’s top 100 lawyers.

Nominations were received from professionals at a wide range of Indian and international companies, law firms and other organizations, including: Accenture, Aditya Birla, Adobe Systems, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, APM Terminals, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bharti Airtel, Canadian Solar, Cipla, Deutsche Bank, Go Airlines, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, Mapletree Investments, McDonald’s, Mylan, Qualcomm, RPG Enterprises, Sealed Air, State Bank of India, Texas Aviation Group, Veolia, Wells Fargo and Xerox.

The final list reflects the nominations received combined with India Business Law Journal editorial team’s more than 30 years of collective experience in documenting and analysing India’s legal market.

All Indian private-practice lawyers were automatically eligible for inclusion in the nominations process, and as always, there were no fees or any other requirements for entry.

The names and photographs of all 100 A-list lawyers are published on the pages that follow. In addition, each A-list lawyer was given the opportunity to include their biography and contact details, for which a publishing fee was charged. It is important to note that while the compilation of the A-list was based solely on independent editorial research, the biographies and contact details that appear alongside many of the listings have been written by the participating lawyers and the content has not been independently verified by India Business Law Journal.