Client Service Report: India 2019

As part of the asialaw Profiles research process we survey buyers of legal services on:

  • Assessment and Rating of law firms and lawyers’ quality of service and work received
  • Upcoming market trends

Here is a snapshot of the data for India:

Firm attributes

We ask clients to rate the legal counsel they used on the following (from 1 poor to 5 excellent):

  • Costs transparency
  • Extensive local/international network
  • Industry sector knowledge
  • Technical ability and innovation
  • Use of technology
  • Value for money
  • Client relationship management
  • Risk management

 

Best firm by individual attribute (based on aggregate score)

  • Costs transparency: Phoenix Legal
  • Extensive local/international network: Induslaw
  • Industry sector knowledge: AZB & Partners
  • Technical ability and innovation: AZB & Partners
  • Use of technology: AZB & Partners, Rajani Associates (tied)
  • Value for money: Khaitan & Co
  • Client relationship management: Induslaw
  • Risk management: Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas

 

Leading firms in order (based on aggregate score):

  • AZB & Partners
  • Khaitan & Co
  • Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas
  • Phoenix Legal
  • Rajani Associates

 

General statistics:

Highest rated law firm attribute: Client relationship management                           

Firm attribute that needs most improvement: Use of technology

Lawyer attributes

We ask clients to rate lawyers they used based on the following attributes (from 1 poor to 5 excellent):

  • Communication
  • Commercial understanding
  • Country knowledge
  • Industry sector knowledge
  • Listening to and implementing feedback
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Responsiveness and accessibility
  • Technical ability

 

Leading lawyers (based on aggregate score)

  • Shailendra Bhandare, Khaitan & Co
  • Aditya Bhargava, Phoenix Legal

 

General statistics

Highest rated lawyer attribute: Communication

Lawyer attribute that needs most improvement: Industry Sector Knowledge

 

Market feedback

Topic that concerns clients most

Ethics and compliance including antibribery issues

How law firms can assist clients on this matter:

  • By better representations and policy advocacy.
  • By providing compendium of developments (acceptable at a subscription based services) on a monthly basis.
  • Deeper study on the subject and liaising with the authorities
  • Develop a keen understanding of broader policy issues and arguments. Be able to look into the future and not be stuck only with what the law "is" today.
  • External counsel should be available on a call, should be aware of all the changes that are happening, should be flexible and should be able to understand the urgency
  • Give proactive, pre-emptive advice
  • On-the-ground, practical advice on regulatory authorities would be good. Nowadays, I find that the Big 4 consulting firms tend to provide a better overall package with regard to regulatory/governmental changes and related services.
  • Provide frequent and periodic knowledge sharing sessions. training and roundtables
  • Provide regular updates, based on our business patterns and objectives. Also, try and think and let us know why a change is being made or the rational behind it, so that we can adapt to it.
  • Training and industry updates

 

Which practice area do they anticipate to give more work to external legal counsel in the next 12 months

Regulatory

Which practice area do they anticipate to give less work to legal counsel in the next 12 months

Competition & Antitrust

 

How can law firms improve their service to clients?

  • Be more timely in delivery - Be more cost effective
  • As most regional firms anticipation of legal issues beyond the question asked can be improved.
  • Be more available when required
  • Bring in more automation. We work with them extensively on deals. Bring in some dashboards / risk profiles when starting with newer deals etc. Essentially more and efficient use of data and analytics
  • By being little more meticulous to avoid typos in the documents.
  • By being more aggressive in its approach in litigation matters
  • By establishing overseas offices all over the world including Tokyo.
  • By extending network in more cities
  • By improving its second layer capabilities.
  • By improving on turnaround time.
  • Enhance stakeholder engagements by periodic publications and seminars
  • Firm can increase the number of branches globally .
  • Given many of the sectors are very technical focused now, the law firm may skill its employees in technical aspects in the sector or employ sector specialists as consultants to further improve their sectoral understanding.
  • Greater costs transparency and efficient processes would help the law firm improve its services.
  • I think the firm should have a better corporate communications strategy, eg lack of website etc.
  • Its difficult to reach their landline numbers, after office hours so may be an auto service can be installed to handle such cases
  • Knowledge dissemination and cost competitiveness.
  • More senior partner time.