RSG India Report 2019: AZB top law firm, Client satisfaction with quality of junior associates at law firms decreases

RSG India Report 2019: AZB top law firm, Client satisfaction with quality of junior associates at law firms decreases

Bar & Bench

London-based research and consulting firm RSG Consulting released its bi-annual report on the Indian legal market on November 26, 2019 at Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai. RSG also released a list of the best law firms in India, with AZB & Partners topping the charts.

The report also notes that client satisfaction with Indian law firms has marginally increased since the last study conducted by RSG in 2017. The factors that have improved include availability, timeliness and conflict resolution.

However, it is noted that satisfaction with the quality of junior associates has fallen by 6%. On a related note, managing partners of law firms said that their biggest challenge was recruiting and retaining quality talent.

Some of the highlights of the RSG India Report 2019 include:

  • Indian e-commerce businesses are recruiting larger and more sophisticated teams as they mature.
  • Clients are demanding more for their money and more flexible fee structures and some firms continue to undercut rivals, putting increased pressure on the top law firms.
  • Managing Partners at the top 50 law firms reported revenue increases of 22% on average and profitability increases of 27%.
  • The top 10 Indian law firms grew their headcount on average by 15%; over the top 40 law firms listed in 2017, that growth rate was 24%.
  • Many law firms have hired non-legal professionals into their firms to effect change.
  • The Indian legal market is increasingly being impacted by a generation of lawyers who have gained international experience and have returned to India.
  • 93% of emerging leaders at law firms were in favour of liberalisation.

Law Firm Rankings


Research for the 2019 RSG India Report and new Top 50 ranking of Indian law firms was carried out between July and November 2019. The rankings and the report are based on client satisfaction reviews from more than 480 Indian law firm clients, analyses of over 300 Indian law firms, submissions from 68 Indian firms, interviews with 45 Indian law firm managing partners and 35 foreign law firm India practice heads, and analysis of deal databases, among others.

The Top 10 India Law Firms

AZB & Partners emerged as the top Indian law firm with a score of 36.32 out of 50. Khaitan & Co. and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas followed with scores of 35.82 and 34.96 respectively. Also in the top five were Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Trilegal with scores of 34.24 and 29.56 respectively.

RankLaw FirmTotal No. of PartnersTotal No. of Equity PartnersTotal No. of LawyersScore (out of 50)
1AZB & Partners1062042936.32
2Khaitan & Co.1499163635.82
3Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas1142658434.96
4Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas1353376034.24
6J Sagar Associates983533828.42
7L&L Partners80533028.36
8S&R Associates13138026.71
9Anand and Anand272313326.61
10Economic Laws Practice541117726.07

The other law firms in the top fifteen were J Sagar Associates, L&L Partners, S&R Associates, Anand and Anand, Economic Laws Practice, Kochhar & Co, Nishith Desai Associates, IndusLaw, Link Legal and Veritas Legal.

RSG also announced the Grow India Awards. The categories and the winners are as follows:

Developing Legal MindsCyril Amarchand Mangaldas
Defending Corporate IndiaJ Sagar Associates
Enabling Corporate India (for the Walmart-Flipkart deal)Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Khaitan & Co
Best Challenger Law Firm IndusLaw
Foreign Law Firm with most increased profileKirkland & Ellis
Law Firm of the DecadeTrilegal
Corporate Legal DepartmentLarsen & Toubro
In-house Lawyer of the YearHimanshu Dodeja
RSG Top Foreign Law Firm in IndiaClifford Chance
RSG Top Law Firm in India AZB & Partners
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