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At the time of research, it was a year since Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister of India. His pro-business approach brought a renewed sense of optimism to the country and made a positive impact on the legal market. Key reforms have been introduced allowing increased foreign investment in sectors such as rail and defence, deregulation of fuel prices, and private competition in coal mining. India’s economy has stabilised, mainly due to the drop in oil prices, but further important reforms are yet to be implemented and these remain crucial for sustained economic growth.



Law firms report that banking and finance and capital markets work remain quiet as the necessary reforms to galvanise the financial sector have not yet been implemented, resulting in the continuation of lack of new loan availability. Corporate and M&A has had a mixed year as businesses remain cautious about new mandates. On the contentious front, activity in the dispute resolution arena has a healthy outlook with firms receiving a steady flow of new cases, particularly in the context of international arbitration. Projects work is also providing fertile ground for instructions, thanks to state investment in infrastructure.



The biggest news in India’s legal landscape in 2015 has been the dissolution of India’s largest law firm Amarchand & Suresh A Shroff & Co. As a result, two new firms have launched by the firm’s former managing partners and brothers, Shardul Shroff and Cyril Shroff. The former now runs Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, and the latter has opened Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Already, they make up a significant part of the competitive legal market together with other key players such as AZB & Partners, Luthra & Luthra, J Sagar Associates, Trilegal and Khaitan & Co.. Boutiques Tuli & Co (for insurance), Anand and Anand (for IP) and Karanjawala & Company (for dispute resolution) are also worthy of note. Following the demerger of Rajani, Singhania & Partners in late 2015, name partners Prem Rajani and Ravi Singhania now head up Rajani Associates and Singhania & Partners respectively.



Foreign firms continue to request permission to operate in the country, and the Bar Council of India has agreed (in principle) to stop opposing their entry ‘provided there is a reciprocal action by foreign governments’. With India’s significant amount of cross-border activity, international firms are following these developments with close attention.



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    On 16th January 2016, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched formally an all- inclusive and robust action plan for the “Start-up India, Stand Up India” initiative, which was announced enthusiastically on the 69th Independence Day of India (i.e. on August 15, 2015) by him while addressing the nation. This “Start-up India” initiative is really a very welcome, viable, and historic initiation for promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, and boosting faster growth of Indian economy. The 40-page Action Plan was presented during a grand event organized at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. This landmark event was perhaps the first of its kind in the entire world so far, which witnessed direct and constructive dialogue between the start-up community and the policy makers. This concise article offers lapidary information about the major components of this Start-up India Action Plan, along with expounding the great importance of such an initiative for the desired intellectual and industrial development, and faster economic growth and prosperity of India. Here, it must be noted that, this visionary initiative puts strong emphasis on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, creating propitious environment for making businesses (especially by new entrepreneurs and start-up enterprises) easier in India, generating employment, and fostering private investments into thriving Indian economy, in order to make India a developed nation on or before its 75th Anniversary of Independence (August 15, 2022).
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