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Economic Growth

India is the world's seventh largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and the third largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). India is projected to grow at 7.4% of its GDP in 2018 as against China’s 6.8%, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), making it the fastest growing economy among emerging economies following last year’s slowdown due to demonetisation and the implementation of goods and services tax (GST). According to the figures of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), India had received USD 7.59 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) during April-June 2016-17. In ease of doing business report 2018 release by World Bank on October 31, 2017, India jumped 30 spots to number 100. This jump can be attributed to major improvement in significant parameters such as starting a business, dealing with construction permits, resolving insolvency, getting electricity and getting credit, among other parameters.

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Legal Market Overview

The Indian legal market continues to feel the impact of dynamic changes across all practice areas, and the banking, corporate, projects and infrastructure sectors have all seen significant activity in terms of deals and government initiatives over the last year.

The newly introduced Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (2016) was a key talking point among lawyers in the banking and restructuring sphere; the Code sought to consolidate existing legal frameworks by producing a single law for companies facing insolvency, a move made as part of a continued push towards the streamlining and consolidation of India’s legal structure. Prime Minister Modi’s push towards demonetisation and the move towards a cashless economy has also made a great impact, most notably in the foreign investment and taxation arena. The government’s goods and services tax (GST), which came into force in July 2017, continued the consolidation trend and replaced several central and state taxes with a single unified tax, a move which has been widely welcomed by the business economy.

Advice on infrastructure projects has been in high demand on the projects and energy side, with the renewable energy, railway and transport sectors particularly buoyant. Cross-border projects and joint ventures have also seen an uptick, with many firms handling matters spanning Nepal, Bangladesh, Dubai and Sri Lanka.

Dispute resolution activity remains prevalent across the board, both on the litigation and alternative dispute resolution sides. Arbitration is becoming an increasingly popular route for companies and individuals alike, the recent reforms to the Arbitration Act and the confidentiality of the process being major advantages.

Key players in the legal market include Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, which is well regarded for its dispute resolution practice, and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, which is a key firm on the banking and commercial side. Other names of note include Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, Kochhar & Co., Trilegal and Khaitan & Co..

The In-House Lawyer

International comparative guides

In association with a leading international law firm, Legalease are producing a series of online country comparative legal guides, designed to give the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in unfamiliar jurisdictions.

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