Law Firm Directory

Browse all firms with extended profiles for India

Legal Market Overview

The dynamic and fast evolving Indian legal market is adapting to the global economic and social challenges of our time across areas ranging from employment regulations to data protection and foreign investment. On the corporate front, transactions continue at a pace in healthcare and tech and especially in e-commerce. There is a high level of investment activity into and from India. With money to spend, private equity and venture capital firms and funds are active in finding investments in India, partly due to there being opportunities where Indian businesses are struggling. Additionally, many international corporates have been restructuring globally and this has involved their Indian subsidiaries.

There has also been a good deal of capital markets work, as companies look to consolidate or restructure their debt. Infrastructure and energy work, including renewables is also generating work – especially in the renewables sectors. An example being a consortium of banks comprising the State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and others providing multibillion-dollar lending to the State of Andhra Pradesh for social infrastructure development purposes.

There is much focus on the hugely complex area of data protection. In addition to advising on the Indian rules, particularly the ‘localisation’ rule, firms need to advise on the EU/GDPR, and US rules as they advise on cross border data transfers and where physically data is stored. Firms are also gearing up for the implementation of the Personal Data Protection Bill. It is hoped that this legislation will provide much-needed clarity regarding the use of consumer data.

Financial services regulatory is a new section this year, reflective of the increasing growth of work in this area. The regulatory environment in the financial services sector is complex and rapidly evolving and is regulated by numerous bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Reserve Bank of India, and the Interim Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority. A good deal of work is generated in advising on areas such as digital payments; this is often complicated due to regulators not necessarily keeping up with technical innovations.

Closely related issues arise in TMT; fintech products and services, such as cryptocurrency platforms, are being taken more seriously by the government, evidenced by the fact the Reserve Bank of India now requires fintech companies to register its platform as NBFCs, ensuring regulatory oversight.

The Covid-19 pandemic is having ongoing effects on the global employment landscape including the acceleration of technological responses to new working models. Codes relating to wages, social security and industrial relations are all being scrutinized and reformed and with domestic and global employers restructuring or reducing workforces, the law is refocusing on the rights of workers such as minimum wage.

The legal market in India is served by top flight domestic and global firms, thus providing clients with a mix of full service and niche expertise. Many such firms have a pan-Indian presence, with offices in cities considered hubs for certain types of work, for example, Hyderabad’s reputation as a tech hub. Given the vastness and diversity of the country, the Legal 500 is planning to introduce regional rankings to the India chapters.