India Today dockets the lives and times of India’s top eight senior advocates. All of them keep expensive hobbies and none of them bill below Rs 5 lakh – per appearance.

The oldest active lawyer in India, Ram Jethmalani: Aged 90, and enrolled at the bar as the youngest member at age 18, he maintains an envy-invoking Badminton court in his Lutyen’s Delhi bungalow and bills above Rs 40 lakh per matter.

The former law minister recently defended the Gujarat government in the 2002 riots, Baba Ramdev in the case of police lathicharge at Delhi’s Ramlila grounds, the 2G accused, and the Ansals in Delhi’s Uphaar cinema tragedy.

The Philanthropist, KTS Tulsi: The former solicitor general is a vintage-car collector, and can be roped in for Rs 5 lakh per appearance or for free, depending on the cause.

The cause has driven him to oppose the Ansals in Uphaar, refuse to defend the Gujarat state government at the SC after chief minister Narendra Modi justified the Sohrabuddin encounter, and be a special prosecutor in the Punjab terror attacks, during the peak of his career as defense counsel.

The most expensive, Harish Salve: Pianist, Bentley-enthusiast, jazz music lover, and Apple (the company) loyalist, Salve minted Rs 4.5 lakh per appearance until his stakes touched the pinnacle after his recent Rs11,000 crore Vodafone win in the SC.

Once Soli Sorabjee’s junior, anybody who matters in corporate India was (at least) once the former solicitor general’s client – including the Ambani borthers, Keshav Mahindra, Ratan Tata.

But he has fought free too, namely, amicus curiae in the Gujarat riots case and in the environment matters heard by the green bench of the SC. He also appeared against the accused in Uphaar.

The king of miscellaneous times, Mukul Rohatgi: Known for lung power, which he uses during arguments as well as for bustling between courtrooms on miscellaneous days with his extra-heavy load of matters, Rohatgi is a supercar collector, Atlas Shrugged reader, traveller and art-connoisseur.

The former additional solicitor general has been a favourite with politicians including Varun Gandhi and Jayalalitha, and the commonwealth scam accused.

The corporate lawyer, Aryama Sundaram: Plays golf, represents cricket, offers cigars.

The BCCI is a regular client while FICCI was a client in the 2G presidential reference.

The constitutional law expert, PP Rao: “Even judges cannot ignore Rao's interpretations”, writes India Today about the former SCBA president whom the SC looks to despite its own law officers – for instance in the 2G presidential reference, or in the 1992 president’s rule imposition post Babri Masjid.

Controversy’s king, Gopal Subramanium: The former solicitor general of India held the government’s hand through the Kasab trial, the 1993 Bombay blasts, and the recent petition against the grand prix formula 1 race.

The Sherwani-clad, Sushil Kumar: The only Sherwani-clad lawyer in the Supreme Court corridors, he’s seen as the “only one” who can always manage making “holes in the prosecution”.

His clientele – Parliament attacker Mohammed Afzal guru, 2G accused A Raja and Kanimozhi, CWG scam accused Suresh Kalmadi, terrorist Abdul Naseer Maurany and murder-convicted restaurateur P Rajagopal.

“When it comes to final arguments on merits, one needs Kumar to get an acquittal”, claim juniors. [India Today]

Click to show 12 comments
at your own risk
By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.
refresh Filter out low-rated comments. Show all comments. Sort chronologically
Like +81 Object -45 Madrasi 22 Oct 12, 20:50  interesting  top rated  controversial
First read this as "India's most expensive senior associates".
Reply Report to LI
Like +76 Object -44 DBS 22 Oct 12, 22:43  interesting  top rated  controversial
These figures seem more realistic! Whatever happened to that Economic Times story of the bigwigs charging 5 lakhs for 5mins or was it 15mins?? Remember reading it on the front long ago.
Reply Report to LI
Like +77 Object -50 .75 23 Oct 12, 08:37  interesting  top rated  controversial
What about Abhijeet Kumar Pandey? His upcoming practice in Bombay and Lucknow High Courts?
Reply Report to LI
Like +80 Object -51 3/4 23 Oct 12, 13:05  interesting  top rated  controversial
Hamare uncle ne bola hai wait karo.
Reply Report to LI
Like +0 Object -0 SSB 23 Nov 16, 16:23
Who is this Pandeyji?
Reply Report to LI
Like +76 Object -46 sex, lies and video tape 25 Oct 12, 00:40  interesting  top rated  controversial
conspicuous by his absence is Abhishek Manu Singhvi
Reply Report to LI
Like +5 Object -2 is he taking a break... 25 Oct 12, 10:56
Quoting sex, lies and video tape:
conspicuous by his absence is Abhishek Manu Singhvi

Several possibilityes: 1) he is taking a break from too much hard work 2) Is making way for son's firm Axon partners to climb to top position 3) is practising less as wife Anita Singhvi objected to his starring in CD "in chambers"
Reply Report to LI
Like +2 Object -1 Scooter 25 Oct 12, 13:34
His 'fees' could now mean a totally different thing!. Charges, Movie royalty et al..
Reply Report to LI
Like +0 Object -0 anonmumbai 08 Nov 13, 19:20
haaaaaaaaaaaaa...i like the 3rd possibility!!!
Reply Report to LI
Like +2 Object -0 Also absent 25 Oct 12, 12:23
Rohington. And if Jethmalani is on the list, then no reason to exclude Fali and KKV.
Reply Report to LI
Like +2 Object -0 also there 31 Oct 12, 13:00
what about rajeev dhavan - the real constitutional expert?
Reply Report to LI
Like +0 Object -0 Guest 04 Aug 17, 20:48
May the figures which you have mentioned about the legal fee per appearance are wrong. Check with them as a common man.
Reply Report to LI

refreshSort chronologically Filter out low-rated comments. Show all comments.