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Long-expected projects & parties (Newsletter Issue 127)

Our third email newsletter this year talks of the costs of doing business, the possibility of liberalisation, and a long-expected party…

Other than the collegium finally getting its groove back and beginning to sort out the backlog of chief justice appointments last week, as well as a raft of other fascinating cases and litigations, there were some big law firm news this week.

Liberalisation: A project for the ages?

One, the first public statement from lawyer and influential finance minister Arun Jaitley about foreign law firms. Jaitley told his UK counterpart that India continued working on the framing of legal market liberalisation rules.

Jaitley let slip only few details, and he is far from the first Indian politician to make cooing noises when meeting foreign colleagues and lawyers, but it does seem to show that the Narendra Modi administration is still publicly serious about the project, and most accounts suggest that the commerce ministry has been beavering away at making it happen.

Though much may really depend on whether Parliament continues deadlocked, unless the government takes the ever-popular ordinance-route or convinces the BCI to pass a simple resolution.

We'll keep our eyes peeled for you, in the meantime, read Jaitley's full statements here.

The costs of doing business

For the first time ever, Legally India has revealed some of the costs for law firms to open up in new cities.

Mumbai is obviously the most expensive of the lot, and only a few places are more pricey than the iconic Express Towers building, where Shardul Amarchand hoisted its flag at more than Rs 50 lakh rent per month, and a hefty deposit of at least Rs 2 crores, making space for up to 140 fee-earners.

A big fancy office in a new city does several things for a firm:

  1. it will require a lot of billing just to break even on the investment, even with deep pockets,
  2. it shows clients that you're serious about a city and there for the long term, and
  3. it gives at least some prestige and bragging rights.

Find out more about Shardul Amarchand's brand-spanking new renovated office here.

The long-expected party

As expected, we already have lots of registration for our first Legally Social in ages.

So, if you're in Delhi, don't forget to click here and check out what will happen on Wednesday, 27 January 2015, and find out how to sign up.

Subscribe to Legally India's newsletter!

Context, analysis & more straight to your email inbox every week, unsubscribe any time.

It's a must-read for every lawyer in or near India.

Photo by Felix O

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