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Quarterly legal market recap: What you may have missed (Issue 120)

Have you missed the Legally India newsletter? Good, we’re happy we’re back too.

For those who’ve not had time to follow what has happened in the industry for the past few months, please take out five minutes and peruse Legally India’s crisp summary and analysis of everything you need to know or may have missed in the Indian legal market.

And if you're looking for an exciting career change, we've got numerous opportunities for you at exciting law firms and jobs at professionally-run firms such as Anup Shah and IndusLaw in Bangalore, Trilegal, Tuli, INTTL, Kochhar, Verus and many more, as well as unusual opportunities at top NGOs and elsewhere (see latest jobs).

The regulatory forecast: stormy, outlook uncertain

The battle over who gets to regulate lawyers is becoming ever more complicated. The Bar Council of India (BCI) is fighting a number of battles at the moment. Legally India’s review and forecast below:

  • BCI to charge lawyers Rs 600 every 5 years. Status: proposed. Forecast: uncertain (see story)
  • BCI vs HRD over who gets to regulate legal ed. Status: ongoing. Forecast: lawyer strikes this week (see story).
  • BCI to charge students, law schools and teachers fees. Status: proposed. Forecast: uncertain (see story)
  • BCI and the bar exam. Status: Proposed for August. Forecast: uncertain (see story)
  • BCI vs law schools. Status: 100 been shut down, apparently. Forecast: details not known (see story)
  • BCI vs law firm websites. Status: questionable. Forecast: actions unlikely (see story)
  • BCI vs foreign firms (see below)

Well, the BCI’s job is a tough one, in light of the noble and chaotic profession: LI narrates how lawyers sometimes propagate the worst aspects of Indian bureaucracy (see column)

Round 2(00)
Round 2(00)
Liberalisation and foreign law firms

Foreign firms are yet again on the agenda, this time in the Supreme Court, which has agreed with the Madras high court so far (see story). But surprisingly, SILF appears to be supporting the foreign firms more than the BCI this time (see story).

And just one week earlier, Allen & Overy launched a PR offensive survey that claimed 9 of 10 corporate lawyers want foreign law firms in, while only 1 in 10 want reciprocity (see story).

Talk about timing.

In-house action

Naina Chughhani: Disney media
Naina Chughhani: Disney media

In-house has seen some high profile moves over the past months as ICICI bank general counsel (GC) Pramod Rao joined Induslaw, eschewing the old school firms (see story), and ex-Bharti GC Vijaya Sampath joined Lakshmikumaran (see story). And Nexus Venture Partners created its first GC role with Phoenix principal associate Arun Madhu (see story).

And Legally India talked to Disney counsel Naina Chhugani about the dearth of media lawyers, ‘getting’ the media business and theme parks (see interview).

The deals

The capital markets may have fallen off a cliff but some firms adapted to survive in the capital markets league table and market (see feature). And for the best of the rest, Legally India’s had all the major deals and cases law firms have been acting on in the last months (see section).

Pending and pending and pending
Pending and pending and pending
At the courts

The mountain of cases rose and rose and rose, especially after the holidays (see story). Legally India looked for answers why (see feature).

Meanwhile, the inimitable Court Witness profiled the King of Miscellaneous Days and storytelling, Mukul Rohatgi (see postcard). And Legally India broke the news on Friday that senior counsel Sidharth Luthra accepted his ASG appointment (see story).

Michelle Mendonca: IJM
Michelle Mendonca: IJM
Less corporate legal lives

Michelle Mendonca shares how she uses the law to fight the overwhelming problem of sex trafficking (see story). Former Amarchand lawyer Gitanjali Brandon explains how she topped the civil services exam after years of hard work (see story). And NLSIU and Amarchand alum Satyajit Sarna shares how he came to write his debut novel that takes a hard look at law school and law firm life (see story).

The world of law firms

Indian lawyers are a fairly happy bunch, revealed the first part of LI’s survey of law firm happiness, but advocates were even happier (see story).

Not that this stopped a raft of lawyers from moving around, as others were promoted or set up new offices.

Law firms: Moves and shakes

Law firms: Start-ups

Law firms: Promotions

Law firms: New offices

And the MPL 3 winner is...
And the MPL 3 winner is...
India’s new mooting champion

After a thunderous season internationally and at home, NLSIU Bangalore won Legally India’s 2011-12 season of the Mooting Premier League (MPL), wresting the crown from two-time winner Nalsar Hyderabad, which came only fourth this year. NLU Jodhpur came in second place, with NLU Delhi in third. GLC Mumbai and NUJS Kolkata managed the fifth and sixth spot (see story).

Legal education

Ever wanted to know how a law school is run? Legally India’s RTIs and analysis of accounts and budget shortfalls tells the must-read story of national law schools’ finances (see feature).

Coupled with an ill-boding crisis of teaching (see column), evidenced in part by NUJS losing experienced faculty after internal wranglings with the bureaucracy (see story).

Meanwhile, at Nalsar the new man at the top, who joined post-Nalsargate, has ambitious plans for overhauling the institution (see interview).

And law school recruitment season chugs along to the doom and gloom in the economy (see all campus recruitment stories here)

For prospective students this year has been an unmitigated disaster so far, causing more than its share of embarrassment to the CLAT convenor NLU Jodhpur (see story). The preferences of CLAT test takers remained largely unchanged (see analysis). But the IDIA diversity initiative has shown some positive results (see story).

Want more? Browse Legally Wired for our summary of all important legal news reported elsewhere.

Still hungry? Check out our Comments of the Week.

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Top photo by Felix O,
other photos under creative commons license have details available on linked-to pages.

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