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Two year itch / Issue 59

Legally India newsletter
Legally India newsletter
Optimism is back on the menu, it seems.

Clifford Chance senior partner Stuart Popham did the India tour with the UK's PM this week.

Cameron famously came all the way to India and didn't get to meet the Gandhis; Popham meanwhile did not secure a lease for the latest Clifford Chance Mumbai outpost.

But he did predict that by 2012 his and other international firms would be able to set up shop in India. The joke that liberalisation would happen "in two years" has not been popular for a while and Popham and other long-time visitors to India will remember that it stopped being funny a while ago.

Perhaps a certain sense of gallows humour is required on the official tour bus of an economy creeping out of a recession? Or maybe a genuine deal is really about to be brokered and Popham & Co will up the pressure?

Hyderabad appears to be another one of those long games that everyone is talking about but that continues to stay gently elusive for most law firms.

However, Trilegal has been bold and found a local full-time partner to head up its Hyderabad office. The prediction is that in five years it will be as big as Bangalore despite the past years' troubled local economy. Again, it is all about potential.

On the flip side, some timescales are accelerating in India. More than a month earlier this year than last, Amarchand has already hired record numbers from university campuses, more than one year before they are due to start.

NUJS Kolkata has already seen four big law firms visit campus and hire a third of 2011's graduating class. Every year they get younger...

This week's billion dollar deal was Amarchand and AZB hammering out the documentation in Japanese steel maker JSE buying a sizable chunk of JSW, as a new Khaitan & Co lateral partner from the US arranged a half-billion dollar loan for a Reliance broadband subsidiary.

Comment of the week

"Today I am established but I never took any money from my first senior for first 2 years and proudly did tasks like carrying files and bringing tea. He once slapped me for making mistakes but I learnt from it. I always touch his feet and seek his blessing whenever I see him in court. He calls me 'beta' and hugs me," says anonymous guest about how a legal career was made.

Blogging competition

Tomorrow is the last official day of the blogging competition and the judging process will start shortly thereafter. It promises to be exciting and very tight, with more quality entries in this final week.
TO ALL BLOGGERS: Blogs posted after 31 July will not be elibible for this competition but do continue posting for the love of writing and blogging and we will think about the best way of continuing the competition in some way.

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