For the first time, the company has publicly released a second set of rankings covering the top foreign firms in India.
According to the report, Amarchand & Mangaldas continues as the pre-eminent firm in India.
But, “Khaitan & Co is making a serious bid to enter the previously closed circle of two, Amarchand & Mangaldas and AZB & Partners.”
“To be a top 40 Indian law firm is not straight-forward,” says the report.
It goes on to say that the pecking order of Indian law firms is not well established, and younger firms have made considerable strides, partly reflecting the purchasing patterns of foreign clients and law firms who are drawn to the more youthful teams.
The research methodology underlying the RSG India Report comprises four key indicators – and 35 sub-indicators.
Firms can receive a maximum of 40 points, with 10 points apiece for capacity, profile, quality of mandate, and client satisfaction.
RSG has studied the activities of foreign law firm in India since 2008 but has now released its findings publicly for the first time.
Foreign law firms are prohibited from practicing on the ground in India, but RSG conducted research with 400 Indian and international companies and Indian law firms to see which foreign firms have built the best reputations and won the best India-related legal work.
The table is dominated by the leading UK and U.S-based international firms.
Allen & Overy takes top honors, eclipsing Linklaters which has occupied the premier spot for the last two years.
The Indian Legal Market
RSG estimates that the commercial Indian legal market is worth just over US$1 billion.
Despite a slow-down in the Indian economy, the amount that Indian companies spend on legal services has increased slightly.
A drop in M&A, private equity and capital markets revenue has been offset by increases in litigation, regulatory and competition work and significant project finance transactions driven by India’s infrastructure spending.
For the report as a whole, the company held 100 telephone interviews with major legal purchasers, received 350 client ratings, and analyzed 180 law firm submissions.
Research was carried out by the RSG team between November 2012 and April 2013.
RSG Consulting was founded by Reena Sengupta in 2001, and provides research and consultancy to law firms and in-house counsel.
The series has US and European editions, and is set to launch in the Asia-Pacific region.
Asia research starts later this year, with publication in March 2014.
(pictured: Bangalore metro)