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Only the Best Indian Law Firms Can Stand Out in the Age of Globalization

Globalization has fundamentally altered the landscape for law firms in India since 1991 when a balance-of-payments crisis prompted the government to make a shift toward liberalization of its domestic markets and integration into global markets from the closed, state-dominated model of Indian socialism that had governed its economy since the country’s independence in 1947. The assertion has, in fact, been bolstered by the Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies (GLEE) research project released by the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession in June 2017, which examined the ways in which globalization is reshaping the market for legal services in important emerging economies, including India. The report emphasizes on the transformation that the world's largest democracy has been embarking on since 1991. It reinforces the belief harbored by several legal experts for more than two decades now, that the events in 1991 paved way for not just the growth and development of the so-called tier-one firms, but also the emergence of the second ‘new generation’ law firms which have become important in their own right. While the era before 1991 was largely dominated by old colonial British Raj law firms, most of these firms have now lost their pre-eminence, despite having the first-mover advantage. While the assertion presents a clearer picture of the changes undergone by the law firms until now, it also functions as a warning sign for the existing players. In this background, the importance and the necessity of constant innovation cannot be emphasized enough. With thousands of law firms currently functioning in the industry, standing out could be a task. In such a scenario, it would be necessary for lawyers as well as law firms to mould their processes and guidance in a manner that would accommodate heavyweight corporates as well as modest startups, renowned entrepreneurs, and young inventors. At this juncture, the role of technology in shaping this transformation cannot be emphasized enough. Technological advances have made it possible to standardize solutions for the delivery of legal processes as well as commoditize several legal services. In fact, legal experts are now exploring the extent to which the cognitive domain of lawyers can also be automated. With Artificial Intelligence, slowly but steadily making its way into the industry, law firms need to open their minds to the possibility of ingraining it to their advantage rather than shunning it for taking up their work or running for the hills. Besides, with deliberation around opening up of the legal sector to foreign players gaining momentum, law firms need to continually update their practices and hunt for the best legal talent, while ensuring improved consumer experience. Only then will they be able to keep up with the exponentially increasing competition, and will be able to make it alive and healthy to the new wave of transformation after the one they witnessed post-1991.

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Only the best indian law firms can stand out in the age of globalization  
Only the best indian law firms can stand out in the age of globalization  

Indialaw LLP is a leading law firm across India, which provides a one stop legal service in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Delhi Chennai, Kolkata, Ben...