For those passionate about law, pursuing a career in a law firm can be an excellent option. These firms are dedicated to providing legal advice and representation to various clients, from individuals to large corporations and government bodies. Working in a law firm involves collaborating with other lawyers to offer counsel, negotiate deals, and represent clients in court proceedings. From top-tier legal practices to smaller boutique law firms, the legal sector provides diverse opportunities. In this article, we will explore the 20 best law firms in India, the various legal careers available, the role of a law firm, and the pros and cons of working in one.
Law firms provide legal representation and advice to customers, including individuals, businesses, and governments. Their lawyers collaborate on clients' behalf in various legal contexts, including agreement negotiation, document writing, advice provision, and trial representation. The services provided by law firms are crucial to the smooth operation of the judicial system, making the legal sector an indispensable aspect of the economy.
Some of the most common legal services law firms provide include corporate law, litigation and dispute resolution, real estate law, intellectual property law, and tax law.
A law degree is the first step to beginning a career in a law firm in India. After obtaining the degree, individuals can work for different law firms, each offering unique benefits and specialisations. Different types of law firms in India include:
Top-tier Law Firms: They are the largest and most prestigious law firms that specialise in business law, dispute resolution, and intellectual property. Some of the top-tier law firms in India include Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, and AZB & Partners, known for their expertise in business law, dispute resolution, and intellectual property.
Mid-tier Law Firms: Mid-tier law firms are smaller than the top-tier law firms but still have a solid reputation in their field. They focus their practice on a specific area of law, provide individualised attention to each client, and may have a regional or national presence. Examples of mid-tier law firms in India include Khaitan & Co, Trilegal, and J Sagar Associates.
Boutique Law Firms: A boutique law firm comprises equal to or fewer than twenty attorneys. These types of law firms are smaller, more specialised firms that excel in a single field of law, such as intellectual property or tax. In contrast to larger law firms, boutique practices cater to a limited, discerning clientele that requires specialised attention. Some boutique law firms in India that are fast gaining significance in the commercial legal sector include Agama Law Associates, Alaya Legal Advocates, Kashyap Partners & Associates (KPA), etc.
Regional Law Firms: Such firms offer their services to clients in a limited geographical area of India. Since these businesses serve customers only in a specific region of India, they are quite familiar with the local laws and customs.
Law firms play a crucial role in the legal sector, providing clients with legal counsel and representation. Working in a law firm can be a fulfilling professional path for those interested in law. It offers an opportunity to gain experience in various legal fields and work on high-profile cases and agreements. A career in law can provide a good salary, excellent benefits, and room for professional growth.
However, before embarking on a career in a law firm, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons. Benefits include the diversity of experience, attractive financial rewards, continuing education and mentorship opportunities, collaboration with colleagues, and professional fulfilment. On the other hand, the demanding nature of the work, long hours, and intense competition can lead to a lack of work-life balance, dissatisfaction with tasks assigned, and a challenging work environment.
There are various career opportunities available to law school graduates, including:
Regarding legal assistance, India is a hotbed of rapid expansion. Large and small law firms have sprung up nationwide to accommodate the increased need for legal services. From corporate and commercial law to dispute resolution and intellectual property rights, these law firms offer comprehensive services to their clients.
Here is a list of India's top 20 law firms with an outstanding reputation for effectively representing notable clients in high-stakes cases and managing even the most complex legal situations. In terms of career progression, these firms offer excellent growth opportunities. Associates can become Senior Associates, Partners, or even heads of practice areas. Additionally, these firms provide a challenging work environment that allows associates to work on high-profile cases and transactions, thereby gaining invaluable experience. If you have recently graduated from law school in India and are seeking a challenging and fulfilling legal career, one of these firms should be at the top of your list of prospective employers. So here we go!
1. Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co
Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co is India's foremost law firm, widely acknowledged for its excellence in the legal arena by international professional organisations, law directories, and journals. The firm's rich legacy dates back to 1917, founded in Mumbai. Known for providing comprehensive legal services and developing successful business strategies, Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co boasts a team of over 600 lawyers, including 86 partners, with extensive legal expertise and an acute understanding of commercial concerns. With offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Ahmedabad, the firm is committed to delivering outstanding results and meeting the evolving needs of its clients.
2. Anand & Anand
Anand & Anand is a full-service IP law firm that has been in operation for over four decades. The firm specialises in providing legal services in patents, trademarks, copyright, litigation, and corporate law. The firm has a team of experienced lawyers who have worked on several high-profile cases and have established a reputation for their expertise in IP law.
At Anand & Anand, a Junior Associate can expect an average annual salary of around INR 6 lakhs, while a Senior Associate can earn up to INR 18 lakhs. Medical insurance, tips, and bonuses based on performance are just some of the perks that employees can look forward to receiving from the company.
3. AZB & Partners
One of the top firms in India, AZB & Partners is well versed in corporate law, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, banking, and finance, among other areas of law. Over 450 attorneys from the firm's four locations (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Pune) work together on cases. The firm's clients include some of the most prestigious Indian and international businesses, and it has advised on several high-profile cases. AZB & Partners bagged 16 practise specialisation recognitions in the Indian Business Law Journal (IBLJ) awards in 2022 and was honoured with the prestigious Law Firm of the Year Award.
The average salary for a Junior Associate at AZB & Partners is around INR 11 lakhs per annum, while a Senior Associate can earn up to INR 30 lakhs per annum. The firm also offers a range of employee benefits such as medical insurance, leave encashment, and performance-based incentives.
4. Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
With over 750 lawyers and offices in major cities across India, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is one of India's largest and most prestigious law firms. The firm has a strong reputation for its corporate law, banking and finance, dispute resolution, and intellectual property law expertise. The Indian Business Law Journal (IBLJ) honoured Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas with the Law Firm of the Year award in the IBLJ Awards 2021 for the third consecutive year.
The median annual salary for an associate at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is INR 10 lakhs, while the maximum salary for a senior associate is INR 30 lakhs. The company provides its employees with a number of benefits, including medical coverage, paid time off, and bonuses based on performance.
5. Desai & Dewanji
Desai & Dewanji is a leading law firm in India, specialising in corporate and commercial law, dispute resolution, intellectual property, and tax law. The firm offers a competitive salary package to its employees, with an average salary of around INR 7-8 lakhs per annum for junior-level associates.
6. Economic Laws Practice
Economic Laws Practice (ELP) is a full-service law firm with corporate and commercial law, litigation, tax law, and intellectual property expertise. The firm provides its clients with innovative and practical legal solutions. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Junior Associate at ELP is around INR 8-9 lakhs per annum.
IndusLaw is a full-service law firm based in India, providing legal services related to corporate, commercial, litigation, and regulatory matters. In 2021, IndusLaw played a significant role in the listings of several new-age unicorns, such as Zomato, Car Trade, Paytm, and PolicyBazaar. The firm provided legal services to these companies to tackle non-traditional issues, such as complex capital structuring and unique use of proceeds, and helped prepare them for their listings in India.
8. J Sagar Associates
J Sagar Associates (JSA) is a leading law firm in India with expertise in various practice areas, including dispute resolution, regulatory practices, corporate and commercial law,. The firm offers a competitive salary package to its employees, with an average salary of around INR 9-10 lakhs per annum for junior-level associates.
9. Khaitan & Co.
Khaitan & Co. is one of the oldest and most prominent law firms in India with expertise in corporate and commercial law. In 2022, the firm opened its first satellite office in Gurugram. The firm offers a competitive salary package to its employees, with an average salary of around INR 10-11 lakhs per annum for junior-level associates.
10. Khaitan Sud & Partners
Khaitan Sud & Partners is a full-service law firm with commercial law, litigation, and intellectual property expertise. The firm offers a competitive salary package to its employees, with an average salary of around INR 6-7 lakhs per annum for junior-level associates.
11. Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (L&S)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (L&S) is a full-service law firm with more than 35 years of experience in India and abroad. The firm specialises in providing legal services related to intellectual property, corporate and commercial law, international trade law, tax law, and litigation. It offers an average salary of around INR 6-7 lakhs per annum for junior-level associates.
12. Luthra & Luthra
Luthra and Luthra Law Offices India (formerly known as L&L Partners) is a cutting-edge legal firm that excels in providing commercial legal advice to clients in various sectors and jurisdictions. The firm deeply understands its clients' businesses and is skilled at identifying and reducing risks through its exceptional legal solutions. Its reputation for excellence is built on its ability to provide top-notch legal services to its clients. The salary offered by Luthra and Luthra Law Offices India to its employees is considered competitive in the Indian legal industry.
13. Phoenix Legal
Phoenix Legal, a prominent Indian law firm founded in 2008, offers a comprehensive range of legal services including regulatory, transactional, advisory, dispute resolution, and tax services. With offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, the firm caters to a diverse clientele consisting of domestic and international companies, financial institutions, funds, promoter groups, and public sector undertakings. The average salary at Phoenix Legal varies depending on the job position, with a Senior Associate earning ₹18.6 Lakhs annually.
14. S&R Associates
This firm's lawyers comprise professionals qualified to practice law in India and possess extensive experience in other jurisdictions such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. This unique combination of international and Indian legal expertise enables them to provide unparalleled legal services of international standards. Among the many areas of law in which S&R Associates excels are corporate and commercial law, dispute resolution, and regulatory practices. Junior associates at the firm can expect an average salary of between INR 9 and 10 lakhs per year, which is on par with the market.
15. Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co
One of the leading law firms in India, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, has expertise in corporate and commercial law, dispute resolution, and regulatory practices. The firm has a strong reputation for its expertise in dispute resolution and has been involved in some of the most high-profile disputes in India over the past year. The firm is also known for its expertise in regulatory practices, including competition, environmental, and intellectual property laws.
Average annual salaries at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co range from approximately INR 16,24,673 for an Associate to INR 48,49,400 for a Senior Associate.
16. Talwar Thakore and Associates
Talwar Thakore and Associates is a law firm that specialises in corporate, commercial, and financial law. The firm has a team of experienced lawyers who provide legal services to Indian and international clients. They are known for their expertise in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets, and banking and finance.
At Talwar Thakore and Associates, the average salary for a Junior Associate is around INR 10 lakhs per year, with a Senior Associate earning up to INR 25 lakhs per year.
17. Touchstone Partners
Touchstone Partners is a law firm specialising in corporate and commercial law, with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and capital markets. The firm has a team of experienced lawyers who provide legal services to Indian and international clients. They are known for their expertise in providing innovative legal solutions to complex business problems.
At this firm, Associates have the opportunity to progress to the roles of Senior Associate, Partner, and practice group leader. The median annual salary at Touchstone Partners is INR 8 lakhs for a Junior Associate and INR 20 lakhs for a Senior Associate.
Trilegal is a law firm specialising in corporate and commercial law, with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and capital markets. The firm has a team of experienced lawyers who provide legal services to Indian and international clients. They are known for their expertise in providing innovative legal solutions to complex business problems. The firm provides a challenging work environment allowing associates to work on high-profile cases and transactions, gaining invaluable experience. The average salary for a Junior Associate at Trilegal is around INR 10 lakhs per annum, while a Senior Associate can earn up to INR 30 lakhs per annum.
19. Vaish Associates
Vaish Associates is a law firm that specialises in tax law, with expertise in areas such as direct tax, indirect tax, and international tax. The firm has a team of experienced lawyers who provide legal services to Indian and international clients. They are known for their expertise in providing innovative legal solutions to complex tax problems. The average salary for a Junior Associate at Vaish Associates is around INR 6 lakhs per annum, while a Senior Associate can earn up to INR 18 lakhs per annum.
20. Veritas Legal
A law firm having offices in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore, Veritas Legal is an excellent choice for law graduates looking for a career mainly in corporate and commercial law, M&A, banking and finance, dispute resolution, and intellectual property law. The firm has been recognised as a leading law firm in India by various legal directories such as Chambers and Partners, Legal 500, and Asialaw Profiles. Veritas Legal was named Rising Law Firm of the Year in the IBLJ Awards 2021.
The highest-paying position at Veritas Legal is that of Legal Executive, with an annual salary of INR 2.3 Lakhs. The top 10% of employees at the firm earn more than INR 6.56 lakhs annually.
The legal profession in India is growing rapidly and is home to some of the most prestigious law firms. These law firms offer various legal services and opportunities for young and aspiring. The 20 law firms highlighted in this blog represent the best and brightest in the Indian legal industry. They have established themselves as leaders in their respective fields and are recognised for their outstanding legal advice, services and expertise. Whether you are a new law graduate or an experienced legal professional seeking a career change, these law firms offer an excellent starting point to kickstart your career in the legal industry.