RSG India Summit and India Report Launch 2019 


Date: 26th November 2019 

Where: Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai 

About RSG India & the Summit: In 2008, RSG published its first comprehensive study of the Indian legal market. Since then the report has grown in profile and depth. It is now widely considered to be the most robust ranking of Indian law firms and survey of the market. It has been used by the UK and Indian governments as well as several bar associations and academic institutions such as Harvard University as a source of reference. 

To celebrate a decade of covering the ever-evolving Indian legal profession, RSG is hosting its first Indian Forum to convene leading lawyers in India and launch its 2019 India Report.  

The theme of the summit is growth. When the government reduced its corporate tax rate in September 2019, the Mumbai stock exchange experienced its biggest leap in a decade. The Economist magazine said one explanation could be that “there is a great deal of pent-up energy in the Indian economy, waiting to be released by wiser government policies.”  

We believe that a significant amount of that energy could also be released through realising the potential of the Indian legal profession. With top-notch jurists, a compatible system of laws, dynamic legal entrepreneurs and home to several alternative legal service providers, it has all the raw materials to be a world-class centre for practice. But it remains small.  

RSG only profiles 40 law firms as significant players; in-house legal teams are only now beginning to resemble mature corporate functions; foreign law firms are still not allowed to practise. RSG’s one-day summit will explore what the profession needs to do to grow and mature, so that it can better advise India’s growing business, society and economy.  

Delegates and Speakers: 150 law firm leaders from Indian and foreign law firms, and general counsel from Indian and foreign corporations.  

Registration: you can register for the Grow Legal India Summit here.


8.30 – 9.45: Breakfast Sessions: Empowering Women Lawyers in India 

She Breaks the Law (SBTL) is a peer-to-peer networking group, set-up to empower women in the profession that is cross-firm, practice and job type. It has grown rapidly since its launch in the UK earlier this year to encompass over 2000 members. RSG is proud to host the launch of SBTL in India through a series of round-table discussions over breakfast that will cover the topics of 1) Working smarter – the power of flexible working; 2) Change and transformation – leading with impact; 3) Personal brand – why it matters for innovation.  

10.00 – 10.20:Introduction Looking to 2025: RSG shares insights into the most successful law firms and corporate law departments in the Indian legal market drawn from its latest research for the 2019 India report. Along with thoughts on what law firms need to do over the next five years to build sustainable and relevant legal practices, we include an analysis of what constitutes a best-in-class corporate law function in India. We share snapshots from our research with law firms and in-house counsel for the FT Innovative Lawyers reports’ series to draw a picture of the Indian legal profession in 2025.  

10.20 - 11.10: The Future Corporation 

With venerable Indian corporations rapidly maturing and newer Indian businesses becoming dominant players in Asia, the challenge for them both is how to grow sustainably. The challenges for lawyers to India Inc is to sensitively bridge the risk delta, install robust compliance and governance structures that do not hinder growth. There is also a growing movement elsewhere in the world where the CEOs of major corporations at a Business Roundtable in 2019 decided their roles were as much about social impact as they are about safeguarding shareholder value. We explore how these notions are playing out in the Indian context and whether India Inc is prepared to accept a greater role in social ethics, and the roles general counsel and private practice advisers have in helping corporations find their purpose.  

11.10 – 11.30: Coffee and tea break 

11.30 – 12.00:  The Leadership Interview: How to remain nimble as a leader and achieve ambitious strategic goals in the Indian legal market? 

Interview: Reena SenGupta in conversation with Cyril Shroff, Senior Partner, CAM.

12.00 – 12.40: Building India’s law firms: As Indian law firms modernise, they face the challenge of balancing expansion with profitability and quality. Here we talk to some of the most successful Indian law firm leaders to share learnings from the last decade across the areas of management, remuneration systems, succession, managing client relationships, branding, marketing and business development. 

12.40-1.00pm: An Asian Innovation Journey  

DBS Bank has transformed itself from a number 5 player ten years ago to the leading bank in South East Asia. It has digitised its services, changed its approach to data, risk and managing talent to become an exciting example of a business that has productised its services and successfully put the customer at the heart of everything they do. Many of the lessons they learned are key for law firms and in-house legal teams who need to change their approach to clients and are at the beginning of their digital transformation journeys. 

Guest Speaker:  Sandeep Varma, Head of Innovation, DBS Bank 

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch Break 

2.00 – 2.40pm:  The Changing Role of Indian General Counsel: A look at the changing pressures faced by lawyers working in Indian corporate law departments and what they need from their outside advisers to help their businesses grow. In-house teams have changed significantly over the past ten years. This panel explores those changes, the challenges of working in-house and why it is becoming a more compelling alternative career to private practice. 

2.40 - 3.15pm: Augmented Lawyers: legal technology has exploded over the past two years in terms of the number of new software offerings and take-up. Traditionally Indian lawyers have not been fast to embrace legal technology, but this is rapidly changing. Here we discuss the best technologies for private practice firms to become more efficient, that all in-house legal teams should be using and the tech that can transform client relationships. Drawing on RSG’s extensive research for the FT Innovative Lawyers and Intelligent Business programme and combined with our deep knowledge of the Indian legal market, we summarise key developments and ask leading practitioners for their views on what the profession needs to immediately do to augment their lawyers’ capacity.  

3.15 - 3.30: Coffee and tea break 

3.30 – 4.20pm:Building capacity: insights into the best ways to develop, engage and retain people to grow and build capability in the Indian legal market. ​Despite the presence of several high-quality national law schools in India, law firm leaders and general counsel often complain that graduates lack fundamental skills to practise as 21st century lawyers. This is not isolated to the Indian legal market, but the problem is particularly acute in India. The panel will discuss their ideas on how to maintain motivation, give feedback and empower young lawyers.

4.20pm – 5.15pm:  Emerging Leaders – Visions of the Future. For the first time, the RSG India Report will publish a list of 25 practitioners that have been recommended by their peers and clients as leaders of the future. We invite four of our 2019 emerging leaders to present their thoughts on what are the most pressing issues facing the profession and their ideas as to how to solve them. 

5.15 – 6.00pm:Networking Drinks 

6.00 – 6.05pm:MyLaw: Nikhil Chandra presents a programme for disadvantaged Indian students to access legal education 

6.05 – 7.00pm: The RSG Grow India Awards 

RSG reveals its three main 2019 RSG India rankings and presents awards to stand-out initiatives, individuals and organisations who have made an impact in growing legal India 

  1. RSG Grow India Award for Developing Legal Minds 
  2. RSG Grow India Award for Enabling Corporate India 
  3. RSG Grow India Award for Defending Corporate India 
  4. RSG Grow India Award for Specialist Firm of the Year 
  5. RSG Grow India Award for Impressive Growth  
  6. RSG Grow India Award for Most Impactful Foreign Law Firm 2019 
  7. RSG Grow India Award for the Emerging Leader of the Year 
  8. RSG India: Top In-House Team  
  9. RSG India: Top Foreign Law Firm in India 
  10. RSG India: Top Indian Law Firm 

The award for the Emerging Leader of the Year is supported by: 


Wim Dejonghe, Senior Partner, Allen & Overy

Sanjeev Dhuna, Partner, Allen & Overy

Bahram Vakil, Founder & Senior Partner, AZB

Beatriz Pessoa de Araujo, Partner and Head of Corporate Governance Group, Baker McKenzie

Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

Sandeep Varma, Head of Innovation, DBS Bank

Kartik Ganapathy, Partner, Induslaw

Haigreve Khaitan, Partner, Khaitan & Co

Nikhil Chandra, Founder, MyLaw

Pritha Jha, Partner, Pioneer Legal

Reena SenGupta, Managing Director, RSG Consulting

Sandip Bhagat, Partner, S&R Associates

Priya Lele, Co-Founder, She Breaks the Law

Mathew Chacko, Partner, Spice Route Legal

Karan Singh, Partner, Trilegal

Ritvik Lukose, Co-Founder & CEO, Vahura