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May 9, 2019

Big Four suffer blow to legal ambitions in India

The Big Four have been reportedly told to refrain from practising law in India after an interim order was handed down by the Bar Council of Delhi.

Reports coming out of India have said the ruling was made following a complaint by Lalit Bhasin, president of the Society of Indian Law Firms,

According to site Consultancy.in, the Indian legal market was worth USD1.3bn in 2017, and has been made up of local firms.

According to the Law Gazette, the firms have also been told to provide lists of all their lawyers ahead of another hearing on 12 July.

The Big Four have been on a global legal services drive in recent years through a combination of recruitment and acquisitions, as well as through alliances where needed.

The US may provide an example of how the Big Four will cope with any ban on legal services in India. Big Four US firms are prevented from providing legal services. As a result the past few years have seen a raft of ‘strategic alliances’ between the members of the Big Four and US legal firms.

The most recent example of this was a strategic alliance between Deloitte and US legal firm Epstein Becker Green. In this case, as in others, the alliance includes the proviso that the alliance does not include Deloitte’s US member firm, but does include other international members.

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