FOREIGN LAW FIRMS

Using the UKIBC to get into India

Increasing numbers of UK law firms are looking eastwards for new growth prospects, but finding a footing in the Indian legal market can be a daunting process. Many UK firms are getting support in their development from the UK India Business Council (UKIBC).

 

The UKIBC was created in 2007 with a mandate to increase bilateral trade and investment between India and the United Kingdom. A private limited company, backed with funding from the UK Government and led by business interests, the UKIBC now wields an influential network of entrepreneurs and business people in both nations.

 

Many of the UK’s biggest law firms are already members (see table below), with some taking a leadership role in the organisation. On the UKIBC executive board itself sit representatives from Eversheds, Pinsent Masons, and Mishcon de Reya.

 

Toby Greenbury, co-Head of Mishcon’s India Desk, is their representative on the board. He puts the power of the Indian market in stark terms. “The UK faces a choice: it can either be a small poor country or a small rich one. Which becomes reality depends on how well we take the opportunity India offers us.”

 

The UKIBC has an abundance of knowledge and contacts, and can assist members in gaining rapid access to the Indian market. “The UKIBC cuts out a lot of the hard work involved in cracking India, and effectively offers it to you on a plate” says Greenbury. Used in the right way, this can be a springboard for hard commercial business development.

 

However, Kamal Shah of Stephenson Harwood says that the UKIBC events in the UK are quite lawyer heavy so areless useful as a direct business generator.

 

Along with its focus groups, events, and knowledge-sharing, the UKIBC also organises regular delegations to India itself. These give members the opportunity to access key Indian Government officials and corporates. It is this ability to easily network with India’s political and business elite that can deliver a long-term competitive advantage.

 

 

 

Visit www.ukibc.com/ for more information.