As founding partner and chairman of the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, I’m no stranger to international business. Since starting in 1986 with four lawyers in Los Angeles, we’ve grown into a global litigation firm with over 1000 lawyers in 11 countries, including Japan, China, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom.
Many people ask me: What is the point of an international litigation firm? After all, legal and judicial systems are creatures of national boundaries. It turns out that globalization has also meant the globalization of disputes. IP and competition and antitrust disputes are global; white-collar investigations and proceedings are global; and government regulators cooperate around the world.
In India, as elsewhere, there will be disputes that involve multiple jurisdictions, which means they will require skilled lawyers experienced in the local law, working alongside others coordinating international proceedings. That’s where we come in and where we need help from Indian firms. The new rules permitting foreign law firms to open offices in India will facilitate this collaboration. Cooperation and learning will go both ways.
Building alliances with other law firms has been key to growing our practice. We have always felt it was important to know the best lawyers everywhere. You never know when you might need counsel in a particular locality who knows the ins and outs of local practice. The best way to have friends is to be one—and we look forward to growing relationships in India that are mutually beneficial.
You hear from all corners that “this is India’s time,” and we want to be a part of that, especially where tech is concerned. According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), 2022 was a “tipping point” for India’s technology sector, where the IT industry “crossed $200b in total revenue and 5m in the total workforce.”
Unsurprisingly, this growth has pushed the country forward on the global economic stage. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India will be the world's fastest-growing large economy in 2022-23. Along with China, it will constitute half of the world's growth next year, which is exciting.
Expanding our relationships in India would connect us to the heart of dominant megatrends transforming the global landscape—offshoring, digitalization, and energy transition. India is operating on the cutting edge of so many evolving spaces in the international legal world.
We hope to bring our knowledge to local innovators and to learn from them as such issues emerge.
We have the largest intellectual property—patent—litigation practice in the world, including market-leading practices in the US, Germany and China. India is a leader in innovation, and many of India’s tech companies face the west in their strategy and marketing. We want to be there to help when they face trouble, wherever that may be.
There is an American legal folktale: One lawyer in town starves. A second lawyer arrives, and they start to make some money. A third lawyer comes, and they all prosper. India’s dynamic economy will bring countless clients needing help on a range of international issues. Through friendships with Indian firms, we hope to further support their success and the country’s meteoric rise.