Thought Leadership – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
Lextel began working with Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM), one of India’s leading commercial firms, in April 2019. The objectives of our partnership were:
- To reinforce the firm’s reputation as a leader in select areas of the law, beginning with a content marketing focus on Dispute Resolution.
- To highlight the role of the firm on related areas such as Insolvency, Corporate Governance Activism, Financial/ Regulatory and Investigations by providing insights that are important to clients and prospects.
- To differentiate CAM from other firms by using qualitative, industry-led insights.
- To foster referrals, export know-how and open up new market opportunities.
- To review and complete the firm’s directory and awards submissions in a cost-effective and high-quality manner.
WHAT WE DID
The firm organises an annual event in Delhi and Mumbai on the latest trends in dispute resolution. We identified this event as a prime opportunity to generate thought leadership and to deliver original insights to the market through a series of reports. We highlighted three key themes:
- Third-party funding for disputes (and the possibility for such funding in the Indian market).
- The impact of technology on dispute resolution.
- New trends in dispute resolution and arbitration.
We drew on interviews and presentations from the firm’s partners and its Head of Innovation, legal tech providers, in-house counsel, the managing counsel of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and litigation funders. We did all the interviews, content, design and production delivering three reports of 3000 words in three months.
CAM enjoys a strong reputation as a financed-focused law firm but, in relation to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), acts predominantly for domestic banks and financial institutions rather than foreign creditors. The client therefore wanted to develop and execute a content marketing campaign to more effectively raise its profile among foreign creditors who have been increasingly entering the Indian market in recent years to fund distressed assets.
We worked with senior partners within the client’s Insolvency & Restructuring practice to brainstorm priority topics for a campaign that would provide practical and helpful advice for foreign creditors. This included focusing on the most suitable entry strategy for them and dispelling some of the myths around domestic regulations. The client was also keen to highlight the nature of the opportunity for foreign financial firms and how the IBC can work for them.
Given the significant role played in this space by referral law firms, our partners reached out to a Hong Kong-based US referral firm Kirkland & Ellis. Together with the client, we developed a series of articles where the two firms addressed:
- The opportunities for foreign creditors in India’s distressed debt market.
- What foreign creditors need to consider when investing in India’s distressed debt market; and
- How long India’s distressed debt market can provide decent returns for foreign creditors (by examining foreign ownership rules, target obligations and sector opportunities).
Our first project for CAM was to draft its submission for the Visionary Client Service Law Firm of the Year, as part of the 2019 annual awards of the Asia-Mena In-House Counsel Community. This was a prestigious award given that the 20,000 members of the community include many general and in-house counsel from leading multinational and regional companies. We based the submissions around CAM’s use of artificial intelligence in its client work; its launch of a legal tech incubator; and the firm’s incentives to drive innovative service delivery which it had rolled out for all staff. CAM made the shortlist of three firms.
Having begun on a project basis with CAM in April 2019, the firm hired Lextel as its retained marketing agency in January 2020.
In terms of the firm’s objectives:
- We enabled our client to reinforce its position as a leader in dispute resolution and related insolvency work by delivering original insights which positioned the firm as an innovator in these fields.
- We successfully fulfilled the brief to deliver qualitative, industry-led insights. We quoted from and analysed the views of, among others, the general counsels at Axis Bank and ICICI Bank; a former Supreme Court judge; the Managing Director and Chair of Vannin Capital; and the CEO of Kira Systems.
- We had created insights in partnership with a US referral firm strengthening both the reach of the content in terms of the target audience of foreign creditors but also in terms of fostering referrals for the firm.
- The firm won the Asia Visionary Client Service Law Firm of the Year at the In-House Community awards.