1. Ram Jethmalani, Fees: Rs 25+ Lakh per appearance
Age: 95 years Indian lawyer and politician who has served as India’s Union Law Minister and as chairman of the Bar Council of India. He has represented a sweep of cases from the high-profile to the controversial for which he has often faced severe criticism. He is the highest-paid Indian lawyer. Ram Jethmalani obtained LL.B.degree at the age of 17 and started practising law in his hometown (in today’s Pakistan) until the partition of India. Jethmalani is a well-known face amongst the legal community in India. Even though his forte lies in criminal law, he has appeared in many high-profile civil cases. He has a number of high-profile defence cases to his credit as a lawyer – people involved in market scams (Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh), and a host of gangsters and smugglers including the British citizen Daisy Angus who was acquitted of hashish smuggling after serving five years in jail. He also defended L. K. Advani in the Hawala scam. He was in the news for taking up the defence of Manu Sharma, prime accused in the Jessica Lall murder case; however, he failed to get Manu Sharma acquitted. He is going to be defending Lalit Modi – former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman and commissioner. He has also represented underworld don Haji Mastan, Amith Shah in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, Kanimozhi’s defence in 2G spectrum case, Yeddyurappa’s case on illegal mining scam, Asaram Bapu’s defence in Jodhpur sexual assault case, and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s defence in the Supreme Court of India.
2. Kapil Sibal, Fees: Rs 8- 16 lakh per appearance
Age: 70 years, Indian politician Kapil Sibal, belonging to the Indian National Congress party, was formerly a lawyer. Kapil Sibal joined the Bar association in 1970. He decided to set up his own law practice. He was designated as a Senior Lawyer in 1983. Over the years, he has held several important positions in the Government of India and the Society, such as: Additional Solicitor General of India (December 1989 – 1990); Member, Board of Management, Indira Gandhi National Open University (1993); President, Supreme Court Bar Association (1995–96, 1997–98 and 2001–2002), and more. He represented India in the Annual Meetings of the World Economic Forum in 2005 and 2009 held at Davos, Switzerland. He led the Indian delegation to the Annapolis Conference, USA, held to gather International support for the establishment of a Palestinian state and the realization of Israeli–Palestinian peace during November 2007. He led the Indian delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Bali in December 2007.
3. Fali Nariman, Fee: Rs 8- 15 Lakh per appearance
Age: 90 years, Fali Sam Nariman is an Indian jurist. He was the senior advocate to the Supreme Court of India since 1971 and has remained the President of the Bar Association of India since 1991. Nariman is an internationally recognized jurist on international arbitration. He has been honored with the 19th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration 2018. He is one of India’s most distinguished constitutional lawyers and he has argued several leading cases. He remained Additional Solicitor General of India May 1972- June 1975. Nariman argued in favour of Union carbide in the infamous Bhopal gas disaster case, which he admitted as a mistake in recent times. He was instrumental in getting a deal between victims and the company outside court, which offered an amount of $470 million to the victims. He also argued in the famous case of the Supreme Court AoR Association, in which the Supreme Court took over the appointment of judges in the Higher Judiciary. He also appeared in many important cases like Golak Nath, S.P. Gupta, T.M.A. Pai Foundation. He represented the Gujarat Government in the matter of the Narmada rehabilitation but resigned shortly after attacks on Christians in the area and the burning of copies of the Bible. On 17.10.2014, he appeared for the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalitha in a conviction and obtained bail for her, which was earlier rejected.
4. P Chidambaram, Fees: Rs 6- 15 Lakh per appearance
Age: 73 years Before becoming a politician, Chidambaram was an attorney and corporate lawyer. He completed his Bachelor of Laws from the Madras Law College (now Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College). He was not so keen to join his father’s business. He was more inclined to legal practice. He started practicing in the Madras High Court. By 1984 he was a senior advocate. His offices were in Chennai and Delhi. Eventually, he became a practicing lawyer in the Supreme Court and other High Courts in India.
5. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Fees: Rs 6- 15 Lakh per appearance
Age: 60 years Indian politicians Manu Singhvi is also a lawyer. Singhvi completed his Ph.D. under constitutional lawyer Sir William Wade of Cambridge University. Singhvi, at 37, became the youngest Additional Solicitor General of India, in 1997. He held the position for a year, till 1998. He is former Chairman of the AICC All India Law and Human Rights Department and former Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Law, Justice, Personnel & Grievances.
6. Harish Salve, Fees: Rs 6- 15 Lakh per appearance
Age: 64 years, Harish Salve specializes in constitutional, commercial and taxation law. He primarily practices at the Supreme Court of India but also appears in various High Courts and in international arbitration, sometimes as counsel and other times as an adjudicator. He served as the Solicitor General of India from 1 November 1999 to 3 November 2002.Harish Salve argued the first Anti-Dumping case in the Supreme Court of India. He frequently represents large corporations like Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited. Other clients include the Tata Group and ITC Limited, whom he has represented on various matters. He has appeared for several Tata group companies. He has also appeared for Ratan Tata himself. In 2015, he took up the high-profile case of actor Salman Khan. In May 2017, he represented India before the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of spying. Due to his efforts, the International Court of Justice has ordered a provisional stay on Jadhav’s execution until a final verdict is declared. For this case, he charged only Rs. 1(INR) in legal fees.
7. Aryama Sundaram, Fees: Rs 5.5- 16.5 Lakh per appearance
Age: 63 years He has been designated as a senior advocate. He has been regularly representing Board of Control for Cricket in India, Anil Ambani and several other high-profile clients at various judicial forums. Sundaram primarily practices corporate law but also takes up constitutional law and media-related cases. He was a lawyer in the S. Rangarajan case which resulted in one of the landmark judgments on the freedom of speech and expression.
8. Gopal Subramanium, Fees: Rs 5.5- 16.5 Lakh per appearance
Age: 61 years Indian lawyer and Senior Advocate who practices primarily in the Supreme Court of India and the Delhi High Court. In 1993, Mr. Subramanium was designated a Senior Advocate suo motu by the Supreme Court, one of the youngest to be so designated in the Supreme Court’s history. He was acting as counsel (in 1991 – 1992) to a judicial commission headed by Justice J. S. Verma (then a judge of the Supreme Court) to inquire into security lapses leading to the assassination of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India. Acted (in 1993) as ‘prosecuting counsel for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’ in the trial of persons accused of the setting of a series of bomb blasts in Bombay. He acted as CBI’s counsel in this matter till 2012 when appeals in this trial were heard by the Supreme Court. He acted as a special commissioner appointed by the Supreme Court in 1994-1995 to investigate into allegations on wrongful detention of persons in mental hospitals in the State of Assam. In 2001, he was appointed as counsel to a judicial commission headed by Justice K. Venkataswamy (a former Supreme Court judge), to inquire into sting operations carried out by a news publication to expose corruption in defence procurement transactions. He also acted as the Special Public Prosecutor in the prosecution of Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving terrorist who carried out attacks on Mumbai in November 2008. Shortly thereafter, he acted as the Special Public Prosecutor in the prosecution of accused of the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.
9. Dushyant Dave, Fees: Rs 5.5-10 Lakhs per appearance
Senior Advocate, practicing in the Supreme Court of India at New Delhi. Mr. Dave has been at the bar for three decades during which he has appeared in several thousand matters in various high courts and the Supreme Court. Mr. Dave’s field of practice is extremely wide and involves varied subjects like the Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Civil Laws, Corporate Laws and substantial work in Arbitration Law. He has appeared in many celebrated cases resulting in widely known decisions of the Supreme Court. Mr. Dave has been appointed Amicus Curie by the Supreme Court in matters involving substantial public interest. has been nominated by the Government of India, on the governing board of National Legal Services Authority, the APEX body created under the Law of Indian Parliament to administer and supervise Legal Aid in the country. Mr. Dave was on the LCIA Court from 2003 until 2008 and is currently the President of LCIA Users Forum for Asia Pacific. Member of the Board of AAA
10. KK Venugopal, Fees: Rs 5- 15 Lakh per appearance
Age: 88 years Constitutional lawyer and a senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India. Venugopal served as President of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA – International Association of Lawyers) from 1996 to 1997. Venugopal has appeared in many high-profile cases. Most significantly, he was appointed by the Royal Government of Bhutan to serve as the Constitutional adviser for the drafting of the Constitution of Bhutan. On 30 June 2017, he was appointed as the Attorney General of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The 86-year-old succeeds Mukul Rohatgi, who stepped down after the first term. Venugopal held the office of Additional Solicitor General in Morarji Desai’s Government. He has appeared in a variety of cases in the last 50 years. Venugopal was appointed as amicus curiae to assist the Supreme Court in the high profile 2G spectrum case. He also appeared for BJP leader L K Advani in the Demolition of the Babri Masjid case, in which the apex court recently clubbed the two trials and held that BJP leaders, including Advani, Uma Bharti, and Murli Manohar Joshi, will have to face trial along with karsevaks for the demolition of the disputed structure. In 2015, he was conferred Padma Vibhushan award by Government of India. This is the second-highest civilian honour in India. He had previously received the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honour.
11. Salman Khurshid, Fees: Rs 5-11 Lakh per appearance
Age: 66 years. Indian politician Salman Khurshid is a designated senior advocate, eminent author, and a law teacher. In 1977 he completed B.A. Jurisprudence, St. Edmund Hall, at Oxford University. He is an accomplished lawyer and is enrolled at Bar, Supreme Court of India. He has appeared in miscellaneous and regular matters in the Supreme Court of India in Constitutional, Commercial and other matters, drafted briefs in various fields of law, including Commercial and Constitutional matters, Arbitration, Contract, Sale of goods, Company law, Service and Labour matter and Opinion work, argued several leading cases of Constitutional Rights, Civil Liberties, including Press Law and Freedom of Expression, 1982-84;O.S.D. in the Prime Minister’s Office with Late Smt. Indira Gandhi, 1981-82; Senior Partner, Talib Luthra & Associates, Extensive Chamber, and Court practice, especially in commercial, constitutional airlines, Press Law and Administrative Law; actively involved in Congress Party affairs, particularly minority affairs, since 1985.
12. KTS Tulsi, Fees: Rs 5-9 Lakh per appearance
Age: 71 years Senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India who has represented many notable people in various cases. He has received a Bachelor of Law degree in 1971. After graduation, he became a member of Bar of Punjab and Haryana High Court. In 1980, Tulsi started practicing criminal law. In 1987, he was appointed as a senior advocate. Three years later in 1990, he was designated Additional Solicitor General of India. Since 1994, he is the President of the Criminal Justice Society of India. Tulsi has represented the Indian government more than ten times in the Supreme Court. He represented the Indian government in cases like the constitutional validity of the now-extinct Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, and cases related to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi former Prime Minister of India. He represented Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra who is alleged to have amassed wealth and farm lands out of using his status as Gandhi family person, in Vadra-DLF land case. He also represented the victims of Uphaar Cinema fire in Delhi. He represented 1993 Delhi terror attack convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar and got his death sentence commuted.
The Indian legal system is fairly complex. It takes seasoned, hardened, highly knowledgable, well-practiced lawyers to resolve or oversee some cases based on facts, guidelines, and loopholes, which even the law is sometimes not aware exists within its framework until a curveball is thrown at it from legal bibles.
Given that resolving legal issues is a matter of intense responsibility, it also comes at a great price. Here are some of the game changers in the legal arena of India who charge a ‘bomb’ by virtue of having lived up to the expectations of their clients consistently.
Courtesy: Yahoo! finance