Top lawyers in India and the highest-paid lawyer in India are discussed in this article. The best lawyers in India, includes; Ram Jethmalani, Harish Salve, Fali Sam Nariman, KK Venugopal and Soli Sorabjee. These are the top advocates in India.

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Top Lawyers in India

Ram Jethmalani

Ram Jethmalani was known as the best criminal lawyer in India and he was an Indian lawyer and politician. He was born on 23 September 1923 and died on 8 September 2019. He was the Chairman of the Indian Bar Council and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association President.

Jethmalani has fought his first case at the age of 17 in the court of Sindh under Justice Godfrey Davis, contesting the rule regarding minimum age passed by the Bar Council of Sindh. Jethmalani later came to the limelight for his appearance in the Nanavati case in 1959 with Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud, who later became the Chief Justice of India. His defence of a string of smugglers in the late 1960s established his image as a “smuggler’s lawyer”, to which he mentioned that he was only doing his duty as a lawyer

During his career, he was involved in several high-profile defence cases as a lawyer, people involved in market scams (Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh), and a host of gangsters and smugglers including 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.

Ram Jethmalani was in the limelight since the partition was made. He had started his political career as an independent candidate from Ulhasnagar supported both by the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Jan Sangh but he lost the elections. Later, He became a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1988 and the Union minister of law, justice and company affairs in 1996.

In May 2013, BJP expelled Jethmalani from the party for six years, for having made anti-party statements. In October 2013, defamation charges were framed against BJP seeking ₹50 lakh (US$66,000) as “null and void and damages” for making a statement that he was not a fit person to be a member of the party.

Jethmalani also wrote books like Big Egos-Small Men, Conflict of Laws, Conscience of a Maverick, Justice: Soviet Style, Maverick: Unchanged, Unrepentant.

Harish Salve

Harish Salve was born into a Marathi family. The father of Harish Salve was a CA and politician of the Indian National Congress and his mother was a doctor. He did his schooling at St. Francis DeSales High School, Nagpur, Maharashtra. He completed his Chartered Accountancy from ICAI and LLB from Nagpur University. He began his legal career as an intern in 1980 at JB Dadachandji & Co. He assisted Palkhivala in the Minerva Mills Case AIR 1980.

From 1980 to 1986 he worked with former Attorney General, Soli Sorabjee. Later, Salve was appointed as Amicus Curiae by the Supreme Court in some cases, mostly relating to the preservation of the environment.

During his career, he was involved in several high-profile cases as a lawyer 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. He has appeared in the Krishna Godavari Basin Gas Dispute Case against the latter’s brother, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Natural Resources Limited. Other clients include the Tata Group, 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. Recently, Salve represented Vodafone in its $2.5 billion tax dispute with the Indian government.

Fali Sam Nariman

Fali Sam Nariman is an Indian jurist. He is the senior advocate to the Supreme Court since 1971. And, he was the President of the Bar Association of India from 1991 to 2010.

Fali Sam Nariman was born on 10th January 1029 in Rangoon to the Parsi family. He did his schooling at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla and in 1950 he has completed his law degree (LL.B.) from the Government Law College, Mumbai.

After completing a law degree, Fali Sam Nariman started his practice in the Bombay High Court. He served 22 years as a practising lawyer in the Bombay High Court and in 1971 he was appointed as Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of India.

Fali Nariman argued in very famous cases like in Bhopal Gas Disaster Case, in which he admitted to a mistake in recent times. He also discussed the famous case of the Supreme Court Advocates on Records Association after the Supreme Court of India took over the appointment of the judges in the Higher Judiciary.

Fali Nariman was honoured with the 19th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in the Public Administration in 2018. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1991 and was also honoured with the Award of Padma Vibhushan by the Former President of India Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Sir at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on 23rd March 2007. Also, he was served as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha for a term from 1999 to 2005.

Moreover, he is the most popular among distinguished Constitutional lawyers. He acted as Additional Solicitor General of India from May 1972 to June 1975.

K. K. Venugopal

K. K. Venugopal is an Indian Constitutional Lawyer and a Senior Lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. His full name of his is Kottayan Katankot Venugopal and he was born on the 6th of September 1931 in Niar family in Kanhangad, Kerala.

He has completed his graduation in BSc at Madras Christian College, Chennai and he has completed his graduation with an LL.B. degree in Raja Lakhamgouda Law College, Belgaum.

K. K. Venugopal served as the President of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) i.e. International Association of Lawyers from 1996 to 1997.

Venugopal has argued various high profile cases. He also worked in the Royal Government of Bhutan to serve as Constitutional Adviser for the drafting of the Constitution of Bhutan.

He was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 2015 and also he was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2002.

On 30th June 2017, he was appointed as the Attorney General of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Further, he was appointed as amicus curiae to assist the Supreme Court of India in the 2G Spectrum Case.

Soli Sorabjee

Soli Sorabjee was an Indian Jurist who served as an Attorney-General for India from 1989 to 1990 and again from 1998 to 2004.

His full name is Soli Jehangir Sorabjee and he was born on 9th March 1930 in a Parsi family in Bombay. He completed his schooling at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai and later completed his LL.B. degree at Government Law College, Mumbai, and was enrolled on the bar in 1953.

Soli Sorabjee was a great lawyer in the Bombay High Court and he was designated as Senior Advocate of Bombay High Court in 1971. He also served as Solicitor General of India from 1977 to 1980. Also, he was the Attorney General of India until 2004.

In 2004, Sorabjee was honoured with the award of Padma Vibhushan for his defence of the freedom of expression and protection of human rights. During the emergency period, Sorabajee provided legal services to the political prisoners. He also argued in the high profile case of 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims.

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