Witness, a law magazine, to hit stands on July 16

By Dhaleta Surender Kumar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | July 15, 2009
Hoping to fill in the void in the law magazine space, Srigro Interactive is launching Witness tomorrow

There are hardly any law magazines in India. The only ones that reach out to law practitioners are either details of legal cases and judgments by the various courts in India, or journals brought out by various government agencies. To fill the gap, Srigro Interactive is coming out with Witness, a monthly magazine that will hit the stands tomorrow (July 16).

Witness, at a cover price of Rs 50, is being launched with an initial print run of 25,000 copies. Of this, about 90 per cent would be subscription based. The magazine would be available only at select stands, and will be distributed through Central News Agency (CNA).

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According to Shyam Grover, group editor and chief executive officer, Witness, the magazine is targeted at the large legal fraternity, comprising advocates, legal educators, attorneys, judges, and government officials. "We hope to raise both legal and social issues through the magazine and build up an opinion within the fraternity," he says.

Grover, who brings in 17 years of experience in the areas of management consultancy and corporate matters, is one of the directors of the newly formed Srigro Interactive; the other two are advocate PBA Srinivasan and Vineeta Jerath.

About 4,000 copies of Witness will be circulated in the UK and US too, targeting law firms that "handle Indian cases, or if one of the parties is an Indian, or who intend to start law firms in India in the future."

The first issue of Witness, according to Grover, "focuses on the role of mediation cells and their growing importance in today's scenario. It discusses how mediation has been extremely successful in the Western world and how best we can adopt this in India. The Limited Liability Partnership Act 2008 also gets good coverage in the issue. "

On the social side, the inaugural issue focuses on pre-nuptial contracts.

The revenue model for Witness is advertising-based. The magazine is targeting advertisers -- automobiles, telecom, legal institutes, insurance and financial companies -- who intend to reach out to high net-worth individuals. "We hope to rope in the FMCG sector too," says Grover.

Grover is certainly not looking to market the magazine through mass media. Instead, below-the-line activities will be taken up in court complexes and corporate offices. "We have tied up with some publishers, who bring out books on law, to promote the magazine. Also, kiosks will be put up in court complexes to sample the magazine," he says.

Even though the distribution of Witness starts on July 16, it will be formally launched on August 1, 2009 by AR Lakshmanan, chairman, Law Commission of India.