Facebook Twitter Google Email

rupees_thumbFoxMandal Little has not been able to pay fee-earners in Delhi their salaries as the office faces a liquidity crisis.



FoxMandal Little managing partner Som Mandal said: "For certain categories of people payment has been withheld for June and would be paid in July."

It is understood that a large number of associates and partners are still unpaid but Mandal declined to confirm the precise figures and details.

He said that the Delhi office's lock-up had increased from 60 to 90 days to a period ranging from 90 days to six months. Lock-up is the time it takes for a firm to bank fees on work in progress.

Mandal told Legally India that the issue needed to be resolved to prevent it from happening in future and that the firm had "action plans in place".

"We are pretty sure of resolving this matter - hoping that it should close by this month or at the latest by August," he said and added: "We are looking at alternatives how we can secure ourselves in bridging the payment gap."

Mandal explained that the Delhi office was experiencing delays in payment from 60 to 70 per cent of clients, particularly from international clients, which account for 70 to 80 per cent of the office's billings.

He said that the delay in fees-collection has caused a cash flow problem for the office, despite Delhi's revenues increasing by 45 per cent in the last financial year ending 31 March 2009. "I would also like to state that we were perhaps the only firm in India to [have increased associate salaries] between 5 to 10 percent even in this difficult situation."

Mandal explained that many US and English firms have taken money from their partners to assist in their financing but noted: "In India we don't ask partners to put in capital and we don't get bank finance or overdraft for working capital."

The situation only affected FoxMandal Little's Delhi office, he said.

Little & Co is the Mumbai chapter in the FoxMandal Little network but is financially independent and not integrated. One Little & Co partner confirmed that the Mumbai office was unaffected by Delhi's cash flow problems and the non-payment of staff salaries.

Several large Indian firms told to Legally India that they have experienced a delay in billing recovery, although all claim to have continued paying staff normally. Managing lock-up has also become a major problem for international firms.

Click here to read how law firms and legal consultants have been trying to manage lock-up in India and abroad.

Enter your details below to sign up for our free weekly newsletter:

Context, analysis & more straight to your email inbox every Friday.
It is a "must-read" for every lawyer in or near India.

Share this: Facebook Twitter Google Email
Related Articles
Click to show 76 comments
at your own risk
(alt+shift+c)

NB: By reading the comments you agree that they are the personal views and opinions of readers, for which Legally India has no liability whatsoever. Because anonymous comments may be biased or unreliable, you agree that you will not allow any comment(s) to affect your estimation of any person(s) or organisation(s). If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to administrator' below the comment with your objection and we will review it as soon as practicable.

reader comments:comments rss feedrefresh

Filter out low-rated comments. Show all comments. Show latest comments only (beta)

1
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 John 2009-07-20 16:57
Any news about fee-earner's quitting or looking to move elsewhere or striking out independently?
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
2
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anon 2009-07-20 18:03
"I would also like to state that we were perhaps the only firm in India to [have increased associate salaries] between 5 to 10 percent even in this difficult situation." - Utter nonsense!
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
3
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anon 2009-07-20 19:27
Som Mandal is an amazing lawyer and can give any of the big guns a run for their money. He has made FML a world beating outfit. Let us not be so trigger happy in condemning him based on some flimsy article.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
4
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 harishchandra 2009-07-20 19:35
no doubts raised on his legal acumen or ability, however his knowledge of salaries being offered in the legal market is definitely deficient, no doubt abt that either (assuming of course that the quote is correct).
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
5
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Legal Dodo 2009-07-20 19:59
Thank you Kian, for this interesting story. On a macro level - your article raises an important issue. Are entry level graduates, even if they are from the top law schools, worth six figure salaries? I'm not sure how much associates at Fox Mandal are paid, but if one digs deep, you will probably have to point fingers at the Amarchands, AZBs and Trilegals for paying such high salaries to entry level associates, many of whom, in my opinion, are not worth what they are paid.

No doubting their credentials, mind you. The products from top law schools have phenomenal potential. However, they are green-horns who largely learn by shadowing, during their first year or so. The high salaries paid to them is passed on to the client, which in turn has to pay high fees for little or no value addition it receives from a junior associate. Perhaps, Fox Mandal too has tried competing here and burnt its fingers because of their clients' refusal and/or inability to pay.

What's happening at Fox Mandal could just be the tip of an ice-berg in India. Thousands of law firms in the West are either shutting shop or cutting down their size because of their inability to pay salaries, which in some cases, are obscenely high. Perhaps, India is not insulated. The associates at FM who are yet to be paid need to make a ruthless introspection of themselves as well. At the end of the day, your salary is only a by-product of the value you bring. The value should be not only to your law firm, but also to the end client.

My aim here is not to sit over judgment over either Som Mandal or the associates whom he has employed. I don't know any of them and wish them all the best in getting out of this sad situation. The point I am raising here, as I said earlier, is whether entry level graduates are really worth six figure salaries?

Legal Dodo.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
6
 
Show?
Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 graduate salaries 2009-07-20 21:31
Legal Dodo - the point you make about legal graduates deserving high starting salaries certainly merits discussion as these costs are passed on to the clients thereby having a ripple effect. That said, is there an objective way of deciding who deserves what as a starting salary? To extend your argument and to break it down further, even amongst the first year students there are some who are brighter than the rest but are paid the same under a lock-step model followed in most firms at this level.

In my view this is a subjective assessment and there will always be several views on this. Perhaps the best way to decide starting salaries objectively is to let the "market" decide them provided there is free competition and the market functions without material imperfections.

If we were to accept that market's assessment of starting salaries (for lack of a better objective way of deciding salaries, irrespective of whether market's valuation is somewhat inflated) is the fair value of a first year associate then I believe the salaries that firms pay today are well deserved. Organised legal market in India today, albeit small, functions relatively independently without much regulation. There is also sufficient competition to get the best deals and associates. With these concerns addressed, I think the forces of demand and supply are the best to judge market values (starting salaries) of a first year associate.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
7
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Concerned 2009-07-20 23:19
I think the salary paid to indian associates is well deserved. Associates at Magic Circle firms in UK are not given the same kind of responsibilities which associates in India are given (while saying this I am mindful of the fact that they have a training contract there and the quality of work done there is in a different league altogether - but they still work better hours, and are paid well for the training they do without many responsibilities). But that doesn't negate from the fact that associates in magic circle firms in India mostly work ungodly hours and the responsibilities they undertake are for real even if there is an element of shadowing in them. The quality of life in India needless to say is not the best and they should be compensated for putting up with the intangible incoveniences they encounter on a daily basis. Not exactly like the expatriates who are given a 'hardship allowance' since they are given that allowance no matter where they go, but you get the picture. I think AMSS and AZB have had a positive influence on the market for their overdue recognition of the contribution of associates over the years. One can argue that in no profession is the salary paid in the first year worth the value actually derived. But I don't think clients would disturb a model that works and wouldn't mind paying that extra dollar for work well done.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
8
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Victimized@Mandal 2009-07-21 12:32
Dear Kian

Thanks to you, atleast others in the legal fraternity are now aware of the plight of the many associates at Fox Mandal's Delhi office. Just to let you know I am an associate working at Fox Mandal and would like to add / correct some of the quotes in your very thought provoking article. Not only have we associates at Fox Mandal not been paid for the month of May and June this year but we still await a quarters payment from the year that has gone by. Thus one wonders if the lock up explanation provided in the article holds any water...

Although its encouraging to hear that we might after all see some of our hard earned money coming our way, I think every one should know that there has been no raises at Fox Mandal this year, contrary to as stated in the article. Only the associates who have been promoted to senior associates have been given a 10% raise.. and other associates and senior associates are still very much on their old package...

At Fox Mandal, the management(read: Mr.Mandal) has coined a very creative method of witholding lawyers salaries by introducing a concept of a retained bonus. So although the associates are lured to join the firm and asked to put their best to pull up client billing, the firm witholds quarters salary and promises to pay it in two installments as a retained bonus. I presume many reading the article would find this concept very ingenous... and as luck would have it, we are all yet to see the light of the day when the salary that we have already worked for in the past is reflected in our bank accounts...

And things have been so bad recently that many of my colleagues and I are now praying, that after not being paid for two months and with pressing EMIs and other commitments, even if the firm finds enough funds to pay us our salaries for May and June this year we would feel "grateful" to Mr Mandal...

Things are tough... many of us have run out of options ... request for payments have often been responded with the option of leaving the firm.. what does one do in such a situation...
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
9
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Lawyers in Distress 2009-07-21 12:34
"I would also like to state that we were perhaps the only firm in India to [have increased associate salaries] between 5 to 10 per cent even in this difficult situation." Not only utter nonsence but a Blatant Lie. 5% raise which Som is refeing to is part of the 25% salary, which he retains and which was supposed to be payable to the associates in two installments. No prize for guessing that last year retained fee of 25% is still not paid to the associates. It's funny that Som is giving us a part of our salary and telling the world that he has increased associate's salary.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
10
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Legal Dodo 2009-07-21 13:04
@343 - Good point re. letting the market forces decide. I agree it is difficult to be subjective when a person is hired. Such fresh hires must also accept that the market forces will decide whether they stay on or not. Sadly, in FMs case, the market forces are deciding whether the client can afford to pay FMs fees! While I emphatize with 347's plight and hope that he/she does get his/her arrears paid soon, his/her last para indicates that that FMs associates are finding it difficult to make lateral moves in the industry. What if Som asks them to quit? Perhaps, they may have to accept a lesser paying position elsewhere, thanks to market forces.

Honestly - I don't have a solution. My advise to the 347s and the 348s is to support your law firm as long as you are with it. Instead of working for FM - work WITH it. Look around you to see where costs can be cut and help your firm cut down costs. It is in situations like these that you need to back your management the most. As a last resort, if things are really bleak - accept a lesser paying position elsewhere. Believe me - going through this will only help you emerge stronger.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
11
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anon 2009-07-21 13:32
I think Legal Dodo is correct. What many of the associates like 347 and 348 have got either in the good times or now is a function of market forces. If they wish to move then their future is also subject to market forces in the sense that hiring is going slow and they may not be able to get a salary anywhere close to what they are probably getting in FM. No one knows whether other firms are also in the same league and whether it is question of time that other firms also come out with facts of financial distress. The markets are sure to rebound in the next couple of months and will certainly offer lot of opportunities to lawyers and law firm alike. Therefore, it is but better that people like 347 and 348 hang out there and look to contribute to FM till times improve, this would apply even if they want to move out from FM.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
12
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 On the face.... 2009-07-21 13:50
What a shame.... Seeing that some people "belonging" to an institution/ organization sharing such seditious attitude in public domain makes me ask, whether these people really ever "belonged" to the organization.

And may be u should ask yourselves as to when was the last time u ever personally did anything to help your firm come out of the situation, apart from blabbering things on the internet, for which probably your firm pays the bills and the point missed here is probably there would still be hordes of lawyers & law students sending mails and making endless calls to the much criticized FM Management to be a part of it.... and may be some of them are better than you guys to understand the difference between a "Captain" and " A Cabin Mouse" of a sinking ship...

Come on fellas, mature up and make discreet efforts to widen up your conscience...
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anon 2009-07-21 14:00
It seems some people in FM are misconceived in attributing the cause of such crisis entirely to Som Mandal. Most of these people would have benefited when FM was going great guns. Maturity, honor and business sense calls upon these people to help stabilize the ship that has helped them sail so far. Such a situation is never planned for and cannot in fact have been contemplated. Aggrieved folks must gather strength and rally around the institution to help it see better days, which are not very far off in the horizon. Probably, FM may also have to think up disowning some of the seditious characters and help itself get leaner and fitter for the times.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
14
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Noble worker 2009-07-21 14:10
351: I, for one, go to work to get paid first, then to "belong" to an institution.

All the "belonging" in the world is not going to make the slightest bit of difference if I can't feed my family or pay my rent.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
15
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anon2 2009-07-21 14:14
353: Why don't you join a firm which pays you on time?
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
16
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 jennifer 2009-07-21 14:19
He he :-) i think u share the exact work ethics of my 'Kamwali Bai'.... so why don't u do the same as she does when she's aggrieved... i.e. find a new household... and blabber about your old malik/ malkin in the whole area.... shame..
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
17
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Hari Sadu 2009-07-21 14:48
It is no new news for any ex-FML as the firm has already modgaged its entire Delhi, Noida, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh and the Managing Partner's personal house to get loans from HDFC and HSBC to build its London Office.

It is high time that Mr. Mandal should learn from his mistakes that a successful law firm is not by expanding throgh borrowings (Loans from various banks).

FML has lost most of its sheen in the late 2007 when it went into a major restructuring thereby sacking the extra baggages from Little & Co. (Delhi). A law firms assets are its associates and partners and not its infrastructure.

I would not be suprised if FML would try to sell itself to a foreign law firm to have a temporary face saver. If fact no body can predict Mr.Mandal as he may be more inclined to take additional loans to just set-off the current fiasco.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
18
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2009-07-21 15:08
To all the "belongers" - I am sure Air India and BA are looking for people like you, who will work for free - why don't you all join politics
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
19
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Associate@foxmandal 2009-07-21 15:10
Recession and its effects are something the world is facing…. Organizations all over the world are feeling a financial crunch…. Financially mostly everyone has been affected by the current scenario…. In such a setting making a joke out of an organizations which has survived the test of time is something I fail to understand. No doubt everyone who works, works ultimately for money but in case of an organization which has employed number of people for decades faces a financial problem, how prudent is it to malign its name. For each such critic the only thing I can say is have some team spirit, a feeling of belonging and if nothing more a sense of respect for the place where you work. In case you are so frustrated by the trouble being faced by your organization then it is time for you to look for some other place.

To all such people who have the audacity to write derogatory things about Fox Mandal or Som Mandal I would like to ask did you even bother to mention anything in better times…. When things are absolutely hunky-dory every one has a blast…. Eat drink and be merry however when the same organization which has nurtured you is under a shadow, instead of looking at positive ways to overcome the situation you talk negative about it without giving a single thought to what the organization may have done for you in the past. And to the fellows who think that Fox Mandal is a sinking ship I would like to say be the rats and chicken out….. Fox Mandal has enough people who would see it sail through this storm…. Rats can buzz off…..
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
20
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Ziya 2009-07-21 15:12
Why do ppl tend to forget that it is the same man (Som Mandal) who has built this empire and taken FoxMandal to such great heights? Which company, business, firm, organization doesn’t go through hard times?????

Let’s not dissect petty things and look only at the larger picture. FM has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to Som. He is going to bounce back soon enough. Best decision would be to stick by him in these difficult times to reap the benefits that are in store.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
21
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 shiva 2009-07-21 15:27
Sources have confirmed that despite the crisis at FM nobody has left the firm. This goes to show that the faith in Som and FM is still very much intact.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Vivek 2009-07-21 15:28
Utter non-sense!
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
23
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Member of FM 2009-07-21 15:31
I think, all the Associates, Senior Associates or even Partners who are saying anything against FM should imediately refrain from saying so. These all things are internal and should not be made open until and unless one leaves the firm or disassociate himself/herself from the firm. I also want my Salary on time but that does not mean that I take recourse to this shit website to deface my own firm. I request everyone to stop writing nemore comments, immediately.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
24
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2009-07-21 15:34
After reading these comments I now know why there are no meaningful debates in the Indian Parliament - because most MPs are also lawyers. Gosh, we guys are talented in hijacking a debate. The article is about FML facing a liquidity crunch! The discussion at the end is regarding all firms facing delay in recovery. So instead of debating whether the billing system in Indian firms work effectively, and the macro effects of credit crunch on Indian firms, we discuss everything ancilliary!!!

No doubt Som increased the visibility and profile of FML (I don't know anything about his management style, so will not comment) and therefore should get credit where it is due. But as the "captain of the ship" deserves the kudos, he should also take the blame when the going gets tough. Please do not ask the associates to work or "belong" for free to FML! Honestly every professional is a "Kamwali Bai" and works for money (atleast thats what professional means!). Also would FML think twice about laying off these associates if the going gets tougher, I doubt it, therefore, where is the reciprocal loyality, and anyways someone who demands loyality does not deserve it. The concept of "belonging" cannot be generated easily in the structure most Indian firms follow - ultimately its the Mondal family which owns the firm, they take the profit, the employees take their salary - the hirerchy is quite clear.

There are some questions which employees of FML can ask and the management should answer such as if they are facing a liquidity crisis why are they still hiring?, have the partners (or the family) dipped into their profits from the bumper years and sharing the pain?, are they puuting in place better billing systemms and credit control mechanism? are they reviewing their network model to see if it is viable? are they involving the associates constructively in order to search of a solution?
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
25
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Krrish 2009-07-21 15:36
this was bound to happen! the time for the bubble to burst had long started ......the management of Fox Mandal has long been in question..be it the shady assessment reports wherein the associates were ranked by incompetent partners, the Draconian Saturday meetings where one and all were insulted every Saturday, the favoritism and petty politics played by corporate partners, the annual meets at fancy places, the page 3 exhibition parties. it just didn't seem the correct sort of activities the oldest and the largest law firm of the country should indulge in.
I am aghast at the patience of the associates who are still holding on to their seats there.....
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
26
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Hari Sadu 2009-07-21 15:40
It is high time that FML shouldthink on lines of selling its London venture and set-off its dues and give some relief to its employees.

Moreover, the firm also requires a make-over as to its quality of associates and partners. [edited] partners such as [names removed] are not legally well versed with their areas of specialization and depend enormously on their Sr. Associates who are the real diamonds. Also, certin senior associates such as [names removed] are over proced for the work supervised by them. Even there is favouritism among associates such as [names removed] who are more contended to stay at FML and do a 9-7 job without any legal improvements and additional study.

Hence the firm faces loads of additional burden which needs to be streamlined asap.

I hope FML comes out to a leval competition by facing the real world as it is with sharp razor edged lawyers as associates and partners.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
27
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 standing by som 2009-07-21 15:43
@ Noble Worker and victimised @ Mandal- lol, I'd agree with jennifer on this one. I dont really see the point of washing your dirty linen in public.
Let us assume for a moment that you do work at FML and that your salaries (and bonuses) have been witheld so far. What are you going to do about it?
Well, nothing really- apart from whining to the world how bad your plight is and how you've been victimised ad nauseam. Why dont you take all that pent up energy to good use? Looking for another job perhaps? Or maybe even helping your firm out of this troubled situation? By the way, have the clients you're handling paid up?
In better times, there were no complaints. Allow me to ask you this, Noble Worker and victimised @ Mandal- when your salaries shot up in March 2007 to be at par with the best firms in the country, did any of you praise the firm? Or even thank the 'management? No? I wonder why.
We hear plenty of stories of lawyers being fired all over the world. Even the cream of London and Wall Street have had layoffs, some of them in epic proportions. In India, most law firms have stopped hiring. We are all aware of the difficulties faced by law firms today. Some handle it differently than others. Instead of putting you in jeopardy by firing people, the management of FML has decided to face the cash crunch head on, banking on the loyalty and faith that most of its associates and senior associates have reposed in them. Loyalty and faith that sadly, seems to be lacking in you.
I too have to fend for my family, I too have rent and groceries to pay for. I too am facing problems. Having said that, however, I am proud to say that I work at FML and that I'm not about to bail on them in such critical times.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
28
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Membar of FM 2009-07-21 15:48
Mr. Hari Sadu, I pitty u are taking names of Partners who have done an excellent jobs for FM in their respective fields. I think before saying nething against them, u should point fingure at yourself first! Have got guts to even disclose your name?? if u feel u are so much capable to assessing performance of the partners, why don u tell me your name?? I will surely recommend your name to Mr. Mandal to make u a partner. Further, I may remind you that Senior Associates are working under the guidance of their respective Partners. Unless and untill a Partner gives a go ahead, u can't even take a decision of your own!!
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
29
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Hari Sadu 2009-07-21 15:57
Fox Mandal was a better run firm when it was small and did run under the guidelines of Dinu. However the three sons have taken ownership but the essence of law is still present in theie Kolkata and Bangalore Office.

It has been a big blunder for Mr. S Mandal to take the strive and open its London office without securing for its future. It is really a big lesson for all other law firms to learn that they should not spread their legs out of the cloth.

Moreover, it is a pity that partners of FML have lost their faith on FML and Mr. S Mandal which have prompted them to post a comment as "Member of FM" thereby showing disrespect to the website which is indirectly helping the firm to find a partner who can bail them out.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
30
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Harishchandra 2009-07-21 15:57
What Anon says is true, Som [should] check his facts [edited].
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
31
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Hari Sadu 2009-07-21 16:01
I am still working at FML but not at Delhi or Noida but in Kolkata. Also, I donot have any regret for the comments I have made as the same are true.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
32
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 belonger to FM 2009-07-21 16:03
I very well agree with 351, 359 and 361 that people have definitely enjoyed and witnessed golden times in Fox Mandal. Entire legal fraternity has witnessed the tremendous growth and success of Som Mandal and people associated with the firm. It is Som who has lead the firm to its current position.

It is a shame that people still employed with the firm are bringing bad name to it by making such nasty remarks on a public domain. This only proves your infidelity and lack of trust in your firm’s management. You never praised Som when you enjoyed the steep hikes in your salaries, the overseas trips and lavish parties / high teas !

However, I urge you all to stand by Som and help the firm sail through the tough times and see the light of the day once again ! Trust me you will not regret this.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
33
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2009-07-21 16:08
Thats what I said Mr. Hari Sadu that I pitty on you. You are actually left with no brains to even make out that this is not Mr. S. Mandal who has prompted me to advice you but is one of your colleague, a senior associate of the firm to remind you that you should have a sense of respect for the place where u work.

I reiterate, if u got guts disclose ur name!! I knw u can't beacuse u know for urself that u don't have any market value at all and it is only FM which can feed u with a motive that u might learn to atleast respect the fiorm you work in. I make u sure that i will disclose who I am (and tht's a word!). And I make u sure that I am a senior associate of this firm!! TC.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
34
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Hari Sadu 2009-07-21 16:12
I am not against Som not rising up the ladder as I was present in the marriage between Somand Sangeeta and did also send greetings whenever they were blessed with sons and daughters.

I have also warned Som and his team not to make any London venture and any business office at Bangladesh as Indian lawyers are barred to practice Bangladeshilaws.

I only have simpathy for all those associates, senior assiciates and partners of FML who connot get their pay as a result of personal fancy of Mr. Som Mandal. It is right time that they should sell their London office and clear all the dues of their associates and partners whose children's school fees are also now paid by corporate Amex credit cards.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
35
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Member of FM 2009-07-21 16:12
Mr. Hari Sadu,
In case u r from FM Kolkata, I would advise u not to interfere in the things going in FM Delhi or Noida!! U stop interfering and I make you sure that u will c us coming out from the current scenario with flying colours! A friendly advice.. TC
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
36
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Hari Sadu 2009-07-21 16:12
Hahahahhaah!
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
37
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Associate@foxmandal 2009-07-21 16:13
I agree with 373 Mr. Hari Sadu if you are so righteous why dont you disclose your name.... why hide if you are right????
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
38
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Member of FM 2009-07-21 16:16
Mr. Hari Sadu,

U need not bother about the salaries of associates or senior associates of the delhi office. I have been in this firm for past 5 years and very well know that Mr. Mandal has never beaten shy of giving salalries to his associates. Its just the matter of time and therefore, request you to stop making any further comments. Moreover, i don believe that u r from Koolkata. It is very much possible that u r spoiling the name of FM kolkata who has nothing to do with FM delhi in terms of financial management.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
39
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Name undisclosed 2009-07-21 16:23
Kind Attention: Member of FM

Would you please disclose your name? Lets see who you are?
Lets see how much guts u possessto disclose ur name?
Waiting for your reply?
Lets get out of dis suspense and be practical.
Thanks!
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
40
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Hari Sadu 2009-07-21 16:27
dear 375, 377, 378 and 378, the so called moralistic righteous well wishers of FM, instead of trying to argue with me why don't u guys go ahead and do some billing for your beloved Delhi office....so tat atleast u can buy groceries and pay for your school kids fees.....or may be plan another high tea or annual party which Delhi office specializes in doing year after year!
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
41
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Name Undisclosed 2009-07-21 16:29
Kind attaention: Mr. Hari Sadu


Would appreciate your guts the way u spoke about FM openly.

But didnt u acted cowardly, once people started questionong you and came 2 a defensive mood rather than being attacking.
Have guts men!
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
42
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Name Undisclosed 2009-07-21 16:34
Kind Attention: Member of FM

One question???

When can v expect our 3 months salaries to be paid and last year salary( so called bonus)?
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
43
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Associate@foxmandal 2009-07-21 16:47
I think this has gone far enough.... Please stop this immediately... This is our firm we are talking about including you Mr. Sadu... even if you are sitting in Kolkatta office still you are part of the Fox Mandal banner.... please stop all this... by doing all this we are just providing entertainment to the world at the cost of our firm....
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
44
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Kian Ganz, editor 2009-07-21 16:53
Dear All,

Thanks for your comments but please try to keep on topic.

We have unpublished several comments, which had become little more than exercises in name calling and finding out various anonymous commenters' identities.

Best regards,
Kian
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
45
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Hari Sadu 2009-07-21 16:54
I have already named my associates and peers in my comment No. 366. Isn't it good enough to find me?

Leave as ide the name game. Do confirm that the facts provided by me are correct or not?
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
46
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Rani of Jhansi 2009-07-21 16:54
The issue is not- who is writing and who is not disclosing their names..

you have forgotten the main issue; that we are not being paid and when we raise this, then we are told, we can leave if you want to!

So much for first tier firm..a firm who does not pay its associates for 2 months and whose partners have not been paid for much longer than that.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
47
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Membar of FM 2009-07-21 16:58
You don't be bothered about my billing (refer to 381),my billing is upto mark and the concerned partner knows about that. So, just a request not to do this shit thing nemore as has been requested in 390.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
48
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Hari Sadu 2009-07-21 17:25
Question: What happens to the pending bonus of any employee/associate/partne r who has already left FML?

[edited]

Question: What happens to the additional perks of a partner who has left FML (the s class car)! Is is sold or kept to rot [edited]?

Question: Why did you increase the salaries of your employees when you were in debt?

Question: Is this situation a planned event to sack employees?

Question: Why did the firm stop functioning on Saturdays when the firm knew that it wanted more revenues?

Question: [edited] Was it a mistake to open the London office?

[comment edited - it was unfortunately unpublishable in parts].
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
49
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2009-07-21 17:36
Guys take a deep breath. One important issue raised in this debate is the lack of financial transparency in the workings of all law firms. Associates (and most partners) dont know what the management is doing and how much are the profits and what were the costs. Accurate financial reporting will make it easier to quell anxity amongst all.
But alas... the emphasis for all law firms is on proving how great we are, rather than look at our weaknesses
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
50
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Obama Jadu 2009-07-21 17:58
I would like to say taht, you people have no capacity to earn sometingh independently only know to comment somebodies act.stop comment .Concentrate on work and try to improve yourself.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
51
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Member of FM 2009-07-21 17:58
Hari Sadu : Isnt it surprising that you would be interested in the delhi perks and bonuses while, as you say, you are sitting in Cal.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
52
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 lawyer 2009-07-21 18:13
well...surely most of the comments made have lost the main issue in the article.... and since the cash crunch situation can happen to any firm, any professional, any body corporate or business entity, the issue is a general one applicable to all... and not restricted to FM or Mr. Mandal....

Pl. do not further hype the irrelevant issues...
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
53
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2009-07-21 18:30
Poor Mr. SAdu - so much flak just for asking for his salary!
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
54
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Obama jadu 2009-07-21 18:50
FML is the No.1 firm in India, in future will be a no.1 in world.Mr .Mandal is a great person ,who is comment on him pl.think ten times.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
55
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anon 2009-07-21 19:28
Kian, you need to stop all this here- in the interest of the credibility of your website.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
56
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2009-07-21 21:24
We @ fox have no doubt about the intention and capabilities of Mr. Mandal to take this firm to the peak. This is a temporary phase and 'll pass through it.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
57
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anon 2009-07-22 00:40
wonder why the comments stopped flowing 5.30 onwards... may be coz people at FM went to their cafeteria for the daily snacks quota...
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
58
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Inevitable 2009-07-22 00:58
From what the market has been saying over the past couple of years about this firm, this appears to have been inevitable. Overextended finances, loans to fund less than necessary and rather cosmetic expansion and a failure to create a broad based management structure, leading to a system that seems to be collapsing inwards. Valuable lessons for others to learn. Success will come to those who share power and build quality lawyers through proper inventives.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
59
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Member FM 2009-07-22 01:36
Well what more can be said. A lot has been said but at the end of the day we still have no idea when we would get paid. There may be efforts being made by Mr. Mandal but its still a question mark as to whether such a situation could have been avoided. If the firm was run more professionally with actual partner involvement in decisions, maybe we would not have come to this. After all we all know that fox is proprietorship and partnership only to the extent of the family members. A lot has been talked about the london office but we all know that there are various other things where expense was not required and infact there may be various other expenses which we may not know about. I wonder will Mr. Mandal learn from this or, if fox recovers from this, will see this day again!!!!!!!!! The firm needs to become professional in various areas more importantly hirings. Whether a person is a relative of a partner or is the son/daughter of somebody influential cannot be the criteria for hiring. Atleast 50% of the people if not more dont stand a chance in the outside world and it is in their best interest to stay put here.

For all the people who preach that one should belong to the institution have to realise that belonging has to be both ways. An insitution should also own up to its people and at the end of the day all said and done it is the associates and partners of foxmandal who are in troubled waters, not to mention that some of us are seeing this not for the first time in foxmandal. Neither Mr. Mandal nor the Mandal family and maybe the people who have herein preached the virtues of being a good employee are facing day to day financial crisis.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
60
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Hurricane 2009-07-22 05:59
Quite satisfying to see Legally India providing an expressive forum to the law firm community, especially to the junior and middle hierarchy.

The immaturity and slanderous comments of some do soil the quality of debate. "Have got guts to even disclose your name?" - is like fraternity flatulence in full bloom on an anon forum. What will these people do, when they actually get names behind the anon comments? Kill them?

It only shows a propensity to take comments personally and perhaps, because it deflects criticism from where it is due - i.e., almost poor to [edited] management styles.


Nevertheless, some posts are quite refreshing to read. Overall, a good forum.

Kian, I am sure law firm partners are sitting up and taking note of this forum, with a trickle of sweat.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
61
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 A Client 2009-07-22 12:06
My company has engaged FM in many contentious and non-contentious matters and we have found the quality of services provided by FM to be excellent. The partners we worked with were patient, pro-active and adhered to the time lines for the deliverables. So it comes as a surprise to me that few individuals have raised questions on the quality of the work/services provided by the firm. As far as management is concerned, we have very little idea about what goes on internally. I have met Som on a couple of occasions and he comes across as a sincere professional, every ready to help us in our business. I have full faith in the ability of the professionals in FM and believe that they will be out of the so called "mess" in good time.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
62
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2009-07-22 12:07
In discussions abv some r saying tht d associates of fm doesn't 've a sense of belongingness 4 thr firm. But isn't it is obvious tht we r feeling cheated & frustrated, whn last yr firm's turnover was increased manifold still our retained salary was not paid, whn inspite of going throu a liquidity crunch Firm is on hiring spree & recruited atleast 7 lawyers in last 1 1/2 mnths, whn salaries r not paid 4 2 mnths.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
63
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 abc 2009-07-22 13:20
I am feel pitty on people looking only on london office...
why not they put on there finger on others like bangladesh office, loss lpo project, unaffordable salary hikes, little & co., lavish parteis etc.

i beleive none of us wants this lavish parties in lieu of our salaries.
isnit....
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
64
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Member 2009-07-22 13:41
421: Isnt it surprising that you had no complaints when you attended the lavish parties or went on the overseas trips or sat around in office just chatting. Why didnt you raise these things when they were happening. Why now? I agree that the time is such that one may be thinking about themselves and their personal interest but in any organisation one should look for the betterment of the firm aswell as his own. But you it seems have always been doing just thinking about yourself and thats where your world ends.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
65
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 abc 2009-07-22 13:54
as that time we were not aware of this situation and we have not asked for all this.
u cant compensate ur commitments with this parties.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
66
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2009-07-22 16:12
I have heard that some other firms have also withheld salaries due to cash flow issues, any update on that?
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
67
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2009-07-22 16:47
428.....really??? Which firms have you heard have had to do this?
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
68
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Shivanu 2009-07-23 17:14
Just have to say one thing to all the haters, epically 'Hari Sadu'!
Go and 'Google' a theory/concept called 'Separate Legal Entity'!
I don't know how you became an lawyer and still don't know about this!
You should think twice before blabbering...
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
69
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2009-07-23 19:13
Shivanu – Are you a lawyer? Irrespective of whether or not you are a lawyer, it may interest you that a partnership firm (such as FML) is not a legal entity; it only has limited identity for purpose of tax law. As per section 4 of Indian Partnership Act, 1932, "Partnership" is the relation between persons who have agreed to share the profits of a business carried on by all or any one of them acting for all – a partnership firm is not a legal entity, but only consists of individual partners for the time being.
Also refer to Malabar Fisheries Co. v. CIT (1979) 120 ITR 49 - It is not a distinct legal entity apart from the partners constituting it (as far as I understand Hari Sadu is not a FML partner).

If I have misunderstood your reference to "separate corporate entity", please clarify.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
70
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2009-07-24 14:29
so much has been talked about, but the bottom line still remains.....
are "the action plans in place" going to work till August or there will be some other action plans to work out these action plans.....as has been going on and on...the wait doesnt seem to end.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
71
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Someone 2009-07-24 18:43
Shivanu Not Your Platform Of Comment
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
72
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 legallyindia 2009-07-25 01:50
hey i request every one to not to use any one els name.if u people have guts to right your name than plz dnt write comments on behaf of anyone els name....
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
73
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 hiiiiiiiiiiii 2009-07-25 02:08
hey Anonymous stop wasting ur time on posting comment and start doing somthing productive.....and
i request 456 (someone) not to rely on any name as no one has written his/her name here..
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
74
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 K.Roy 2009-07-26 01:00
I am ex-FM and I have had my share of problems same as I would have regardless of where I worked. That's a fact of working life. But to slag off your firm in public in this manner, just reflects badly on you personally.

I think FM is a great firm and Som shows far more respect for his employees than many other firms I have seen. Yes, these are difficult times and in fact, unprecedented. If the oldest names in the business are falling, can you actually expect anyone to be immune? Grow up....its difficult for us all.....
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
75
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Niloy Pyne 2009-07-27 02:38
I am with a law firm in Kolkata and have nothing to do with FoxMandal or Som Mandal professionally. But having known Som since he begun his magnificent flight and (having) witnessed his single-handed and self-tutored piloting that converted a not-too extraordinary law firm into one of the largest entities in India, I can only think that his problems are genuine and that he would get over this very soon. As a Bengali, I am too proud of him to attribute any fakeness to his intentions. I wish him the best, and hope all around him would extend that support which he genuinely deserves.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
76
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anon1 2009-08-22 22:30
Thanks for such a news which now makes one realise that job cuts/cash cruch in law firms is not restricted to US & UK only but is a possibility even in India. It is a fact that client payments have gone haywire since Oct-Nov 2008. Now law firms probably have to raise bills more frequently for smaller sums to get away from a situation into which FM seems to have sunk into. However, to be fair Som has been phenomenal in expanding the reach of his firm and making it a force to reckon. Hope he jumps out from the mess in quick time and other law firms are more focused on financial management in these trying times.

As regards associates' salaries someone has rightly pointed out a few crucial issues for thought. High six figure salaries are probably not correct for fresh associates, however, in an environment where good legal talent is difficult to find law firms are not at fault to show the carrot and draw the best talent out of law schools. Nonetheless, there has to be some standards which law firm must adopt in terms of associates' payments and client billing. In times to come, for I believe the recession is not yet over, firms may have to seriously think about cutting fees and consequentially associate payouts.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link

Filter out low-rated comments. Show all comments.

Add comment (Alt+Shift+A)

We and fellow readers love when you share your thoughts in a comment but please:
  • be nice to other readers and humans who likely have feelings,
  • use full English sentences and words, and
  • abide by Legally India's full terms and conditions in using the site.