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ClosedThakker & Thakker will cease operations by the end of this year, following founding partner Bijesh Thakker's surprise decision to retire form law and work on philanthropic projects. The firm’s lawyers are understood to be in the process of seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Thakker & Thakker, which was founded in 1990, will stop operating as a law firm by 31 December 2010 with its three partners and roughly 50 lawyers looking at potentially joining other law firms.

The decision was internally announced late last week.

Founding and managing partner Bijesh Thakker said that he would discontinue law practice to devote his full time and attention to philanthropic projects, for which he would continue to employ all 50 non-legal staff of the firm and make use of the firm’s Nariman point offices.

In an emailed statement, Bijesh Thakker told Legally India: “After enjoying another record-breaking year for awards and directory rankings, I'm sad of course to leave the profession and all those who've kindly supported me but I confess I'm very excited to be free to fulfil this long term philanthropic ambition.”

“Most of all I'm profoundly grateful to all my clients who have so graciously shown me their trust for all these years and, of course, to my loyal team who have worked so hard to maintain our standards,” he added.

One of the projects Thakker had been “quietly developing for many years”, he said, included an “ambitious nature and ecology educational park (known as the SMART project) in Mumbai which is designed to enrich the lives of children”.

According to the project’s website, the Sushma Medicinal & Ayurvedic Research Trust (SMART) is an educational charitable trust based in Panvel near Mumbai, that is “developing a unique conservation site for children to foster a greater appreciation, awareness and knowledge of the natural environment and our interdependence with it through educational programs and services”.

Partner Anand Mehta, associate partner Anisha Patnaik who was promoted in June 2009, and senior consultant Ketan Kothari remain at the firm. In December 2009, partner Gautam Bhat joined Platinum Partners in Mumbai. According to consultancy RSG India Thakker & Thakker had 55 lawyers last year.

The firm has had a particularly strong focus on servicing US clients in the technology space and has offices in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.

Bijesh Thakker is a dual qualified solicitor in England & Wales and with the Bombay Incorporated Law Society. He completed his law degree at Kings College London and finished his articles at UK firm Wilde Sapte (now called Denton Wilde Sapte). He founded Thakker & Thakker with with J.V. Thakker in 1990.

Photo by renaissancechambara

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1
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-07 19:12
Good to see this noble endeavour. But couldn't he just have taken out his equity and left the firm for other partners to develop? And if he did not want his name attached to any possible new endeavour, then he could have asked the firm toe change its name upon his retirement.

Just wondering whether this could have been done as well since I think that both approaches would have led to the same outcome.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-07 21:58
wat about the employees... wat will happen to them.... in philanthropic mode, Mr. Thakker has forgotten abt these employees
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-07 22:15
Not a win win situation for the associates :sad:
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-08 04:12
Is this the win of Big Sharks or they (small firms) are really doing nothing (please understand that to run office in nariman point is a big deal). Fortunately market is going up and there are flood of legal work than why all of sudden (reason itself is bakwas, he can handover his empire to other partners also). Partners should think about associate also as some of them just started their career. Nonetheless other firm should also take a lesson from this unfortunate event.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-08 04:30
A case of being too influenced by "The monk who sold his ferrari". Courageous decision. However the allurement of being in limelight of legal profession is hard to avoid. Even noted criminal lawyer Mr. Ashok Arora, Senior Advocate could not maintain his vow too long. Once a lawyer always a lawyer.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-08 06:47
maintaining the staff of 50 and office at a prime location gives the game away. either it is infighting or rising expectations of the present lot which he was unwilling to cede to or there are others whom he wants to partner with. it even might be a negotiating tactic by putting a gun on the temples of the lawyers working with him. we shall soon hear about a change of heart due to client/associate pressure. one can do philanthrophy as well by taking a back seat and one rarely needs a staff of 50 to do it unless one wants to spare a few billion USD.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-08 07:39
denton wilde sapte is now snr denton
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-08 10:49
"...a unique conservation site for children...educational park. designed to enrich the lives of children..developing a unique conservation site for children... greater appreciation, awareness and knowledge of the natural environment and our interdependence ."

Forgive me for being cynical, but could not all of this be done without disbanding the firm. And, why can't a 'normal' school foster all of the activities listed above.

My secret wish is to set up a school in space (outer space, that is)for children once space shuttle service becomes routine and economical. My objective: to create a deeper awareness of the relationship between technology and humanity...to foster the scientific spirit...the demonstrate the possibilities thrown up by science and tech...the need to respect machines and to prevent the enslavement of the human race to the gizmos...blah blah blah.

My only worry: aliens might thrown a spanner in the works...Watch Aliens v Predator Vol 27.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-08 10:56
Truly inspirational!!The greedy oligarchs in other firms shoudl learn from his example. Philanthropy is common in the West (Bill gates, Soros etc) but our businessmen are money all corrupt immoral baniyas.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-08 11:46
Very few people have the courage to take the path where one's heart leads them. Setting up a law firm from scratch and achieving the levels that Thakker & Thakker has reached today requires tremendous focus and perseverance. If that same focus and perseverance is channelised towards a social cause after one has achieved all that one wants professionally, imagine the wonders it can work for the cause taken up.
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Jyoti 2010-10-08 14:33
All these noble objectives are very laudable but it is very mysterious and a touch selfish for the managing partner to disband the firm completely. He could easily have eased himself out of the firm without much fuss. I hope he takes an equal interest in th well being of his legal staff.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Harsh3661 2013-09-03 11:01
nothing has been done for staff...............
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-08 18:40
Some of you guys have got it wrong. T&T was never a partnership. It was a proprietorship of Mr. Thakker. For the longest time, he was the only one in the firm with an email account and even till date is the only person in the firm who get clients. The other 'partners' are termed partners but have no client base of their own (they are not even allowed to get clients). So the logical consequence of Mr. Thakker retiring is that the firm shuts down.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-08 22:10
there is a saying "philanthropy starts at your home"...so why thia anti-anthropy with your people in the firm....?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-09 00:46
well said 14. if the description given by 13 is correct then either this is a rear guard action to show the minions in their place or plans to earn his livelihood the easier way by starting an NGO. [...]
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-09 18:18
Its not just T&T which is a one-man show. There are a number of other law firms (within the elites 20 league) which predominantly run by a single person. No marks for guessing what would their fate be in similar eventuality.
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-09 22:15
I agree with #1. It's unfortunate and sad.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-10 23:49
What a waste of goodwill and business! Surely there could have been a better alternative...
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-11 21:23
Good Job Bijesh. Dont worry of the comments. This happens only in india if u go to good work people try to pull u behind.

Guys just remember if this man has potential to start his law business from scratch to a great success today. Then only think what he can do for his Philanthrop project. Encourage such activitys . It might be benificatal for your child future also.
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-12 00:38
@19...Mr.Thakker may have the best of intentions and capabilities to pursue his philanthropic pursuits....the underlying factor is .....isnt there any fiduciary responsibilty on a person of his stature and experience to run a firm like a profession and not a shop.....

in the absence of any legal/regulatory protections for young professionals like us.....all we do is believe in the greatness and class of our seniors and so called "mentors" in the profession.... incidents like this not only financially/professionall y affect the ppl who lose their jobs but rather create an overall sense of professional insecurity in young legal professionals as a whole.

For the records.....fresh recruits have joined the firm as late as June 2010.....sum of whom were lateral switcheshis who left their jobs and joined in search of better prospects at T&T....Planning this exit well in advance was the least Mr. thakker could have done.....

And what bout clients whose work would suffer in the process....they dont even have a recourse against the chaos they would be going thru( and lets not talk about giving them a smooth transition).....with so much damage being done.....should we even bother to consider the reasons that Mr. Thakker has to give.....it is bad enough irrespective of however noble the reasons behind this are........

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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-13 05:53
This is upsetting news and who knows the actual facts?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-13 21:20
@20 i completely agree. This could not have been a decision that was made overnight. Mr. T would have thought through this and therefore his position/decision entailed greater responsibility than shown.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-13 22:21
@20 well said
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-10-27 01:26
Having worked in this law firm for some time and having interacted with almost all the concerned personel it is hard for me to digest this news. It reminds of a Hindi saying "100 chuhe khakar billi chali haj ko". Who knows the truth?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-11-12 10:42
Bijesh shared this ambition in one to one meeting with me before 11 years back...i was surprised at that time ... but he did so...great...it's not easy to take such a decision. I am sure He will prove himself further
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2011-01-15 11:01
I think He has already proved Himself. Lets see if Mr. Thakker can do the same.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Alias 2014-07-02 22:45
having work in the firm.... help me a lot.... but this decision was like shock to us.... We have started as a fresher in firm.. and in 6 months we were jobless.... we lost our campus interviews as well... now after 4 years we are still finding it difficult to get in law firm.... there should have been some consideration about the employees as well while taking the decision ..... we will never forget this in our life ...... specially at the time of start of out carrier.....
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