Singh & Associates (S&A) has seconded a partner and a principal associate to Beijing full-time, to strengthen the firm’s China practice with the help of a non-exclusive client referral arrangement with Guangda Law Firm in China.
S&A Delhi corporate partner Dilip Kumar Niranjan and principal associate Harsimran Singh moved to Guangda’s Beijing office on a rotational basis, to man the Chinese firm’s “India desk”, after the firms signed a cooperation agreement on 31 July, according to a press release from S&A.
S&A managing partner Daizy Chawla told Legally India: “You cannot help the client sitting in India. There has to be face-to-face interaction. There are clients having queries for India which is why we have opened an India-desk and our persons would be there on rotation.”
Niranjan and Singh were previously seconded to Guangda for a month after S&A first met the firm in 2011 at a conference and discussed the possibility of a tie-up, said Chawla, adding that both firms had previously worked together on general corporate advisory transactions.
She said that there was a complete absence of regulatory hurdles to foreign lawyers staying and practising law in China, and this factor pushed the tie-up through.
Founding partner Manoj Singh, who is in China briefly to initiate operations, was not available for comment. Chawla told Legally India that the firm also planned to relocate up to six associates to the desk at Beijing in future.
“At present there is nobody who has shifted there permanently. I don’t think they have taken a work visa,” she said.
S&A business development manager Pramita Sen said that the firm had recently begun applying for a one-year work-visa which was the minimum time for which Niranjan was seconded to China. She added that another partner, not yet decided, will also be seconded to China soon.
S&A is now 10 years old with 70 lawyers distributed across its main three practice areas, litigation, general corporate and intellectual property, said Chawla.
“We are still in a growing stage,” she said.
Photo by Richard Fisher