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Law firms  04 December 2009

Amarchand starts baby/toddler centre for working mothers

Amarchand Mangaldas Delhi office is launching a day-care facility for the children of its working mothers in a bid to support and facilitate work-life balance.

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Law schools  04 December 2009

Lanka law school wins NLS Debate; Nalsar just misses

Two Nalsar Hyderabad debating teams suffered a tight double defeat at the hands of the double-winners Faculty of Law Colombo at the 8th National Law School Parliamentary Debate held at NLSIU Bangalore.

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News and current affairs  04 December 2009

Delhi Bar Council polls close; Sondhi win in balance

Luthra & Luthra billings will have seen a dent on Wednesday as a legion of the firm's lawyers patrolled the Delhi High Court during the Delhi Bar Council elections garnering last-minute support for their candidate Vijay Sondhi (pictured).
Contesting lawyers, commuters and litigants will also now breathe a sigh of relief with the close of polling on Wednesday.

The Delhi Bar Council elections reportedly led to severe traffic congestions and adjournments in and around the courts on Tuesday and Wednesday, as voter turnout spiked by 50 per cent compared to the 13,500 who voted five years ago.
Picking up the new voters was therefore the prime directive for the 129 candidates, of whom only 25 will make it onto the executive of the Delhi Bar Council.

Luthra & Luthra litigation partner Vijay Sondhi - as a first time candidate and as the only law firmite standing in Delhi -  will have been eying the new voters particularly.

He said on Wednesday: "I am relaxed now, but the elections are not over and done with… The counting process starts tomorrow [3 December] and it is a round-the-clock process which lasts a 4-5 days."

Hoping to win, Sondhi noted: "I am positive, all the law firms wanted their legal representative. SILF [Society of Indian Law Firms] had passed a resolution selecting me as an official candidate. I enjoyed the support of both law firms and lawyers that have been litigating with me for 20 years now. Each and every one of them has been a pillar of support for me."

However, privately several Delhi lawyers were doubtful that the election would swing in Sondhi's favour, despite reporting a large number of Luthra lawyers on site and spotting several law firm lawyers.
Sondhi remained optimistic. "All my friends and well-wishers worked tirelessly and the last few weeks were especially hectic.
"We're not politicians so we had to work at the ground level. Small things were missing like we didin't have any presence outside the court like other candidates had put up their tents, desks, tables and chairs. At 9:15 we sent some people to arrange all of that."
Sondhi added: "We want our professional bodies to be run by professionals, professional practising lawyers not by politicians."

However, he said that the elections were a good learning experience despite facing procedural difficulties.

One law firm associate said that the election was smoothly organised and that voting queues were only around 20 minutes in the morning.
Sondhi had expressed fears before the election that long queues would turn law firm voters off. Results of our poll too suggested that a large number of law firmites were apathetic about the elections and would not bother to vote.

The first phase of election registered 11,800 votes in the Delhi High Court on 1 December and 9,000 lawyers in Tis Hazari on 2 December totalling 20,800 out of 41,400 lawyers who were entitled to vote.

The Bar Council of India is a statutory body which consists of elected members from various state bar councils.
The Bar Council of Delhi's current chairman, Ved Prakash Sharma told Legally India that he was satisfied with the way elections were conducted and noted: "It would have not been possible without the support and supervision of the returning officer, retired justice S K Mahajan, who was also assisted by three member team of advocates Sanjay Jain, Maninder Singh and vice president of Delhi High Court Bar Association, Kirti Uppal."

Sharma added: "100 staff members from the High Court, 20 people from the election commissioners office and 50 advocates helped in organising the elections."
"We will continue our agenda of ensuring the welfare of lawyers through measures like providing group insurance and medical facilities over and above working towards the reforming the system." 
He added that election result would not be out before the end of next week.

The 25 elected members will then internally elect a chairman, vice-chairman and secretary.

ALMT Legal partner Hitesh Jain, meanwhile, is still conducting his campaign for the Maharashtra & Goa Bar Council elections, with polling to be held on 7 January 2010.

He is campaigning especially in his place of work Mumbai, his hometown Pune and the outlying areas, taking off several days a week from his partnership duties to hit the road.

Law firms  03 December 2009

Kaden Boriss: 7 months in LLP, 4 new partners

Gurgaon-based law firm Kaden Boriss Legal LLP has promoted four of its senior associates to partner in its new limited liability partnership (LLP) structure.

We have asked the firm's management about the joys of LLP.

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Analysis  03 December 2009

Lawyers get socially involved: The Right to Read

"Imagine life without books, without having anything to read. Wouldn't it get suffocating?" asks Moiz Tundawala, a visually impaired student at NUJS Kolkata.

A number of engaged lawyers have been working hard to address the suffocation by trying to make books accessible to all in the Right to Read campaign.

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Job moves  02 December 2009

Khaitan starts competition practice with JSA partner hire

Khaitan & Co is the latest firm in Delhi to start a competition law practice with the hire of J Sagar Associates (JSA) competition law and policy head Manas Chaudhuri as a partner, who was previously also additional registrar of the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

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Law firms  02 December 2009

ARA Law plans Hyderabad office; advises local hospital PE buy

Mumbai private equity (PE) boutique ARA Law is mulling opening a Hyderabad office and expanding in Bangalore, having most recently advised on a Rs 60 crore Hyderabad hospital investment by private equity house Milestone Religare Investment Advisors.

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Mooting  01 December 2009

Blog: How to achieve intergalactic mooting domination

NLSIU Bangalore has so far proven hard to dethrone from the top of the Mooting Premier League after its huge win at the international Manfred Lachs Space Moot. Here is the account of the team's long "spaced out" trip to Korea.

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Law firms  01 December 2009

Ex-Linklaters India head joins Amarchand as freelancer

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton tax partner Nikhil Mehta has resigned and entered into a retainer agreement with Amarchand Mangaldas that could see him spend up to 40 per cent of his time doing non-Indian tax advice for the firm.

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Law firms  30 November 2009

SILF takes Gov't to court over law firm service tax

The Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) has filed a writ in the Bombay High Court against the most recent Union Budget's service tax on law firms, contesting its rationality and constitutional grounds.

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Bar, Bench & Litigation  27 November 2009

London arbitrators push further into India with new chapter

The London Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) set up its India chapter in Delhi yesterday, following the Delhi High Court setting up an arbitration cell last week and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) move to Delhi.

It hopes to promote alternative dispute resolution (ADR) under the chairmanship of Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) president Lalit Bhasin.

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Capital Markets  27 November 2009

AZB, Amarchand mine FCCB-to-convertible-bond trend again with Tata Steel

Amarchand Mangaldas and AZB & Partners capital markets teams have sewn up Tata Steel's $493m (Rs 2,550 crore) convertible bond swap, marking the third joint instruction for the firms on similar deals in the past half-year.

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Corporate M&A  27 November 2009

Menon Associates, Khaitan help MindTree near $1bn target

Khaitan & Co Bangalore and local boutique Menon Associates have advised on the MindTree acquisition of US handset maker Kyocera Wireless' Indian arm for Rs 29 crores ($6m) and further consideration linked to future revenues.

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News and current affairs  26 November 2009

Blog: Singhania, FoxMandal NRI London partners bag Nat'l Law Day Award

Are you still an Indian advocate if you are abroad? For the purposes of India's National Law Day Awards this year, yes: Singhania & Co London office managing partner Vijay Goel and FoxMandal London partner Ajit Mishra have won the prize, alongside Amarchand Mangaldas Delhi managing partner Shardul Shroff.

Capital Markets  26 November 2009

Amarchand, Luthra dish up Apollo satellite TV stake

The Delhi offices of Amarchand Mangaldas and Luthra & Luthra have advised Dish TV in issuing GDRs (Global Depository Receipts) worth Rs. 465 crores ($100m) to Apollo Management for an 11 per cent stake in the company.

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Careers Counsel  25 November 2009

Careers Counsel: Write the perfect CV for law firm job applications

Question: I am a law third year law student. How do I write a good CV to get a job with a law firm after graduation?

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