Kochhar & Co added ALMT Legal partner Gautam Bhatikar as a senior partner and co-head of the Mumbai office of the firm. Bhatikar has joined the firm with ALMT senior associate Zoeb Cutlerywala.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, together with justices PC Pant and UU Lalit, issued a contempt notice on retired Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju in a review petition in the Soumya murder case to which Gogoi had last month surprisingly invited Katju to argue in.

The rapid growth of law firm headcountsThe seven largest law firms in India have grown their headcounts by an average of around 20% in the last one-and-a-half years. Of those, the fastest-growing such as Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Khaitan & Co, had expanded fee-earner headcounts by 45% and 35% respectively, while others such as AZB & partners’ partnership ballooned by 75%.

The Supreme Court is close to banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi, as it today said it will soon pass an order prohibiting the licensing authority for the sale of firecrackers from issuing new licenses. It will also ask the authority to suspend existing licenses and to recall the existing stock of firecrackers with sellers.

"Detergent major Nirma, which in July had agreed to buy the cement business of the French major Lafarge India, today raised Rs 4,000 crore debt to fund the deal, making it the largest rupee bond sale for a leveraged buyout,” reported Money Control.

Economic Laws Practice (ELP) added former Ashurst London senior associate Akshay Kishore as an associate partner in Mumbai.

"In one of the largest deals in the retail real estate market in India, Dutch pension fund asset manager APG Asset Management and Virtuous Retail, the retail development arm of The Xander Group, have partnered to form a joint venture worth $450m, the companies said in a statement,” reported VC Circle.

Economic Laws Practice (ELP) Chennai head and partner Karthik Sundaram left the firm on 14 October to go into counsel practice, around 14 days after former managing partner Rohan Shah formally retired from the firm to become a counsel.

Senior counsel and parliamentarian Ram Jethmalani, who’s been waging a war with the governing party after falling out over the issue of black money, wrote in a blog post that the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is “some good news in the matter of black money recovery”, although it was primarily a “cover up operation” by the government.

As first reported by us in August, two PwC indirect tax experts have now joined in partner-equivalent positions as executive and associate directors in Mumbai.

An initiative funded and conceived by Rohini Nilekani, the wife of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, and incubated by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, where she is a patron, seeks to explain all Indian laws and legal problems in easy-to-understand English.

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) has set aside Rs 64 crores of fines ordered by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against Sanofi Pasteur India and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical, which the CCI had found cartellised the market for meningococcal vaccines, which are procured by the Government of India for vaccinating Hajj pilgrims.

Senior counsel and Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Manan Kumar Mishra has sent a letter to prime minister Narendra Modi, copying in the finance, law and commerce ministers, pleading with Modi to not challenge the BCI’s role in regulating the legal profession and the entry of foreign law firms and to bring the BCI back to the negotiating table about the future of the profession.

Opening up of professional services appeared to have been discussed by the delegation headed by UK prime minister Theresa May with the Indian government today, with British justice secretary Elizabeth Truss having said that May would “pave the way for UK lawyers to practise there” after she was asked about the progress of liberalisation in the UK parliament.

"The Rs 1,112.50-crore IPO of Varun Beverages was subscribed 1.86 times at a price band of Rs 440-445. The public issue was open during October 26-28.” reported the Economic Times.

Argus Partners merged with Mumbai firm P&P Legal, adding its founding partner Prakash Panjabi as an equity partner and Panjabi’s son and the other P&P Legal partner Pritish Panjabi as a partner in its Mumbai office.

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