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Job moves  04 June 2009

Khaitan promotes former accountant to partner

Khaitan & Co has made up a former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) chartered accountant-cum-lawyer to partner.

Sanjay Sanghvi (pictured) only qualified as a lawyer after joining Khaitan in January 2008 from PwC. He is the third new member to the law firm's partnership in as many months.

He said that working in a law firm was very satisfying: "In accountancy firms you typically do compliance work and you don't go deeper into the law and interpretation.

Read More

Job moves  03 June 2009

Phoenix hires two in Delhi and sets sights on Mumbai

Trilegal spin-off Phoenix Legal has added two associates in Delhi, vowing to significantly expand its practice there and in Mumbai with lateral hires.

The firm is hoping to hire a lateral partner for its Mumbai office and to double it in size to 10 lawyers by the end of the year.

Phoenix founding partner Abhishek Saxena said: "We are looking around for a couple of candidates. Although we'd be keen to get a partner, if it does not materialise we may want to get a very senior associate." Read More

Job moves  02 June 2009

FoxMandal hires partner to expand in IP space

FoxMandal Little has hired a partner to head its New Delhi intellectual property (IP) practice of three lawyers.

Vinay Dwarkadas joined from Khaitan & Co's Mumbai office where he was a senior associate.

Dwarkadas (pictured) said that he hoped to greatly expand the existing IP practice at FoxMandal: "I have to be its backbone and want to take it forward for years to come. I plan to be here for a long time."

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Law firms  02 June 2009

Lexygen sets up Asia private equity hub in Singapore

Private equity boutique firm Lexygen has opened a new office in Singapore, on its third anniversary of founding.

Two lawyers from Lexygen's Bangalore headquarters have temporarily relocated to Singapore and are hoping to recruit a local lawyer to head the office within the next six months.

Lexygen founding partner Vijay Sambamurthi said: "We aim for our Singapore office and the team that will be built, to act as the Asia hub for our firm."

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Corporate M&A  02 June 2009

Vaish strengthens ties to Religare in Swiss Re JV

Vaish Associates Mumbai office is hammering out a health insurance JV between its close client Religare Enterprises and global insurance company Swiss Re.

The Vaish team is being led by partner Bomi Daruwala, assisted by associates Amitjivan Joshi and Arti Narsana.

Swiss Re is understood to be represented by its global in-house team but is due to pick its domestic Indian legal representation soon.

Read More

Projects  01 June 2009

Luthra assists banks, Reliance goes it alone to raise $3.1bn

Luthra & Luthra advised a consortium of banks on their Rs 14,550 crore ($3.1bn) project financing of the Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project for Reliance Power.

Reliance handled the transaction entirely with its in-house legal team of seven, led by its head of legal Umesh Mooteri.

Luthra & Luthra Delhi project finance head Sameen Vyas and Mumbai banking head Vijaya Rao (pictured) co-led the team for State Bank of India and a consortium of 11 other lenders.

Read More

News  29 May 2009

Moily as law minister is impossible to judge

Top Indian lawyers are stumped by Veerappa Moily's appointment as Minister of Law and Justice, which was announced late last night defying all observers' expectations.

Moily (pictured) is a seasoned Congress politician and practicing lawyer in Bangalore but unlike the candidates expected to be shoo-ins for the job, he is an unknown quantity.

One top Mumbai lawyer said: "I have no idea what this will do to things."

"It is a real surprise," added another Delhi partner. "Now it's very hard to tell what will happen. I know reforms will be on the agenda but I don't know how quickly. I think there will have to be renewed lobbying."

Read More

News  28 May 2009

Law minister ditched from Cabinet - death knell for reforms or needed boost?

Incumbent Law Minister H R Bhardwaj has been dropped from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's new Cabinet in a surprise round of appointments today that could derail the process of India's judicial and legal reform.

With continuity being a prized quality in Indian political progress, it is still unclear who will get the law and justice portfolio and whether the existing course of reform will be held.

One Delhi lawyer, who preferred not to be named, said: "If he had come in, we would probably be looking at a December opening. But now that he is not and some non-descript person is slated to come in, I think it is open for speculation."

Read More

Job moves  27 May 2009

Luthra gets new cap markets group head from Shearman

Luthra & Luthra is ramping up its Mumbai capital markets practice after hiring alumnus and new group head Manan Lahoty from US firm Shearman & Sterling in London.

Lahoty (pictured) will lead the Mumbai capital markets team of five associates, reporting to capital markets partner Madhurima Mukherjee in Delhi and her team of 10 lawyers.

Until now, Mukherjee had managed the Luthra & Luthra Mumbai team from Delhi but she admitted that this was difficult to do from a distance. "When Manan wanted to come back the logical choice was to send him to Bombay," she said.

Read More

Litigation  26 May 2009

Amarchand takes Nokia Siemens v BSNL fight to Punjab

Amarchand is battling on in Punjab & Haryana for telecommunications company Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) in its attempts to sue state-owned telecoms operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) over a Rs 30,000 crore ($6bn) contract.

Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co litigation partner Ritu Bhalla is leading the NSN team, which has today filed another petition against BSNL with the Chandigarh High Court in Punjab & Haryana.

Read More

Corporate M&A  25 May 2009

AZB scores Bharti-MTN, India's largest deal ever (Update 1)

AZB & Partners has bagged the biggest ever Indian cross-border merger mandate, advising Bharti Airtel on its revived $23bn bid to take over South African telecoms major MTN.

London international Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer will be advising long-standing client MTN but the company's Indian counsel has not yet been chosen.

AZB Delhi partners Ajay Bahl (pictured) and Gautam Saha are understood to be leading the legal team for Bharti, having won the instruction off the back of previous work done by the firm for the company.

Read More

Law schools  22 May 2009

Bangalore Law School takes on world with good advice

National Law School of India University (NLSIU) Bangalore may expand internationally, as it plans to grow and modernise under the guidance of a new advisory board.

The advisory board will include managing partners from Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co, AZB & Partners and Luthra & Luthra, as well as one of the legendary co-founders of Infosys and a host of other prominent industry figures.

NLSIU vice-chancellor Venkata Rao (pictured) said that while international expansion will be on the agenda, decisions would only be made once the new board is fully constituted and has had its first meeting in July or August of this year.

Read More

Job moves  21 May 2009

King Stubb eyes up Mumbai office, hires IP head

Delhi-headquartered law firm King Stubb & Kasiva is set to open a new office in Mumbai within months and has added a new equity partner to its head office ranks.

The firm is currently finalising the negotiations with up to two partners from Mumbai firms to spearhead its new office.

Managing partner Jidesh Kumar (pictured) said: "The Mumbai office would be banking, finance and infrastructure focused. We are looking at having an infrastructure partner from one of the top five law firms there."

Read More

News  20 May 2009

Lawyers wary of new competition body's teeth

Lawyers are adopting a wait-and-see approach to India's newly-established Competition Commission, which was given its executive powers today.

Question marks remain over how the new body will exercise its powers and whether it will be able to do so free from government interference.

Brussels competition partner Jonas Koponen of international firm Linklaters said: "It will be interesting to see what position and approach the Indian Commission will take. One can only hope that it is purely competition-based interests they will look after."

Read More

News  17 May 2009

Legal profession celebrates Indian elections

Lawyers are united in praise over the outcome of the Indian Lok Sabha elections.

They hope that the stronger Congress-led government will be a boon to the legal profession by driving forward the process of economic liberalisation.

"I think it's absolutely fabulous that this has happened, I couldn't have expected a better result," enthused Luthra & Luthra managing partner Rajiv Luthra.

Read More

Job moves  17 May 2009

Khaitan bulks up infrastructure with new partner

Khaitan & Co has continued its aggressive lateral hiring strategy, taking partner Prabjot Singh Bhullar from AZB & Partners.

Bhullar (pictured) was based in AZB's Mumbai office but will relocate to Delhi, where he will significantly bolster Khaitan's infrastructure and projects capacity.

Khaitan partner Rabindra Jhunjhunwala said that the firm was keen to expand in infrastructure and tax, in order to improve cross selling opportunities to the firm's domestic clients.

Read More
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