J Sagar Associates (JSA) Mumbai retained partner Zerick Dastur has left the firm to set up his own counsel practice, as first reported by Bar & Bench.
He commented about his leaving the place where he’d started his career more than 10 years ago, as an intern: “I was always clear that there will never be another law firm. [JSA is] a fabulous place in that sense and the only other place I could go was independent.”
Dastur said that he’d only given notice several days ago and his leaving date would be confirmed soon, at which point he would finalise chambers and other details.
While unwilling to go into fine details yet, he said that he would try something “slightly different” than the already somewhat “different practice model” for counsel in Bombay.
Dastur, who specialises in dispute resolution, had been promoted to JSA’s salaried partnership in 2012.
He had joined the firm in 2006 after graduating from Mumbai University with an LLB.
Update: JSA Mumbai-based co-managing partner Dina Wadia commented: “We wish him very well, he’s always wanted to do litigation and I really hope he does well there.
“There are lots of well-wishers in JSA and I am sure he’ll get lots of work also from JSA.
Dastur focuses in particular on arbitrations in the corporate commercial and regulatory space, including competition and securities law.
He said that he would continue arguing before courts and tribunals, noting: “In litigation practice your goal would be to go into a phase where you focus on advocacy and argument.”
His departure to independent counsel practice follow in the recent footsteps of senior JSA Mumbai partner Somasekhar Sundaresan and Trilegal Delhi partner Anand Prasad, who both left their firms a year ago, and Economic Laws Practice (ELP) managing partner Rohan Shah, who went independent in the second half of 2016.
“A lot of these youngsters are discovering the joys of litigation, they seem to be making that leap,” mused Wadia about the move from law firm to the bar, which was inreasingly “in fashion”.
"And we’ve been happy to brief them,” she added. “At least you know what you’re getting, [and we are giving] some amount of support from the alma mater as it were.”
According to Dastur’s profile on JSA’s website: >He has represented clients in domestic & international commercial Arbitration matters, and has acted for clients on Mergers, Acquisitions and other transactional matters. Zerick’s practice involves representing clients before various courts, statutory tribunals and regulators including the Competition Commission of India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Tariff Authority for Major ports.
Zerick has advised clients in connection with Competition law issues in everyday business operations including issues relating to anti competitive agreements and abuse of dominance by enterprises. He has also been a part of the firm’s Securities law practice and has appeared before the Securities Appellate Tribunal and the SEBI. He has extensive litigation experience before the Supreme Court, various State High Courts as well as a number of tribunals and regulatory bodies. He has been involved in a number of matters involving issues of Constitution law.
Zerick has also been involved in matters involving defense of auditors and corporate clients before various civil / criminal courts and regulators in connection with corporate frauds and scams. Zerick has also advised various clients in matters involving shareholder disputes and minority actions.