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Senior partner quit prompted Paras Kuhad, Hemant Sahai shotgun wedding


The two co-founders of Paras Kuhad & Associates's Mumbai have quit as one is to start a new law firm and the remaining office continues working on last week's merger with Hemant Sahai Associates.

Paras Kuhad litigation and banking associate partner Sowjanya Menon resigned from the firm on 30 September, only one day after the merger to create PHA Advocates was internally announced.

Her resignation follows the firm's Mumbai senior partner Manish Desai handing in his notice one-and-a-half months ago.

It is understood that Desai's resignation provided the impetus to formally restart merger negotiations between the two firms' managing partners Paras Kuhad and Hemant Sahai.

The firms had first entered into unsuccessful merger discussions roughly one year ago and had resumed their talks one month ago, Sahai confirmed to Legally India last week.

Desai is understood to be looking to start up his law firm in Mumbai soon. Sources have told Legally India that several associates are also expected to resign from the firm.

Both partners are still working at the firm, with Desai understood to have worked out his notice although he is still handing over matters and clients prior to his departure.

Menon is still on a notice period of around two months but a source told Legally India that she has not yet made any firm plans on her next move.

In 2002 Desai and Menon jointly started up Paras Kuhad's Mumbai office outside the firm's traditional powerbase of Jaipur.

They had grown the office to around 40 lawyers since then.

Desai and Menon declined to comment.

The merger between Paras Kuhad and Hemant Sahai's law firms went into effect on 1 October but after a year of high-profile departures at both firms, the merged PHA Advocates will be of a considerably smaller size than both were a year ago.

The firms' merger will bolster Hemant Sahai's depleted Mumbai strength by moving into Paras Kuhad's office, and will increase Paras Kuhad's Delhi offering in size considerably.

Sahai and Kuhad also declined to comment.

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