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Amarchand Mumbai hires UK law firm manager into new COO role

Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai has created the role of chief operating officer (COO) and filled the post with a former UK firm's COO who will create a 100-day-plan to improve internal management at the firm.

Valerie Bowles joined Amarchand's Mumbai office today on an initial two-year contract after having run an independent legal consultancy firm in the UK for one year. Until March 2008 she was in a chief executive officer (CEO) and COO role at regional firm Langleys.

Mumbai managing partner Cyril Shroff (pictured) said: "The motivations are basically to move towards trying to introduce best practices and to improve operational efficiency and it is also driven by the size of our operation."

He added: "I think we are at the critical mass where the entire support function and back office requires very focused attention which need not be from lawyers but from people who are professional managers."

Bowles would be focused primarily on the internal management of the firm.

"The headline is to really focus at looking at all the issues for operational efficiencies," explained Shroff.

He said that Bowles would draw up a 100-day plan to identify the "low hanging fruit" across areas such as IT, knowledge management and better budgeting processes.

Prior to working at Langley's, Bowles had worked at UK regional firms FBC Manby Bowdler, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain and Australian firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques in similar operational management roles.

At the beginning of this year Amarchand has opened up its equity by admitting corporate partners Ashwath Rau and Himanshu Narayan, banking partners Gunjan Shah and Leena Chacko and projects partner Jatin Aneja to a partial lockstep system.

In September Amarchand Delhi COO Bithika Anand resigned to join a law firm consultancy business. It is understood that Amarchand Delhi has now found a replacement manager for her role.

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