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Amarchand Kolkata breakaway balloons in size, to expand horizons


Former Amarchand Mangaldas partner Krishnava Dutt's Kolkata spin-off firm is now operational as Argus Partners and has already grown to a size to rival his former firm's outpost while looking to become a national firm.

Dutt (pictured) said that Argus Partners had taken a small office space on Kolkata's centrally-based Loudon Street and consisted of a total of 13 lawyers.

Former Amarchand Kolkata principal associate Ramya Hariharan has joined the firm as a partner. Around four fresh law school graduates, two senior associates and two to three mid-level associates had also joined Argus, explained Dutt, with more on the way.

A small number of lateral associates is understood to have also joined from Amarchand's Kolkata office.

"It's been a short span of time and I agree, it's a good problem to have that we have space constraints," said Dutt.

The firm has been doing general corporate commercial, M&A and projects work and a very small amount of capital markets, he explained, admitting that it was too early to call it a full-fledged capital markets practice.

He said that a large amount of the firm's work was coming from Mumbai or outside of Kolkata, where it was hard to see many opportunities for growth.

"The Kolkata market is honestly is not a very favourable market," he noted. "I don't think there'll be place for too many more [corporate law firms] here."

Dutt argued that it would be necessary to grow further by looking at either strategic tie-ups with firms in other metros or opening up new greenfield operations.

"I would definitely want to set up in Bombay," said Dutt, who had worked in Mumbai prior to his move to Kolkata. "We've started thinking and talking but we don't have a plan in place yet."

Dutt had resigned from Amarchand Kolkata's partnership in June and then began to set up an independent law firm in September.

Amarchand's Kolkata office currently has between 10 and 15 lawyers, confirmed Amarchand Delhi managing partner Shardul Shroff.

After Dutt's departure the Kolkata office has been headed by Delhi partner Kalpataru Tripathy.
Photo by: Dipanker Dutta

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