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ALMT bags up-and-running projects team with lateral boutique hire; Best friend helps

Khaitan & Co - Ishtiaq Ali
Khaitan & Co - Ishtiaq Ali

One third of top infrastructure boutique India Law Services has joined ALMT Legal in Mumbai, with partner Ishtiaq Ali set to start up ALMT's projects and infrastructure practice.

Ali (pictured) had been with India Law Services from 2002 focusing primarily on advising lenders and he now joins ALMT with a team of five associates in Mumbai.

ALMT partner SR Arun said: "We want to grow the practice because at the moment we are slightly on weak legs, so we brought in Ishtiaq to create a stronger and deeper practice in projects."

He added that the opportunities to cross-sell ALMT's other practice areas to Ali's existing clients were also a strong draw, as well as the international exposure a lender-focused projects practice would bring.

Ali said: "I'm going to ALMT because I thought there is a lot of scope for other activities in the legal field."

He added that there would also be additional room for work in a full-service firm and one with an international outlook. "ALMT is providing other service areas and has a very good relationship with Clyde & Co and I may get an opportunity to work internationally."

ALMT entered into a best friends relationship with Clyde & Co in June 2009.

Ali explained that he would be looking to increase the size of his team and make use of ALMT's existing associate resources, depending on the work he would be able to generate in the coming months.

India Law Services remains with between 8 and 10 fee-earners, including founding and managing partner A G Karkhanis, founding partner R Achutam and former FoxMandal Delhi projects partner KA Najmi, who joined in August 2009.

India Law Services managing partner Karkhanis commented: "Mr. Ishtiaq Ali has been an asset. However even after his departure there are extensive project finance deals available with the firm and the services of the firm continue to be in demand."

The projects boutique firm was ranked third in data provider Dealogic's project finance league tables in July 2009, having advised on $1.8bn worth of deals.

Ali noted: "India Law Services remains an excellent project finance company."

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