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Exclusive: Thakker & Thakker to shut shop as founder Bijesh leaves law for philanthropy

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Thakker & Thakker will cease operations by the end of this year, following founding partner Bijesh Thakker's surprise decision to retire form law and work on philanthropic projects. The firm’s lawyers are understood to be in the process of seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Thakker & Thakker, which was founded in 1990, will stop operating as a law firm by 31 December 2010 with its three partners and roughly 50 lawyers looking at potentially joining other law firms.

The decision was internally announced late last week.

Founding and managing partner Bijesh Thakker said that he would discontinue law practice to devote his full time and attention to philanthropic projects, for which he would continue to employ all 50 non-legal staff of the firm and make use of the firm’s Nariman point offices.

In an emailed statement, Bijesh Thakker told Legally India: “After enjoying another record-breaking year for awards and directory rankings, I'm sad of course to leave the profession and all those who've kindly supported me but I confess I'm very excited to be free to fulfil this long term philanthropic ambition.”

“Most of all I'm profoundly grateful to all my clients who have so graciously shown me their trust for all these years and, of course, to my loyal team who have worked so hard to maintain our standards,” he added.

One of the projects Thakker had been “quietly developing for many years”, he said, included an “ambitious nature and ecology educational park (known as the SMART project) in Mumbai which is designed to enrich the lives of children”.

According to the project’s website, the Sushma Medicinal & Ayurvedic Research Trust (SMART) is an educational charitable trust based in Panvel near Mumbai, that is “developing a unique conservation site for children to foster a greater appreciation, awareness and knowledge of the natural environment and our interdependence with it through educational programs and services”.

Partner Anand Mehta, associate partner Anisha Patnaik who was promoted in June 2009, and senior consultant Ketan Kothari remain at the firm. In December 2009, partner Gautam Bhat joined Platinum Partners in Mumbai. According to consultancy RSG India Thakker & Thakker had 55 lawyers last year.

The firm has had a particularly strong focus on servicing US clients in the technology space and has offices in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.

Bijesh Thakker is a dual qualified solicitor in England & Wales and with the Bombay Incorporated Law Society. He completed his law degree at Kings College London and finished his articles at UK firm Wilde Sapte (now called Denton Wilde Sapte). He founded Thakker & Thakker with with J.V. Thakker in 1990.

Photo by renaissancechambara

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