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Vidhii starts media law practice in heart of Bandra with ex-UTV movies legal chief

Exclusive: Start-up Vidhii Partners has opened its second Mumbai office, branching out into Bandra with a media law practice headed by new partner and former UTV Motion Pictures legal head Nandini Mehta.

Vidhii, which spun off out of Paras Kuhad Associates a little over a year ago, hired Mehta as a partner focusing on media law three months ago.

She was previously legal head at UTV Motion Pictures and had worked in-house at Reliance Pictures and as a lawyer at Paras Kuhad Associates and Naik Naik & Co, as it was then called. She is a 2003 ILS Pune graduate.

Vidhii’s new Bandra office was opened two weeks ago and is located just off Bandra’s Linking Road. It currently consists of Mehta and two interns, although she has also drawn in associates from Vidhii’s main location in Lower Parel on pieces of work.

Media division head Mehta said: “The principal focus initially is motion picture work but other than that also advertising, live events and everything relating to the media and entertainment space.”

She said that she had also been working with private equity investors looking to fund films and had carried out a due diligence of almost 300 titles Viacom 18 Media looked to acquire.

The Bandra Vidhii office will operate as an independent branch from the Lower Parel office in a separate profit sharing partnership between Mehta and Vidhii’s Lower Parel partners, although both offices aim to cross-sell services to respective clients.

“There is a lot of demand currently in this space and [media law] service providers are very few,” said Vidhii co-founding partner Manish Desai. “Media law requires a lot of litigation expertise also because everything ends up in court. We thought we already have a very, very strong litigation background and expertise so this particular thing will completely blend and there’s a lot of synergy – one skillset will supplement another."

Desai explained that the firm’s expansion strategy would be premised on horizontal growth. “Year on year we intend adding as many practice areas to our existing practice as possible.”

Vidhii also started an associate office in Bangalore in December 2009.

Photo by Ryan Baxter Photography

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