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RDA now PXV: Launches Mumbai, hires 3 lockstep partners, elects MP

Less than three-year-old firm RDA Legal has re-branded to PXV Law Partners and started an office in Mumbai by relocating its newly elected managing partner Rohit Das, while hiring three lateral senior associates from Amarchand, AZB and P&A as lockstep partners.

Managing and co-founding partner Rohit Das has relocated to Mumbai with a senior associate and an associate. They are currently based in temporary office space in Churchgate while closing negotiations for roughly 1,000 square foot of office space in South Mumbai’s Nariman Point, with the idea to expand quickly.

Das said: “For a full service national law firm Mumbai is a significant place to be both from a commercial angle and strategic point of view. It was the right time to go for Mumbai.”

He added that they would initially focus on corporate, finance and litigation work, targeting both local and longer-standing clients. “We have got a good response of new local clients and organisations we’ve been working with nationally - a lot of their transactions are routed out of Mumbai.”

Re-brand and structure

Effective 1 January 2011 RDA has also adopted the name PXV, which is short for Peak Fifteen and was the name of Mount Everest when the mountain was first surveyed, explained Das.

“For a professionally managed firm there are a lot of issues if you have a named partner, especially if you have a lockstep model,” he said. “There is a greater sense of ownership in the firm and it is more neutral and professional.”

Last month the firm also held its first management committee elections and Das was unanimously elected by the rest of the partnership to continue as managing partner for a two-year term.

Since April 2010 PXV, or RDA as it was then called, operated a 20-year lockstep, explained Das, with every equity partner advancing and accruing five points per year up to a maximum equity share equivalent at 100 points unless the advancement is vetoed by a “substantial majority” of the rest of the partners.

He added that none of the partners, including himself, were currently above the six-year level on the 20-year lockstep. “We wanted to keep ourselves low in the lockstep to give more equal opportunity to other members of the firm,” said Das. “We are quite young as a law firm and each of us needs that incentive and career path.”

Partnership expansion

Three new partners have joined PXV on its lockstep in the past six months swelling the ranks of the firm’s equity partners to seven, in addition to non-equity salaried partner Anuj Sahay.

Former AZB & Partners Delhi senior associate G. T. Thomas Phillippe and Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai principal associate Deepto Roy joined PXV in December 2010, and P&A Associates senior associate Shobha Singh in August of last year.

Roy said: “My intention is to develop energy and infrastructure practice in PXV. The firm already has that practice and I would look to develop it both from inside [that is to expand the team] as well as service the existing clients.

“It was a great learning experience at Amarchand and to leave the largest firm to join a start up is quite a challenge in terms of the responsibilities and work.”

Roy spent five-and-a-half years with Amarchand Mangaldas in its projects and infrastructure team after graduating from NUJS Kolkata.

Singh had completed three-years with P&A Law Offices in Delhi, before which she was an in-house counsel at ICICI Bank in Mumbai for two years after completing her LLB in 2005.

Singh told Legally India that she was excited to be a part of the new venture and great vision and would focus on restructuring the corporate transactional division of the firm.

AZB Delhi managing partner Ajay Bahl said: “Thomas informed us that wanted to be an entrepreneur and start practice on his own with some friends. We wish him the best and he continues to remain on very good terms with us.”

Amarchand and P&A spokespersons or partners were unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

The firm was founded in April 2008 and has offices in Delhi of around 12 lawyers and roughly eight lawyers each in Bangalore and Kolkata.

PXV, or RDA as it was then called, also has in place a lockstep equity partnership since April 2010, and has a best-friend referral relationship with French firm DS Avocats.

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