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[APRIL FOOLS] Bhasin scoops retired Slaughters partner and England cricketer Francis Neate

Exclusive: Bhasin & Co has hired retired Slaughter and May partner, former International Bar Association (IBA) president and ex-English county cricketer Francis Neate as a part-time senior cricket & BD consultant and to shore up the firm’s cricket team next season.

Neate (pictured) became a Slaughter and May partner in 1971, retired in 1997 to move in-house to Schroders and in 2004 became of counsel at Kirkland & Ellis. He will join Bhasin & Co’s payroll later this year as a cricket consultant operating out of London to assist in the firm’s business development function by means of cricket.

Bhasin & Co managing partner Lalit Bhasin said: “He and his contacts in the cricketing world will be a genuine asset to our business development team.”

“In addition to being a fantastic lawyer, a dear friend of mine and former president of IBA, he also remains a formidable force on the cricket field,” added Bhasin. “He will greatly enhance our strength for next year’s Delhi SILF competitions, for which he will be seconded to India.”

Neate played county cricket in England between 1958 and 1979 for Berkshire and Oxford University, averaging 38.08 runs and totalling 914 runs over 17 matches, racking up a high-score of 112 runs in one game.

Neate told Legally India via email: “I am delighted to be joining Bhasin & Co to augment its strength on the field.”

Bhasin & Co was unable to field a full team for this year’s Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) Twenty20 cricket tournaments, hosted by Khushal and Turf, due to insufficient numbers of cricket players working at the firm.

“We should now be able to get the right numbers and look forward to participating next year,” noted Bhasin. “With Neate we should have a fair chance of winning both cups.”

Other Delhi law firms have allegedly hired experienced Indian county and state cricketers in various non-legal functions on firms’ payrolls in order to improve their performance at the law firm cricket tournaments. The issue was raised with concern in an emailed “open letter” sent by one Delhi firm to other participating teams on 15 March.

Amarchand Mangaldas and Kochhar & Co are due to face each other in the SILF-Khushal T20 finals, after the Cricket World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka this Saturday. At the beginning of this year Titus & Co won the Turf-SILF T20 cup against Kochhar & Co in a nail-biting match.

Happy April Fools’ Day! This article was (almost) entirely untrue (but for the last two paragraphs in a row that has been shaking the Delhi legal cricketing fraternity). Many thanks to Mr. Bhasin for his good-natured support of April Fools Day!

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