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ALMT-Clydes best friendship splits partnership into two firms

Breaking exclusive: ALMT Legal has ended its best friendship with Clyde & Co as it is parting ways with five partners across Mumbai, London and Delhi who will create new start-up firm Clasis Law with a partner joining from the international firm.

ALMT partner Aliff Fazelbhoy said in a statement: “Given the views of the majority of the ALMT partners, we felt it best to help facilitate this separation so both groups can focus on their different objectives.

“Whilst we are sad to lose some of our friends as partners we believe that this separation is in the best interest of all. We wish Clasis Law every success.”

ALMT will remain with 12 of its partners: Fazelbhoy, Ananjan Mitter, Sameer Tapia, SR Arun, Prashant Popat, Hitesh Jain, Statira Ranina, Dhanya Menon, Ryna Karani, Arvind Kamath, Rakesh Prabhu and Gautam Bhatikar.

Clyde & Co Dubai partner Abhimanyu Jalan will be joining Clasis Law as a partner, alongside Mumbai India Law Services lateral hire and partner Ishtiaq Ali, Mumbai partner Renu Parekh and of counsel Damodar Rao, with September 2010 Luthra & Luthra lateral hire Vineet Aneja in Delhi, and London partners Sakate Khaitan and Shalini Agarwal.

Clasis will officially remain the Indian best-friend relationship firm of Clyde & Co, which was announced in June 2009.

At the time ALMT and Clyde stated in a joint press release: “Local regulations in India do not currently permit a merger with an international firm but the two firms will look to merge once it becomes legally permissible.”

Clasis partner Khaitan said in a statement: “We at Clasis Law look forward to the exciting new challenge of building a genuinely international Indian law firm which can service our clients in a wide range of markets.”

The new firm will be set up with effect from 1 April 2011.

It is understood that ALMT may continue maintaining a presence in Delhi and London in future.

ALMT partners declined to comment further.

In January of this year AZB & Partners ended its best friendship with UK magic circle firm Clifford Chance after two years.

Click here to read about the reasons behind the split and how ALMT will rebuild.

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