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Update: Amarchand ex-tax head Aseem Chawla starts up law firm as 'best friend' of CAs Mohinder Puri

Exclusive: Ex-Amarchand Mangaldas tax head Aseem Chawla has started a tax, business and corporate advisory law firm called MPC Legal with two co-founding partners, as the “best friend” firm of chartered accountancy (CA) firm Mohinder Puri & Co.

Chawla gave his notice from Amarchand in May 2012, reported Legally India at the time, and he confirmed his plans to start a new firm.

Update: The new firm has been co-founded with lawyer Dipankar Vig, who was part of the legal team at chartered accountancy Mohinder Puri & Co, and NV Raman, who was a senior executive at “several large public sector undertakings”, reported legal website Bar & Bench today.

Apart from borrowing the initials of Mohinder Puri & Co, MPC Legal has a best friend and client referral relationship with the CA firm, Legally India can reveal. Mohinder Puri partner Vikas Vig said: “[These two firms] will continue side-by-side on a coexistent basis. It’s under one umbrella.”

Vikas Vig said there was no profit sharing between the firms, and added: “There can not be any arrangement – no arrangement is possible… It is legally not possible.”

The firm would focus on strategic inbound and outbound investments, tax, dispute resolution, M&A and real estate. Chawla would head up the tax vertical, with Dipankar Vig taking care of corporate and Raman focusing on litigation.

Chawla did not respond to messages seeking comment from Legally India at the time of going to press.

“We want to be valued as a specialised practice firm, which focuses in a novel manner on tax and business aspects,” Chawla told Bar & Bench, adding: “The tag line of the firm is ‘We understand’. Therefore, we not only understand the business environment or the strengths and constraints of the clients, we also understand the value process, we understand that it’s all about teamwork…”

“Empathy is the underlying quotient of the firm. By no means, this suggests that we would compromise on our ambitious plans going forward. We want to be known as a firm, which understands and assists rather than being a firm where one may find lot of inertia and rigidity.”

In respect of his departure from Amarchand he told Bar & Bench: “It was indeed an elusive opportunity to set up and lead the tax practice at Amarchand and the amount of confidence posed to initialise the same was a matter of honour. I do cherish all those years, which I spent at Amarchand.

“There were a lot of learnings both for Amarchand and for myself in terms of looking at various facets of tax practice which till recently was not synonym with law firms having their own full service tax practice considering that this is an area which is largely dominated by the accountants pool.”

Note: This story was updated at 2:16pm with details of the best friend relationship with Mohinder Puri & Co.

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