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Link Legal merges with projects boutique ILS to bolster Mumbai

Atul Sharma: with new projects
Atul Sharma: with new projects

Link Legal fully merged with project finance boutique India Law Services (ILS) in December to form Link Legal – India Law Services with 14 partners and 73 lawyers, to strengthen its Mumbai practice.

The merged entity will be co-headed by Delhi managing partner Atul Sharma and Mumbai managing partner Anil Karkhanis.

Sharma said: “We wanted to strengthen the Bombay operations for the simple reason that we opened the Bombay office only two years ago. On the banking side there’s a lot of value, and we’d also get a platform to explore the Bombay presence.”

Karkhanis said: “We [Link Legal and ILS] are operating in the same area. Getting together is always good.” He told Legally India that talks around the merger were on for the last few months.

Link Legal brings nine partners to the alliance, while ILS brings five partners.

Projects specialists at the merged firm are legacy Link Legal Mumbai partner Ajay Sawhney and Delhi partners Anand Srivastava and Dinesh Pardasani, as well as legacy ILS Mumbai partners Tushar Desai and Vishakha Bhagvat and Delhi partner KA Najmi.

Link Legal Mumbai will relocate to ILS’s Ballard estate office in the city.

In January 2011 Link Legal absorbed Gurgaon-based capital markets boutique Zenith India with Zenith’s managing partner Raj Rani Bhalla relocating to Link Legal’s Mumbai office.

ILS, which was founded in Mumbai in 1998, most recently added a fourth office, in Bangalore.

In 2010, ALMT Legal poached one-third of ILS, including partner Ishtiaq Ali and five associates, to start its own projects and infrastructure practice. Ali has since moved on to co-found Clasis Law.

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