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ELP lit equity partner Gulati & team of 11 poached by E&Y law firm PDS Legal, more approached including Notani

Economic Laws Practice (ELP) litigation head and equity partner Tarun Gulati has resigned with one associate partner and around 11 associates.

It is understood he will join PDS Legal, which is the best-friends firm of Big Four accountancy Ernst & Young (E&Y).

Gulati declined to comment. However, according to five sources close to ELP and PDS Legal, after the end of Gulati’s notice period he will join PDS Legal with his team, which includes Neil Hildreth who was promoted to associate partner at ELP in April 2013.

ELP managing partner Rohan Shah wrote in an emailed statement:

“For the last few years we have seen very strong growth in our litigation practice on an all India basis. This has drawn the attention of some of our competitors, who have targeted the talent we have nurtured.

“We are likely to see some members of our Delhi litigation team, leave us to pursue other opportunities. We continue to have an excellent pipeline of clients, and, talent that we look forward to growing further.

“We wish those exiting our very best.”

Gulati was promoted to ELP’s equity partnership of eight last June.

The 1990 University of Allahabad-graduate set up ELP’s Delhi office around 10 years ago after joining the firm from the chambers of senior counsel Joseph Vellapally. He was promoted to partnership in 2005 and has been heading ELP’s litigation practice in Delhi.

PDS Legal & Associates

PDS Legal, a firm of two partners, was set up Prakash Shah as a tax advisory law firm.

In 2008 PDS & Associates headed by Sajid Mohamed, branched out of PDS Legal. PDS & Associates now has six partners and deals exclusively with corporate advisory legal work. The firm hired Kochhar & Co partner Bidan Chandran in January.

Both PDS firms work closely with E&Y. Partners declined to comment when contacted.

More ELP partners approached

According to several authoritative sources, it is understood that the PDS firms have also approached a number of other partners at ELP, including Mumbai international trade partner Sanjay Notani.

However, Legally India understands that neither he nor others, have been announced to be leaving ELP at the time of going to press.

Notani was not reachable for comment.

Update 20:55: Legal website Bar & Bench reported this evening that Notani would join PDS, according to “information received”, but did not publish further details.

The associates joining Gulati are Kishore Kunal, Rony John, Shruti Sabharwal, Shashi Mathews, Pratibha Sridhar, Shankey Agarwal, Sparsh Bhargava, Rohan Batra and Abeer Kumar, according to the website.

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