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BMR Legal poaches ‘ace’ LKS litigating partner of 28 years

Madhav Rao
Madhav Rao

Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan (LKS) partner and head of indirect tax litigation Madhav Rao joined BMR Legal in Delhi as partner on 1 April, handling indirect tax litigation.

Rao joined LKS in 1986 after having practised in the Delhi high court for six years in the chambers of senior advocate M Chandra Shekharan, having enrolled at the bar in 1980. He had obtained his LLB from the Delhi University (DU) after graduating from SRCC in the DU.

He told Legally India that he had joined BMR Legal to give the firm additional support in its indirect tax litigation, and will handle “all facets of such litigation” including VAT, customs, service tax, import-export.

BMR Legal managing partner Mukesh Butani, who heads the firm’s tax practice, said that Rao was going to lead the firm’s indirect tax disputes work – work which was handled by former BMR Legal partner Sujit Ghosh who resigned last year. Hiring Rao, however, had no connection with Ghosh’s exit, he said.

“It is business as usual. The firm’s focus is on tax disputes. We had a gap in our indirect tax practice at the senior level and we are filling it,” commented Butani. Rao’s move was first reported by allindiantaxes.

The firm also merged with Souvik Ganguly-founded start-up law firm Acuity Law this month, with Ganguly inducted as partner to grow the firm’s M&A practice in Bombay. Other than Rao and Ganguly, BMR Legal has former Desai & Diwanji partner Amit Khansaheb as M&A partner in Delhi, and Sriram Seshadri in Chennai who handles the firm’s direct tax disputes for South India.

BMR Legal will not be announcing any partnership promotions this year.

LKS partner Seetharaman S, commenting on Rao’s exit, said: “Mr Madhav Rao has been our ace litigating lawyer in the various high courts and the Supreme Court, and he has been assisted by a number of people, [he’s] always had a team. With the departure of Mr Madhav Rao the team members are in a position to handle those cases.

“If there is a special fact to be argued Mr Parthasarthy or Mr Lakshmikumaran, or Mr Narsimhan can go and argue that case. In fact, our law firm has used very senior counsels very largely. All our people go and argue. If people join, within one year or six months [of joining] also we give them actual litigation experience. People who have been working with Mr Madhav Rao under him are fully trying to take care of his role.”

“For this the entire credit should go to Mr Madhav Rao who has trained people. He has never been individualistic... His juniors will be taking care of most of the burden, except if a client would like a senior person to argue. This is how we slot the things in our organisation,” he added.

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