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Former Merck / Yahoo! legal chief starts 3-office law firm to win clients from big names

Former MSD Pharmaceuticals and Yahoo! India legal head Jaspreet Singh Chandhok started up intellectual property (IPR) and media law firm Win Law Group on 1 April in Delhi and Mumbai.

Chandhok obtained his law degree from Mumbai University and his company secretary qualification in 2001, and an MDBA in international finance from Symbiosis Pune in 2006.

He had joined the in-house legal department of CNBC TV18’s SGA News until December 2006, and headed the legal department of the 3i Group’s Out-of-Home Media (India) until joining Yahoo! India as senior legal counsel and company secretary in 2008. In 2012 he left Yahoo to head MSD Pharma’s legal division – a subsidiary of US pharma giant Merck & Co.

“I was thinking about this quite often,” he said, adding: “Being from the media industry I always had an instinct of starting up my own law firm. I have seen all the worlds together.”

He said that the attraction of running a legal practice as opposed to heading an in house division, for him, was getting to cater to a wide range of industries instead of focusing on a single one, and getting a chance to look into the business aspects of the laws related to all these industries.

Win has a team of 10 lawyers and three offices – one in Vasant Vihar in Delhi and two in Mumbai in Fountain and Kandivali. He said is looking at opening a second Delhi office.

“We are looking at different niche areas where we are trying to cater to all start-up companies coming to India. All these don’t have that much money to get their own in-house counsel. We are trying to build a relationship with all these start-up companies so that tomorrow if any company becomes a Flipkart we are there for them,” commented Chandhok.

“As an in-house counsel [I] look to get work done at best price. People tend to lose focus and hire law firms who are big names. What I would like to change [in the way of providing legal services] is to give our clients a personalised type of solution,” he noted.

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