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Lakshmikumaran goes global: Opens full-time Geneva office to tap developing world’s WTO work

Geneva: The Window to the World (Trade Organisation)
Geneva: The Window to the World (Trade Organisation)

Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (LKS) opened its first international office on Friday. Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan SARL – the Geneva-based consultancy branch of LKS - will service India and other developing countries in WTO disputes.

LKS Delhi joint partner and NLU Jodhpur 2006-graduate Atul Sharma and principal associate and 2009 NLU Jodhpur-graduate Adarsh Ramanujan have relocated to Geneva and will run the consultancy firm. The office is in Les Nations on Avenue Giuseppe Motta.

Delhi senior partner S Seetharaman said: “Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan has done more than a few WTO disputes in the past. We would like to do more. The basic idea is to [service] developing countries in WTO disputes and give consultancy to developing countries on various issues like capacity building, or a review of their legal system and whether it is line with WTO commitments or not.”

In addition to focusing on WTO disputes, public international laws and laws of the World Customs Organization (WCO), the office is also aims to provide legal services relating to European trade remedy laws - antidumping, subsidies and safeguards. European clients can also get advice from the Geneva office on Indian corporate, intellectual property and taxation laws but the office is not authorised to make legal representation before local courts in Switzerland, the firm explained in an email.

“We are also handling one major case for the government of India in the US. DS436 - the subsidy case initiated by us against countervailing duties enforced by the US government on India’s exports. We are now representing the government of India but we are not going to restrict ourselves to the government of India,” added Seetharaman.

Seetharaman said that LKS was probably the first Asian law firm to handle WTO cases in Geneva.

This year the firm added its ninth regional office, in Chandigarh and made up seven non-founding partners into equity for the first time ever.

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