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Amarchand goes on lateral partner hunt, promotes one

Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co has poached two Mumbai partners from competitors as it hopes to widen its partnership.

The firm has hired Luthra & Luthra corporate partner Ashish Jejurkar and Mulla & Mulla & Blunt & Caroe infrastructure partner Tushar Mavani.

Amarchand managing partner Cyril Shroff (pictured) told UK legal magazine The Lawyer: "These two people have the right temperament and drive to be part of our vision.

"There’s impetus and a desire to grow our firm, both in terms of influence and numbers."

Amarchand promoted only one of its own lawyers in its promotion round, reported The Lawyer.

Bangalore principal associate Ganesh Prasad will move to Mumbai and join the partnership next year.

Amarchand has overhauled its partnership structure at the beginning of this year to enable it to promote selected partners into a modified lockstep system.

However, Amarchand's two lateral partner hires could be a worrying sign for internal junior lawyers that the firm has begun to seek its talent externally.

One market source said that the firm was still reeling from the departure of Amarchand husband and wife star partners MP and Alka Bharucha, who set up their competing firm Bharucha & Partners in March 2008.

Hiring partners laterally was therefore a clear attempt to plug that gap, he said.

Jejurkar, one of the laterals, was a partner in Luthra & Luthra's Mumbai office since last year.

Commenting on Amarchand's hiring spree, Luthra & Luthra managing partner Rajiv Luthra said: "I think lateral hires are a culture issue. If [Amarchand] can manage it within their culture it is a good idea to grow organically."

"When I started the firm I was very weary of bringing people in as laterals but in the last years we've done five or six lateral [partner] hires," he continued, "but prior to that we've done none."

Mulla & Mulla partner Mavani was an experienced and home grown hand at infrastructure and aircraft finance deals, said Mulla & Mulla Mumbai partner Shardul Thacker.

Mavani had recently particularly been working on aircraft leasing deals with Air India, which is one of Mulla & Mulla's historic and largest corporate clients.

Thacker told Legally India that while Mavani's departure to Amarchand was regrettable, the firm's asset finance practice did not anticipate losing clients as a consequence.

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