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‘An exciting world out there’: Nihar Mody, long-time driving force behind Platinum Mumbai, retires aged 51

“I have been thinking of this for some time. It is an exciting world out there.” - Nihar Mody, senior partner at Platinum“I have been thinking of this for some time. It is an exciting world out there.” - Nihar Mody, senior partner at Platinum

Nihar Mody, the co-founding partner of Platinum Partners and head of the Mumbai office, has retired at age 51 last week.

He commented on the news first reported by Bar & Bench saying: “I have been practising law for more than 25 years. I have been wanting to take a career break for a while. I have now taken that break and I will decide what I want to do in the next phase of my career.”

We spoke to Mody by phone and he reiterated that he had no specific career plans whatsoever right now. “I’m now taking a break. It's only at the end of the break that I'm deciding what I want to do. As of now, I've not decided anything.”

Mody, who is set to celebrate his 52nd birthday this week, added: “I've been thinking of this for some time. It's an exciting world out there.”

He noted that there was “no subtext” to his departure whatsoever. “Been doing it for 25 years - more than 25 years - and I've been thinking of taking a career break for some time and just decided to take a break. I promised myself that for the next two months or so I wouldn't take any decisions.”

He said that the management duties in Mumbai had already been transitioned to 2014-Wadia Ghandy lateral partner hire Ankit Majmudar over the past years.

In terms of his next move, and whether it would be law, he joked: “Whenever I think about it, I don't have any skills other than law.”

However, he added that abroad a career change - even for lawyers - was far less unusual than it was in India. “It may be law, it may not be law. I am just going to enjoy myself. Lots to be done, catching up to do, and some time off.”

Delhi-based Platinum co-founding partner Karam Daulet Singh had commented to Bar & Bench about Mody's retirement:

He has been a co-founder of Platinum along with me since its inception. We value his contribution enormously. He has decided to move on and we wish him the best.

As far as Platinum is concerned, we hope to grow strength to strength. We are looking forward to building this firm even more strongly in the coming years.

Platinum has been founded as a close ally, if not formal best friend, of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer - something which Platinum and Freshfields had both always officially denied.

Freshfields long-time India head Pratap Amin had retired in February of this year.

When asked about market speculation of his next move, Mody mused: “That's human nature. There is always speculation and always gossip - that's one thing you can't control.”

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Like +6 Object -5 No coincidence 11 Oct 17, 14:24  controversial
Pratap retires from Freshfields
Nihar retires from Platinum
Me guesses that they will do something together.
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Like +6 Object -2 Guest 11 Oct 17, 15:13
All the best modi sir
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Like +10 Object -0 Wtf 11 Oct 17, 18:09  interesting
It takes real guts and more than that - **lls of steel - to do what he has done. I hope a lot of seniors take a leaf out of his book - not just to pursue long forgotten dreams and passions but also (very importantly) to create space for younger lawyers (like Ankit) at the (super cramped) top! Kudos and all the best Sir!!
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Like +6 Object -0 Fields Afresh 11 Oct 17, 20:03  interesting
He is finding fields afreash. Does this mean that Freshfields will no longer be aligned with Platinum. Karam lacks Nihar's stature. Tough times for Platinum.

When will Shardul, Pallavi, Cyril and Zia retire)
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Like +4 Object -1 Book Keeper 12 Oct 17, 12:17 soon as ......Bhasin does!
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Like +3 Object -2 Red herring 11 Oct 17, 23:04
Well, well... Just before foreign firms are about to enter!!

If i remember well, he left WG to relocate to London and join a foreign firm but was back in six months to start Platinum...

Interesting times ahead.. i hope more law firm owners are charitable like him to retire just before liberalisation!!
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Like +5 Object -1 Good guy 12 Oct 17, 07:27
One of the genuine good guys.
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Like +4 Object -3 Old hand 12 Oct 17, 09:39
There was a time when we considered Nihar bhai to be Zia's successor. Then he took it on himself to go to Freshfields London as a 'Managing Associate'! I never understood what possessed him to do so. Was there an agreement that he would replace Pratap Amin when he left Freshfields? And he came back to join PP, which is doing well, but not so well. What next Nihar bhai? I can't believe that you are retiring. You shouldn't. I'm sure you have a plan and I wish you all the very best!
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Like +3 Object -1 Alias 12 Oct 17, 10:40
You will be missed deeply at PP Nihar, I’m sure. What a great guy! Stellar human being. Hope the successors are able to keep that up, will be difficult to follow in his footsteps. Have a wonderful life.
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Like +3 Object -0 Alas 12 Oct 17, 10:51
Thank you Nihar for your leadership and mentoring!
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Like +5 Object -17 Modinomics 12 Oct 17, 12:56  controversial
I heard that a lot of senior lawyers of Platinum have left in the last few months and have either become partners or are in line. Mody's fall will be a rude shock to the remaining lot. Headhunters know that most of the tier 1 firms are ready to pay a premium for Platinum lawyers as they are well trained to handle their foreign firm matters and produce work up to their expectations (reason: trained to service magic circle, Freshfields!!)and if Platinum is not able to hold on to its flock together and give them growth or good money, then this is just a beginning. Headhunters must be out to lure them and Amarchands of the market to hire. I wonder if Ankit also joins Mody (wasn't he Mody's junior at Wadia). Let's see what the other founding partner Karam Singh does, unless he is also on his way out and retire.
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Like +1 Object -2 VRS 12 Oct 17, 16:39
Interesting! Platinum has always been publicity shy, but it comes out with a statement regarding Modi's retirement. Is it not fishy? As per my knowledge, Karam Daulet Singh is still in his forties. Why will he retire so soon.
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Like +14 Object -2 Accha? 12 Oct 17, 16:37  interesting  top rated
I am not so sure about the correctness of your perception regarding Platinum ‘talent’. Please understand one thing - the top 6 are sweat shops and they don’t like pampered kids. We’ve all wondered about Platinum’s business model sustainability, but I can tell you this - no top tier law firm would be willing to accommodate the working style of a platinum lawyer.

This is not to say that platinum lawyers aren’t good - I am sure they are - at least they definitely were about 2 years ago. But, I am just pointing something out from a practical view point.
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Like +1 Object -1 Guest 12 Oct 17, 17:24
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Like +2 Object -13 Alas 12 Oct 17, 20:51
Accha? - Please explain what you know about the working style of a Platinum Lawyer? Every Platinum Lawyer I have met is cool, understated and classy!

So many people have tried so hard to get hired there and from what I’ve seen if you go in with the ‘sweat shop’ mentality Platinum won’t touch you with a barge pole!
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Like +11 Object -3 Interesting 12 Oct 17, 22:21  interesting
This maybe true of the Mumbai office and of the days when the Frieshfield-Platinum bromance was the talk of the town. I am afraid that things have changed now - better to realise it now than live in past glory and repent when it’s too late.
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Like +2 Object -9 Expat 13 Oct 17, 08:14
I always thought that Platinum's Delhi office is their head office?? I certainly agree with you that Platinum lawyers are quite understated and seem very serious to their work (in my limited experience). Surely they are no Harvey Specter like you see in other big firms, but Harvey's do not sit and draft good s@#it, they mostly blabber.
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Like +9 Object -1 Hohoho 13 Oct 17, 09:33  interesting
Some of their recent hires are anything but under stated.
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Like +11 Object -2 Chill 12 Oct 17, 22:30  interesting
I don’t think that Accha meant any direspect to the working style of Platinum. All she meant was that it’s poles apart from Big Law (which is something that every Plat lawyer is always at pains to point out).

I think what she meant was that given the inherently different style of Plat lawyers and Big Law, it would be wrong to suggest that Plat lawyers would fit seamlessly (specially at lower levels) into Big Law.

So, please chill and don’t get defensive.
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Like +1 Object -2 ZBA 14 Oct 17, 00:45
He is joining ZBA. Next CAM in the making. You heard it here first.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anagram 17 Dec 17, 20:23
Actually, it will be AZB.
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