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CAM closes innovative LPO-style unit for AI as its head Ami Parikh joins AZB to start a TSG

CAM’s Ami Parikh to start volume vertical at AZB
CAM’s Ami Parikh to start volume vertical at AZB

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) is closing its transaction support group (TSG), which was set up 2013 in Mumbai to explore providing volume-focused transactional support at lower rates on work such as due diligence and other commoditised advice, with its TSG head Ami Parikh joining AZB & Partners to start a TSG there.

The TSG model was much like an in-house legal process outsourcing (LPO) firm, which usually sell their services to other law firms or corporates directly, while the TSG was intended to work closely with the law firm’s existing transactional departments.

Parikh, a 2000 GLC Mumbai graduate, commented: “I will be joining AZB in the next few weeks. It has been a great stint at CAM and I am thankful to the Shroffs for their guidance and mentorship during my time there.”

She had begun her career at Hariani and Company, followed by DSK Legal and Malvi Ranchoddas & Co, joining Amarchand Mangaldas, as it then was, in 2006.

CAM leaves behind TSG model in favour of AI

Cyril Amarchand managing partner Cyril Shroff explained that “price and quality” were the reasons for “reinventing the concept": “The old TSG model ... now has no place in our firm. We have moved onto AI [artificial intelligence].”

In January of this year, CAM announced that it was the first Indian law firm to have signed up with machine learning / AI legal software provider Kira, which would be used analyse contracts, identifying key terms and clauses.

Shroff said that around 11 fee-earners were working in the TSG team, of whom some would be absorbed into CAM’s artificial intelligence (AI) unit.

Shroff added that the firm had decided to move away from the “labour arbitrage model”, as it “does not work”. He said: “The labour arbitrage model is dead and does not fit in with a tier 1 firm.”

AZB starts a TSG, confident about its success

AZB managing partner Zia Mody commented on Parikh joining as a partner: “We think a TSG model should work very well for AZB and to have a quality lawyer like Ami to head it, will ensure its success with us.

“So we are looking forward to kicking off this practice.”

Mody said that the firm was looking at around five or six fee-earners at first, and would evaluate growth down the line.

With respect to what the TSG would be doing, Mody said: “They would be preparing due diligence reports, helping primarily the M&A team to start with, with whatever support they require, and then move onto areas once we’ve settled down in the M&A space.”

While Mody said that precise details on cost and strategy would be ironed out down the line, she noted that the TSG work would be billed at a lower cost, “which is the way the TSG model works”.

Parikh added: "Globally this is a widely accepted industry operating model and the TSG practice at CAM has been a pioneering effort in the Indian legal industry.”

AZB & Partners co-founding partners Zia Mody, Bahram Vakil and Ajay Bahl formerly ran a joint venture in the LPO space with Patni Computer Systems, called Bodhi Global, which was based in Pune.

It is understood that the three partners had divested their stakes in Bodhi Global several years ago.

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