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Pathbreaking Noojie firm RDA concludes 8-year long life of adventure with Rohit Das moving to be Cal counsel

Managing your own law firm is certainly exciting but it also ain’t all it's made out to be...

It is probably fair to say Rohit Das, RDA and the PXV partners inspired a generation of young lawyers...
It is probably fair to say Rohit Das, RDA and the PXV partners inspired a generation of young lawyers...

RDA Legal has shut down and its founder, NUJS 2006 alumnus Rohit Das, is now focusing solely on counsel practice.

Das commented yesterday: “Counsel practice is an improvement over firm practice. There is no administrative work to look into.”

He said that he had started transitioning from RDA, which was not a partnership, into counsel practice since after the firm's Bangalore team and Mumbai team were poached by IndusLaw in quick succession.

He said that in Kolkata, the firm now remained as a pure litigation firm and was merely wrapping up the mandates it already had, such as filings in the name of RDA. In court, RDA had last filed in its name in October 2016, he explained.

Since then the associates in the Kolkata office have also moved on to other firms and practices, while Das is now practising in the Calcutta high court as a counsel.

One for the NUJS (and other) history books

RDA was started in Kolkata under the name Rohit Das Associates in April 2008 by Das and fellow NUJS alumni Pingal Khan and Arindam Pal. Khan later relocated from Kolkata to set up the firm's Bangalore office.

At the time it was a promising start-up as exciting as it was young and brave: Das had had less than two years of work experience under his belt at Amarchand Mangaldas before setting out by himself, while Khan was also a 2008 and Pal a 2006 graduate.

By April 2010 RDA consisted of 25 lawyers in Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi, including four equity partners and one salaried partner, including Supreme Court advocate Mohit Abraham, who is now Uber's legal director for the Americas.

Each partner specialised in either of general corporate and M&A, infrastructure, litigation and intellectual property. At that time it had also entered into a best friends arrangement with French firm DS Advocat.

In January 2011 it rebranded as PXV Partners with partners Deepto Roy, Mohit Abraham and GT Thomas Phillippe, as Das relocated to Mumbai and started up the Kolkata firm's Mumbai office.

But within a year, PXV had splintered and Das had re-started RDA Legal (and by 2014, the three co-founders of PXV, Roy, Abraham and Phillippe had joined Khaitan & Co).

Within a few months Arindam Pal, the partner who had moved out of PXV with Das, left RDA too to start up a new firm, Augustus Law Chambers.

Finally, four years later, in 2016, Indus poached most of the remainder of RDA in Bangalore team led by partner and NUJS 2006 grad Avik Biswas and the Mumbai team, led by Anupam Prasad (another 2006 NUJS grad).

This eventually led the NUJS firm to the end of its, in many circles, legendary eight-year-inning that gave birth to a disproportionate number of top partners and legal talent in the industry.

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