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Azure Power gets new general counsel: Luthra corp partner, NLU-J alum Dipti Lavya Swain joins

Dipti Lavya Swain moves from Luthra to GC-roleDipti Lavya Swain moves from Luthra to GC-role

Luthra & Luthra partner Dipti Lavya Swain has joined Azure Power as general counsel (GC).

Delhi-headquartered independent solar power producer and developer Azure Power has in the past been advised by Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, according to our deals database, although the company has worked with other firms too.

When the 2008-founded company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2016, for instance, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas advised on Indian law aspects (along with Skadden Arps on US law, Appleby on Mauritius Law, and Latham & Watkins acting for the underwriters).

Update 5 February 2018: Luthra & Luthra had advised the underwriters on that IPO, as kindly pointed in the comments.

Swain, a 2006 NLU Jodhpur alum, joined Luthra Delhi in 2014 from Wadia Ghandy, where he was a principal associate and head of corporate in its Delhi office.

He was promoted to Luthra’s partnership in 2015.

He also holds an LLM in banking, corporate finance and securities law from Kurukshetra University, which he completed between 2014 and 2016.

Swain confirmed his joining but declined to comment further.

We have reached out to Luthra for comment.

While Swain’s leaving will be another in a long tradition of corporate partners leaving the firm (which has caused Luthra take a dive in the M&A league tables), it has last month buffed up its corporate strength with the hire of Trilegal counsel Vishwanath Pratap Singh as partner.

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Like +12 Object -18 Guest 29 Jan 18, 16:20  controversial
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1.1
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Like +21 Object -22 Fan 29 Jan 18, 17:34  controversial
We all know who that is- the small, blue eyed partner. Good lawyer, great neta.
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2
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Like +6 Object -3 Wow 29 Jan 18, 16:47
He must be the 21st or 22nd partner to quit Luthra since 2012.
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3
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Like +12 Object -18 School 29 Jan 18, 17:45  controversial
Congrats DLS! This is amazing. All said and done, there was, there is and there will lots to learn from you! Cheers!
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4
Like +11 Object -7 colleague 29 Jan 18, 19:07  controversial
great stuff Dipti. congratulations to you and azure! keep doing well and achieving greater heights.
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5
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Like +3 Object -13 Alias 29 Jan 18, 23:51
@Kian: your reporting is disgustingly biased. The tone of the report leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

An exit need not be always bad. In fact Azure works closely with Mohit Saraf and Manan. Promoting your employees to go in house is a practice adopted quite frequently in foreign firms, and even some Indian firms like CAM (Ipshita joined MS) and Himanshu joined blackstone. I think this is a stellar move by Mohit to ensure that Azure continues to work with Luthra for years to come.
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5.1
Like +18 Object -3 kianganz 29 Jan 18, 23:59  interesting  top rated
Sorry you feel that way, but maybe, with all due respect, you have an oversensitive palate?

Nowhere is it suggested that him moving in-house is a disaster for Luthra, but the fact remains that Luthra needs more partners in its corporate practice, as borne out by independent league tables and the string of partner exits in the area.

I am aware, however, that some people in the firm would prefer if we ignored that point (or any negative coverage of the firm).
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5.2
Like +9 Object -5 Reality check 30 Jan 18, 00:07  controversial
Well Kian has only reported a fact - another partner exit from Luthra. He hasn’t implied anything of the kind that you suggest or imply.
Why are you over reacting ? Take off your blindfold please and wake up to the realities of the organisation. 22 + partners and 25 + managing associates have quit in span of 5 years. What are you defending ??
Also- it’s quite disgusting that you attribute Dipti’s new job (and his ability to get a job) to a stellar move by mr saraf ! As if dipti wouldn’t have been hired without an intervention from the Luthra management
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5.2.1
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Like +3 Object -7 Alias 30 Jan 18, 07:13
“Also- it’s quite disgusting that you attribute Dipti’s new job (and his ability to get a job) to a stellar move by mr saraf ! As if dipti wouldn’t have been hired without an intervention from the Luthra management“

I am not talking about capability here. Just stating that it Is extremely likely that Mr Saraf may have been responsible for his move here. RKL has also helped ex Luthra members in the past. Moushami’s move to Pillsburg being an example. Rajesh’s move to IDBI being another example.
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Like +4 Object -2 Reality check 30 Jan 18, 11:38
So now your comment has gone from “it is stellar move from MS” to “extremely likely that MS may have helped” !!! LOL. You are dissing Kian basis a point that you are not yourself sure off !! *slow clap*
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7
Like +16 Object -7 Mr. Blackhole 30 Jan 18, 14:55  interesting  controversial
Goodlord, one reads these pieces and realizes how offmark and misleading they can be. He was'nt any head or foot of Wadia Ghandy. [...] Kian atleast bother to check facts before publishing. Matlab kuch bhi for publishing! [...] . Exits which are extremely insignificant are made out as a really big deal and for what purpose other than to pull down an institution, with whom you have a personal axe to grind! If you care about free speech, do publish this comment.
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7.1
Like +15 Object -2 kianganz 30 Jan 18, 15:56  interesting  top rated
It really is a bit strange. I don't see so many complaints on any other firm stories. First, none of the story made out that this individual move was a deathblow for Luthra, it was primarily about his new role as GC and the firms Azure works with, which is relevant and newsworthy. I am checking re his WG designation, which was from his Linked-in profile.

That said, while by itself any one partner corporate departure at Luthra has maybe not impacted the corporate practice hugely, in combination it has very clearly contributed to the firm's massive decline in independent corporate league table rankings as well as third-party rankings such as RSG (for at least 2 years running). Luthra may never have been a corporate power house, but it's inability to build a big practice there has very obviously caused it to slip in its position amongst the Top 7.

I am not making any of this up, and unlike at other firms, whenever there is the slightest negative news, Luthra folks seem to repeatedly want to shoot the messenger in comments or in private (which, I believe, the management happily encourages).

Finally, if all that narrative above is incorrect, I always give the firm an opportunity to comment, which they have not chosen to take advantage of for a long time now.

If you want news articles to paint a pretty picture of Luthra, I can not be expected to keep digging for positive facts or make up glowing angles (besides mentioning, as I did, what we have previously reported, such as Luthra's recent corporate hiring). I can also not be expected to express an unsubstantiated positive opinion, pretending that no one else has left its corporate practice, and somehow sneak those into an article.

However, as I've said previously, I would certainly be happy to include quotes from the firm in every relevant article, which would provide more balance to news about the firm. Just look at how Trilegal's Rahul Matthan handled (or, if you want to be critical, you would say 'spun') the negative news of closing the Hyderabad office: www.legallyindia.com/lawfirms/trilegal-latest-to-be-baffled-by-hyderabad-to-close-office-gracefully-after-partner-pavan-kumar-exits-20180129-9060

But whether Luthra chooses to do so, is pretty much out of my hands, as I've had lots of behind-the-scenes discussions and made plenty of overtures to the firm on that front that have not taken up, very clearly intentionally.
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Like +8 Object -5 Kaboom 30 Jan 18, 15:32  controversial
Dipti Swain was never head of corporate at WG. Get your facts correct.
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8.1
Like +7 Object -0 kianganz 30 Jan 18, 16:04  interesting
I understand he was principal associate and corporate head in Delhi after he moved there from Bombay. I don't think Wadia Ghandy would have printed it on business cards and the like, but de facto I don't find it hard to believe that he was that, with WG not having had a huge Delhi office.

Have updated the story in any case that he was also PA.
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8.1.1
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Like +7 Object -5 Kaboom 30 Jan 18, 16:22  controversial
To start with...good that the article was changed to state he was head of Corporate, Delhi Office.

From a factual standpoint, as far as I can recall, Amit was the partner who used to be part of the corporate team under Mr. Ahuja and used to handle litigation matters as well. In any case both the persons used to report to Ahuja. Not sure whether people who worked there knew he was the de-facto corporate head there. But then they may be wrong.
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Like +3 Object -4 Ka Boom ka baap 30 Jan 18, 18:46
we understand who you are and thanks for your justification. litigation and corporate at wadia delhi had very clear distinctions and everybody knew who had the final say on litigation and corporate. Amit did not have authority to sign off on any corporate matters and it was Dipti who always led the show and had the final say on corporate matters. Not that any of these matter now since even wadia delhi doesnt exist where it had started in delhi. Kunal Vajani in fact is doing better Litigation work for wadia delhi and it is learnt that corporate matters are no more handled by wadia delhi.
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Like +3 Object -7 Alias 30 Jan 18, 16:44
“always give the firm an opportunity to comment, which they have not chosen to take advantage of for a long time now”. LOL

On behalf of all Luthra peeps and being someone from Delhi- my response to your statement is - “Tu hai kaun Bhai. We don’t owe you an explanation. We are happy where we are!”.
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9.1
Like +6 Object -2 kianganz 30 Jan 18, 16:49
I'm glad you're happy, I'm also happy :)

But then, on behalf of all Luthra peeps, please don't complain all the time that our coverage doesn't trumpet how amazing Luthra is, because we literally do not get told that by anyone except irate anonymous commenters.
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9.1.1
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Like +0 Object -3 Alias 30 Jan 18, 20:28
What do you mean on behalf of all luthra peeps? That doesn’t makes no sense at all. You are not one of us and no matter how many times you try to take the select few partners out for lunches, luthra will continue to boycott LI
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9.1.1.1
Like +7 Object -0 kianganz 30 Jan 18, 20:40  interesting
Hmm, I believe it was literally responding to your (or another Alias') comment directly above who claimed to be talking "on behalf of all Luthra peeps".

Sigh, irony seems wasted on this generation, clearly.
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Like +4 Object -1 Really? 30 Jan 18, 16:56
If you are indeed happy where you are, why crib when something factual is published about your firm which you don't happen to like?
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9.3
Like +10 Object -1 Reality check 30 Jan 18, 21:55  interesting
So clearly u are from Luthra and speak in the same arrogant daalhi Punjabi style that prevails in that place. All Kian is saying, is that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You don’t want to engage with him, have boycotted him, but you still want to tell him what not to write about the place. ROFL.

Also, you are the self appointed spokesperson for Luthra now ?
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Like +1 Object -0 Bold 31 Jan 18, 08:40
All for one and one for all my friend. Loyalty means something at a place like Luthra? Where are you from? A tier 2 law firm? Ready to jump ships when offered 10 bucks extra?
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Like +2 Object -1 Moot 31 Jan 18, 16:38
Does LL have 10 bucks?
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Like +2 Object -0 Client 31 Jan 18, 20:53
"When the 2008-founded company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2016, for instance, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas advised on Indian law aspects (along with Skadden Arps on US law, Appleby on Mauritius Law, and Latham & Watkins acting for the underwriters)."

Missed Luthra here? They advised the underwriters on Indian law.
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Like +4 Object -1 kianganz 31 Jan 18, 21:11
Hmm, interesting, wasn't aware since we hadn't covered that IPO on LI.

The NYSE filing I found didn't mention Luthra but only Lathams for the UWs: www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1633438/000119312515405022/d851850df1.htm

Quote:
Certain legal matters as to United States federal and New York law in connection with this offering will be passed upon for us by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Palo Alto, California. The validity of the equity shares offered in this offering and certain legal matters as to Mauritius law will be passed upon for us by Appleby, Port Louis, Mauritius. Certain legal matters as to Indian law will be passed upon for us by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, New Delhi, India. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP may rely upon Appleby with respect to matters governed by Mauritius law and upon Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co with respect to matters governed by Indian law. Certain legal matter will be passed on for the underwriters by Latham & Watkins LLP, New York, New York.
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Like +0 Object -0 alias 05 Feb 18, 12:37
Kian-

dont know about veracity of other comments on luthra and azure, but clearly this link mentions that Luthra had acted on the matter- see below- see last line.

www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1633438/000119312516737769/d851850d424b4.htm#rom851850_27

LEGAL MATTERS
Certain legal matters as to United States federal and New York law in connection with this offering will be passed upon for us by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Palo Alto, California. The validity of the equity shares offered in this offering and certain legal matters as to Mauritius law will be passed upon for us by Appleby, Port Louis, Mauritius. Certain legal matters as to Indian law will be passed upon for us by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, New Delhi, India. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP may rely upon Appleby with respect to matters governed by Mauritius law and upon Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co with respect to matters governed by Indian law. Certain legal matter will be passed on for the underwriters by Latham & Watkins LLP, New York, New York. The underwriters may rely upon Luthra & Luthra Law Offices with respect to matters governed by Indian law.
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10.1.1.1...
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 05 Feb 18, 13:19
Many thanks - updating article with that. Not sure why it wasn't mentioned in the other SEC filing I'd found, but am not sure how these things work, to be honest...
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Like +4 Object -1 Chamcha 01 Feb 18, 13:43
1) move to Azure suggests a desperate partner and the Luthra response suggests they don't like it. The ship may be sinking faster than we thought.
2) Manan must have dealt with the company when he was at Latham Watkins. He was there at the listing date. (Check his LinkedIn profile)
3) His departure did not bring any Azure deals to Luthra. Don't know how Mr. Saraf became pals with Azure management.The firm profile too does not list any deals for it.
4) He may or may not have headed Wadia corporate practice in Delhi.But his honeymoon period with the firm was definitely short. Considering NLU Jodhpur graduates have a run of the place and feel like that this is an extension of their University campus, he was damned smart to jump the gun at the earliest opportunity.
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 01 Feb 18, 14:00
Hmm, not sure I can confirm most of those, but 2 is most probably wrong - Manan Lahoty had joined Luthra in 2008 or something, I think... Azure was founded in 2008 and only listed in 2016, I think...
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11.2
Like +6 Object -1 Dhakkan 01 Feb 18, 17:13  interesting
Not to dignify your lack of IQ but - > "Considering NLU Jodhpur graduates have a run of the place and feel like that this is an extension of their University campus, he was damned smart to jump the gun at the earliest opportunity." ?? The fellow himself was from Jodhpur. What are you smoking?
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11.2.1
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Like +7 Object -12 Bahut bakwaas krta hai 01 Feb 18, 21:02  controversial
True he was from NLU Jodhpur - but - he wasn't the right kind of NLUJ (i.e. having the ability to play games, engaging in the lowest form of office politics, suffering from an inferiority complex). More importantly, he was not part of the college sorority that serves as cheerleaders-in-chief of the blue eyed boy.

Watch this space for more exits - specifically NLS and NLUJ exits - people who have been pushed out by the cheap tricks of the blue eyed boy and his sycophants.

MS bhai, the writing is clearly on the wall - you will have no one to blame if you continue to unsee what's slowly but surely coming your way.
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11.2.1.1
Like +9 Object -3 Agree 02 Feb 18, 15:43  interesting
I don’t know why are people are so jealous of NLU J, L&L and the blue eyed boy. Luthra is the best firm, NLU J is the best law school and [...] is the best lawyer in the world.

#nuffsaid
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11.2.1.2
Like +12 Object -0 Mr. Blackhole 06 Feb 18, 19:30  interesting  top rated
This is absolute nonsense. My god, how retarded and jealous you are! Luthra has 7 patners presently from NALSAR, 6 from NLS, 5 from Jodhpur. Every year the firm is hiring 30-35 law graduates with 5-8 from each of the 5-6 colleges the firm is hiring from! You sure seem to suffer from strong bouts of inferiority complex, with some special affection for one college. Get a grip on your life!!!
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