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This article, like many others, was first published exclusively for long-term supporters, 12 hours before everyone else got to read it.

KKR finance behemoth & legal advisory goldmine gets first India general counsel: JP Morgan GC Jigar Shah

Jigar Shah to KKR: A cool half-trillion-plus in completed global investments
Jigar Shah to KKR: A cool half-trillion-plus in completed global investments

JP Morgan managing director and India head of legal Jigar Shah will be joining KKR in Mumbai as its India head of legal in a new role, according to two sources with knowledge of the move.

It is understood he will be leaving JP Morgan and joining KKR by the end of next month, where he will be reporting to the local partners and the Asia Pacific region general counsel.

It is understood that KKR has not had an in-house legal role until now, so Shah will be the first lawyer to build the legal function one of the most valuable clients in the Indian finance and private equity space.

At JP Morgan, meanwhile, it is understood that JP executive director Yash Yadav will take over in the GC role. Yadav had joined Shah in November 2015 from Deutsche Bank, where Shah was also previous India legal head before moving to JP Morgan.

Shah was not reachable for comment at the time of publication.

We have also reached out to KKR’s press office for comment. Update 17 April 2018, 10:02: A KKR spokesperson said: “We do not comment on personnel speculation.”

He holds a 1992 LLB from the University of Leicester, and had spent the earlier days of his career abroad (between 2002 and 2009 at Deutsche Bank in London and Hong Kong, returning to India in 2009).

He had joined JP Morgan in 2013.

MVC: Most valuable client?

KKR was the world’s second-largest private equity fund behind The Blackstone Group, according to Private Equity International in 2017 having raised $41bn of funds in five years.

According to its website, KKR has “completed transactions with approximately $557 billion of total enterprise value in ~20 industries as of December 31, 2017”.

In India too, KKR has been active with a number of subsidiaries in addition to its PE plays, such as KKR India Asset Finance and KKR India Financial Services, involved in areas such as private credit to distressed debt.

On Legally India alone, we have reported on nearly 50 deals with some KKR and law firm involvement since 2009, which could make Shah one of the most influential GCs in the in-house game.

Firms that have worked with various KKR entities include, most often, AZB & Partners (going back also to now-retired partner Essaji Vahanvati days) and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (also in Bangalore in particular), Luthra & Luthra Argus Partners;, Desai & Diwanji back in 2011.

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