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Advaita promotes 1 to principal-not-salary-partner in homegrown 8-step career ladder

Advaita has a custom-built fee-earner pyramid
Advaita has a custom-built fee-earner pyramid

Advaita Legal has promoted infrastructure lawyer Shailendra Singh to the principal level, which is similar to a salaried partner and the fourth rung in the firm’s eight-level fee-earner designation structure, and the second promotion to the designation following one such elevation in Mumbai last year.

Bar & Bench first reported that Singh is a 2002 CLC Delhi graduate who had joined Advaita in July 2014 after having worked at Trilegal and Luthra & Luthra.

The firm does not have a salaried partner concept, Sujit Ghosh, the founder and managing partner of the firm, though the compensation of a principal was similar to that of salaried partners in most firms he said.

Also, all principals and above were independent profit centres at the firm, just like partners at other firms.

The structure at the firm consists of:

- partner (1),

- senior attorneys (1),

- senior principals (3),

- principals (4),

- managing associate (3),

- senior associate, and

- associate.

The firm currently has a total lawyer headcount of 31, having last month hired three senior principals in its litigation practice.

Designation design

The “senior attorney” designation was “essentially a partner but who is above the age bar”, Ghosh told Legally India.

Ghosh added that while the ‘principal’ designation came from many international law firms, he had come up with Advaita’s fee-earner structure himself from scratch.

He said that he intentionally avoided the “salary partner” tag, which did not make a lot of sense. “A partner is a partner, so why tell the world salaried or otherwise,” he said.

Advaita has a referral relationship with KPMG, having been started in 2013 by BMR Legal co-founding partner Ghosh and ex-KPMG partner Sunil Moti Lala.

As reported earlier this month, J Sagar Associates (JSA) has created the new principal associate designation, in part because associates liked the tag and because it would make lateral hiring easier.

Photo by Edgar Jimenez

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