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DLA Piper hires top Indo-German double-act as India partners from two firms


DLA Piper has launched a continental European India practice by hiring Benjamin Parameswaran and Daniel Sharma from German independents Hengeler Mueller and Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek respectively.

Sharma was a partner at Heuking responsible for the India practice specialising in dispute resolution, while Parameswaran was a corporate and M&A principal associate at Hengeler. Both specialise in India-related work.

Sharma said that the majority of his work was India-related, although it varied depending on the situation. "There are times when I do 100 per cent and times when only 50 per cent."

"It really varies," added Parameswaran. "Currently I would say around 90 per cent [is India-related] but that is probably not representative. If you were to look as an average – I'd have to second what Daniel has said – always around 50 per cent but it can be substantially more."

Parameswaran (pictured l.) had also done a secondment at Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai office between 2008 and 2009, he said.

Both will be heading up DLA's continental European India practice, with Sharma based in Brussels and Frankfurt, and Parameswaran sitting in Cologne and Frankfurt.

Daniel Sharma
Daniel Sharma
Parameswaran  Benjamin
Parameswaran Benjamin
Sharma (pictured r.) said: "We came as a package and that's a very powerful set-up I believe. I do less of corporate and M&A work but more of dispute resolution work, which is going to become more important in relation to India of course."

"The two of us have known each other for many years and been competitors for many years and he was always the one I feared most [in India-related work]," Sharma joked, adding: "If you can't beat them, join them."

DLA international development partner David Church, who also nominally coordinates the firm's global India group, said: "Daniel and Benjamin have many years of experience in dealing with India-related matters and their arrival will also strengthen DLA Piper's existing India capabilities which, notwithstanding the current restriction in the market, are strong."

He added that approximately 170 DLA lawyers were part of the India Group. The group is co-managed in the US by two partners, one partner in the UK, one in the Middle East and two in Singapore in addition to the two lateral hires in Europe.

Sharma is the holder of a person of Indian origin (PIO) card and Parameswaran is an overseas citizen of India (OCI), although both were born in Germany and are not qualified in Indian law.

Hengeler partner Rainer Krause commented: "At Hengeler Mueller the India Desk activities continue to grow, with a solid mix of outbound work and inbound investments. Our track record and our marketing efforts have established Hengeler Mueller as a go-to firm for India-related work in Germany."

Hengeler Mueller is the independent best friend firm of London independent Slaughter and May.

Heuking declined to comment due to firm policy reasons.

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