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Ex-Amarchand partner Aysswarya Murthi to head up Nishith Desai California presence

Nishith Desai Associates has expanded its Palo Alto presence with the hire of Aysswarya Murthi, who had been promoted to erstwhile Amarchand Mangaldas' Mumbai partnership in 2012 before joining US firm Reed Smith's Silicon Valley office in October 2015.

At Amarchand she specialised on corporate and M&A work for the financial services sector, having co-founded its mutual funds and financial regulatory practice and having also been convenor of its social responsibility committee.

She will now head Nishith Desai Associates' 15-year-old Palo Alto office and will lead the M&A and corporate practice in the US

“One of the primary reasons I am attracted to NDA is its innovative model that is challenging the traditional law firm structure," she said in a statement. "NDA's multi-disciplinary approach to practice that blends law, tax, business solutions, science and technology truly excites me because it offers a unique value proposition to the client and also allows curious lawyers like me to learn more about other disciplines and provide holistic solutions."

Murthi began her career at Amarchand after graduating from Nalsar Hyderabad in 2005.

She joined Reed Smith in late 2015 for nine months as a counsel, where she worked in the firm's India-US practice, working with clients on cross-border stock sales, M&A and strategic transactions, as well as advising Indian start-ups on moving to the US and raising funds there.

NDA knowledge management head also migrates to US

Dr. Mihir Parikh, who was until recently head of NDA’s research & knowledge management function, has also relocated to the firm's Palto Alto office where he will head up the strategic advisory practice.

After having been associated with the firm for 20 years, nearly since its founding while teaching in the US, he had joined Nishith Desai full-time in 2010 working out of his home in Godhra in Gujarat heading up the firm's knowledge management.

This February he has returned to the US and will be based in the Palo Alto.

He was previously an associate professor at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and assistant professor and academic director of doctoral program in technology management at the New York University’s Polytechnic Institute in New York, specialising in artificial intelligence and technology management and balanced score card assessments.

East-West axis now again operational

The firm's Palo Alto office has not had a full time lawyer based there since 2010, when Vaibhav Parikh who had been headed back to Nishith Desai's Bangalore office. However, the office continued to be used by around one to two of the firm's lawyers every month travelling to the region, including managing partner Nishith Desai, according to a spokesperson.

Nishith Desai Associates had opened an office in New York in January of this year with its former lawyer Mansi Seth, who had joined from PwC in the city.

Managing partner Nishith Desai at the time explained that running overseas offices, such as Palo Alto, was expensive and required a seven year horizon in order to build sustainable relationships there.

The firm also has international offices in Munich since 2013 and in Singapore.

Caption: Murthi to ratchet up Nishith Desai's US ambitions

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