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Ex-Bharti GC, JSA partner Vijaya Sampath joins Lakshmikumaran

Vijaya Sampath: CEO advisor becomes legal advisor again
Vijaya Sampath: CEO advisor becomes legal advisor again

Vijaya Sampath, group general counsel (GC) and adviser of almost nine years to India’s largest telecoms company Bharti Enterprises and former J Sagar Associates (JSA) partner, has joined Lakshmi Kumaran & Sridharan (LKS) as an equity partner yesterday to head its corporate practice in Delhi.

She will continue to act as an ombudsman and advisor to Bharti group’s chairman, Sunil Mittal.

Sampath said: “I don’t think I can find a better match. We are on the same page in terms of how we think and how we react. We value professionalism and integrity”.

She added that she had worked with LKS founding partner V Lakshmikumaran for over 20 years on Bharti group’s tax advisory work.

“He has a sense of fairness, equity, value systems and integrity. Particular care needs to be taken for integrity in a tax practice”, she said.

Sampath noted that the law firm offered a good growth platform since it was still a start-up from the corporate side, but has an established tax practice and an established clientele.

“In the last 9 years I have also gained a business perspective. Lawyers only look at the legal side of a transaction, but the commercial side is equally important. I have learnt to balance the commercial aspect with the legal aspect”, added Sampath, saying she hopes to grow LKS as a full service law firm.

“In companies, some of the associates stay in the office, while in law firms all go home at night,” she joked about the cultural difference between companies and law firms, saying that even while now representing one side at a time, she would hope to foster good relations with the other party and maintain transparency.

Badri Narayanan, joint partner heading LKS’s international customs practice, spoke for Lakshmikumaran who was travelling: “Our firm is keenly focused on becoming a full service top tier law firm. We emphasise on three things – integrity, knowledge and passion, and Vijaya brings all the three to the table. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with her.”

Sampath has joined the Safdarjung office of the firm in Delhi, which also houses the team of seven lawyers that had left Khaitan & Co to join LKS’s corporate practice last year.

LKS opened a second office in Delhi last month and an office in Pune late last year, reported Legally India yesterday.

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