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Ex-Linklaters India head joins Amarchand as freelancer

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton tax partner Nikhil Mehta has resigned and entered into a retainer agreement with Amarchand Mangaldas that could see him spend up to 40 per cent of his time doing non-Indian tax advice for the firm.

Mehta (pictured) will resign from Cleary Gottlieb's partnership to join London barristers' chambers Gray's Inn Tax Chambers by the end of this year.

He has entered into a retainer agreement with Amarchand to regularly provide non-Indian-law tax advice to the firm.

Mehta said: "Obviously as a barrister I will be working for a lot of people but with a retainer arrangement you have a special relationship with the firm you have a retainer with.

"They can ring me up at the drop of a hat."

Amarchand Mumbai managing partner Cyril Shroff said: "He will be doing non-Indian tax work and we can package the whole service as a single service for a client, whether for outbound investment or an international company for inbound investment."

Shroff added that Mehta was expected to spend around 30 to 40 per cent of his time working with Amarchand in future. "It brings a very international flavour to our practice."

Mehta agreed that although it was still early days, he was hoping to spend a "fairly substantial amount" of his time working with Amarchand under the retainer.

"One of the things with being a barrister these days is that it's possible to develop a truly international practice," he said.

Mehta started up Linklaters' India business group in 1992 and ran it until 2002 when he left to join Cleary Gottlieb handing the role to Linklaters current India head Sandeep Katwala.

Commenting on Mehta's most recent move, Cleary Gottlieb London partner Glen Scarcliffe said: "This is an exciting development for Nik, and although we will all miss him and his contribution to the firm, we wish him well."

He added that current Cleary India group and tax partners expected to continue working with Mehta in future.

Amarchand Mumbai last week hired a former UK law-firm chief operating officer (COO) and Amarchand Delhi has hired a non-Indian qualified competition law expert from Ireland who will join early next year.

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