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Freshfields India head Pratap Amin retires: May consult, or join UK or India Inc in-house

Amin has presided over and grown Freshfields’ India group into one of the most visible around...

Ex-Freshfields India chief Amin has some tough choices ahead
Ex-Freshfields India chief Amin has some tough choices ahead

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer London-based partner and India practice head Pratap Amin has retired from the firm and is in the process of deciding whether to go independent as a consultant or joining a UK or Indian company in-house.

Amin had joined Freshfields in 1998 from Slaughter and May, where he begun working in 1984.

Under Amin, Freshfields has grown into one of the most active foreign law firms in India, having in 2016 alone been involved in many of the largest reported deals, including the $13bn Rosneft buy of Essar Oil, the $1.4bn Lafarge-Nirma deal, and the $1.1bn Mphasis, HP, Blackstone deal alongside Freshfields’ unofficially close Indian friend firm Platinum Partners.

We understand that he has been handing over the reins to Freshfields’ India practice for the past three years to other partners in the practice, including Arun Balasubramanian, who had joined in Singapore in 2013 from Linklaters.

Balasubramanian declined to comment when contacted. We had also reached out to Freshfields’ communications team but have not received a response.

Next move: What and where?

Amin formally retired from the firm at the end of October 2016 and has been travelling since, trying to plot his next steps.

His Linked-in profile has been updated to state that he is now an “independent consultant” and according to records with the UK corporate registrar, Amin had set up a limited company and a limited liability partnership (LLP) in November of last year.

However, he told Legally India that what he would do next - and even where he would do it - had not yet been finalised.

“I haven’t really started yet,” Amin said. “I’m considering a couple of in-house roles with corporates: one is with an Indian group and the other in the UK. I have also been offered a couple of interesting consulting assignments with cross border aspects.

“Alongside everything else, I am very much enjoying doing some pro bono work too.”

“I am one of those curious beings that is equally at home in India and in London,” added Amin. "I have to decide, through a process of tough negotiation with my Mumbai-centric wife, where I will spend more time in the coming years.”

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