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Generations, families, NLU alumni mix to start up law firm targeting Tier 2 cities

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Seven lawyers, including a Jharkhand sole proprietor, his ex-Khaitan & Co associate daughter, a young Rajastani legal practitioner, an intellectual property (IP) lawyer and a Supreme Court counsel, have banded together to co-found Juris Vista Law Chambers with offices in Delhi, Jaipur and Ranchi.

The equity is shared by senior partner JN Pandey, and partners Sumant Bharadwaj and Sonia Shandilya, as well as associate partners Jaya Pandey and Sandeep Pathak.

All have jointly founded a firm, which they hope will blend youth and experience and exploit the legal market in the second cities.

J N Pandey headed up Ranchi-based firm Pandey & Associates in Jharkand state, while his daughter Jaya Pandey was an associate at Khaitan & Co. Sumant Bharadwaj was a Supreme Court counsel, while Sandeep Pathak and Sonia Shandilya were name partners in Rajasthan-based legal practice Pathak & Shandilya.

Jaya Pandey and Pathak passed out in 2006 from the first batch of NLU Jodhpur and Jaya Pandey left Khaitan & Co after having worked there from 2006 until October 2009 to start Juris Vista.

The new firm has opened offices in Delhi, Jaipur and Ranchi, as well as an affiliate office in Mumbai on 1 May and intends to focus on growing second tier cities.

Jaya Pandey said: "The entire idea originated out of the meeting of two people, J N Pandey and Sumant Bharadwaj, and Mr Pandey who is based in Jharkhand and Kolkata felt the need when all his clients there were seeking professional help across various forums. This was the reason and then we spoke to Suman Bharadwaj who was our counsel in the Supreme Court, he also felt the same need and we got the ball rolling."

She explained that the firm planned to capture the emerging opportunities in cities like Kolkata, Chandigarh and Lucknow in furtherance to pan-India expansion within a time horizon of two-three years.

The new firm also has two non-equity partners. IP lawyer Archana Pathak Dave, who is also the sister of Sandeep Pathak, had previously worked as a senior associate for a boutique IP firm in German for two years before which she was with Delhi IP firm Lall, Lahiri and Salhotra. Supreme Court advocate on record Mridula Ray Bharadwaj is also the wife of Sumant Bharadwaj.

Jaya Pandey, Sumant and Mridula Bharadwaj and Archana Dave will be heading up the Delhi office, while J N Pandey will merge his Ranchi-based firm Pandey & Associates in Jharkand state into Juris Vista. In Jaipur the practice of Pathak & Shandilya will merge into the new firm.

Pandey said: "We’ve tried to merge all the practices in this firm, so we’ve got a partner in IPR [intellectual property rights], trade law, taxation, corporate and litigation and also, Mridula Ray Bharadwaj who is an AOR [Advocate on Record] for all the filings that have to be made in the Supreme Court."

The firm also employs the services of two consultants O A Sonic and Rajiv Aggarwal and ten associates, out of whom three are freshers.

"Juris means legal, vista is vision and chambers imply chambers all across India," explained Jaya Pandey as the rationale for the name of their new firm.

Khaitan & Co partner Rabindra Jhunjhunwala said that he wished Pandey well in the new venture.

photo by kevindooley

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