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Internal partner promo bonanza at Khaitan & Co: 7 get the nod

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Exclusive: Khaitan & Co has internally promoted four lawyers to equity partner level, while also adding three associate partners in the now finalised career rung.

Mumbai corporate and M&A senior associates Aakash Choubey, Zakir Merchant and Bhavik Narsana will all be full partners at the firm from 1 April.

Delhi corporate associate partner Rajat Mukherjee, who joined in September 2010 from Skadden & Arps in New York, has also been made an equity partner, while three other lawyers have now formally been elevated to associate partner or salaried partner status.

Corporate and infrastructure lawyer Nishant Singh, who had joined with an informal associate partner tag from Amarchand Mangaldas in late 2010, along with real estate specialist Abhishek Sharma in Mumbai and litigation senior associate Rahul Ray in Delhi have now been designated with the associate partner title, which has now officially been implemented at the firm.

Khaitan & Co Mumbai co-founding partner Rabindra Jhunjhunwala said that the firm continued with mostly an all-equity partnership model and the associate partners would be “groomed to equity and not stagnate there”.

New equity partner Choubey, who started his career with Khaitan & Co after having been recruited from NLIU Bhopal in 2004, told Legally India that partnership was very much a new phase of a legal career. “I personally see that once you reach partnership it’s really when your legal career starts in a law firm set-up, when you can build up your clients and a good name for yourself.”

Merchant joined Khaitan & Co in 2007 and Narsana had joined Khaitan & Co in 2006, both as lateral senior associate hires.

Acknowledging that the firm had aggressively hired lateral partners in previous years, Jhunjhunwala commented: “Of course we have grown through our lateral hires both in Bombay and Delhi but it’s an important part that we recognise the internal talent also. If you see the number of partners that we have today in Bombay, almost half are internal promotions.

“It is a healthy mix of both internal and external growth.”

Photo by Mzelle biscotte

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