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JSA-birthed tax boutique Ashok Dhingra Associates inducts co-founder Smita Singh to equity partnership, aims for lockstep & 5 EPs soon

Smita Singh
Smita Singh

Ashok Dhingra Associates, a tax and regulatory boutique set up last year by ex-J Sagar Associates (JSA) tax chair Ashok Dhingra and partner Smita Singh, has converted into a full equity partnership, with co-founder Singh taking a share in the firm’s profits.

Singh, a 2006 graduate from Delhi University who had worked with Khaitan & Co in Bangalore and JSA in Gurgaon, specialises in advisory and contentious work relating to tax, anti-corruption and regulatory. She would be an equity partner from 1 April according to Dhingra.

Dhingra explained that the initial equity model would be a “fixed equity ratio between partners and they would share profits of the firm accordingly”, though in the first year Singh would be on a minimum guaranteed compensation structure.

He added that the firm currently had a headcount of six: “We are in the process of building up the firm and once we reach critical mass will opt for lockstep as we believe that is best model which encourages investments in new practice areas by partners.

“Reaching critical mass means we want have about 5 equity partners and 20 attorneys in tax practice within two to three years’ time.

“Further as of now we are not looking at going full services firm. We want to continue to focus on tax and anti-corruption & fraud investigations in near future and to be known as ‘go to firm’ in these areas only.”

Dhingra had joined JSA in 2009 from Khaitan, having previous worked at a number of international chartered accountancy firms and as a bureaucrat in government departments, including customs, central excise and service tax.

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