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Kochhar & Co puts chips on Chennai with indie senior litigator as senior partner

Exclusive: Kochhar & Co has lured senior independent litigator J Sivanandaraaj into its Chennai office as a senior partner with the firm putting its faith in Tamil Nadu as the source of India’s future manufacturing miracle.

Sivanandaraaj (pictured) has joined the firm’s Chennai office of 36 lawyers and six other partners and will head up the litigation practice as an equity-sharing partner in the office.

He was part of the first batches to graduate from NLSIU Bangalore and has been practising as an independent advocate in Chennai since then.

Kochhar & Co managing partner Rohit Kochhar said: “It would be highly uncommon for a very successful arguing counsel in a court in the South of India, not just in Chennai, to merge his practice with a pan-Indian firm or to merge his practice with a corporate law firm. It is a very very rare occurrence.”

“I'm personally very delighted because I've known Sivan for many years and he's one of the most brilliant arguing counsels in Chennai that I have ever met,” he added. “This is very, very destiny-shaping for our Tamil Nadu office other than the fact that as by headcount we are now the largest law firm in Tamil Nadu.”

Sivanandaraaj said: “I have a very good litigation practice in Chennai but I feel the way things are going we have to be associated with a big firm so we can handle big matters and all over the world.”

He added that almost all Indian law firms but one regularly referred litigation matters to him and he said that he hoped those firms trusted him enough to continue referring work to him, despite him having joined Kochhar.

Rohit Kochhar explained that India was growing impressively but compared to China the industrial revolution had not yet taken place in India. “To sustain a very large workforce as big as India and to keep unemployment numbers in check it becomes vital to also have a v strong manufacturing base. If you take total numbers of the country the services sector as such attracts limited numbers. The bulk of the employment in this country will have to be supported by industry.”

“In my opinion the most important state that will play a catalyst role in the Indian industrial revolution of this country is Tamil Nadu,” he added.

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