Kochhar Inc DubaiKochhar Inc Dubai

Kochhar & Co opened up in Dubai on 10 November, after the Dubai Legal Affairs Department (LAD) of the Ruler’s Office granted the firm its licence to practice in the UAE six months ago.

Headed by Dubai managing partner Manek Palekar, who was a consultant with the firm since 2012, the firm is now licensed to practice local UAE law and the law of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

According to the firm, it operates with a team of 12 lawyers there, including Palekar, from a 7,500 square foot office space in downtown Dubai.

Kochhar managing partner Rohit Kochhar told Legally India that in the LAD, with which the firm filed its application for licence in 2012, the request had gone through a stringent scrutiny and verification process comprising due diligence, asking the firm for several documents and interaction between various Dubai government departments.

Now licensed to practice in the country, the firm has terminated its collaborative arrangements with middle-eastern best friends Dr Khalid Alnowaiser in Saudi Arabia and MIO Lawyers & Legal Consultants in the UAE – the tie ups through which the firm first entered the region four years ago.

The dilio

Noting that his was the first Asian law firm to practise locally in Dubai, Kochhar commented: “The reasons which drove us to do this are many fold. As you are aware there is a very large India diaspora in the UAE. Indians constitute the largest proportion of expatriates in the UAE. Many of these Indians are in senior decision making positions in Indian companies in the UAE, in multinational corporations in the UAE as well as in the local Arab companies in the UAE. So we thought that if a leading law firm such as ours establishes in Dubai (given that we are of Indian origin, we are not a branch of an Indian office: we are a local law firm but our roots are Indian) and provide them with Indian legal quality on local law matters as well as DIFC.”

“The second reason we decided to establish in the UAE is that we have a very large multinational client base and they have a very large presence in Dubai which is to do with the fact that Dubai is a very important city. We thought that if we are in this region and serve even the captive clientele that Kochhar currently has, that would be an excellent start.”

UAE: Land of opportunity?UAE: Land of opportunity?Competitive strategies

“The UAE in terms of legal services is not saturated or an overly developed market unlike the UK or the US.”

Commenting on the local competition from foreign law firms, Kochhar noted: “Of course the English law firms are there but the foreign law firms have a narrow bandwidth of services and practice areas that they are engaged with – they basically do cross border work or English law work. They do not practice day to day general corporate law.”

“We are a full service firm so we would provide day to day support on any matter in the UAE just as we do in India. Foreign law firms are specialised and not looking at market share in the work that we do. They do foreign law oriented or sovereign fund work.”

Costs were another factor in the firm’s favour in Dubai at the moment, he said. “Also we believe that we cater better to the business community of the UAE as a more cost effective law firm because the English and US law firms have much higher charges given the fact that their offices are manned by English or US lawyers or foreign lawyers who are expatriates in the UAE.”

“We don’t have any expatriates. We have a mix of nationalities and they are not lawyers from the western world.”

Kochhar said that its office space in Dubai can seat 30 lawyers and that the firm has “huge plans for expansion” in the banking sector, real estate and construction, in representing trading companies, and in electronics, apart from general corporate and M&A.

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Like +16 Object -5 Khachchar 19 Nov 14, 12:37  interesting  controversial
Their sign board, situated in Dubai, says "(Dubai Branch)"? This sounds like how a 8 year old, sugar fueled, kid would make crayon-based labels for his/her global empire.
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Like +3 Object -2 Troll 19 Nov 14, 18:39
BTW who gave this picture to Legally India?
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Like +5 Object -2 Really? 19 Nov 14, 13:43
Soon we get to read that this did not materialise due to commercial reasons referring to earlier developments of a law firm with office in Singapore. Looks like business development and not actual legal consultancy presence !! Just keep opening offices that's what Koch is known for !!
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Like +4 Object -2 Commercial 19 Nov 14, 13:45
These are like ads of law firms ! and its free on LI !!
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Like +4 Object -0 Khachchar Expansion 19 Nov 14, 15:10
Kochhar has big plans for expansion of its Mumbai office since several years which more than expansion is a struggle for existence...
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Like +3 Object -1 Bappi da 19 Nov 14, 15:39
who is Kochhar? non-existent. Has some Jap clients, that's all.
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Like +3 Object -2 Wokil.!! 19 Nov 14, 16:31
with poorly fed lawyers, they will soon be opening office on Mars..!! :P
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Like +1 Object -0 Mars Attack 19 Nov 14, 17:00
Plus the office looks empty in the pic...time to think how they will fill it !!
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Like +0 Object -0 Chai pe charcha 19 Nov 14, 16:42
Kian was this news worth reporting ? or is the Amarchand legal battle not sufficient to get TRP's on LI :)
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Like +5 Object -1 kianganz 19 Nov 14, 16:45
Any other day a law firm opening an office abroad would be pretty big-ish news... Amarchand family doesn't fight in public every day, after all...
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Like +2 Object -5 Ra_Hulgandi Jap 19 Nov 14, 16:55
Please do not heed to the above defamatory comments guys. These guys have been planted by competitors like AMSS and AZBs of the world. Have you seen Mr Kochchar's bangalow-cum-farmhouse in Delhi? I can bet none of promoters of the leading law firms can match such premises! Please don't mind my English as I am typing from Kyoto.
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Like +4 Object -0 Indian 19 Nov 14, 17:06
Quoting Ra_Hulgandi Jap:
Please do not heed to the above defamatory comments guys. These guys have been planted by competitors like AMSS and AZBs of the world. Have you seen Mr Kochchar's bangalow-cum-farmhouse in Delhi? I can bet none of promoters of the leading law firms can match such premises! Please don't mind my English as I am typing from Kyoto.


So having a big house is being a "reputed" lawyer. Now we understand why you are in Japan and not in India. Just for your ignorance..partners of AZB and Amarchand have houses whose real estate price and location in Mumbai will put the bungalow of Kochhar to shame. This is not about partners...its about the "Law Firm". Get this translated in Japanese.
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Like +2 Object -2 Boynonymous 20 Nov 14, 14:17
Arre Indian, go back to school and understand the meaning of 'sarcasm'
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Like +2 Object -0 A Dhingra 19 Nov 14, 17:03
Yeah,,,I too admire them most beca...this may be the only proprietorship firm in the universe which has a managing partner!
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Like +0 Object -1 he man 19 Nov 14, 17:11
Good one Mr Ra_Hulgandi Jap
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Like +4 Object -0 DBS 19 Nov 14, 17:16
will suffer same fate as Wadia Ghandy's Singapore branch!!

Btw, forget farmhouses, Mr. Kocchar owns a Merc S class Limousine !!
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Like +17 Object -0 Ex-internship aspirant 19 Nov 14, 18:42  interesting  top rated
Once I applied to Kochhar for an internship in my fifth year. They replied that I should apply when I reach fourth year. My age limit had already crossed to take a fresh admission. :(
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Like +5 Object -3 Gossipmonger 20 Nov 14, 01:10
The real question is what made you apply to Kochhhaaaaar!!!
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Like +0 Object -0 Luck by Chance 20 Nov 14, 10:18
If you applied to the Mumbai office then you were lucky cause there is no real training there !!
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Like +0 Object -0 Trolla 20 Nov 14, 22:23
rofl roflrofl
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Like +1 Object -4 Kochhar lawyer 20 Nov 14, 12:06
Comments above smack of gross immaturatity and professional jeolousy. we have full fledged functioning offices in India as well as outside India and if partners of other law firms have inherited big bungalows in Mumbai and elsewhere, so be it. We are not a factory of lawyers, but a firm of committed professinals, who do not go hammer and tongs in reporting our achievements in legally india and singing our own praise. We do what we enjoy doing and look for unexplored markets and bigger challenges in life. If Kochhar pays its lawyers really bad, I do not see any good reason for a horde of professionals inclcuding a Senior Partner from Amarchand joining Kochhar recently.
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Like +11 Object -1 Khachchar 20 Nov 14, 12:25  interesting
Awww. Want a hug and cookies?
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Like +0 Object -0 Khachchar Fan 20 Nov 14, 13:53
You said it in one line !
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Like +0 Object -0 A Dhingra 20 Nov 14, 12:29
Yeah....ekxactly this is what I was saying..
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Like +3 Object -0 Baba Rampal 20 Nov 14, 14:57
Are you talking of the partner who heads Mumbai office from Delhi?
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 20 Nov 14, 21:35
Quoting Kochhar lawyer:
Comments above smack of gross immaturatity and professional jeolousy. we have full fledged functioning offices in India as well as outside India and if partners of other law firms have inherited big bungalows in Mumbai and elsewhere, so be it. We are not a factory of lawyers, but a firm of committed professinals, who do not go hammer and tongs in reporting our achievements in legally india and singing our own praise. We do what we enjoy doing and look for unexplored markets and bigger challenges in life. If Kochhar pays its lawyers really bad, I do not see any good reason for a horde of professionals inclcuding a Senior Partner from Amarchand joining Kochhar recently.


What's the point? What's your name? How will you get brownie points?
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Like +0 Object -2 Kochhar lawyer 20 Nov 14, 13:00
If people here choose to be sarcastic and hit below the belt, the same only reflects their own poor mindsets and arguably, a screwed-up professional up-bringing. Just as every other law firm, we do have our own shortcomings, but what is important is our increasing professional/revenue growth and growing number of projects/transactions - domestic as well as international. If somebody feels that we only work for some Japanese clients, he/she needs to check the facts first.We expect others to grow on their own merit but not by hurling incorrect allegatins at others (which obviously is an incorrect growth model adopted by most Law Firms).
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Like +3 Object -0 Ummm 20 Nov 14, 14:07
Quoting Kochhar lawyer:
We expect others to grow on their own merit but not by hurling incorrect allegatins at others (which obviously is an incorrect growth model adopted by most Law Firms).

You hurl "allegatins", you surely are Kochhar.
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Like +3 Object -0 Boynonymous 20 Nov 14, 14:20
Quoting Kochhar lawyer:
We expect others to grow on their own merit but not by hurling incorrect allegatins at others (which obviously is an incorrect growth model adopted by most Law Firms).


Din't realize hurling accusations on LI comments section had become a legit business model to grow. More so one which is adopted by "most law firms" Kian, I assume you have equity in "most Law Firms" now
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Like +2 Object -1 Khachchar 20 Nov 14, 20:11
Impressive drafting skills and impeccable attention to detail. All my mandates are belong to you.
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Like +0 Object -3 Kochhar lawyer 20 Nov 14, 14:44
I presume that the wild accusations hurled here are mostly from professionals working in different law firms and hence, my observation on the wrong growth model. Difficult to generalize, but it certainly reflects the trend shown by most learned commentators here. Sitting on a cofy chair and hurling wild allegations is much easlier than finding the truth. Its much better to be objective and appreciate a law firm's service model; being different does not merit blind unwanted accustions. If we do have brances all over, it is our business model and certainly nobody's business. We grow and we open office because we have clients to service.
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Like +3 Object -0 Khachchar 20 Nov 14, 20:17
That's some deep shit, bro and I would love a cofy chair! #KochharAlwaysKnowsWhatTh eClientWants
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Like +2 Object -0 Trolla 20 Nov 14, 22:22
Lovely Professional university as well boasts three 25 branches in north. So can you..
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Like +0 Object -1 Kochhar lawyer 20 Nov 14, 15:20
Baba Rampal, anything wrong in heading a Mumbai branch, sitting in Delhi and visiting the Mumbai office every week??
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Like +0 Object -0 Baba Ramdev 20 Nov 14, 15:29
Mumbai branch...is this a bank? anyways there is no dearth of talent in Mumbai that one would need a lawyer sitting in Delhi to manage firms practice in Mumbai...its just that someone has to take care of it when no one locally wants to !! Common Sense which is not so common...
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Like +0 Object -0 Bhangi.....Ta 20 Nov 14, 15:29
yeah....I totally agree...there is nothing wrong...for example my husband heads London office from Noida! He spends days in London and nights in Noida.
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Like +3 Object -1 Making Sense 20 Nov 14, 15:41
If you believe that big ticket transaction work is the only work that matters, then of course, you have every right to look down on Kochhar. But the fact is, the firm has the largest clientele of Fortune 500 clients in India and its forte is not so much transactions but work like corporate compliance, employment, real estate and regulatory. Big international clients are frustrated at shoddy work done by firms like AMSS in these areas while being charged hefty fees. Kochhar excels at this work, is very focussed on things like deadlines and communication and that’s why many multinationals are willing to pay hourly rates in dollars to get this work done by them. This reflects in the palace like home of Rohit Kochhar. It makes a lot of sense therefore for Kochhar to open an office in Dubai. Multinationals there either use local firms whose quality is poor or big international firms that are very expensive. Most of them will jump at the opportunity to use Kochhar in Dubai, with the same service and lower rates than the international firms. Kochhar cannot hold on to so many big clients and for so long or build large mansions unless they are doing something right.
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Like +0 Object -2 Real sense 20 Nov 14, 16:02
Time to read other news this one is going round and round. Bottom line Kochhar is the only firm that delivers "quality" rest all are dummies. Yeah right dude get a life this is democracy... no single firm can claim to be the best. Thank good Kochhar Lawyer will now get back to work and not waste "quality" time !!
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Like +1 Object -0 Making Sense 20 Nov 14, 16:55
It shows your lack of maturity. I never said other firms don't delivery quality or that Kochhar is the best. I merely point out that Kochhar has built a good practice in non transaction areas where transaction firms tend not to do very good work.
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Like +0 Object -1 Baba Rampal 20 Nov 14, 16:14
Yup Baba Rampal also has a mansion !!
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Like +1 Object -0 Kochhar lawyer 20 Nov 14, 16:01
Whether we call it a branch or an office, it nobody's business. Mumbai must be having fantastic lawyers, but the Partner in Charge of our Mumbai office sits in Delhi and I do not see anything wrong in that. I presume there are things like video-conference, teleconference etc. Our endeavor is to provide a pan-India and important global-cities network to our Clients on a sigle platform. We find it much better to have our own offices and avoid banking on foreign law firms to the exent possible (co-ordination, resource identification etc).
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Like +1 Object -1 Trolla 20 Nov 14, 22:16
Please proofread what you write before clicking comment. The same goes for your work as well.
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Like +2 Object -0 Kochhar lawyer 20 Nov 14, 16:40
Making sense, I do not think your views are correct. Kochhar increasingly does a lot of high stake infrastructure projects, international commercial arbitrations, corporate restructuring assignments, real estate projects etc., general corporate practice apart. M&A pratice is not the only bechmark for judging a firm's success, but most people seem to believe so.
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Like +1 Object -0 Kochhar Lawyer 2 20 Nov 14, 17:36
...and it is none of your business even if we open a branch/office/Inc etc at Mars with head of Mars Practice sitting in Jasola.
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Like +5 Object -1 Khachchar 20 Nov 14, 20:22
Dear sirs,

Myself Khachchar. I am eagerly interestid in joining your prestigius firm. I graduate from good law college. Profisient in the Word and the Excel. I will be best employee for all your branchs. Please to give me chance!
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Like +1 Object -1 Kochhar lawyer 20 Nov 14, 20:42
Rejected at the Reception itself and directed to other law Firms.
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Like +3 Object -1 Wokil..!! 20 Nov 14, 21:50
I heard they are not paying salaries to associates and normally do appraisal in January ..!!! Good things only about bangalore office, for Mumbai office u can say survival is progress, Hyderabad office no words to describe ..!! It's all in market..!!
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Like +0 Object -0 Divine Intervention 21 Nov 14, 10:37
Kochhar Lawyer...the more you write ...the more it reveals your drafting skills !! so keep writing...your words speak for itself "quality". And yes please open a "Branch" in Mars...as once you start drafting...there is no oxygen left for others to breathe !
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Like +0 Object -1 Kochhar lawyer 21 Nov 14, 12:23
Kochhar has not delayed payment at any point of time, unlike the case of some of the so-called law firms. What is important is the month from which enhanced retainer becomes effective, regardless of the time/month appraisal takes place and it is my experience that enhanced retainer always becomes effective from 1st April of the relevant financial year. I see some unhappy souls here making wild allegations; some are presumably ones thrown out for incompetency. I wish them all the best in other Law Firms.
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Like +1 Object -0 April Fool 21 Nov 14, 12:31
1st April...LOL
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Like +0 Object -0 Banana Republic 21 Nov 14, 14:10
Quoting Kochhar lawyer:
Kochhar has not delayed payment at any point of time, unlike the case of some of the so-called law firms. What is important is the month from which enhanced retainer becomes effective, regardless of the time/month appraisal takes place and it is my experience that enhanced retainer always becomes effective from 1st April of the relevant financial year. I see some unhappy souls here making wild allegations; some are presumably ones thrown out for incompetency. I wish them all the best in other Law Firms.


Did you mean Kochhar has not delayed your payment? Speak for yourself. People may have experiences otherwise and you are no authority to comment on that...
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Like +1 Object -0 Rohit 21 Nov 14, 12:59
Kochhar is no law firm. It just "manages"
Kochhar lawyers may feel bad about this statement of mine, but then - Koch Koch hota hain
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Like +0 Object -1 Kochhar lawyer 21 Nov 14, 14:30
The last two comments can only come from court clerks/stenos or at most, associates in a big Law Firm. Merit no comment.
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Like +1 Object -0 khachchar 22 Nov 14, 08:26
But still you did! :(
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Like +0 Object -0 Kochhar Lawyer 4 24 Nov 14, 17:30
This highly sentimental debate has brought tears in my eyes!
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