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Luthra goes lockstep, modernises management structure

Luthra & Luthra partners have agreed to completely overhaul their management and partnership structure, which will see up to six current salaried partners enter the newly opened equity on a lockstep system.

The five current equity partners will start at the top of the 10-year modified lockstep and most of the new equity partners are set to enter on the bottom or a low rung.

Luthra & Luthra founding partner Rajiv Luthra said: "I had founded the firm and over the years I kept releasing equity. But then we thought it would be more efficient to bring in a new system.

"We've taken a firm view on it - the firm is nice and mature and needs to go to the next level."

As part of the plans Luthra will share management responsibilities with a new executive committee, which in addition to him includes Mumbai office head Mohit Saraf and infrastructure practice group head Sameen Vyas.

Delhi capital markets partner Madhurima Mukherjee has been promoted to head the firm's Bangalore office.

In Delhi, the firm has expanded its office space to accommodate an additional 40 lawyers. In Mumbai and Bangalore, Luthra & Luthra is in the advanced stages of securing new property.

Luthra explained that he wants the firm to double its present capacity in the short term.

Luthra & Luthra has also set up new committees to deal with such areas as knowledge development, professional development, administration and recruitment.

Luthra told Legally India that the lockstep system was drafted after talking to his contacts at international firms. "I went and spent some time with firms like Skaddens, White & Case and Baker & McKenzie to understand what the rest of the world does and I cherry picked."

He added that the system was not yet fully finalised but that it would be slightly modified to the international norms of lockstep, to suit the Indian system.

Between five and six new equity partners will be invited onto the lockstep by the end of this month. The decision to implement the changes were announced in a firm meeting last Monday (8 June).

Luthra & Luthra currently has a total of 26 partners.

Under a lockstep system, equity partners increase their profit share as they become more senior, year by year, at a fixed rate.

Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co rolled out what is understood to be a heavily modified lockstep system at the beginning of this year.

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