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Luthra looks to Bangalore; Delays lockstep conversion

Luthra & Luthra has hired an Amarchand Mangaldas senior associate, as targeting expansion in Bangalore. The firm also paid out bonuses last week and increased base salaries earlier this year but it has delayed its announced lockstep conversion process until the end of the year.

Vasudev Dibbur joined Luthra & Luthra's corporate and private equity team as a senior associate in Bangalore three weeks ago after spending three years in Amarchand's Bangalore office.

Luthra & Luthra partner and Mumbai office head Mohit Saraf said that the firm wanted to move to new premises in Bangalore as soon as it would find a suitable space.

He said: "We are looking at recruiting a few people either at partner level in Bangalore or returning counsel from international law firms."

J Sagar Associates (JSA) and AZB & Partners have also both targeted Bangalore strongly in the last month with takeovers of local firms.

"The focus in Bangalore would be local companies and private equity. Particularly Bangalore has a huge amount of VC [venture capital] funding," said Saraf, adding that real estate work was also an interesting field in the city.

He also added that the firm had paid out the final portion of associate and salaried partners bonuses last week, a short time later than normally due to a delay in finalising the amounts.

Fixed salaries make up 75 per cent of total possible remuneration of Luthra & Luthra. Up to 25 per cent is an additional bonus element the first part of which gets paid out at the financial year end on 31 March, with the final part usually being paid after bills and recoveries are evaluated in early July, Saraf told Legally India.

The average bonus this year took remuneration across the firm up to 85 per cent of the maximum, he said, although "lots of people" also received 100 per cent.

In April Luthra & Luthra had also raised associate salaries by between 15 and 22 per cent on average, added Saraf.

The firm had also announced a move to a modified lockstep system in early June but Saraf said the changes were unlikely to be implemented before the end of the year as structural details of the conversion still needed to be worked out.

The firm had originally intended to have the lockstep system ready and to invite new partners onto it by the end of June.

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