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Scoop: JSA securities star Somasekhar Sundaresan to go independent [UPDATE: JSA STATEMENT]

Sundaresan on the way out
Sundaresan on the way out

J Sagar Associates (JSA) Mumbai partner Somasekhar Sundaresan, one of the top securities lawyers in India, is currently in advanced discussions to resign and take up independent counsel practice, Legally India understands authoritatively.

Sundaresan had joined JSA with outgoing managing partner Berjis Desai, having been a retained partner at Udwadia, Udeshi and Berjis, and is one of the highest-paid partners at the firm according to JSA’s remuneration system combining a range of contributions.

It is understood that no leaving date has been agreed yet, although he has made some internal announcements about his intentions.

Update 16:44: JSA has released a statement confirming that Sundaresan’s departure would be completed by the end of 2016. “While Som will, of course, become an independent counsel, we, at JSA, will continue to cherish Som’s journey the way we would of anyone who has been an integral part of JSA,” said the statement by Desai and JSA founder and post-retirement chairman Jyoti Sagar.

Update 22 March: Read Berjis Desai interview: JSA, what now, sans Som? Berjis Desai explains why he and Jyoti truly are delighted

Trilegal co-founding partner Anand Prasad recently announced that he would leave the firm to become a counsel.

Sundaresan is the second senior lawyer to be leaving JSA within a year, following the departure of Akshay Chudasama who defected to Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas to become its Mumbai managing partner.

Sundaresan has been unreachable for comment since late last week.

JSA’s outgoing managing partner Berjis Desai also declined to comment when contacted.

JSA’s firm profile on Sundaresan states:

Somasekhar heads the Securities Law and Financial Sector regulatory practice at JSA, a national Indian law firm. He has been in practice for the past 16 years.

While his commercial transactional practice covers M&A of listed businesses and regulatory advisory work for market intermediaries, his contentious practice covers securities regulatory litigation, acting as counsel before the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Securities Appellate Tribunal and the Supreme Court of India.

He has also been actively involved in regulatory policy and legislative drafting. He has been:

- Member of the Working Group on Foreign Investment in India under the chairmanship of Mr. UK Sinha, which submitted its report in July 2010.

- Member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s Takeover Regulations Advisory Committee, and drafted Takeover Regulations, which has been substantially implemented.

- Consultant to the Financial Sector Legislative Reform Commission, which submitted its report in 2013, containing the draft Indian Financial Code, which contains new financial sector legislation for India.

- Member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s High-Level Committee to review and draft new regulations governing insider trading in India.

- Member of a committee of the Ministry of Finance to write new policy for issuance of global depository receipts, foreign currency convertible bonds and external commercial borrowings.

- Member of a committee of the Reserve Bank of India to review corporate governance in the Indian banking sector.

He is currently serving on a Task Force of the Ministry of Finance to set up a Financial Sector Appellate Tribunal in India.

Somasekhar is an invitee to FICCI’s Steering Committee and an active member of its Capital Markets Committee. He serves as a director of rights-based NGO Oxfam India.

Somasekhar authors a fortnightly column titled Without Contempt on investment law and policy in the Business Standard, a national business newspaper in India, and a weekly column on mainstream law and justice in the mainstream Mirror newspaper. He is a guest contributor to the Indian Corporate Law Blog.

Statement from JSA
Statement from JSA

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