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Senior DSK partner Balbir Singh resigns (amicably) to pursue litigation & senior counsel dream

Balbir Singh: Living the litigation dream
Balbir Singh: Living the litigation dream

DSK Legal Delhi corporate, competition and litigation partner Balbir Singh has resigned from the partnership to begin counsel practise in Delhi.

He started his chambers with between five to seven lawyers – some of whom came from his existing DSK team - on 1 January 2015.

Singh said: “I honestly feel that I did my home work in the last two years, being in court every day, doing 600 matters in the last year-and-a-half.”

He told Legally India that one of the reasons for going independent was because friends and contacts at other firms had indicated they would brief him as a counsel, though conflicts between DSK and other firms prevented them from doing so.

As an independent counsel, Singh said, DSK could continue briefing him in disputes, but hopefully other firms too would come through with instructions.

DSK Legal Mumbai-based managing partner Anand Desai confirmed that DSK would continue working with Singh, and commented: “Balbir decided to become a counsel as court litigation really interests him. He got excellent opportunities in the past few years, including in Competition Commission matters.”

Legally India had reported in August that Singh had resigned from the CCI panel after two years ahead of expiry of the tenure in order to avoid future conflicts with existing clients. He had been appearing regularly for the CCI in that time.

While Singh said he would do some filing work and “whatever comes my way”, the ultimate objective was to run a pure counsel practice broadly in the commercial litigation space, which would also include competition and tax work.

The 19-year qualified lawyer, who had set up his own firm in 1998 and merged into DSK Legal in 2006, said that he hoped one day he would be given the nod to become senior counsel, though he admitted it was a long shot.

“I would like to go that way [senior counsel],” he said. “It’s not predictable at all but I’m willing to take my chances.”

Desai added: “Two other partners, Chirag [Mody] in Mumbai and Ajesh  [Kumar] in Bangalore had also left our firm to establish their practice as counsel (although in Bangalore the distinction is not as clear as in Mumbai and Delhi). The good part is that we continue to work with all of them.”

DSK had merged with Kumar’s firm in 2011 to enter Bangalore.

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