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Year behind schedule, Shardul now launches in Bangalore, scoops ex-AMSS Omidyar GC Karthik Mahalingam [UPDATE-2]

Mahalingam's journey: From AMSS (Mumbai region) to VC fund to SAM Bangalore
Mahalingam's journey: From AMSS (Mumbai region) to VC fund to SAM Bangalore

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas has started a Bangalore office with ex-Omidyar Network India general counsel (GC) Karthik Krishnan Mahalingam as office head, equity partner and national venture capital practice head.

In a press release executive chairman Shardul Shroff commented: “We are delighted that Karthik is re-joining us after a successful stint with Omidyar. With him coming on board, we will be closer to our clients in Bangalore. He brings with him tremendous knowledge of investing in start-ups and in the VC sector, and his joining will significantly strengthen our offering to that market. I am confident that he will be a big asset to the Firm.”

He is understood to be joining around June.

Mahalingam was the head of Amarchand Mangaldas’ Hyderabad office – which was part of what is now Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas – and had in 2011 joined the venture capital and philanthropic investment fund of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. According to the press release, he “worked on venture transactions in India, South East Asia and Africa, focused on consumer internet & mobile, financial inclusion and education”.

Mahalingam had joined Amarchand Mumbai from NLSIU Bangalore in 2001, moving to Bangalore in 2003, and to Hyderabad in 2006.

Bangalore was the most obvious missing puzzle piece in Shardul Amarchand’s rebuild following its break-up with Cyril Amarchand, since the latter retained Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad offices under the separation agreement, and quickly launched in Delhi.

In May 2015 when setting up, Shardul Shroff had said that he intended to start in Bangalore within a month, which did not materialise.

However, the firm has built a strong presence in Mumbai under the region’s managing partner Akshay Chudasama, who had joined from J Sagar Associates (JSA).

The Bangalore office off Bangalore’s city-centre Lavelle Road (in the Prestige Sterling Square on Madras Bank Road) has been operational for several months, under the nominal care of Delhi partner Jatin Aneja.

Mahalingam commented in the press release: “I am excited to be joining Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and helping the firm establish the Bangalore and its presence in South India.

“We will be able to offer significant value to clients looking for high quality, timely and pragmatic legal advice and clearly distinguish ourselves in the region. Apart from the work with local clients, we look forward to strengthening our relationships with investors and the entrepreneurial community. There are fabulous lawyers in our various offices working on venture capital and emerging companies and we look forward to creating a strong national platform.”

Shardul Amarchand is now “more than 370 lawyers” strong, including 70 partners, according to its press release, with offices Delhi, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Kolkata.

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