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SN Gupta brothers merge into full service SNG firm of 113: Target 11 offices this year

Rajesh Gupta: Sibling unity
Rajesh Gupta: Sibling unity
Exclusive: SNG & Partners and SN Gupta & Co – two separate partnerships that have respectively focused on transactional work in Mumbai and litigation in Delhi – merged into one firm of five equity and 17 non-equity partners this week, having recently absorbed offices in seven new cities and started a tax practice.

The SNG & Partners legacy firm was headquartered in Mumbai and specialised in work for banks and financial institutions as well as other corporate work. It rebranded nearly two years ago from the SN Gupta & Co name under its managing partner Rajesh Narain Gupta.

His brother Sanjay Gupta was the managing partner of Delhi-based SN Gupta & Co, which primarily handled litigation matters.

The new merged partnership, which was created last weekend in an all-partners’ meeting, will also be called SNG & Partners with Rajesh Gupta acting as managing partner and Sanjay Gupta as senior partner.

Sanjay Gupta said: “The main idea behind the merger [is] it would immediately turn the firm into a full service law firm.

“The general view in the market and what everyone perceived was that we were one law firm but internally we knew we were working within some other parameters. The idea is to give that perception within the company as well and it is essential that we give one brand name, rather than two different brand names.”

Rajesh Gupta agreed and noted that bringing all practice areas within “one single robust entity” – including the newly acquired verticals of tax and intellectual property (IP) - would increase cross-selling opportunities.

Sanjay Gupta added that now lawyers at each former entity could also change practice area and specialisation more easily, if they wished to.

Before the merger both firms were closely allied and often cross-referred work, although the relationship was not exclusive, explained Amit Aggarwal, who heads the corporate practice in Delhi at SNG and will be one of the five equity partners at the new firm.

“We always felt that there should be a proper litigation team as we had earlier.”

National expansion: Bangalore and Hyderabad targeted

The combination of the two firms follows a raft of mergers at SNG & Partners late last year.

SNG absorbed three practices in December, which had run as close referral firms of SNG for several years: Rajesh Goel & Co – a litigation and corporate firm in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar headed up by Rajesh Goel; SRM & Partners – a firm headed by Rishikesh Maharishi in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur; and Zenith Lex & Co in Chennai headed by Adhivarahan Venugopal.

Lex Consulting Law Offices founding partners Vikram Bhatia and Punita Bhatia, who specialise in intellectual property (IP), also joined SNG in December.

Finally, former Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) member Virendra Gupta has started in Mumbai as a partner to set up the firm’s tax practice.

Under the new structure SNG has also merged its practice verticals under a number of partners: Sumit Bansal is heading litigation supported partners Ajay Monga, Rajnish Gaur and Hiren Mehta. Corporate continues to be headed by Aggarwal supported by S Babu in Mumbai, supported by Navneet Gupta, Varsha Kriplani, Anju Gandhi and Nupur Singh. Infrastructure, functioning as a part of corporate, continues under Rashi Anand Suri, while Munish Upadhayain in Delhi and Dhiraj Jain and Sadhawa Mishra in Mumbai are heading up real estate.

Rajesh Gupta added that SNG would aim to have offices in Hyderabad and Bangalore in 2013, by merging with local firms or by opening its own outpost.

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