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Start-up Vidhii merges with Bangalore firm, scouting two more metros


Coinciding with Paras Kuhad Associates' demerger from Hemant Sahai Associates, Paras Kuhad spin-off firm Vidhii Partners has merged with Bangalore firm Harsha & Co, acquired Mumbai office space and is training its sights on creating a pan-Indian litigation firm.

Mumbai-based Vidhii Partners has combined with Bangalore litigation firm Harsha & Co, with both firms taking the name Vidhii Partners although they will retain separate partnerships and profit pools.

Both firms' work is around 80 per cent litigation-based, with commercial and corporate work making up the rest.

Vidhii Mumbai founding partner Manish Desai said: "We had a few common acquaintances who knew both the law firms and they thought it could be a good opportunity for both of us to grow since he was also looking at expanding and having some kind of partnership to increase his pan-India presence."

Harsha & Co founding partner Harsha Kumar said that the firms made a good fit. "I started my practice in 1986 and now we represent companies like HP [Hewlett Packard], Nokia, Pepsi, Unilever and a number of banks."

Harsha said that in addition to day-to-day litigation work he has also created a business where the firm handles all of the Indian litigation work of HP in a quasi-legal process outsourcing model and in which the firm quotes flat fees per dispute.

Such instructions will now be referred to Vidhii in Mumbai, which also counts a large number of banks as its clients.

Vidhii Partners was started up by Paras Kuhad Associates Mumbai office founders and partners Desai and Sowjanya Menon just as Paras Kuhad was merging with Hemant Sahai Associates two months ago.

Both Paras Kuhad and Hemant have this week decided to demerge again.

Vidhii Mumbai is now at a strength of 10 lawyers after recruiting eight associates from Paras Kuhad.

Last week Vidhii moved into Mumbai's Lower Parel area to a 2,500 square foot office space, which has enough space for another five lawyers, said Desai.

Erstwhile firm Harsha & Co consists of partners Kumar and Geetha B. S. and another 10 associates.

Desai added that his vision for the firm was to create a national presence in the litigation space in the next 12 months "I would certainly like to open up offices in Delhi and Kolkata – we have good people there and we have always gone by our people."

He explained that the new offices would most likely be smaller greenfield operations rather than entering the markets via mergers.

Vidhii's motto, which is included in a specially commissioned painting by Sheil Sadwelkar (pictured) in its new lobby, is taken from the Rudyard Kipling poem The Law of the Jungle and reads:

Now this is the Law of the Jungle –
as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper,
but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the
Law runneth forward and back --
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the
strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

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