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Start-ups Atman and Salvus walk merger path

Bangalore and Chennai-based Atman Law Partners has inked an alliance with Delhi start-up Salvus Partners. The firms hope that the partnership will lead to a full merger in the next six months.

The firms will continue working under separate brand names as "sister firms" but will share clients and look to fully integrate their technology and billing platforms.

Atman co-founding partner Vivek Durai (pictured) said: "Going forward, we would like to get joint accounts, with one billing and single invoice system.

"If we do a significant number of transactions and things work out we'll probably have joint partnership."

Atman was started in 2007 by the merger between Chennai-based Durai, who was previously a senior associate at AZB & Partners, and the Bangalore firm of Chinmay Mirji, who was previously an executive for legal and compliance at Infosys Technologies.

Atman currently consists of three partners and seven other lawyers and handles a mix of contentious, transactional and commercial advisory work.

Salvus was started in April 2009 by former BBPM Law Associates partners Shailesh Madiyal and Raka Bejoy Phookan. The firm has two other lawyers and specialises in litigation work, although Madiyal also handles some transactional instructions.

Madiyal said: "Strategically, in the South we get an entry and in technology related areas [Atman] have a lot more experience than we do."

He noted that a full-merger between the firms was planned, adding: "We will keep our options open on how it goes in future but as of now there has been value to both of us."

Atman's Durai said that the firm was also looking to make further hires and expand into other cities. "The key issue for small firms like ours is that there is a great motivation to come together… We have the feeling that the market is going to expand and we are going to take a good look."

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