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Trilegal of counsel Sakya Chaudhuri moves to HSA as partner

Sakya Singha Chaudhuri
Sakya Singha Chaudhuri

Former Trilegal counsel and regulatory practice head Sakya Singha Chaudhuri has joined HSA Advocates as partner to head the firm’s regulatory practice. Chaudhuri left Trilegal in the last week of July and joined HSA in August.

Chaudhuri, who, before joining Trilegal, had been an associate at HSA from 2007 to 2009, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Trilegal but one has to move on for their personal growth.

“I have known Hemant for a long time. He is one of the oldest names in regulatory in the profession in India. I have a very good chemistry with him and hope we can use that chemistry and grow the practice.”

Chaudhuri graduated as a lawyer from the University of Calcutta in 1998, practiced in the Calcutta high court until 2001 and joined NDLO as an associate until 2003. From 2003 to 2007 he was a chamber junior for former additional solicitor general of India VR Reddy.

He will head HSA’s regulatory and policy practice with a special focus on the energy sector, airports, environment and competition law as a partner, according to his Linked-in profile.

HSA managing partner Hemant Sahai did not comment since yesterday.

Update: HSA managing partner Sahai commented via email:

With the recent elevation and induction of senior lawyers into HSA’s infrastructure, projects and regulatory team (including Sakya, Avirup and Aniket Prasoon from Trilegal), HSA has the strongest and most experienced practice team in this area in India. We now have five partners/associate partners (Hemant, Anjan, Sakya, Pranav, Avirup) leading the infra, projects and regulatory practice with a strong team of senior associates and associates supporting them.

As is well known and recognised, infrastructure, projects and regulatory practice is extremely specialised and requires focused  knowledge and skills and understanding of economic, financial, technical and commercial issues, in addition to strong legal  strengths. This is not a practice area for generalist lawyers as is evident from the fact that most law firms, have been unable to develop and/or sustain this practice area.

Furthermore, with a trillion US dollars to be spent on infra in India over the next 5 years, and PPP being the focus of the government, specialist lawyers in this area are expected to remain very busy. We are already witnessing a slew of regulatory issues that require innovative legal approaches. 

The significance of this growth area as well as recognition of HSA as specialists in this area is evidenced also by the engagement of Hemant Sahai as the strategic adviser to government of Japan, for infrastructure in India.

Chaudhuri had done a six-month secondment in Trilegal’s former best friend Allen & Overy’s competition practices in its London and other European offices in 2010. After he returned, Trilegal opened a pure play competition practice to be handled by him and former NLSIU professor Rahul Singh.

Singh has since left to Oxford for a PhD in competition law but continues to enjoy a part-time role with the firm’s competition practice.

Commenting on recent exits from the litigation team, Trilegal co-founding partner Anand Prasad said: “Some parts of the electricity regulatory practice has got a bit commoditised in the last few years and we have been attempting to move our practice to doing more complex disputes. As a consequence of this, we have encountered a bit of a churn in the electricity regulatory team. The firm is rebuilding the electricity regulatory team with this focus, with Sitesh Mukherjee in the lead, and has already made a bunch of fresh hires consistent with this strategy.

“Of the old team, a few excellent people have moved to counsel practice and we are hopeful that they would return to the firm sometime in the future.

“As to the others, we wish the very best for the future. Sakya too is a nice guy and similarly we wish him the best with his new venture.”

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