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Trilegal’s Anand Prasad goes at 49: Talks new chapter as commercial counsel, rebirthing Swatantra as ambitious liberal party

Anand Prasad
Anand Prasad

Trilegal partner Anand Prasad has four days left until he stops being a Trilegal partner, giving up all his equity, all “financial arrangements”, not even “a consulting arrangement” with the firm he co-founded in 2000.

Prasad is now 49 years old; the firm’s retirement age is 65.

Then, from 1 April 2017, he will start a new life as independent counsel and budding politician.

In the meantime, Trilegal’s all-equity partnership’s executive committee will be left in the care of the fellow co-founders Karan Singh and Rahul Matthan, assisted by others.

Independence

Prasad told us by telephone today that he would be moving into his chambers in Delhi’s RK Puram area in another 15 days or so, but he’d begin practising immediately from 1 April from the chambers of a friend in Nizamuddin.

He’s already hired a secretary and “one associate”, said Prasad, laughing when we reminded him that he will have to call his associates “juniors” from now. Then again, he won’t be running a pureplay litigation shop.

His practice would have a “commercial law focus”, explained Prasad, in “both disputes and advisory”.

“There will be white collar crime, etc, there will be pro bono advisory work for start-ups, and I’ll also be available to advise and help either lawyers and law firms in a law firm lawyer consulting mode,” he said.

The political life

As Prasad had said when we first reported his retirement too in early 2016, he had plans to enter the political sphere.

“That’s also on,” he confirmed today. “In the next few weeks I should have a website up, and we’ll probably within the month submit documents and registration for the new political party.”

“It’ll be a liberal and free-market oriented party”, said Prasad, modelled on the Swatantra Party, which enjoyed moderate but never break-through political success in the 60s and 70s under Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, having won 44 Lok Sabha seats in 1967.

Officially the party still has no office bearers (and Prasad would most likely be active in a “think tank"-style role, he said, although he might possibly also consider contesting a seat in future), the party was being set up by a group of people who had been “involved with various political parties in past, including the Lok Satta Party, Aam Aadmi Party, the Swran Bharat Party and the old Swatantra Party”, he said.

The name for the party was still being finalised, but it would likely be some variation on liberal party of India, according to Prasad.

“As soon as the party is formed, we’ll start contesting every election, whether by-election, or state election - wherever we have people we will try to contest,” said Prasad. “The plan will be to try and contest the 2019 parliament election.”

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