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Young entrepreneur Krishnayan Sen starts ‘forthright’ 3-city firm Verus

Exclusive: The former Bharucha & Partners senior associate and 2006 NUJS Kolkata graduate is in the process of taking on board three more equity partners to create a national law firm.

Former Bharucha & Partners senior associate Krishnayan Sen has started up a law firm with offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, hoping to grow Verus Advocates into a multi-disciplinary, egalitarian partnership.

Litigation and arbitration lawyer Sen has taken office space in the three cities and is in advanced talks with three other young lawyers to join as partners in three other practice areas, he said.

“The firm will have a common balance sheet, a common partnership, one pool,” explained Sen, adding that he wanted it to be based on ethical principles such as transparency of decision making, management and advice. “Verus will be very forthright.”

“Today I feel there is a dearth of very young law firms,” he noted. “There are people with very credible experience, having worked in law firms and that’s perhaps the reason new law firms mushrooming every other day.”

He said that the new partners’ experience levels would be comparable to his own and they would specialise in transactional areas other than disputes and arbitration, which he would be heading.

Following Sen’s graduation from NUJS Kolkata in 2006 and a stint at the Supreme Court chambers of India’s former solicitor general VR Reddy, Sen returned to Kolkata following his father’s untimely demise and took up the task of running his family’s historic Kolkata law firm of almost 30 lawyers, Udayan Sen & Co, for almost two years.

In 2009 he took what he said was a difficult decision to close the firm. While the practice had seen some hard-fought success with him at the helm attempting to follow in his father’s footsteps and many lawyers had stayed on, Sen explained that he needed to gain experience in a professionally-run transactional firm with global clients and because he believed that a small family or proprietorship set-up could not be sustainable in the long term.

In 2009 Sen joined Bharucha & Partners as an associate in arbitration where he was promoted to senior associate in April 2010. He left in the second half of that year to start the new firm Verus, which began operating last week.

Verus currently consists of Sen across all three offices and two associates each in Delhi and Mumbai. The Kolkata office space is that of the erstwhile family firm but he said it would not be growing rapidly and would mainly be used by himself to service his existing Kolkata clients, with four instructions currently ongoing there.

Sen has also taken office space in Mumbai’s Fort/Kala Ghoda area and in Delhi’s Phase 1 area between the High and Supreme Court.

He enthused that within five years he would like Verus to be a firm of choice for clients “with a very strong partnership”, where profits would come second to the quality of advice and respect from industry and peers.

Bharucha & Partners senior partner MP Bharucha said he was very fond of Sen and “delighted” about his initiative.

Photo by Scarleth White

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