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AZB Delhi partner Madhurima Mukherjee exit interview: CM lawyers will need to think ‘out of box’ to keep this practice going [UPDATE-1]

Mukherjee to exit AZB and consider options, not just CM
Mukherjee to exit AZB and consider options, not just CM

AZB & Partners Delhi-based capital markets partner Madhurima Mukherjee is set to leave the firm for “personal reasons”, reported Bar & Bench.

Update 20:53: She told us that she had been thinking about leaving for the past six months but started talking seriously about leaving around two weeks ago.

Her last day will be 30 April, with the Delhi team of seven fee-earners she had built up from scratch, including one partner, remaining at the firm. AZB’s total capital markets team numbers 15 fee-earners across Mumbai, Delhi and Pune, with a total of four partners.

“There’s going to be a global recession, everyone knows that,” said Mukherjee. “The volume of transactions this coming year will definitely be much lower than the previous years.

“Also, capital markets transactions are long, complex and laborious. While I believe that clients who are raising millions of dollars can afford to pay more for good and specialised advice, the Indian capital markets practice is already a pretty crowded space. Therefore, people will need to think a little out of the box to keep this practice going.”

“You never know where life takes you, so we will see where I end up but the only thing I am clear is that I haven’t quit to do exactly the same thing in a different place,” she said about her next career steps. “I do want to practice law and obviously leverage on my experience over the last two decades but I want to go beyond capital markets.”

Mukherjee noted: “While we were quite successful, that is true - last year we did some of the largest and more significant transactions [at AZB] - it may be better to broaden my horizons to doing other things as well.”

As for non-legal work, she said she intended to continue with some of philanthropic work. “As you know, I have long been associated with IDIA and working with my friend Shamnad,” she said. “Now, Shishira [Rudrappa, IDIA trustee] has been carrying on Shamnad’s admirable work.

“It is a cause I strongly believe in. I have also been doing some work with various institutions organising relief efforts on various fronts and it has been extremely fulfilling at a personal level.

“Now, like many others, I am trying to see how I can help the economically vulnerable in this pandemic. Anything you do in a country like ours is less. Going forward, I am very interested to explore the space more formally and seeing if I could assist CSR activities for clients, which seems yet to be developed to its full potential in India.”

Earlier today, in the midst of the Covid lockdown, she had also been feeding stray dogs in her neighbourhood.

AZB Delhi managing partner Ajay Bahl had told B&B:

Recently, she mentioned that the unprecedented events around us have caused her to reflect on what she would like to consider for herself and where she would like to focus her time and attention going forward.

Given the mixed emotions that most of us are dealing with at this time, I could understand where her decision was coming from, and have accepted it. We wish her the best. She continues to remain a member of our family and those ties will remain unaffected.

Mukherjee had joined AZB in 2014, after taking a year out following her departure from Luthra & Luthra - now called L&L Partners - whose capital markets practice she had set up after joining from erstwhile Amarchand Mangaldas.

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