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Cyril Amarchand scoops ex-SEBI chief UK Sinha to spearhead governance practice: ’Very profitable’, ‘Wachtell-like', ‘think tank', new 'centrepiece' of firm [UPDATE-1]

Ex-SEBI boss UK Sinha joins CAM for deeper push into corporate governance workEx-SEBI boss UK Sinha joins CAM for deeper push into corporate governance work

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas CAM has hired UK Sinha, former Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) chief of 6 years, as a senior advisor to lead its newly-established Corporate Governance Center (CGC).

While at SEBI until early 2017, Sinha had been one of the few chairpersons of the institution whose term was extended twice, having overseen a number of regulatory reforms of the financial sector, such as more stringent disclosure norms, while reportedly also not having been afraid to make enemies in the corporate sector.

He is a 1976-batch IAS officer, who had also worked as joint secretary in the Ministry of Finance, dealing with banking and capital markets.

Cyril Amarchand, meanwhile, had made national headlines last year for having been drafted in to assist Infosys in sorting out the messes in its boardroom, but managing partner Cyril Shroff said: “We've been involved in boardrooms for donkey's years, but not formally until the last year or two.”

“Infosys was the most public of them, but we've done several fairly high profile profile governance situations,“ Shroff added. “Obviously Infosys was the most prominent of them all [but] there have also been several instructions on board training, even M&A transactions, when we advise boards on how to navigate them, sometimes on ethical situations. There are millions of examples.”

Sinha commented in a statement that CAM was “widely recognised for its leadership on corporate governance advisory”, adding: “Evolution of the regulatory regime concerning corporate governance was a very important aspect of my tenure at SEBI. This is a topic that I have significant interest in and I am glad to be getting another meaningful opportunity to contribute to its development.”

Shroff said that Sinha would be spending the majority of his time at CAM and would not be working for any other advisory firms.

Brave new profitable world?

Shroff noted that no one else was really doing this kind of work in India at present, but that there was major scope for developing the practice. “With the imminent arrival of class action suits and activism we see this practice becoming very relevant,“ Shroff noted.

“It's very profitable - actually a sort of subset of the broader corporate practice. It's a very specialised thing not just the law but a lot of judgment and advisory work. It's undoubtedly a very premium high quality extension of the corporate practice.”

Until Sinha's arrival, the practice included Shroff and four other corporate partners.

It is understood that other former SEBI, UTI and IDBI chairman Meleveetil Damodaran, has also been offering similar corporate governance advisory work under The Damodaran Group banner.

Update 15:37: Economic Laws Practice (ELP) has let us know that it's had a corporate regulatory practice for a while now, telling us:

Corporate governance is becoming increasingly important in today’s environment of shareholder activism, and investigators who have the benefit of hindsight. ELP has built a practice in this field too and has retained Ranganaykulu erstwhile executive director (law) at SEBI. ELP has been active in advising many local listed companies and large conglomerates on corporate governance issues.

“I want to develop it like Wachtell's governance practice,“ Shroff explained about the plans, referring to what is arguably the most elite of the elite New York-based corporate law firms, Wachtell Lipton. “Wachtell has created a separate governance group, basically a Martin Lipton-led group. Even the SEC looks to them for guidance.”

In a statement, the firm said:

The CAM - CGC, being the first of its kind, will be the centrepiece of the Firm’s thought leadership and advisory initiatives in the area of corporate governance. As a Think Tank it will undertake continuous study and research on complex and nuanced issues pertaining to governance. The initiatives of the CAM - CGC will be wide ranging and will include providing specialized, bespoke board advisory services, assisting companies in setting up internal governance procedures and controls, representation in shareholder/ activist engagements engaging with Indian and international stakeholders and training of board members and senior management. The CAM - CGC will also contribute to deepening of understanding of corporate governance issues specific to Indian markets through seminars, publications and engaging with market participants and regulators. And thereby, shape the governance conversation in India.

In the statement, Shroff also added:

“With the setting up of the CAM – CGC, we are taking our Corporate Governance practice sharply to the next level. We believe that this has the potential to be an independent practice like in western markets. We see governance related conversations becoming more frequent and urgent across Indian corporates, stakeholders and regulators. The answers are never simple and straightforward and require maturity, experience and multi-disciplinary expertise. So this is very exciting for CAM given our focus on this practice over the last few years. I am very glad to have U.K. Sinha join us as we cross a very important milestone. He brings with him the substance and experience that this practice needs, and which I believe, our clients will immensely benefit from. His scholarly and thoughtful approach will add enormous depth to our offering”.

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Like +10 Object -19 Guest 08 Mar 18, 13:27  controversial
Finsec is currently only specialist law firm in sebi regulatory and governance space.. it's good that big firms have realized that you need specialist in this field.. UKS is a big catch but him not being a lawyer will impede the depth required for legal advisory. Good luck CAM!
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Like +2 Object -8 Specialist 09 Mar 18, 10:59
Mr. Cyril Shroff, Mr. Sanjay Asher, Mr. Rajiv Luthra and Ms. Zia Mody are members of respective SEBI Committees and also champion for SEBI Regulatory and governance space...
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Like +17 Object -0 Mohanlal 08 Mar 18, 13:28  interesting  top rated
This is amazing! Good that law firms like CAM are intensifying this practice!
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Like +4 Object -0 Chaiwala 08 Mar 18, 14:47
Strategic move by CAM... So they have now Ex chairman of SEBI, CCI and Ex Deputy Governor of RBI...
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Like +10 Object -3 Cronie 08 Mar 18, 14:48  interesting
His son is at AZB. Cross border compliance!
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Like +65 Object -1 Yes 08 Mar 18, 15:29  interesting  top rated
Will UK Sinha Sir also be required to fill Time Sheets?
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Like +9 Object -3 Saag 08 Mar 18, 15:42  interesting
CAM and ELP... worlds apart. On the opposite ends of the spectrum actually.
"Me too" syndrome much ELP?
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Like +8 Object -3 Embarrased 08 Mar 18, 18:07  interesting
The new management is so insecure, especially after Rohan sir's several prime time segments on CNBC, Bloomberg etc. they've been trying desperately to get more media attention including hiring a new PR firm at a huge spend (which hasn't been past practice & is rumored to affect our bonus). Can't think of another time a firm has made such a statement in the legal media just to be included in a story that they weren't even initially even part of......this is just embarrassing
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Like +0 Object -7 kianganz 08 Mar 18, 18:48
To be honest, I think it's good that they told us, so we requested them to send us a bit that we can include in the story. If CAM is claiming that no other law firm has such a practice, surely it's worth correcting in the body of the story and carrying such an update.

If there are any others that have a proper practice area like this, please do share.
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Like +11 Object -10 Random 08 Mar 18, 23:09  controversial
Khaitan has a strong and established regulatory practise in Delhi and Mumbai
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Like +1 Object -9 JKI 15 Mar 18, 20:16
Learn how to use "practice" first
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Like +8 Object -0 Random 20 Mar 18, 08:53  interesting
No harm intended. My experience had always been good when engaged KCO's regulatory team.
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Like +4 Object -9 Harshad Mehta 08 Mar 18, 18:22
ELP actually has a dedicated securities team which advises various listed entities on governance related matters. They are also empanelled by SEBI and BSE to represent their interests before judicial bodies.
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Like +8 Object -1 HJ1 11 Mar 18, 21:44  interesting
Finsec (Sandeep) and JSA (Ravi/Paras) have good teams that can easily pivot into the CG practice. ELP, Law Point and K Asher with their understanding of the regulators mindset should also be good bets for a successful CG practice.

ELP may be the only known name advising SEBI and BSE. ELP (Tomu) is known to hold fort for SEBI and BSE in many a sticky situations for a few years now. Other firms like Law point (Poornima) and K Ashar (Mihir) also advise them. SEBI and BSE have an amazing set of senior counsels protecting thier interests. These are all small teams doing interesting work. This may, however, not come under the corporate governance practice.
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Like +25 Object -3 Guest 08 Mar 18, 16:57  interesting  top rated
Wachtell? Hahahahaha
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Like +10 Object -4 Delusional 09 Mar 18, 12:23  interesting
Whoever made that "Wachtell-like" comparison is smoking something legit and has no clue whatsover of what WLRK is. Absolute sham.
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Like +3 Object -1 Southie 08 Mar 18, 18:21
"..former SEBI, UTI and IDBI chairman Meleveetil Damodaran.."

This is not the culturally appropriate way to write his name. It's "M Damodaran", where "M" is fully intended to be an initial, normally signifying his father's name. "Damodaran" is his given name.

Converting this into a Western/ North Indian format is presumptuous. Try to imagine "leading lawyer S. Cyril" and see how your paradigms need to change.
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Like +14 Object -0 kianganz 08 Mar 18, 18:45  interesting  top rated
I would love to say you're right in this case, but looks like he's Northernised himself on his own website :)
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Like +2 Object -0 Southie 08 Mar 18, 19:07
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Like +4 Object -9 WESTIE 09 Mar 18, 14:51
WHY are you southies so stuck up on everything from the south? Why so insular?
Why can you NEVER take a joke on yourself or your ppl?
Problem kya hai life mein?
Forget this particular instance : this is a repeated pattern of behavior that has become so common with southies it no longer surprises me.
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Like +6 Object -1 kianganz 09 Mar 18, 14:56  interesting
Typical Westie, doing Southie bashing again! ;)
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Like +7 Object -0 Mallu 09 Mar 18, 21:16  interesting
Why are you explaining Malayali names if you are not one? Meleveetil Damodaran is very much the Malayali way of writing his name with Meleveetil standing for his family house.Stop converting every ranodm point into some north south stuff without even knowing what you are talking about.
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Like +2 Object -0 Mohanlal 09 Mar 18, 23:22
Sheri aanu, aliya
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Like +1 Object -0 Mallu 10 Mar 18, 11:02
nandi maashe
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Like +8 Object -11 SEBI 08 Mar 18, 22:48  controversial
Worst decision by CAM, one of the most autocratic chairman of SEBI, UKS has many enemies in SEBI which will ensure that CAM should suffer. Any comment on integrity of this gentleman or the nepotism he promoted would be unfitting for Li's board.
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Like +6 Object -4 Grow up 09 Mar 18, 00:39
You mean to say SEBI just works on the basis of animosities of the officers with their former bosses and not on the merit of the case/issues. None of the ex-regulators hired as consultant by CAM liaise with their previous organisations. They forms part of think tank and not hired for jugad. I can understand that meaning of think tank is not clear to some people yet :)
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Like +2 Object -0 Dude 09 Mar 18, 16:41
Stop watching Savdhan India
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Like +0 Object -0 Debit 09 Mar 18, 17:54
And yet you talk about it on this August board!
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Like +1 Object -0 Escobar 09 Mar 18, 09:33
Interesting to see that two old acquaintances Mr. Anand Sinha and Mr. Upendra Sinha coming together to work for CSVS.
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Like +13 Object -1 lol 09 Mar 18, 09:45  interesting  top rated
Wachtell-like - LOL
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Like +2 Object -0 Yeah 10 Mar 18, 22:36
C'mon. comparing with Wachtell. Really! Agree that Shroff is a good global name, but c'mon!
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Like +2 Object -1 Eiseroy Damodar 09 Mar 18, 17:27
Good news for regulatory honchos
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Like +5 Object -4 Guest 09 Mar 18, 19:07
WLRK may sue for defamation! What a joke
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Like +2 Object -0 Alias 12 Mar 18, 12:48
What a nice business model CAM has. Business never hurts when you pluck an ex-regulator. Almost like a lobbying practice.
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 13 Mar 18, 19:03
Congratulations uncle!

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Like +1 Object -1 Charles Ponzi 20 Mar 18, 18:03
ELP has greatly enhanced its securities law practice by retaining J. Ranganayakulu, ex- SEBI ED for three tenures.
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