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This article, like many others, was first published exclusively for long-term supporters, 15 hours before everyone else got to read it.

ELP partner Tushar Ajinkya starts ThinkLaw with team & longer term mid-size boutique ambitions

Tushar Ajinkya starts ThinkLaw
Tushar Ajinkya starts ThinkLaw

Economic Laws Practice (ELP) partner Tushar Ajinkya and his team including associate partner Ankita Kashyap and three others, have set up a boutique corporate law firm in Mumbai.

“Challenges throw up opportunities,” Ajinkya said. “The pandemic was one of the challenges and I thought this is a great opportunity.”

Ajinkya had joined ELP from DSK in 2018, where had worked since 2001 (when it had still been allied to erstwhile accountancy firm Arthur Anderson).

The new firm was set up today (Saturday, 19 December) and is called ThinkLaw. It would begin with Ajinkya and his team that had joined ELP (including Kashyap, Sukanya Sehgal and Chirag Jain, in addition to Aditi Singh who had recently joined the team).

ThinkLaw was in advanced discussions with three other lawyers and hoped to onboard them shortly, he added.

He was currently the only partner, with Kashyap continuing as associate partner but “she will be partner soon”, said Ajinkya. ThinkLaw would not be a family venture or firm, he said. “In fact, I want to create a platform to actually provide driven professionals an opportunity to be recognised.”

In the coming months the firm would hit a headcount of around 10 fee-earners, he predicted, and in the next five to ten years he was looking at growing ThinkLaw to 35 to 40 fee-earners.

Its current offering was that of a corporate boutique, made up of corporate, M&A and commercial work.

This was backed up by “elements of employment”, where he had been receiving work from clients for a “very very long time” and also in particular during the early stages of the lockdown, when several clients were “either repurposing or recalibrating their employee strengths” (and with the Wage Code Bill coming in, there was “a lot of interest”, he added).

In addition, ThinkLaw was also offering pre-disputes and pre-litigation strategy with promoters, companies and investors who might be envisaging a dispute or might be in early stages of a dispute.

When asked about what the firm would do if there was a heavy recession in the coming years, Ajinkya noted that the latter also had the advantage of being a counter-cyclical practice area.

An additional advantage to a practice profile broader than just M&A in a difficult climate was that the firm was not looking at taking on heavy overheads at this point in time, he said (that said, the firm wouldn’t be functioning entirely virtually, and he was hoping to finalise office space soon, most likely in Mumbai’s Nariman Point area).

And there were particular opportunities for smaller players that the pandemic had opened up.

“Lockdown gave opportunities for lawyers to demonstrate who they themselves are as opposed to which firm they belong to, and it doesn’t matter which office you sit from,” explained Ajinkya. “It is not about a large versus a small organisation representing you but you are a person in a [virtual] meeting room, that creates an opportunity for people to demonstrate skill sets and therefore be rewarded by clients.”

Regarding his time at ELP, he commented: “Had a wonderful time working there and wish them success.”

We have also reached out to ELP for comment.

Update 21 December: ELP managing partner Suhail Nathani commented: “We have always encouraged the spirit of entrepreneurship within ELP and we wish Tushar and his team all the best in his future endeavors.”

Tushar Ajinkya Work history From: Nov 2018: Partner, Economic Laws Practice (ELP) (Mumbai Area) Sep 2001 - Nov 2018: Partner, DSK Legal Mar 1999 - Sep 2001: Associate, Nishith Desai Associates Mar 1996 - Mar 1999: Last position as Asst. Manager Legal, Tata Infotech Limited and Tata Finance Limited (Mumbai Area) Education 1993 - 1996: St. Xavier’s College, B.Sc, Chemistry 1996 - 1999: Government Law College, LL.B, 2000 - 2005: University of Mumbai, LL.M, Information Technology Laws Ankita Kashyap Work history From: Aug 2020: Associate Partner , Economic Laws Practice (ELP) Aug 2020 - undefined: Associate Partner, Economic Laws Practice (ELP) Oct 2015 - Oct 2018: Principal Associate, DSK Legal (Mumbai Area) Apr 2012 - Sep 2015: Senior Associate, DSK Legal May 2010 - Mar 2012: Associate, DSK Legal Education 2004 - 2007: Nowrosjee Wadia College, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Economics 2007 - 2010: ILS Law College Pune, BA LLB,
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