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Khaitan Sud exits volume motor accidents vertical: Partner Ashutosh Singh and team to move in-house

Ashutosh Singh
Ashutosh Singh

Khaitan Sud & Partners (KSP) has dissolved its motor accident claims (MACT) vertical with insurance litigation partner Ashutosh Singh and his team of three lawyers, who were handling it, leaving the firm.

Singh told Legally India that the firm had decided to exit the practice but that he and his team had not yet resigned and the terms of their exit from the firm were “still under consideration”. KSP managing partner Umesh Kumar Khaitan said that the firm was helping Singh and the team relocate to various insurance companies.

Singh said that since the date of exit was also not final yet, he had not yet taken a decision on his plans after exit. Singh has 15 years of experience as a lawyer and had joined the firm in April 2013 after working for 5 years as zonal legal head at Bajaj Allianz Insurance Company.

Umesh Kumar Khaitan commented: “We are still continuing to do high end and high value insurance matters. This [practice area] was all low end matters. We realised we don’t want to be in this space as it gives a wrong message to the insurance companies that we are doing this MACT business.”

“It is a very high volume business. Traditionally they have been handling this vertical differently. It involves very clerical jobs and is very process driven. There is no legal or mental contribution to the problem. We wanted to be in the high end space, where the claims are in excess of Rs 10 crore, and that is what continues to be our focus area,” he added.

Khaitan said: “It is not as if we are asking [the team] to leave or they are leaving us. In fact we did a sort of a soul searching amongst ourselves and they also realised that it might be a good idea. Traditionally this kind of work is being done all over India by individuals in different locations. We tried to attempt this with a view that maybe we can provide a good service to insurance companies by inviting them to look at it as a management of their litigation.”

KSP partners Trinath Tadakamalla and Mrinal Ojha, who joined the firm in June 2012 from Tuli & Co, head the firm’s general insurance and reinsurance practice, on which the firm will now exclusively focus on in the insurance sector.

Tadakamalla told Legally India that his practice was always completely separate and disconnected from Singh’s MACT vertical, which he and his team handled “in a vacuum”. Before Singh spearheaded the MACT vertical around three junior associates at the firm were taking care of work under it, he said.

In March 2013 KSP expanded its corporate practice reach under lateral hire Preeti Balwani, who joined the firm from ALMT Legal as a salaried partner to head up the Mumbai office.

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