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This article, like many others, was first published exclusively for long-term supporters, 3 hours before everyone else got to read it.

Manan Lahoty + team of 17 commence CM at Indus, where clients considering IPOs (post complex transition)

Lahoty (left), Nazki, Dubey, Yaduvanshi, Lahiri begin capital markets in new home
Lahoty (left), Nazki, Dubey, Yaduvanshi, Lahiri begin capital markets in new home

L&L Partners capital markets head Manan Lahoty and a team of 17 other fee-earners have started working at IndusLaw’s offices on Saturday, 5 October, after a contentious exit.

Besides Lahoty, who is a 2001 Cardiff University LLB, the team that has joined includes four partners across Delhi and Mumbai:

  • Ravi Dubey (2006 NLIU Bhopal graduate),
  • Abhiroop Lahiri (2009 NUJS Kolkata).
  • Manshoor Nazki (2007 Nalsar Hyderabad),
  • Vishal Yaduvanshi (2006 NLU Jodhpur), and

Since Saturday, that team’s five partners, three senior associates and 10 associates have been working on servicing existing mandates under an arrangement worked out between Lahoty and Luthra & Luthra, as the firm was formerly called.

L&L senior partner Mohit Saraf said that the two firms would “work together and complete all ongoing matters”, following a “joint communication” from Luthra and Lahoty to all clients.

It is understood that for such ongoing deals, Luthra would nominally continue acting as primary counsel to clients but effectively instruct Lahoty’s team at Indus to continue servicing the mandate.

Deal credit in prospectuses for such pre-existing deals, for instance, would remain with Luthra as a firm, we understand from multiple sources.

Luthra has meanwhile already hired Allen & Overy Singapore capital markets lawyer Jitesh Shahani to join in India at some point this year, alongside L&L Delhi-based capital markets partner Geeta Dhania.

Turbulent weather & rainmaking?

Lahoty’s exit had been one of the more contentious law firm team moves in recent memory, after a last-minute ex parte arbitration award in favour of L&L was nullified, after both sides agreed to do so following Lahoty challenged it in the Bombay high court, as we had first reported last week.

Besides the legal complications, building a capital markets practice won’t necessarily be easy either, although Indus co-founding partner Gaurav Dani showed few reservations, saying: “We’re extremely delighted to have them on board and look forward to working with them and growing the firm and the practice.”

When asked about the challenges of winning capital markets work from typical clients in the space, such as bankers, that often prefer working with a very small roster of large firms, he said it wouldn’t be a tough sell, adding that Indus also had “lots of large companies as clients and we have a very very strong private equity practice”.

“A lot of those clients will be going to IPOs, and we expect to convert them for our capital markets practice,” Dani added.

Dani agreed that this was the largest lateral team hire Indus had ever done in its history, but noted that capital markets practices always “tend to be voluminous”.

The team’s senior associates are Abhyuday Bhotika (CNLU Patna graduate), Priyadarshini Rao (NLU Jodhpur) and Puneet Passi (NLU Odisha).

Every single fee-earner incidentally is a graduate of a national law school (also including NLSIU Bangalore, NLU Jodhpur, NUJS Kolkata and Nalsar Hyderabad, besides the above).

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