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NLS ‘12-13-spawned Jaipur boutique Capstone expands to Ahmedabad to tap ’vibrant start-up culture’, coal imports, ships and lack of young lawyers

Partners Singh, Capstone Legal
Partners Singh, Capstone Legal

Six-year old Jaipur-based firm Capstone Legal, that was started up by NLSIU Bangalore 2012 alumnus Ashish K Singh fresh out of law school with his brother Vagish K Singh, who was in his fourth year at NLSIU at the time, has opened its second office, expanding to Ahmedabad.

The firm has relocated one of its associates to Ahmedabad and plans to add more local lawyers in the city, due to the existence of a “language barrier”, Ashish Singh said.

He commented: “Our work in Rajasthan is all referral work from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and its the same problem in Ahmedabad - it is very difficult to find a reliable law firm there especially [run by] young people.”

Its clients included AU Small Finance Bank, Binani Cement Limited, Snapdeal, HCL Infosystems, Bharti Infratel and Jaipur Literature Festival, they said. In 2016, we had reported that the firm had represented">Prem Sagar Manocha, the ballistic expert in the Jessica Lal murder case who had turned hostile and was charged with perjury but cleared by the apex court.

He said that in his experience, whereas in Mumbai and Delhi there would be 10 sources of legal advice on one issue, in Rajasthan and Gujarat there would usually be zero or just one. Singh added that he sees Gujarat as “one of the most growing states” in India and Ahmedabad having a “vibrant start-up culture” owing to the existence of the IIM-A in the city.

“All of the major law firms anyway have local lawyers doing the same thing now - we are just following the trend [with the difference that] we are a boutique so we don't have the same mandate [as a big firm],“ he said.

Singh said the firm has a lot of taxation work among its mandates and that Ahmedabad will help focus on its coal import matters and work from the ship breaking industry.

Vagish Singh commented: “For us Mumbai and New Delhi offices are on the cards as well but many of our clients who are based in Rajasthan with bigger operations in Gujarat were seeking our help in various legal matters which forced us to look at Gujarat over two megapolis.”

Capstone Legal has 2 partners, making a total 7-lawyer dispute resolution and corporate advisory boutique firm.

It plans to focus on growth in tier 2 and tier 3 cities and expand according to client needs, overlooking “personal ambition” to expand to “lucrative” cities in favour of client demands for other expansion in other regions it stated in its press release.

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