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P&A grows to 5 with corp partner, Nalsar ‘07 Ketan Mukhija from SREI • New BGL office targets local action

Ketan Mukhija joins P&A as partner
Ketan Mukhija joins P&A as partner

Law firm P&A Law Offices has hired SREI Infrastructure Finance senior vice president Ketan Mukhija as corporate partner in Delhi.

Mukhija explained that he would be with P&A full-time, though he would try to “maintain due continuity” with the Kanoria Group, which promotes SREI, and continue to serve them from P&A.

Mukhija is a 2007 Nalsar Hyderabad graduate, who had begun his career at P&A, then moving to Herbert Smith in 2008 for a year, and returning to P&A from 2009 until 2013.

He then worked at Vaish Associates for a year before in 2014 joining the Kanoria Group and SREI.

He explained about the move back to private practice: “The kind of techno-commercial and financial skills that one has the potential to acquire in-house, it may not always be possible in a law-firm. As in-house of a group, your client is, in essence, the various businesses themselves - so you could be required to wear several hats on different occasions, and also to work backwards from the desired commercial outcome.

“Corporate practice, being an amalgam of both transactional and advisory work – I’ll be looking to contribute towards strengthening the overall practice while developing the project-finance and insolvency division in particular, given the extensive opportunity in this regard while with the Kanoria Group.”

Managing partner Anand Pathak commented that he would be the 4th corporate partner at the firm, including Pathak himself and another partner who also specialised in competition law. Partner Amit Mishra is the fifth partner, specialising in litigation.

Bangalore clients calling

The firm had also set up a Bangalore office late last year, which has 3 lawyers based there full-time, including partner Anil Kumar (who had been promoted to partner in 2017), but other partners and lawyers from the firm have been spending significant time there.

Pathak explained that the office was opened because some institutional clients had moved there, also often including its legal teams. “Essentially proximity to clients in India is very important,” he said.

“It was also in part because we have PE [private equity] clients who are based there. As you know, Bengaluru is really a town where we have a lot of startups, and a number of our PE and VC [venture capital] clients are potential investors or investors in these starts-ups.”

“And my Bay Area clients ask me whether we can help them out in India investments in Bangalore,” he added.

The firm’s first deal from Bangalore was its assistance late last year of local company Global Edge Software to French listed company Altran Technologies.

Since then, the firm had done two or three other deals in the city, said Pathak.

Mukhija’s joining takes P&A Law Offices to tp;;5 partners and around 50 fee-earners, with offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Pathak said he wasn’t aiming for major headcount expansion but would instead respond to demand: “After a certain size is very difficult to maintain quality, and that is something I’m very particular about.”

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