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Saraf v Luthra argue possible separation, division bench order awaited

A Delhi high court division bench has been hearing L&L Partners’ managing partner Rajiv Luthra’s appeal against the single-judge bench order reinstating the firm’s co-founder and senior partner Mohit Saraf.

Both sides seemed to agree that separation was inevitable and Saraf might be paid to start his own firm.

The division bench of justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Sanjeev Narula has heard arguments today and yesterday about allowing Saraf access to the firm again.

Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for Luthra, while Luthra had instructed senior counsel Arvind Nigam and Vikas Singh.

Bar & Bench has been livetweeting the hearing today, and both sides’ lawyers appeared to have been pitching for a dissolution and separation:

If Mr Saraf wants certain particular people, he can take them..he can start whatever he wants. He’s a brilliant person. He will make his worth and meanwhile the Arbitration will be over. Dissolution seems like the only way : Senior Adv AS Chandhiok

Firm can be asked to put some funds : Chandhiok

— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) Fri, 22 Jan 2021, 16:02

Saraf’s side seemed to be in agreement, in principle:

If they give me Rs 40 crore- Rs 50 crore.. we can part ways.. whoever wants to come with me can come: Singh

— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) Fri, 22 Jan 2021, 16:03

Saraf’s side had argued that Luthra had been in Kasauli for two months and not in Delhi, managing the firm from there:

Would you still need access to premises? : Court I’m a hands on person. I have to be in Delhi. I have a place in Kasauli but I can’t live there like Mr Luthra: Singh

— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) Fri, 22 Jan 2021, 15:51

On the flipside, Luthra’s side again alleged that Saraf had been leaking information to “third parties”, with Singhvi arguing that allowing Saraf back into the firm would “disturb the status quo” and “create mayhem and destruction”.

The bench reserved its order in the matter but suggested it would publish its order this evening:

We will release the order.. it is not something that we can pass without discussing : Court

Monday, Mr Lord? : Singh

Let’s see today evening: Court

— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) Fri, 22 Jan 2021, 16:05

Update 23 January 2021: The order is out. In a nutshell, it gives Saraf access to his email again, but has banned him from the offices.

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