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Trilegal co-founder Anand Prasad starts up ‘complex situations’ boutique with 3 alums

AP - the firm as well as the man - intend to focus exclusively on complex work.

Anand Prasad teams up with ex-colleagues Moksha Bhat, Sandeep D Das, Arjun Sinha
Anand Prasad teams up with ex-colleagues Moksha Bhat, Sandeep D Das, Arjun Sinha

The ex-co-founding partner of Trilegal, Anand Prasad, has started up a four-partner boutique law firm AP & Partners after two years as an independent counsel and budding politician.

Prasad had gone independent in 2017, leaving behind the firm he had co-founded in 2000, to pursue independent counsel practice and politics.

“My efforts on the political side collapsed”, he laughed, when asked about the latter, which was an attempt to revive the liberal-free-market Swatantra Party; like most non-BJP parties in this day and age, it had presumably failed to make much of an impact.

The former has gone better, however, said Prasad, with him independently working primarily on arbitrations and board-level advisory instructions, as well as some matters in courts and the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

Now, however, marks another new chapter. “We are all coming together to form a smaller firm, that is more ‘complex situation oriented’,” he explained. “It won’t do large M&A, stuff like that but it’s essentially focused on difficult situations that clients are doing, [as well as] acting for the sellers, acting for promoters, because it doesn’t require a huge team.”

That team right now is a total of six fee-earners, including Prasad and three fellow partners, all of whom are equity (much like the Trilegal model).

Four Trilegalites

All three are also ex-Trilegalites who have gone independent over the past years, and Prasad said has been working with them for 12 to 18 months.

Moksha Bhat (a 2009 NUJS Kolkata graduate) focuses on corporate M&A, had worked in the chambers of senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi for a year, and had been at Trilegal between 2011 and 2018, leaving as counsel.

Sandeep D Das (2008 Delhi University) is a commercial litigator, including white collar crime, compliance and arbitration, as well as an advocate-on-record. He had spent five years at Trilegal, becoming junior of counsel there, before setting up Das Law in 2013.

Arjun Sinha (NUJS Kolkata 2010) does a mix of corporate, technology and policy work. He had begun working at Trilegal in 2010, had a stint as a policy lawyer at PLR Law Chambers, followed by another two years at Trilegal until 2018 before going independent.

A Delhi office and formal launch would be finalised in the coming weeks, said Prasad, and the firm would remain small and not “like a typical large firm”. It was also hard to find lawyers “inclined” to work on what may be smaller deals and not acting for acquirers, for instance, he mused.

That said, the firm would probably grow a little. “The idea is for each partner to have at least two associates working with them. Once we have office space we will tend to, from time to time, bring in people on an ad hoc basis,” Prasad said.

Prasad himself would focus on the general overview and strategic advice, he said, while his co-partners would handle the majority of client work directly.

That different model was also part of the reason that he did not return to Trilegal where administration for instance would have taken away a lot of time from clients, he said when asked: “If I go back to Trilegal, I’d go back to doing what I was doing earlier.”

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