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Verus partner Charles De Souza starts Meraki Chambers hybrid of barrister-law firm model

De Souza (l) with Meraki Chambers start-up team
De Souza (l) with Meraki Chambers start-up team

Verus Advocates partner Charles De Souza has started up Meraki Chambers with his team, which he is intending to be a “hybrid between a partnership and a barrister style chamber”.

“The idea behind Meraki Chambers was to provide a platform for members of Meraki Chambers to argue matters (like a Counsel practice) as well as opportunities for drafting of pleadings, advisory work and acting as Advocates on Record as well,” said De Souza. “Thus Meraki Chambers seeks to blend all aspects of the practice with a view to provide end to end services to clients under one roof while ensuring a steady income for the members of Meraki Chambers.

“Such an unconventional structure does not often fit with conventional law firm structures as seen in India. Hence, the decision to start Meraki Chambers with like minded colleagues.”

Meraki currently consists of 8 lawyers, one intern, plus support staff, he said.

Verus founder Krishnayan Sen commented in a Linked-in post:

Very happy and delighted that my dear friends and colleagues Charles (DeSouza) & Gandhar (Raikar) have started out their independent counsels’ chambers as Meraki Chambers.

Charles & Gandhar contributed immensely in setting up our litigation practice at our Mumbai office and was part of our founding team. Charles excelled himself as an arguing counsel and it’s only a natural progression in his career (towards the coveted designation of a senior counsel) that he should move to a counsel chambers’ setup rather than be in a conventional law firm setup. As I keep telling them, I only wish they had made this transition even earlier!!

Here’s wishing Charles, Gandhar and the entire team at Meraki, all the very best! Good luck and tons of best wishes!! Godspeed!

De Souza was promoted to Verus’ partnership in 2015.

He explained that he and Raikar were both 2009 graduates, with De Souza focusing on commercial litigation, constitutional law, debt recovery, arbitration and insolvency proceedings. Raikar specialised in arbitration, real estate, maritime law and civil litigation.

Other members of Meraki include Mahima Sinha (2012 graduate), Manaswi Agrawal (2014 graduate), Aneesa Cheema (2015 graduate), Kkshitij Shah (2016 graduate) and Mithila Damle and Sakshi Bhalla (both 2017 graduates), who also cover white collar crimes, consumer law, intestate and testamentary succession and general corporate advisory work.

Verus Advocates now consists of 5 partners, 20 fee earners at Verus, as well as 22 fee earners at its Pune-based legal-tech start-up called Riverus.

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