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This article, like many others, was first published exclusively for long-term supporters, 2 hours before everyone else got to read it.

Wadia Ghandy Delhi head Kunal Vajani becomes independent counsel, possible barristry-style chamber

WG Delhi partner Kunal Vajani goes indie
WG Delhi partner Kunal Vajani goes indie

Wadia Ghandy partner Kunal Vajani, who has been heading its Delhi office, has started up an independent chambers to focus purely on disputes, with an eye to build a UK-style barristers chambers practice.

The Chambers of Kunal Vajani consists of one deputy head of chambers, 2009-graduate Paras Anand, and two other advocates, besides Vajani as founder and head of chambers.

He said that he hoped that other independent advocates would also join in due course, similar to how barristers operate in the UK in one chambers with a common administrative function and common clients.

Since starting on 1 April, Vajani said, he had argued a number of matters in the Supreme Court, of which four briefs had come via Wadia Ghandy. He said that in this time he had also argued in the Delhi, Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Gujarat high courts, as well as the Competition Commission, two matters in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Delhi and one before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in Delhi, and several arbitrations.

About 25% of his current work was alternative dispute resolution, with the rest being litigation.

“I was always very keen to go to a variety of courts. I don’t remember a court that I have not gone and argued a matter in,” he said. The idea in starting a chambers, was that India did not really have counsel chambers where lawyers argued themselves and serviced clients.

“The challenge is that people will want a full service from you,” he said. “A barristerial chamber is very important to come as a package deal... The model is that whatever is delivered by us, is optimum, it’s our baby and not reliant on anyone for a wholistic strategy research including judicial precedents.”

Vajani, a 2003 GLC graduate, had first joined Wadia Ghandy for his articled clerkship, and then completed an LLM from Harvard Law School in 2005, later qualifying as a solicitor in the UK. He became partner in Wadia Ghandy Mumbai in 2011, moving to head its Delhi office after 2015.

He is also an ex-officio member of the executive committee of the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) India and an alternate court member (India) of its International Court of Arbitration (ICA).

Wadia Ghandy Delhi partner Pranaya Goyal, who is a 2009 graduate of NLU Jodhpur and a qualified advocate-on-record (AoR), will be taking over from Vajani to lead the Delhi office.

Pranaya Goyal to take over as WG Delhi head
Pranaya Goyal to take over as WG Delhi head

We reached out to Wadia Ghandy managing partner Ashish Ahuja for comment yesterday.

According to an official communication issued by the firm:

Kunal has informed us that he has decided to move to independent Counsel Practice in Delhi. We are confident that he shall emerge successful in his endeavours. We wish him all the luck. We shall always stand in support for him.

We also congratulate on this occasion to Pranaya Goyal that he has assumed the new role to lead the office in Delhi. We have full faith in his abilities. We are confident that he shall nurture our values.

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