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Moving and shaking / Issue 19

Moily on foreign firms, league tables and law firm movers and shakers in this week's newsletter.

The law minister spoke yesterday about foreign law firms and said not much at all.

But he did mention that the Government was planning to set up four new law schools across India as "centres of excellence", to help emulate what India has done in the IT space.

Foreign firms certainly will not mind either way – they continue featuring in high positions in deal league tables we have published this week.

Exclusive research by Legally India has affirmed Amarchand as the top capital markets dealmaker in qualified institutional placements (QIPs), bagging mandates on 70 per cent of such fundraisings in the last six months. The midfield is tight though, with AZB, J Sagar Associates (JSA), S&R Associates and Luthra & Luthra giving each other runs for money.

Competition in the M&A space is fiercer at the top, as Amarchand has dropped several places according to data from mergermarket. Desai & Diwanji and Khaitan & Co now firmly sit in pole position both in terms of volume and value of M&A deals done in the first three quarters of this year. Total deals done are still at record lows, however.

Next week we'll be giving the low-down on the top firms in the IPO space this financial year to date. The usual suspects will all be there, including of course a good number of international firms who are involved on a large number of deals.

Meanwhile, Indian law firms are undergoing rapid internal changes to get in on the action.

Post-merger integration at AZB Bangalore looks like it is going well. The office has made its first partner since joining with Anup Shah's practice and is on its way to expanding in the said-to-be up-and-coming legal centres of Chennai and Hyderabad.

Details are also finally emerging about the Hemant Sahai and Paras Kuhad's merger deal that was brokered in a month and announced to surprised firms last week.

It turns out one of Paras Kuhad's senior partners in Mumbai resigned just before the merger talks re-started. Another partner also resigned just after the merger and some associates could go too. Cause, effect or coincidence? The firms are not saying.

Two Luthra & Luthra associates have also jumped ship and up the career ladder, taking partnerships at smaller firms with plans for growth – one is headquartered in Bangalore and the other a specialist IPR boutique.

This week we have started featuring the cartoons of the multi-talented lawyer Vashant Sarathy who runs the blog Legally Drawn. Have a look - it is really rather good. His cartoons will be making regular appearances on LegallyIndia.com in future.

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