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Newsletter: Exciting Times / First issue

Friday, 5 June 2009

There cannot be a better time to be reporting legal news from India.

Legally India kicked off two weeks ago with the revival of what could be India's largest cross-border M&A deal ever. AZB and Freshfields pocketed the lead roles and it is understood that one certain firm has all but sewn up the Indian mandate for MTN, although no official appointment has yet been made.

A few days later many foreign lawyers' hopes of an expressway to India were dashed, after former liberalisation cheerleader HR Bhardwaj was unceremoniously dumped from the new cabinet. He was replaced by Veerappa Moily, who has since outlined vital judicial reform plans but has remained unsurprisingly silent about the firangi.

Although term is now finished, campus has also seen its fair share of news: the National Law School in Bangalore has appointed a prominent advisory board of top industry players, which could one day take the law school global. And Amarchand is back to its old ways and increased its intake of 2010 Bangalore graduates to 11.

In Kolkata, things are less joyous. Amarchand's only partner there has quit but the firm is flying out reinforcements from Delhi. Having hired two lateral partners only three weeks previously, however, this should not dent the ranks of its partnership too badly.

The most interesting news in Anglo-Indian relations hit last evening, when the UK's Clyde & Co and ALMT Legal finally announced that they are best friends after weeks of speculation. Although a fair few Indian lawyers were left scratching their heads asking "Clyde & Who?", the deal could be transformational for ALMT.

While it is no Clifford Chance or Allen & Overy, Clyde & Co came twentieth in The Lawyer 200 UK rankings by turnover last year and has a considerably more interesting - and potentially valuable - office spread than most. Trip to Venezuela, Rio or San Francisco anyone? But bear in mind that Clyde's exclusive best friends relationship with an Iraqi firm might make for less glamorous travel opportunities.

All the while, associate and partner hiring sprees have been reported from firms across the board, with one private equity legal boutique even expanding to Singapore.

And if the Sensex keeps rising and Indian expats continue returning home, that is unlikely to be the end of it.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has signed up and given us feedback and comments. Please continue to get in touch by replying to this email and do forward this newsletter to any friends or colleagues who may be interested.

Apologies to those we have added to the list but who have not subscribed directly; you can opt-out any time via the link at the bottom of this email.

In any case, I hope that Legally India will be valuable and interesting to you in these exciting days.

Best regards,
Kian Ganz
Publishing Editor
Legally India

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