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Shiny Balls / Issue 36

Legally India newsletter
Legally India newsletter
Ashurst has decided to shut its Delhi liaison office, which in all honesty will not be a shock to anyone who's read the Lawyers Collective judgment.

To find out what this means for Ashurst's India practice (if anything) read our interview with the firm's India head Richard Gubbins. We have asked him lots of questions but we have not been able to confirm what will happen to Ashurst's shiny India ball.

In any case, one of the perennial foreign firm themes is whether there is actually enough India work to justify an India practice for foreign firms.

Well, one response could be Herbert Smith and Linklaters bagging the $10.7bn Bharti Airtel - Zain cross-border takeover alongside AZB.

Granted, for Herbies and Links it was as likely to have been their Africa rather than India practice that won them the mandate but nevertheless it is a mandate other firms would do more than just fly to India for.

Clifford Chance on the other hand can not be pleased at having missed out for the second time in 12 months on India's juiciest telecoms deal, which its Indian best friend AZB was leading on both times. But the work for the lending banks will probably soon be up for grabs and Clifford Chance's top banking team that has been hit hard by the downturn could definitely do with the exercise.

Read on for more deals this week.

No matter how many deals, however, some are never content. This 28-year old Luthra & Luthra lawyer has written a 1000-page book on Takeover Regulations - on his weekends, on the train to and from work and during any spare office minute. Wow.

In other law firm news this week, Kochhar & Co is pushing hard into South India, starting with two partners; Induslaw has created a new pre-partner 'grooming' rung; and Bharucha & Partners has split the firm over two offices in Mumbai to cope with existing space constraints.

This week the LPO sector also made headlines. LPO-circles celebrity Leah Cooper has left her in-house role at Rio Tinto and joined LPO company CPA Global in a management role, having hand-picked that same LPO a year earlier to take care of the miner's in-house needs. Meanwhile, LPO company Integreon took home a $50m private equity investment.

In legal politics, the Delhi Bar Council may finally decide who is to lead it on Monday, after dramatic weeks of negotiations and allegations.

In a busy week for the Legally India Mooting Premier League, last weekend's four top moots saw Nalsar Hyderabad surge ahead of NLSIU in the rankings, while NLU Jodhpur made up for lost time in third place.

No surprise that a helpful discussion is filling the Forum, trying to advise a CLAT-taker how to choose between Nalsar, NLSIU or NUJS. Good luck!

Anyone at a later stage in their legal career, would do well to read this week's Careers Counsel column which has compiled the worst real-life cover letters. Read and do not repeat.

Some of the top blogging competition entries:
A poem on how law students are insects;
Law students call for stop of peace talks with Pakistan, but not without opposition;
the Gov't proposes testing of budding lawyers;
a high-profile lawyer defending a 26/11 terrorist suspect was assassinated last week;
India's silent killer, the asbestos industry;
and finally, unrelated, an anti-asbestos poem.

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