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Win some, lose some / Issue 71

Legally India newsletter
Legally India newsletter

Khaitan & Co celebrated a major win this week in its campaign of growth when AZB & Partners rising star Vaishali Sharma decided to join the firm. For AZB, however, it marked the culmination of several months of somewhat troubling associate attrition.

At almost all firms fee-earners in India are highly mobile in a market rife with opportunities, an appetite for overseas LLMs, the wish or societal pressures to start a family, or sometimes simply burn-out. In this light there has not been nor will there be a scarcity of talent joining AZB but temporarily there was the potential for dented internal work-flows.

On the flip side, AZB won outright in a practice area where it has long looked to increase its performance.

AZB has doubled the number of mandates in initial public offerings (IPOs) over the first half of this financial year compared to last year and now finds itself in third position behind the capital markets powerhouses of Amarchand Mangaldas and Luthra & Luthra in the Legally India IPO league tables.

Khaitan & Co by contrast dropped from second place to sixth place this half-year by total number of mandates.

In any case the macroscopic seems to be going only one way: up. In the last quarter alone more IPOs were filed than in a period of six months one year ago. The biggest beneficiaries were a wide array of firms. And DLA Piper made its entry into Indian capital markets with a bang.

Chennai will surely be going the same way and three partners from national firms have set up an independent Chennai law firm to reap the opportunities. Legally India will be happy to take bets on how long before the first offers to merge flood in.

Little change on the bar exam front, which continues chugging towards D-day on 5 December. However, for neither side the current situation is a win.

The apex court has yet to hear any arguments in the challenges to the exam, with notices not even having been served on the original petitioners, and 80,000 advocates went on strike against the exam in Madhya Pradesh. Furthermore, the number of applications is still low and many study materials have not yet reached test-takers, all of which creates major uncertainty.

However, an unequivocal win on the Western exam front, as Indian lawyers can now finally sit the qualified lawyers transfer test (QLST) in England & Wales after a concerted effort by the Bar Council of India (BCI).

Finally, winners and losers will be guaranteed in this Mooting Premier League season. To see what is coming up and all important details about 50+ moots in one place, read Legally India’s ultimate mooting resource.

Legally News Wire

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