Altum Law has opened an office in Guwahati to capitalize on the corporate transaction work that takes place in the northeast region.
“Corporate transaction work is not very widely practised [in the northeast] in the manner we see in the metros,” said Anindita Phukan, co-founder and senior partner at Altum Law.
“Legal practice in the northeast is very chamber-oriented. But there are law firms that are very good.”
Phukan said that being able to open an office in her home state of Assam was a matter of pride, but it was not the only reason. “We have been working there for a while. This is the right time according to us. The clients want the comfort of a local presence. There is a lot of traction in areas such as tea, tourism, handicrafts and unique agricultural products.”
Kolkata is the nearest metropolitan city to Guwahati and about 1,000 kilometres away. But Phukan said an office in Guwahati was preferable to the firm. “Having an office in Kolkata will not serve our purpose for the northeast nor is it logistically feasible. We could instead have an office in Guwahati and handle work in Kolkata.”
The office will be headed by Phukan who will be shuttling back and forth between Bengaluru and Guwahati. It will be staffed by two registered counsel who practise at Guwahati High Court and benches across the northeast. “We have a very reputed consultant who will be working with us on the tea aspect, as that needs technical knowledge, and a senior person is helping with business development.”
Phukan specializes in corporate and commercial law. The other founding partners of the firm are Shekhar Vyas, who has 23 years of experience in taxation, and Dinesh Singh, who specializes in infrastructure, aircraft financing and mergers and acquisitions. The firm also has offices in Delhi and Bengaluru.