Anand and Anand is a full-service IP firm managed by a partnership board comprising 23 partners and four directors, supported by a management team comprising a CEO, CFO and CIO. The firm currently employs more than 300 people, including over 100 qualified lawyers and engineers.
Khimani & Associates is an eight-member Mumbai-based media and entertainment law firm. It was launched in 2014 by Priyanka Khimani, who worked previously for two years at Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe.
Khimani had not always planned on pursuing a career in law. At 15, she had written her first television show and performed in professional Marathi theatre with established actors, as well as in Hindi street theatre. She went on to study biotechnology at Jai Hind College and continued writing and directing television shows in her spare time. Following this, she studied law at Government Law College with a view to combining her knowledge of biotechnology with an understanding of intellectual property.
While working as an associate with Mulla & Mulla, she landed legendary Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar as a client. Other celebrity clients soon followed. Khimani decided to go solo after a disagreement with the firm’s handling of a case between two singers – Sonu Nigam and Mika Singh – relating to personality rights. Khimani felt the firm could obtain damages for its client, Nigam, and so should not have settled for an ex parte injunction.
Nigam and Mangeshkar followed Khimani when she launched her own firm and she soon attracted a string of other Indian celebrity clients.
The merged firm plans to focus on providing “high-quality and pocket-friendly legal services”, “cement client relationships” and expand into non-IP services in the future.
“We clicked instantly because of the clear synergy between Priyanka’s firm and ours,” said Pravin Anand, the managing partner of Anand and Anand. “We see tremendous scope to improve service delivery to clients who have long felt the need to work with a local firm that is backed by the solidity of experience and infrastructure of the main Anand and Anand firm and the geographic accessibility, association and expertise offered by a professional firm like Khimani & Associates.”
Khimani told India Business Law Journal that initially she had no plans of merging with any firm. “I had a particular vision about what I wanted to do with Khimani & Associates and how I wanted to build it,” she said, adding that Anand and Anand was able to share this vision. “I have looked up to Mr Pravin Anand tremendously and therefore, an opportunity to collaborate with him and his firm in any manner was naturally welcome.”
Bithika Anand, the founder and CEO of Legal League Consulting, along with other members of her team, advised the firms on the merger. “This would not have been possible without Bithika,” said Khimani. “She’s absolutely fantastic! It is extremely important for people advising you to be able to look beyond age and gender and discover the talent and capability that lies beneath. Bithika was able to do just that and realize that what I was trying to build was special.”