Argus bolsters disputes practice

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Argus Partners has hired HSA Advocates senior partner Abeezar E Faizullabhoy, associate partners Shahen Pradhan and Murtaza Kachwalla and three associates at its Mumbai office. The primary practice area of the HSA team is disputes, covering commercial litigation and arbitration.

“The disputes practice has been growing significantly across all firms,” Argus Partners managing partner Krishnava Dutt told India Business Law Journal. “Earlier, billings in the disputes practice would tend to be far lower than the corporate practice. This has now changed.”

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Dutt said the amendments in the Arbitration Act, and the introduction of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and the Commercial Courts Act had improved the enforceability of contracts. “This has resulted in many cross-border contracts, especially in construction and inbound investment agreements, where the jurisdiction and seat of arbitration are India.”

Firms such as Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, IndusLaw, Khaitan & Co, Link Legal and Wadia Ghandy have expanded their dispute practices recently. HSA also acquired disputes firm Atman Law Partners and hired former head of claims management at Sterlite Power Grid Ventures, Apoorva Misra, as a disputes partner.

Faizullabhoy joins Argus as a senior equity partner while Pradhan and Kachwalla join as partners. Faizullabhoy, who has 26 years of experience, spent four years as senior partner at HSA and nine years as a partner at J Sagar Associates. He was, from 2013 to 2014, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Dubai-based Aditya Resources before returning to private practice.

Eight of the 18 partners at Argus work in the disputes practice. Senior partner R Sudhinder and equity partners Ranjit Shetty, Soorjya Ganguli and Aditya Narayan are the other key members of the disputes team.