Full-service law firm Bharucha & Partners merged with Delhi-based multi-specialty law firm Arthe Law. “We have always been looking for the right people and we believe we found them,” Bharucha & Partners senior partner MP Bharucha told India Business Law Journal. “We are all very excited – that goes without saying. It’s back-breaking work, but it’s very, very satisfying.”
The merged firm offers expertise across practice areas including M&A, competition law, private equity, banking and finance, capital markets, intellectual property, technology, media and telecoms, employment, infrastructure, general corporate advisory, corporate and commercial litigation, regulatory litigation, white collar crime, sports, energy, and space law.
The firm operates under the Bharucha & Partners brand. Arthe Law was formed in April this year by the merger of the boutique technology, media and telecom law firm TMT Law Practice and New Delhi-based firm DPSA Legal, set up by DP Singh, a former additional advocate general of Punjab and Haryana.
Singh said he had been holding merger discussions with Bharucha & Partners for two years and that “there was no question of talking to somebody else in between”. He added that the merger between DPSA and TMT occurred not by design, but through a “chance interaction”, which led to a couple of meetings on a particular issue. Abhishek Malhotra, the managing partner of TMT, had later proposed the idea of getting together. “We had two different practices altogether – there was absolutely nothing similar between our practices and I thought that was the way forward,” said Singh.
“When I started my practice, I had a vision of creating a 250-lawyer entity – that process is ongoing. All of us are in this partnership because we love the law, believe in excellence and look for like-minded lawyers.”
Justin Bharucha, a partner at Bharucha & Partners who attended law school with Malhotra, said the firm was in an advantageous position since DPSA and TMT had already undergone a merger exercise themselves. “They were perfectly placed to help us get the process right and ensure that a solid foundation was in place prior to the merger actually taking place.”
Since its breakaway from Amarchand Mangaldas, Bharucha & Partners has expanded, but only through the recruitment of individual lawyers. As to whether the firm would consider further collaborations, MP Bharucha said, “Yes – if it’s the right people, we’ll certainly look at them tomorrow if not today. We’ll definitely be looking – it has never been a closed shop, so we’ll be more than happy to consider.”
The combined firm will have 80 lawyers including 12 partners: MP Bharucha, Alka Bharucha, DP Singh, Abhishek Malhotra, Justin Bharucha, Vishnu Dutt, Vandana Pai, Arjun Anand, Deepak Biswas, Kaushik Moitra, Ajai Achuthan, and Sonam Gupta.
The firm has, however, bid farewell to Vivek Vashi, a partner who has decided to set up a solo venture. “Vivek has been a great support while we built Bharucha & Partners,” said MP Bharucha. “When he moves on to build his own practice I am sure he will remain our friend.”
Vashi said that MP Bharucha had been “more than a mentor to me over the years”, adding that “his teachings, ethics, integrity and wisdom will all hold me in good stead as I try and emulate all that he has achieved.”