IP law firm ends merger


Singh & Singh Lall & Sethi, a nine-partner intellectual property (IP) specialist firm based in New Delhi, split on 1 April. The firm, which was formed in April 2015 with the merger of Singh & Singh and Lall & Sethi, decided to demerge following what managing partner Chander Lall referred to as “a successful experiment” during which its “revenue tripled and staff strength doubled”.

Business_separation,_different_waysLall told India Business Law Journal that “the demerger opens up options” as the two firms “will continue to remain best friends as demerged entities” and will also “continue to cooperate with clients where there are joint efforts required”. The firm had “hit a glass ceiling” and was “pretty much conflicted out of all cases as we were representing the best clients of every field,” he said.

The split was also prompted by prospects of Lall becoming a senior advocate. Lall said that he had applied in the third quarter of 2016 to be designated as a senior advocate of Delhi High Court, as there was a need for a counsel to do the work of the firm. The firm had routinely instructed senior advocate Prathiba Singh, the former managing partner of Singh & Singh, who Lall said had recently “been recommended for judgeship”.

From 1 April, Singh & Singh will have four partners, who Lall said “will be the only equity partners” at the firm. At Lall & Sethi, equity will be shared by Lall and four partners. The names of both firms will continue to be licensed to them.