Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM) is set to grow to 470 fee-earners from June when Amit Khansaheb, a partner at BMR Legal who headed the firm’s M&A practice, and his team of five partners and 32 other lawyers from BMR Legal join SAM.
The partners include Siddharth Nair and Roshan Thomas, from BMR Legal’s Bengaluru office; Kaushik Mukherjee, from its Mumbai office; and two others whose names SAM could not provide. Sources at BMR Legal say they are Vishruta Kaul, from the firm’s Mumbai office, and Rishi Jain from the Delhi office.
Shardul Shroff, executive chairman of SAM, said he was “extremely delighted” to have attracted Khansaheb’s team “at a time when talent is scarce in the market”. Pallavi Shroff, managing partner of SAM, said that the firm had “quietly gone about its goal of pursuing excellence and growth” and that it had teamed up with Khansaheb and his team “in the same spirit”.
Meanwhile BMR Legal, headed by Mukesh Butani, which had about 50 lawyers across its three offices, will return to being a boutique firm that specializes in tax matters.
While Butani declined to comment, in a statement to Asia Business Law Journal a spokesperson for BMR Legal said: “Our M&A law partners have decided to pursue their career interests outside of BMR Legal and are moving to a larger platform for the growth of their practice and team. We wish Amit and his team good luck and success in their future endeavours. We are proud of what we have created by way of a proposition in this space, which in a short while has gained the confidence of clients and accolades by way of independent survey rankings.
“As a law firm, we shall be solely focusing on tax dispute resolution practice and the firm is committed to strengthen capabilities in this area. As a tax practice, we enjoy a tier 1 status in all surveys and shall continue to offer integrated tax services and build a stronger franchise. A case in point is the recent hire of five lawyers in Mumbai focusing on tax litigation.”
SAM began operations on 11 May 2015 with 300 lawyers, including 60 partners. That included Akshay Chudasama, who moved to SAM from J Sagar Associates with a team of 18 lawyers including four salaried partners. Chudasama is a managing partner of SAM and heads its Mumbai office.
SAM initially said that it intended to build a team of 400 to 450 lawyers. It currently has about 450, including 85 partners, across offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai.