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Firms have used secondments to develop relationships with their clients for a long time.
It’s obviously not just selfless largesse that prompts this, but the hope for a foot in the door on future instructions and forthcoming panel reviews.
But how about sending a partner to another firm on a permanent basis? That’s exactly what Allen & Overy has done, with Singapore-based capital markets partner Srinivas Parthasarathy leaving the magic circle firm to develop the counterpart practice at the A&O’s Indian alliance partner, Trilegal (see story).
As has been much reported, the protectionist Indian Bar prevents foreign firms from opening up there.
Instead many international players access the market through what they term “non-exclusive relationships” with key Indian firms. A&O signed terms with Trilegal last year.
The letting go of Parthasarathy is a logical next step in the firms’ referral relationship and is expected to see further work channelled towards A&O.
But as firms of all persuasions closely anticipate a billings bonanza when India opens up, A&O is positioning itself to have more than just a foot in the door.
With Parthasarathy having arrived early for the deal party, it looks like A&O is getting ready to bag one of the best seats at the bountiful table of Indian finance.