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23 February 2009
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Indian firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co has taken the unusual step of converting to a full lockstep model after years of maintaining tight reins on its equity.
Amarchand currently operates an eat-what-you-kill system, whereby a small number of founding partners and family members are understood to command a large proportion of the equity.
Managing partner Cyril Shroff (pictured) believes using a more meritocratic system will give the firm an “acquisition currency” that will allow it to grow “massively”.
He said: “We wanted to create a more broad-based partnership. The benefits of lockstep are well-known, and ;collegiality ;and sustainability were what we were looking for.”
The restructuring is expected to finish by the end of March.
Amarchand has 450 associates and 40 partners, 15 of whom are in the equity.
Anonymous | 25-Feb-2009 5:49 pm
some missed the busGuptan really missed the bus didn’t he??
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Anonymous | 25-Feb-2009 5:55 pm
london buzzA lot of buzz in london about Amarchand’s bold move. They should come out with more details in a comprehensive communication package. Loads of Indian trained lawyers would be interested and many may move back. The atmosphere in London firms is horrendous. There is little work and Indian firms seem more busy. More work + positive restructuring is a recipe for attracting Indian lawyers back. They would prefer Amarchand now over the other options, including AZB, which seems to have entered an opportunistic and hasty alliance.
Anonymous | 25-Feb-2009 5:57 pm
fab branding!The best thing that Amarchand has done in years. Really caught the imagination of young Indian lawyers in London!
Anonymous | 26-Feb-2009 9:52 am
what's the big deal!What do people think working with foreign law firms is like!?! Plain sailing! The hours are as bad, job security is nil, and taking purchasing power parity into account, AMSS pays better in India! As a 'young talented lawyer' you will be the bottom feeder where ever you go...and don't kid yourselves that you can make partner in a foreign firm and count the riches - partners are being thrown out by the MC too!
Anonymous | 26-Feb-2009 4:16 pm
Amarchand needs to do moreWhilst this move will help Amarchand secure the top slot, it needs to quickly make further changes in its management and external PR. There will always be loads of sympathy and support for a local firm trying hard to remain independent. A move to lock step is not enough. The market wants to see much more. The grapevine is that lots more is in store. Why don’t they announce it??
Anonymous | 26-Feb-2009 4:22 pm
AZB in a fixAZB has clearly set itself on a path to eventual merger. So what happens to its partnership structure and talent in the meantime? Will they make changes like an independent firm would, as Amarchand did, or keep things in abeyance to suit their ultimate partner, without structural change. Structural change would make things very difficult at the time of merger. AZB will go into suspended animation till the market opens and merger is complete. Zia will give some spiel to hoodwink her younger partners but, there is no doubt that CC will call the shots for eventual merger. A smart younger partner in AZB should be really concerned and look for the sub-text in the alliance story. Haste in alliance will make waste in the interim, apart from having lost the respect of the market.
Recently moved abroad Indian lawyer | 2-Mar-2009 11:02 am
Odd responsesSome of the comments here come as a bit of a throwback to another age. Sure, there may be something vaguely nice about having a strong independent domestic firm but that is not an end in itself. Let us not pretend that Indian firms are the cat's whiskers when it comes to systems, processes, management, knowhow and training. As many people have said before, future Indian offices of international firms will be manned by Indians. As partners in these firms, Indian will own (a part of) these firms. They may well go on to become managing partners of these firms as well. Are we not proud of a Indira Nooyi at the head of Pepsi and would we instead have been more proud of a Ramesh Chauhan if he had continued to remain independent? Zia or someone from her firm may well one day become the head of CC and more power to them for wanting to be a big fish in a big pond. Comments about "selling of souls" etc. are frankly laughable in an age of internationalism, present global crisis notwithstanding. Fat lot of good these souls bring if they cannot lead to a proper career path for every competent lawyer within these family and individual run firms. AZB will have to spread its equity wider but to embrace international standards is to be lauded. Time will tell to see how the AZBs and Trilegals of the world do in comparison to the Amarchands.
Anonymous | 29-Apr-2009 2:23 am
As a new law graduate from the US, I would like to return to India and join AMSS or the likes, if possible. I am not able to get any salary info online. Can anyone tell me what the average salary is for an entry-level attorney in one of these top firms in India? Please help.
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