Categories:India & Pakistan

Amarchand breaks the mould with two Mumbai lateral hires

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  • I just wanted to highlight here, that Ganesh Prasad is a Principal Associate, presently at the Bangalore office of Amarchand and NOT a Senior Associate as reported here.

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  • Amarchand never had a eat what you kill model, excpet maybe between the two borthers in Delhi and Mumbai.
    From what i understand from the grapevine the present model is not a lockstep in a way that the UK market understands.
    Anyhow it is good move on part of AMSS and they must be congratulated for ramping their capacity while their competition is busy running around in London and New York trying to cobble together a deal with western firms in the hope that the Indian legal market will open up to allow joint ventures and the owners will cash out.

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  • this is a very good move by Amarchand. this will serve as a wake up call to all the indian lawyers in london and new york who had moved there over the last few years - it will help them realise that india is THE place to be at the moment. london and new york are about as cheerful as a morgue at the moment, with the axe of lay-offs hanging over their heads. it shows them quite clearly the buoyancy of the indian legal market and the bright future that awaits them. good job!

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  • good move from the chaps in bombay. suprised why there werent any promotions or lateral hires in the delhi office. maybe the announcement is being delayed for some reason? they have some decent talent there who would continue to serve amarchand well at partners. hope some good news comes out of the delhi office soon.

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  • good choice by amarchand. have heard good things about these two laterals and i think they will do wonders for amarchand once they settle down. their clients and work are sure to follow them to amarchand. this should widen the already huge gap between amarchand and the bottom tier firms like AZB, Lutha, Fox Mndal etc - it will send out a strong message that you dont need to go out with a begging bowl to the foreign firms to do well. rather you just need to look in your own back yard for good talent. i wish cyril, tushar and ashish the very best of luck for the road ahead.

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  • This is a commendable step by AMSS. At a time when people are still coming to grips with the recession, AMSS has gone ahead and started buiding for the rising economy which would be due atleast next year. Also poaching on a competitior's highly competent lawyer speaks volumes about AMSS.

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  • Is this a sign of strength or the mark of desperation from Shroff & Co?
    What would you say if Slaughters suddenly started hiring lateral partners and overhauling its partnership remuneration?
    The times are a'changing, clearly.

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  • This is a positive move and shows Amarchands as being proactive and strategic. The growth of law firms in India is now giving Indian lawyers a good opportunity to get quality work and a real chance of partnership in India as well as (or better than) the UK and USA

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  • ever wonder why so many of the comments are anonymous?

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  • Re Anonymous | 12-May-2009 7:04 pm

    I have had a chance to work with some young turks at Delhi office of AM and must say that the experience has been irritating to say the least.

    I am sure that they are keeping quality issues in mind while deciding promotions. It may take long for reputation to suffer in a market with no serious player, but one it suffers thay may bnot get a chance to come up in time when the market opens.

    To the other commentator talking about gloom in London and New York, you should focus on training and quality issues rather than preaching from a mountain to Indian lawyers working overseas and learning fromn the best of the west.

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  • Can't work this one out - this firm is being applauded for hiring laterals and not promoting associates from within the firm?!? Surely this bolt-on "building" approach doesnt enthuse the rank and file at Amarchand!!

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  • I see this as nothing more than a message to the senior associates in Amarchand that they are not good enough so lateral partners are needed. Both these laterals not really heavyweights who bring in a book of business or great reputations.
    Btw - the whole senior associate/principal associate thing is mind boggling.

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  • Amarchand prides in holding out against the foreign competition and by potraying a superiority image of quality and culture.

    The lateral hires seem to speak a lot of its current strength (rather weakness?)and even more so when they have merely promoted one senior associate among their ranks!!

    Shows the falling quality at Amarchand and the need for reinforcement from external sources.

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  • Senior Associates in AMSS are a joke really - one takes under 3 years to become a SA. This is a key fact and must be highlighted as scores of clients have been paying thru their nose for real bad quality work purpotedly done by 2.5 year experienced attorneys who masquerade as Senior Associates. If any AMSS SA's are reading this -pls stand up and put forth your version.

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  • I am a SA in Amarchand. I cannot disagree with the comments posted above for a large population of the SAs - which now outnumber even junior associates. I find it highly frustrating that every Tom, Dick and Haryr is made up to SA and thus devalues the SA tag. While there are roen apples, thr r sum geuinely good SAs also - though i admit the best people are no longer in AMSS

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  • whats all the fuss about?? this is a time of consolidation and cyril is only picking up available talent. knowing Amarchand, they must be having more up thier sleeve. this is not mutually exclusive with internal promotions. in fact, the firm is sending a strong message that internal quality need to addressed and its not a free ride. its perhaps been too easy in the past and some mediocrity has crept into the partnership. they should fire a few partners who dont perform!

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  • i agree with the comment about delhi. having worked with both offices, there is some good quality at both. at delhi however, there are too many partner aspirants who dont deserve. hope the firm dosent promote them en masse! it would really lower the quality bar. this is a time when the firm can choose as there are not too many options outside. they should ruthlessly fix quality and get rid of mediocire associates and partners.

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  • the delhi guys are so-so! though a few are good...

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  • I posted this on another thread here, but got no responses, so here I go again. Please respond if you have any information on this:
    I am a relatively new associate in the US with a JD - working for a mid-tier firm. I am originally from India and would like to return to India and work for a firm. I would like to get some info, as I am not connected with anybody in the Indian legal industry. I know that the salaries structures are not as high as they are here in the US, if I were to literally perform a dollar-rupee conversion, but then again, I am not moving back for the money. At the same time, I do want to at least maintain a decent lifestyle. Having said that, here are my questions:
    1. If I plan to move back to India after a couple of years of experience, would I be able to come in as a lateral senior associate at one of the good firms in India (AMSS, Fox Mandal etc)?
    2. If the answer to q #1 is a no, then how many years of US experience would qualify me for a senior associate position in India?
    3. Third, as a senior associate, how much can I expect to earn in base salary? I understand each firm might be different in its structure, but I am just looking for some ball-park figures here. For example, here we could say that mid-tier firms pay about $10K a month in salary, and the number adjusts as you go up or down from that point with the largest firms paying up to $160K a year for first year associates.
    4. Finally, since I have no family connections or prestigious last names, will I still be able to get rewarded for my work efficiently? I understand this is an arbitrary question, but almost everyone that I talk to who is from India suggests that I not go back because there is too much red tape in the Indian legal industry and that ordinary employees (in terms of connections) may not really shine that well. I don't want to believe in this, but I would like to receive your comments nonetheless.
    Please share whatever information you could on this issue. Again, there are no websites or blogs on the Indian legal industry as there are for US or UK firms. This makes it very hard for people like me to get any meaningful information. Hence, I ask for your assistance.

    Thank you.

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  • Dear US based Anon, answer to your queries can be summarised as follows-
    1. If you don't know anybody higherup in Indian legal industry/system, forget about getting job in a good law firm, irrespective of how good or bad you are. Having said that, some firms like FML or AMSS may happily recruit you only because you are US-return.
    2. In case you are able to get a job, the level and pay shall always be at the sole discretion of the managing partner. However, once recruited at a level of position and pay, you need not worry at all for future performance because the managing partner shall try his/her best to justify the decision to recruit you. Hence, you will never fail.
    3. Alternately, you may wait till international law firms are allowed to set shop in India.

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  • Thank you for answering my queries about Indian recruitment.

    If it is not too much to ask, can you give me some ball-park figures for associates (junior or mid-level) at these firms? As you said, I understand that these are totally arbitrary, but a near-estimate would immensely help.

    Also, to come in as an associate, how many years of US experience would I need?

    Thank you once again for your responses.

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  • If you want to move as a Sr. Associate you should ideally have 4 years work exp (however depending up on the brand value of your current firm and the market condition you might get away with 3). Amarchand has a band for 3-4 year associates (which apparently is 21 lahks to 30 lakhs including bonus); Luthra is rumoured to its 3 year associates about 150,000 per month (no idea about their bonus structure), JSA/AZB/Trilegal all in the range of 110,000 to 130,000 at a 3 year level (no idea about bonus again).

    You can get a job and do well without a "famous" surname - you are seeking to join a law firm not the congress!.

    As for your chances to progress without "family connections" in India- it is as easy or as difficult here as it would be in New York without an american accent

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  • Thanks for the info on salaries. Although, I am a tad-bit surprised at the pay levels at JSA/AZB etc, I am sure the dwindling economic conditions have had an impact on the salaries, just as they have been here in the US.
    In the meantime, I found this article on the web which lists associate salaries at much higher levels, but then again, this is from last year, so economy might have definitely made its impact in the meantime. (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2899511.cms)

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  • The above salaries are at a 3 year level - SA is slightly higher. Some of the firms have differential salaries so it is difficult to pin point a market average

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