Categories:India & Pakistan

A&O partner joins Mumbai office of Indian alliance firm

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  • Notwithstanding the positive spin, this move actually highlights two key chinks in Trilegal's armour that A&O seems to have become aware of, namely (i) Trilegal's lack of a strong domestic client base and (ii) Trilegal's limited abilities in certain key practice areas, including capital markets. A&O was possibly expecting a higher number of referrals from Trilegal, but the same have likely failed to materialize on account of factor (i) above. Unlike Tier 1 firms like AMSS, JSA, AZB and Luthra, Trilegal has very few large Indian corporate accounts, and relies mainly on referrals from foreign firms for big ticket transactions (where it usually represents the overseas parties). As a result, A&O has made very limited progress insofar as the India market is concerned, and has had relatively few opportunities (from the Trilegal end) to obtain mandates from Indian clients for thier overseas investments. Factor (ii) is an important limitation, and Trilegal remains a largely corporate and banking focussed firm, rather than a full service shop. It has never had a worthwhile capital markets practice, and also has gaps in other important areas. Hopefully, this move will try to address the same to a small extent. One also wonders about whether the transferee was able to pull in any significant work while based with A&O in Singapore, since JSA was able to retain the bulk of the clients earlier serviced by him. Perhaps the move to Bombay will enable the transferee to market more aggressively and win over some of the clients that he had worked with during his JSA stint.

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  • I agree with the comments posted. Trilegal has long marketed itself internationally and as a result has depended on its international referalls. Lacking a strong domestic client base, it would be interesting to see how the arrangment with A&O would pan out, as at the moment it doesn't seem to have resulted in them gaining a significant market share due to the Trilegal tie up.

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