By hook or by crook, Ashurst is determined that it is not going to miss the party in India.
A year and a half after Ashurst was forced to beat a retreat and close its Delhi liaison office, the firm has declared a best pals agreement with start-up firm India Law Partners (ILP) (see story).
The agreement is non-exclusive, as demanded by India’s regulators, so the two firms will just refer work to each other on a preferential basis
Presumably what Ashurst would really prefer is to just open an office in the country, but according to the firm’s India head Richard Gubbins that probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
“I get more and more pessimistic by the day about the markets liberalising - I think it’s a long way off,” he said.
That’s not to say the tie-up was just a case of ‘any port in the storm’. According to Gubbins it has been a long-held ambition of the firm to get a best-friend in India. The two lawyers leading ILP were top of Ashurst’s list.