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Anand joins the Indian firm as a corporate partner in New Dehli. Freshfields remains the only magic circle firmed not to have tied down an Indian ‘best friend’ firm.
Clifford Chance has a non-exclusive relationship with AZB, Allen & Overy has an alliance with Trilegal and Linklaters uses Talwar Thakore & Associates.
Freshfields has been strengthening its ties with both Platinum Partners and Bharucha & Partners, but Anand’s move will give the firm an opportunity to foster links with one of the country’s largest firms.
Khaitan & Co was launched in 2001 and has rapidly climbed the Indian M&A tables, according to Mergermarket data (16 February).
A Freshfields spokesman said: “We wish Bharat the best for his future in India and look forward to keeping in contact with him.”