Cleary partner jumps ship to tax chambers

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton tax partner Nikhil Mehta has quit the firm to join Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers.

“The bar’s something I always wanted to go back to,” Mehta said. “It’s more ­flexible and as a sole ­practitioner you have the opportunity to be much more proactive according to your own ­ambitions, ­including in my case a ­practice with a ­significant Indian element.”

Mehta has a strong Indian client base and recently entered into a retainer agreement with Indian-based firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co. That arrangement could see him spend up to 40 per cent of his time providing non-Indian tax advice to Amarchand and helping to strengthen the set’s ties with Indian clients.

Prior to joining Cleary in 2002 Mehta spent a decade with Linklaters, where he established the India ­practice group before ­handing over to current head Sandeep Katwala.

Cleary said it would maintain a relationship with Mehta and refer work to him. The firm now has one London ­partner in Richard Sultman, who specialises in tax law, and two associates.