Linklaters and a new Indian firm have drawn up a referral arrangement contract that could lead to the magic circle firm having more access to the Indian market.
The deal means Linklaters and the Mumbai-based Talwar Thakore & Associates, which is officially launches in January, will refer work to each other where there is a demand for India-related advice from international clients.
The new firm is to be headed by Shobhan Thakore, who has been a capital markets partner at AZB & Partners since 2004. Prior to this Thakore, who became a member of the Law Society of England and Wales in 1973, was a partner of Bhaishanker Kanga & Girdharlal.
He is also a solicitor in the High Court, Mumbai and enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa.
Thakore will jointly head the new firm with Suresh Talwar, who recently announced his retirement as a partner of Crawford Bayley & Co. Talwar, is a director on many boards, including Cadbury India, Blue Star and Johnson & Johnson.
Once the firm is launched, the Indian firm will be invited to second lawyers to Linklaters.
The referral agreement, however, is set to unsettle lawyers in the local market, who believe that this will be seen as an attempt to directly enter the India market, which is prohibited under India bar rules.
Linklaters Indian practice group head Sandeep Katwala strongly refutes that it is flouting any rules though added that if de-regulation in India occurs, the firm would be open to furthering the relationship.