Mumbai: Mumbai-based law firm Wadia Ghandy and Co. has a fully operational office in Singapore after two more of its partners secured licences to practise in the island nation last week, with the firm itself having been given entry in June.
“Singapore being a very fast growing economic hub in this part of the world and given that there’s a lot of investment from India and in the South-East Asian region, we are certainly seeing very, very good prospects for legal developments over here,” said Nicole Shroff, one of the partners who was granted licence to practise earlier. Ankit Majmudar and Shabnum Kajiji are the newly licensed partners of the firm.
By Madhu Kapparath
Singapore’s attorney general granted Wadia Ghandy a licence to operate from an office in the One Raffles Quay building in June.
“Singapore has, over the years, become a hub for Asia,” said Ashish Ahuja, a Mumbai-based partner. “All our top clients have their head offices there and it felt really inappropriate to just service them from India.”
The 128-year-old law firm, which opened a Delhi office in October, counts Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek, Citigroup and HSBC among it clients, according to Ahuja.
Although the lawyer licences do not allow courtroom appearances, it allows the Indian firm to offer legal advice to clients in mergers and acquisitions, and private equity (PE) that often involve foreign companies investing in India, or Indian companies investing abroad or listing on the Singapore stock exchange. The firm can now also instruct local counsel in arbitration cases under Indian law, according to Shroff. “Singapore is quite a sought-after arbitration centre,” she said.
Other Indian firms with offices in Singapore include PE-focused firms Nishith Desai Associates and Bangalore-based Lexygen.
Wadia Ghandy has some 150 lawyers on its rolls, of whom 24 are partners, according to Ahuja.
Kian Ganz is a lawyer-turned-journalist based in Mumbai, from where he publishes legallyindia.com
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