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Indian law firm J. Sagar Associates has hired a team of around 20 M&A lawyers from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co led by rainmaker Iqbal Khan (L). They constitute some of JSA’s most prominent lateral hires in what has already been a frantic year of recruitment to date.

Apart from Khan, who will lead JSA’s national corporate/ M&A practice, the team also includes equity partner Ambarish, partner Tanavi Mohanty, and newly minted partners Ashid Basheer and Devika Menon, who were both principal associates at SAM.

Khan’s M&A vertical is one of the most sought-after corporate practices in the market and is believed to be one of the most lucrative practice groups across Tier 1 firms.

Sources say it was one of the two most lucrative practice groups at SAM, as his clients include top conglomerates, sovereign wealth funds and private equity giants, including TPG, Bain Capital, Brookfield, Advent, Apax and KKR.

Khan recently guided Reliance Industries and its media division Viacom18 on its planned $8.5 billion mega-merger with Walt Disney’s Star India.

He also represented Tata Technologies in its joint venture with BMW, TPG on its sale of some shareholding in Quality Care India to Blackstone, and Advent in its acquisition of majority shareholding of Suven Pharmaceuticals.

JSA has a meritocratic set up where partners across the equity spectrum are heard and involved in the running of the firm, Khan told ALB.

Sources within the team said JSA also offers more freedom to operate and strategic independence in matter management.

"Having decided to move from SAM, Iqbal and Ambarish reached out and have decided to join JSA with a large team which is a testament to the institutional values of JSA where the JMPs are only first among equals and all partners are given a chance to grow and excel. Our already strong PE & M&A practice will now be the finest in the country," JSA's joint managing partners, Amit Kapur and Vivek K Chandy told ALB. 

The firm has also been expanding ravenously. In April and May alone, JSA hired a four-member disputes team from Krishnamurthy & Co (K Law) and former Trilegal counsel Anurag Shrivastav in Mumbai; partners Brijita Prakash, Santosh Vijay, and Rakesh Warrier in Bengaluru; and Harshavardhan Abburi in Hyderabad.

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