Rajiv Luthra and Mohit Saraf, equity partners at India’s L&L Partners, have been involved in a public tussle over differences related to dilution of shareholding at one of the country’s largest full-service law firms.
Luthra and Saraf currently own 66.6 percent and 33.4 percent of shares in the firm, respectively, but have differing ideas when it comes to freeing up equity in order to admit more partners into the equity partnership, according to reports.
This led to heated argument between the two on an all-firm Zoom call on Sept. 24, according to the website Legally India, with the duo trading allegations and counter-allegations.
Saraf then struck the next blow, announcing internally in early October that Luthra had effectively “retired” and “withdrawn” from L&L Partners, and that the former would “reconstitute” the firm without him, Legally India added.
In response, Luthra terminated Saraf’s role in the partnership, and removed his name from the L&L website, in addition to posting armed guards at the entrance of the firm’s corporate office in Delhi. He then published a newspaper announcement stating that Saraf was no longer “a representative or acting on behalf of L&L Partners.”
This led to Saraf filing a lawsuit at the Delhi High Court, which ordered both parties to mediate until Nov. 1. According to Bar & Bench, Saraf and Luthra will mediate before senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
Where this leaves the lawyers is not yet clear, although Legally India reported that L&L partners Apurva Jayant and Samarth Gupta had quit the firm, and that 23 lawyers had joined Saraf’s new entity.
L&L has not yet responded to ALB's request for comment.
Initially called Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, L&L Partners was founded by Luthra in 1990, with Saraf joining the firm in 1995. The firm has more than 70 partners across four offices – New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. L&L clients include Tencent Holdings, Fortis Healthcare, Carlyle, TR Capital and Adani Electricity Mumbai.
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