Mohit Saraf, an erstwhile equity partner of India’s L&L Partners, has left the firm and launched his own outfit. With offices in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, Saraf & Partners will have more than 85 lawyers, including 21 partners.
The establishment of the new firm ostensibly brings to a close a long-running public spat between Mohit Saraf and Rajiv Luthra, founder and managing partner of L&L Partners, which began last year.
The tussle went all the way to the Delhi High Court, which last month ordered Luthra to pay Saraf 520 million rupees ($7 million) in compensation, along with 250 million rupees as a bank guarantee. The court order also allowed Saraf to set up an independent practice and describe himself as a former partner of L&L, but Bar and Bench reported that the new firm would not be able to have Luthra or L&L in its name.
The disagreement between Luthra and Saraf was reportedly over whether ownership of the firm would be shared with younger partners. According to a report in Legally India, Saraf & Partners will include at least two of L&L’s long-time corporate partners, Bikash Jhawar and Vaibhav Kakkar, with more believed to be on the way.
“While the split from L&L was a major contributor to the inception of Saraf & Partners, one of the core values offered by this firm is the modern ideology and inclusiveness in the clients and business partners,” said Saraf, who had been with L&L since 1995, in a statement. “Each of the 21 partners are leaders in the areas of competency and are also owners of the firm, and will have a big role in managing the firm.”
Unsurprisingly, the public feud at L&L in the past year has led to a steady churn of partners. Exits have included partners Avinash Subramanian, Nirupam Lodha, Damini Bhalla, Jitesh Shahani, Sachit Mathur and Apurva Jayant. However, the firm also saw the return of partners Piyush Mishra, Asim Abbas, Sonali Choudhry and Prabjot Singh Bhullar, as well new partner hires such as Amrita Tonk, Sidhartha Barua and Girish Rawat.
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