The country's top corporate law firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co (AMSS) is expected to split between brothers Shardul and Cyril Shroff, as per separate media reports citing sources.
Currently both brothers head their own regions, with one controlling the Delhi office and the other the Mumbai practice, while maintaining a common brand and other resources as part of the same firm.
Elder brother Shardul controls the Delhi region which also includes offices in Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Gurgaon. Cyril controls the Mumbai unit besides its presence in Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.
The firm would reportedly split along the same geographical lines.
VCCircle had first hinted at such a possibility in November last year.
Industry watchers are now looking out for the final arrangement and whether the two brothers would have a non-compete clause as part of the split barring them from opening offices in each other's territories or they would slug it out for clients in each other’s markets too.
The development could bring to an end the ongoing bitter feud over ownership and assets of the firm between both the brothers. Elder brother Shardul Shroff had filed a case against Cyril, his wife Vandana Shroff, partners L Viswanathan, James Abraham, George Goulding, Ashwin Maheshwari and the law firm itself.
The dispute is over the implementation of Bharati Shroff’s (mother of Shardul and Cyril) will. She had reportedly willed her equity in the firm to her elder son, Shardul, though an earlier agreement indicated that the family’s equity holding would be equally divided.
The two brothers are managing partners at the law firm and together own around 60 per cent in the firm with the rest being held by non-family equity partners.
AMSS is the country's largest law firm with over 600 lawyers and more than 80 partners. The firm was started in 1917 by Amarchand Shroff, the grandfather of Shardul and Cyril. They took charge in 1994 after the death of their father, Suresh.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)