Mid-sized law firms Link Legal India Law Services and DH Law Associates are merging to create a national-level firm.
The merged entity will retain the name of Link Legal India Law Services and will have offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Gurgaon, the firms said in a press release late on Friday.
The combined firm will have 35 partners and 155 lawyers. By number of lawyers, it will be among the top 15 law firms in the country. The top eight firms, which include Cyrus Amarchand Mangaldas, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co and AZB & Partners, have more than 200 lawyers each.
According to the press release, Link Legal co-founder Atul Sharma will be managing partner of the combined firm. DH Law co-founder Nusrat Hassan will be co-managing partner and also part of the firm's management committee. The earlier co-managing partner of Link Legal, AG Karkhanis, will be the chairman of the merged entity.
“The merger will galvanise the already strong full-service practices and will create a national firm with unparalleled strengths in all practice areas,” said Hasan. “The merger will also increase the merged entity’s international reach.”
Sharma said consolidation of legal practices is the necessity in the legal services sector with Indian lawyers being called upon to match international standards.
Padmini Singh, principal and head of consulting at consultancy firm Rainmaker, says the merger is a good strategic fit. It complements as well as supplements the practice offering of both the firms, she said. It also gives the combined firm a strong foothold in both Delhi and Mumbai—the largest legal markets in India. “The size of the combined firm places it on the cusp of a transition to a large-sized firm,” she added.
Premal Shah, founder partner at executive headhunting firm FCL Search, said there have been a number of mergers because mid-sized firms are aspiring to build an institutional platform which will not only help them acquire larger clientele (both domestic and international) but also attract high-quality talent from top firms.
“If some of these firms get their act together, there is definitely a space for another Tier 1 platform to emerge, which is why the industry is seeing so much realignment and increased consolidation,” Shah said.
Another merger deal in the segment was struck in November when Delhi-based boutique banking and finance advisory law firm P&P Legal Advocates & Solicitors and Bengaluru’s Aditya Narayan & Co decided to merge with mid-size Mumbai law firm Argus Partners.
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