At least 20 to 30 Dua Associates lawyers are starting up a new national law firm of 60 lawyers with offices in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Dua Associates equity partners Shishir Sharma in Delhi, NK Dilip in Hyderabad and Shailendra Komatreddy in Bangalore have resigned from Dua Associates' partnership with effect from 1 January 2010.
The three senior partners and parts of their teams are now starting up a law firm called Tatva Legal.
Sharma is Tatva Legal's managing partner and Dilip and Komatreddy will be heading up the new firm's Bangalore and Hyderabad offices respectively.
A majority of their current teams will also join them at Tatva Legal, which includes between at least 20 to 30 associates and a number of junior salaried partners from Dua Associates.
Dilip and Komatreddy are heading up Tatva's Bangalore and Hyderabad offices respectively.
Dua Associates managing partner Ranji Dua confirmed the partners' departure but added that the final number of departing lawyers was not yet confirmed.
"All this happened rather suddenly in December," commented Dua. "It will probably take by end of the week to emerge clearly."
It is understood that within several weeks Tatva Legal is aiming for a total headcount of 60 lawyers, including nine partners and of counsel, expecting a majority of those fee-earners to be coming from Dua Associates but taking on a number of lateral hires as well.
Tatva Legal is understood to be moving into office space of around 6,000 square feet in Gurgaon to service the Delhi market and the firm is currently finalising space in Bangalore and Hyderabad.
In Mumbai Tatva is looking to take on around five lateral lawyer hires from firms other than Dua and it is hoping to expand further in the city in future.
Tatva Legal is intended to be a full service firm with a focus on M&A and corporate work.
One of the meanings of the word Tatva in Sanskrit is 'essence' or 'element'.
Tatva Legal partners declined to comment.
Not counting the departure of the Tatva Legal partners and their teams, Dua Associates consisted of around 250 lawyers and 53 equity and salaried partners across India.
Dua Associates has offices in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Chandigarh and Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, Dua Associates has also hired two equity lateral partners and will open a Singapore office this month with the former regional general counsel of Procter & Gamble, as reported on Legally India today.