IC Legal, Universal Legal merge to create pan-India law firm
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Mumbai-based IC Legal Advocates & Solicitors and Bangalore-headquartered Universal Legal Attorneys at Law have decided to merge their practices to create a national-level law firm.

The combined firm, IC Universal Legal Advocates & Solicitors (ICUL), will have 15 partners and more than 100 lawyers in seven cities, according to a press statement.

The merger becomes effective from Thursday. Universal Legal had been affiliated with the US-based law firm Chugh LLP and that association will continue even after the merger.

Partha Mandal, managing partner at Universal Legal, said there are “excellent synergies” between the two firms and that integrating the practices has opened a much bigger platform for existing and future clients.

Bheru Choudhary, managing partner at IC Legal, said: “This forward-looking tie-up is built on our shared vision of providing seamless legal and regulatory services to our valuable clients and to create a full-service law firm.”

Both Choudhary and Mandal will be managing partners at ICUL.

The merged entity will have offices in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. It will also have access to clients in Los Angeles, Santa Clara, New Jersey, Atlanta and Washington through its affiliation with Chugh LLP.

According to Bithika Anand, founder and CEO at Legal League Consulting, which advised on the merger, the diversity between the practice areas and geographical presence of the two firms are highly complementary to each other.

The legal sector in India is seeing consolidation in terms of either practice areas or locations. In June, Delhi-headquartered intellectual property firm Anand & Anand had decided to merge its Mumbai office with Priyanka Khemani-promoted boutique media and entertainment law firm Khimani & Associates.

The combined entity is called Anand and Anand & Khimani in Mumbai.

Also in June, full-service law firm Hammurabi & Solomon had taken over Brahmand Lexis. In January, two mid-sized law firms, Link Legal India Law Services and DH Law Associates, merged to create a national-level firm with around 160 lawyers.

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