Magic circle law firms are circling over India even as the country is yet to allow foreign law firms direct practice in one of the fastest growing markets. British law firm Linklaters has signed up Vinod Dhall, former chairman of Competition Copmmission of India, in a "best friend's agreement".

Dhall, who recently quit as the chairman of CCI - just four months before his five year term ended - is a prized catch for the British law firm. In fact, Linklaters, which has a thriving corporate practice covering M&A, private equity and entry strategies, had roped in another anti-trust expert too. It had recently hired Jeffrey Schmidt, a director of Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade  Commission, as a partner in US competition and anti-trust practice.

Linklater's "best friend" deal with Dhall may help the firm navigate Indian M&A landscape very well. Dhall has been lording over CCI, which has been taking call one some of the large M&As in India.

Recently, another British law firm Clifford Chance had hired Rahul Guptan, a senior partner from law firm Amarchand Mangaldas.

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