June 15, 2021

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Luthra cap markets lateral Jitesh Shahani to leave, Dhania to rejoin as Rajiv works for new deed (with old friends)

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Shahani (r) quits, Dhania to rejoin Luthra cap markets

L&L Partners capital markets lateral partner hire Jitesh Shahani has put in his resignation; meanwhile, the firm’s ex-capital markets partner Geeta Dhania, who had left the firm two months ago, is slated to return.

2005 Nalsar Hyderabad-graduate Shahani had joined L&L in November 2019 from international firm Allen & Overy in Singapore, after practice head Manan Lahoty had left with four other capital markets partners for IndusLaw.

2004 NLSIU Bangalore graduate Dhania had reportedly quit in October 2020, though that now appears to have turned into a de facto sabbatical from the firm.

We have reached out to Shahani and Dhania for comment.

We have also reached out to managing partner Raijv Luthra for comment, who is embroiled in a bitter dispute with senior partner and the partnership’s co-founder Mohit Saraf.

The Delhi high court’s judgment was reserved on 9 December and remains awaited with a decision about whether Saraf can get interim relief after having been literally virtually ousted and physically barred from L&L without notice by Luthra.

Rajiv Luthra to firm up new equity

Last week Bar & Bench had reported that Rajiv Luthra had instituted a committee of three to set up a proper equity partnership. Luthra had in October announced a unilateral dilution of his equity to two partners, Harish Kumar and Aniket Sengupta.

The new committee advising Luthra consists of ex-McKinsey chairman Adil Zainulbhai, Silk Legal Consulting managing partner Valerie Bowles (who was chief operating officer (COO) of the erstwhile Amarchand Mangaldas from 2009 to 2014), and senior professor of Harvard Business School, Ashish Nanda).

According to B&B:

The Committee has already had several rounds of discussion and will be interacting with the the firm’s partners over the course of the next few weeks.

It is understood that Rajiv Luthra will be diluting his equity and inducting partners into equity based on this report, which is expected to be announced sometime in April this year.

We understand from several sources and from some of the internal communications between Luthra and Saraf, that since 2009 McKinsey, Bowles and Nanda had all separately been instructed by Luthra at various times to advise on how to create an equity partnership (unsuccessfully, to date).

Jitesh ShahaniWork history From: Nov 2019: Partner, L&L Partners (Mumbai Area) Jun 2019 – Oct 2019: Senior Associate, Allen & Overy (Singapore) Mar 2016 – May 2019: Senior Associate, Baker McKenzie (Singapore) Apr 2015 – Feb 2016: Associate, Ashurst (Singapore) Dec 2014 – Feb 2015: Senior Legal Counsel, ECM, Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Oct 2011 – Apr 2014: Associate, Linklaters (Singapore) Mar 2008 – Jul 2010: Senior Associate, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices Jul 2005 – Mar 2008: Associate, Luthra & Luthra Law OfficesEducation 2000 – 2005: NALSAR, University of Law, B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), 2005, Law 2010 – 2011: New York University School of Law, LLM, Corporate Law Geeta DhaniaWork history Feb 2015 – May 2020: Partner, L&L Partners Apr 2005 – Feb 2015: Associate, L&L PartnersEducation – 2004: National Law School of India University, LLB

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