The 2018-founded Mumbai-based disputes firm White & Brief, which was started by former Ram Jethmalani junior Nilesh Tribhuvann, is going full-service and has hired two lateral partners and promoted one, with significantly more expansion pledged for the coming months and several big-name clients such as Apple and Indigo to boot.
In addition to the three salaried partners who had now joined, Tribhuvann said that another four salaried partners would be joining by March and April 2021 from top tier firms, bolting on practices such as banking and finances, taxation, infrastructure, media and entertainment and real estate.
This follows former Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) partner Manu Varghese who has joined last week and will start and head White & Brief’s general corporate and commercial practice.
The 2007 NUJS Kolkata graduate had become a partner at CAM in 2017 and left at the end of October 2020. He specialises in corporate transactional work.
Varghese said that he was looking forward to establish the firm’s “corporate practice from the ground up”. He added: “I started my legal career at erstwhile Amarchand Mangaldas (now CAM) and my new role builds on my 13+ years of experience there, for which I am grateful to Mr & Mrs Shroff and my colleagues at CAM.
“I was also privileged to be mentored by Mr. Shashikant Bhojani and his values continue to guide me, both personally and professionally.”
CAM managing partner Cyril Shroff commented: “We wish Manu all the best.”
Link Legal’s Prashaant Vikram started capital markets
The second new practice area for the firm – capital markets – was started by former Link Legal India Law Services associate partner Prashaant Vikram Rajput, who had joined White & Brief in December 2020.
The 2006 Amity Law School graduate has set up the capital markets practice but also does banking and finance and some private equity, restructuring and alternative investment funds work.
Finally, in November 2020, White & Brief had promoted Bhagyashree Lembhe to associate partner; she had joined the firm in February 2020 from IndusLaw, where she was a senior associate.
The 2011 GLC Mumbai LLB grad specialises in arbitration, litigation and insolvency and bankruptcy matters, and had previously also worked at the Amarchand Mangaldas-cum-Cyril Amarchand, ALMT Legal, HSA Advocates.
Young firm, big plans
White & Brief had been started in 2018 by Tribhuvann, following two years of his independent chambers’ practice after leaving the chambers of the late senior counsel Ram Jethmalani in 2016 where he had worked since 2011.
Tribhuvann is a young lawyer – he had graduated from Pune University in 2011 with a 2013 LLM from Mumbai University – but workflow had been good and he had the benefit of generations of lawyers in his family, he explained.
“I‘m a third generation lawyer, so probably that helped,” he said, noting that he had 16 (litigation) lawyers in his family.
Tribhuvann specialises exclusively on white collar crimes litigation and the practice alone had enabled him to grow the firm to around 18 fee-earners by November 2020, with healthy profits and a marquee clients.
According to Tribhuvann, White & Brief had clients including Apple India (for whom the firm did Maharashtra-based litigation and some commercial work), pan-India work for the airline Indigo, as well as the Accor group of hotels, and intellectual property work for two pharmaceutical companies (Indian multinationals Alkem Laboratories and Flamingo Pharmaceuticals).
The steady work and revenues had enabled him to now target ultra-rapid expansion.
“Once we set up our entire operation in Bombay, well run for another year and once successful we’ll expand to Delhi and Bangalore,” he said. “We have three year expansion plans ready: in 2022, we’ll set up the entire full service law firm in Delhi, in 2023 we’ll be in Bangalore.”
There was no plan articulated beyond a three year horizon, at present, he said, but it is clear that he and the firm are not lacking ambition.
Nilesh TribhuvannWork history From: Oct 2018: Managing Partner, White and Brief – Advocates & Solicitors (Mumbai) Nov 2011 – Sep 2018: Lawyer, Ram JethmalaniEducation 2006 – 2011: University of Pune, BSLLLB, Law 2011 – 2013: University of Mumbai, Master of Laws (LLM), Constitution of India Manu VargheseWork history From: Jan 2021: Partner, Head – Corporate & Commercial, White and Brief – Advocates & Solicitors (Mumbai) Apr 2017 – Oct 2020: Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai) Apr 2015 – Mar 2017: Principal Associate, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai Area) Apr 2007 – Mar 2015: Associate, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai) Mar 2015 – Sep 2015: Secondment, Morgan StanleyEducation 2002 – 2007: West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences Prashaant Vikram RajputWork history From: Nov 2020: Partner, White and Brief – Advocates & SolicitorsFull-time (Mumbai) Mar 2017 – Nov 2020: Associate Partner, Link Legal India Law Services (Mumbai Area)Education 2001 – 2006: Amity Law School, New Delhi, LLB(Hons), Law Bhagyashree LembheWork history From: Feb 2020: Associate Partner, White and Brief – Advocates & Solicitors (Mumbai) Feb 2019 – May 2019: Senior Associate, IndusLaw (Mumbai Area) Feb 2019 – May 2019: Senior Associate, IndusLaw (Mumbai Area) Apr 2018 – Feb 2019: Senior Associate, HSA Advocates (Mumbai Area) May 2015 – Jul 2017: Senior Associate Designated, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai Area) Jul 2013 – May 2015: Legal Associate, Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co (Mumbai Area) Jan 2012 – Jun 2013: Legal Associate, ALMT Legal (Mumbai Area) May 2011 – Nov 2011: Associate Advocate, FZB & Associates (Mumbai Area)Education 2004 – 2006: KC College, Junior College, Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 2006 – 2011: Government Law College, Mumbai, Bachelor of Laws – LLB, Law