October 23, 2021

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KPMG-bestie Advaita suffers another body blow as HSA raids Delhi dry with Singh-Shankar-Dutta trio

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Singh, Shankar, Dutta (l to r)

HSA Advocates has hired Advaita Legal partner Shailendra Kumar Singh, counsel Alok Shankar and principal Monali Dutta as partners in HSA’s Delhi office with their teams of another seven fee-earners.

Shailendra Singh (a lawyers since graduating from Delhi University in 2002) had been heading projects and infrastructure at Advaita, having previously also worked at Luthra & Luthra and Trilegal. He was promoted to partner at Advaita in 2018. He specialises in infrastructure, energy and resources.

Shankar is a 2007 NLIU Bhopal graduate, who does regulatory and projects work; Dutta is a qualified lawyer from Delhi Unviersity and company secretary, and started practising in 2008 (including a four year stint at HSA from 2011 and 2015), and she specialises in infrastructure, aerospace & defence, IT & ITES, healthcare and project development.

Founding partner Hemant Sahai said in a press release: “They add further strength and caliber to our existing service offerings and will help in supplementing our capabilities in the respective practice areas. I am especially delighted to have Monali back with HSA and am looking forward to working with her again.”

Advaita: What’s left?

We understand that the raid by HSA leaves Advaita’s Delhi office substantially without any partner or senior or even fee-earner presence, though Mumbai might still have a few fee-earners remaining.

Somehow Advaita therefore still seems to be continuing, but it is unclear what the ownership structure would be without any apparent remaining partners, to the best of our knowledge. According to LinkedIn, there are around 10 fee-earners left at Advaita, with one principal, Mihir Deshmukh in Mumbai, and no partners.

KPMG has, at least externally, been notably hands-off in the day-to-day operations of Advaita but its fair to say that even with the Big 4’s support the brand is on life support.

We have reached out to KPMG’s comms team for comment.

Deathspin chronology

Advaita has been in a bit of an inexorable deathspin since the exit of its co-founder in 2018:

Shailendra SinghWork history From: Jun 2021: Partner, HSA Advocates Jan 2014 – May 2021: Partner, Advaita Legal (Delhi ) Jul 2010 – Dec 2013: Senior Associate, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices (Delhi ) Aug 2005 – Jun 2010: Senior Associate, Trilegal (New Delhi Area)Education 1999 – 2002: Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, LLB – Bachelor of Laws, Alok ShankarWork history From: May 2021: Partner, HSA AdvocatesFull-time (Delhi) May 2018 – May 2021: Counsel, Advaita Legal Jan 2013 – Apr 2018: Advocate, N.A (Delhi ) Apr 2012 – Dec 2012: Senior Associate, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices May 2008 – Mar 2012: Associate, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices Jun 2007 – Apr 2008: Associate, J.Sagar AssociatesEducation 2002 – 2007: National Law Institute University, BA LLB, Monali DuttaWork history 2015 – May 2021: Principal, Advaita Legal 2011 – 2015: Senior Associate, HSA Advocates (Mumbai Area) 2010 – 2011: Associate, DGS Associates (New Delhi Area) 2008 – 2010: Associate, Corporate Law Group, New DelhiEducation The Institute of Company Secretaries of India, Company Secretary, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, LL.B.,

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