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Year-old law firm Vichar Partners made a new addition to their team with Prasad Vijaykumar joining the firm as Partner. Vijaykumar, who commands twelve years of experience, has spent five years in the chambers of Senior Advocate Krishna Venugopal. He has developed an expertise in international trade law, employment law and commercial law.
Vichar Partners was established in September 2010 by Dua Associates Chennai Partner, Chitra Narayan, Paras Kuhad Associates Chennai head Vinod Kumar and Aarthi Sivanandh, Chennai Partner at Universal Legal.
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Vijaykumar said that there were several reasons behind his decision to move to Vichar. “Having worked in Delhi, I realised that Chennai has a lot of potential…there is a dearth of quality law firms in the city” says Vijaykumar. He also said that the future of the legal profession lies in being able to be a one-stop service platform for clients and that is why he decided to merge his litgation practice with Vichar. The fact that he knew the partners at Vichar personally and that Chennai was his hometown, were other factors which influenced his decision.
Partner Vinod Kumar told Bar & Bench that the decision to hire Prasad was based on a variety of reasons. “We saw a great fit in the fact that we were all of the same age, similar experience in working outside Chennai…..and an entrepreneurial ambition in trying to grow a full fledged law firm in Chennai….. International trade and associated commercial work , both litigation and transactions is an area we were keen to build capabilities in. Prasad’s experience in this regard works great for us “ says Kumar.
When asked as to why they chose Chennai, as opposed to Mumbai or Delhi to start their law firm, Partner Aarthi Sivanandh says that the decision was a natural one. “Its home to two of the partners and the other two have made it home for the past 10 years” she says, adding that the location also provides access to companies based in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and other parts of Tamil Nadu. Furthermore, the founding partners did not want to enter an already crowded Delhi or Mumbai market with their first office.”
The past twelve months have been good to the firm, says Sivanandh. The firm has completed several transactions in the PE-VC space along with a few JV’s and M&A’s. Their litigation practice too has grown alongside the corporate practice. Admitting that young firms such as Vichar have a tough time with older companies, Sivanandh is quick to point out that there are several new, young companies and startups which become their clients. Some clients are merely looking for quick and accessible services and to whom “geography did not matter” says Sivanandh.
Although the recent hire means that Vichar now has four partners and eleven lawyers working for them, there are no immediate plans to establish offices in other cities. “We want to understand the market we work in better…” says Sivanandh, “..before we bite off more than we can chew.”