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Former Amarchand Mangaldas Tax Partner, Aseem Chawla has recently set up a law firm called MPC Legal along with two other Partners Dipankar Vig and NV Raman.
MPC Legal has been set up as an independent entity and is part of Mohinder Puri & Company Group, which has been in existence for over 50 years. MPC Legal specializes in the areas of corporate, tax and business advisory and currently has 10 associates in its New Delhi office on Tolstoy Marg.
The firm focuses on strategic investments both inbound and outbound, corporate, domestic & international tax including litigation, mergers & acquisitions, real estate and dispute resolution.
Speaking to Bar & Bench Aseem said, “MPC Legal is actualization of our thoughts and going forward you will hear good things about MPC Legal in terms of its outlook, professional pursuit and overall growth”.
Aseem further said, “We want to be valued as a specialized practice firm, which focuses in a novel manner on tax and business aspects”.
Aseem heads the Tax practice group at MPC Legal. He has extensive tax experience in advising large corporate houses on a variety of tax matters including international tax, inbound & outbound investment, structuring and cross border tax aspects and litigation.
Aseem recently resigned from Amarchand Mangaldas, seven years after he had joined the firm to set up and lead the firm’s tax practice. Prior to joining Amarchand, Aseem enjoyed a private practice set up after he gained experience working with Senior Advocate and accountancy firms.
Dipankar is the Corporate and Strategic Practice Partner at MPC Legal. He has more than seven years of experience advising clients in areas relating to corporate advisory, merger & acquisition, exchange control, anti-trust, arbitration, corporate and commercial Litigation.
Dipankar started his career with NDLO in 2005 and thereafter, moved to Chartered Accountancy firm Mohinder Puri & Company as part of the advisory team.
Raman is a Corporate and Litigation Partner at MPC Legal. Having worked at senior executive positions in several large public sector undertakings, Raman has extensive experience of over four decades in handling legal and strategic issues of complex nature. He has a wide-ranging corporate and commercial litigation experience encompassing cross-border mergers & acquisitions including labour, excise & customs litigation.
Bar & Bench spoke to Partners Aseem Chawla and Dipankar Vig on setting up MPC Legal, the challenges involved in starting a new firm and their growth plans.
Bar & Bench: What is the philosophy of your firm?
Aseem: The philosophy of the firm is empathy. Empathy with the clients and empathy with its associates and the team. This new law firm provides an opportunity to focus on tax and business advisory services. The amount of knowledge and experience, which Dipankar and Mr. Raman bring on board, will compliment the specialized unique service offerings, which MPC legal would provide to all its clients.
Bar & Bench: In this market scenario, how difficult is it to set up a law firm?
Aseem and Dipankar: Where there is a challenge, there is a great opportunity. We have a lot of self-belief and resolve. Having said that, clients are always in need of not only specialized services but also sometimes need that hand holding where somebody can walk that extra mile along with them. Therefore, we see no reason that any professional services firm, formed even in challenging times will not do well.
Internally, we have put in a great deal of thought process and have had several rounds of consultations within the firm and both of us have come to this profound conclusion that if we adhere to high standards of professional practice then there is no reason for us not to succeed even in these challenging times. We are extremely confident and buoyant that the market will wholeheartedly well-receive us.
Bar & Bench: Tell us more about the firm and growth plans.
Aseem: The tag line of the firm is ‘We understand’. Therefore, we not only understand the business environment or the strengths and constraints of the clients, we also understand the value process, we understand that it’s all about teamwork. As I said earlier, empathy is the underlying quotient of the firm. By no means, this suggests that we would compromise on our ambitious plans going forward. We want to be known as a firm, which understands and assists rather than being a firm where one may find lot of inertia and rigidity. The quality of our deliverables and service offerings will not be compromised. We want to engage with the clients and as I said we would groom our associates also; mentoring and training will be an essential part and parcel of the firm.
Dipankar: Our unique selling proposition is to be able to render quality services to the clients and at the same time being able to offer multi disciplinary services through other associate firms within the group. Right now, we are based out of our New Delhi office and we have ambitious expansion plans. We are looking at Noida, Bangalore and Pune at the outset but it’s a long journey.
Presently, we are a team of 10 associates and 3 partners. The focus of the firm will essentially be on tax advisory and litigation.
Bar & Bench: Aseem, you spent almost seven years at Amarchand and were instrumental in setting up the tax practice at Amarchand. How was your entire experience?
Aseem: It was indeed an elusive opportunity to set up and lead the tax practice at Amarchand and the amount of confidence posed to initialize the same was a matter of honor. I do cherish all those years, which I spent at Amarchand. There were a lot of learnings both for Amarchand and for myself in terms of looking at various facets of tax practice which till recently was not synonym with law firms having their own full service tax practice considering that this is an area which is largely dominated by the accountants pool.
Bar & Bench: There are some who say that the rate at which new firms are established is unsustainable. Do you see smaller firms eventually consolidating?
Aseem: Yes. I have always had a consistent view with regard to the outlook of the legal landscape. Being a qualified chartered accountant as well, from my experience, I can tell you that the phase of mid and late 90’s where we saw the consolidation amongst accounting firms, is something which will get replicated in the legal scenario as well. It’s just that in terms of sophistication and enterprise, law firms have a fair bit of catching up to do. So in next 5 to 7 years one will find situations where there will be phase of consolidation, where various law firms shall pool in together on account of specialization, geographical locations and other considerations. Therefore, this is something, which is on the horizon.