Deal Street

March 24, 2017

Singh & Singh & Lall & Sethi Demerge After Delhi HC Designates Chander Lall As Senior Advocate

Chander Lall

Singh & Singh & Lall & Sethi (SS&LS), a merged entity of boutique intellectual property (IP) firms Lall & Sethi and Singh & Singh that lasted a little less than two years, demerged after Chander Lall, managing partner of SS&LS, was designated as a senior advocate by the Delhi High Court. SS&LS was formed in February 2015 for combining the two firms’ strengths of IP litigation and prosecution.

In this regard, Lall said that “He had applied for the designation and that this was the main, but not the only, motivation behind the demerger.” Notably, according to the Advocates Act 1961, senior advocates are not allowed to be part of law firms.

In addition, Lall stated, “As a result of the merger [of Singh & Singh with Lall & Sethi], we have become quite an IP powerhouse, resulting in many conflict situations because of which we had to give up work. There were cases where we had accepted the brief of one client and much of our other IP work was ousted because of the conflict. This is one of the business reasons behind why we had to demerge.” Lall further added, “For business reasons, we will ensure that there is an arm’s length distance between the two firms. They are new start-ups.”

Lall then said that as he was the only head of SS&LS, with eight other salaried partners (Anju Khanna, Bitika Sharma, Sudeep Chatterjee, Tejveer Bhatia, Raghav Malik, Saya Choudhary Kapur, Jyotideep Kaur, and Tia Malik) functioning in the same non-leading role, the need was felt to split the firm. Singh & Singh with its litigation team will move to a new office in Delhi’s Defence Colony.

Lall & Sethi will also have its IP litigation and prosecution team. SS&LS’ equity currently held by Lall will be allocated to the firm’s current salaried partners, some of whom will be part of Singh & Singh.

According to Lall, “The demerged firms will have separate accounts, except for the unclosed accounts of SS&LS, which will continue for now between the demerged firms’ partners who are currently dealing with them. All staff members of SS&LS will continue to receive the same job benefits which they get now when the demerger is complete.”

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