Headquarter In: Mumbai
Founded in Year: 2000
Employees Headcount: 75-100
Your Tagline/Quote: “Success is not the key to happiness; happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful’. I truly believe in this mantra by B. K. Shivani”
In Candid conversation with TBF, Ms. Kruti Desai, Partner of ALMT Legal gave some insightful answers highlighting the influences made by her business law firm that has carved a special niche in the Indian legal market by the high-quality of its legal service.
Q. Briefly tell us about the Partners/Founder of the Lawfirm:
ALMT Legal is a dynamic and progressive full-service Indian law firm that provides high quality expertise with approximately 70 lawyers and 20 partners across offices in strategic commercial centers like Mumbai and Bangalore.
Our practice areas encompass all aspects of Indian law ranging from corporate, commercial to tax, employment, dispute resolution, shipping, aviation and even immigration laws.
We have consistently received accolades across practice areas by global legal publications like Legal500, Asia Law Profiles, Chambers and Partners, IFLR 1000 amongst others and are recognized as one of the top bracket law firms in India.
Asialaw Profiles 2021 Edition recommends ALMT Legal for banking and finance, capital markets, construction, corporate and M&A, energy, infrastructure, dispute resolution, labour and employment, private equity, real estate, tax and technology and telecommunications.
Asia Pacific Legal 500 2021 Edition has recommended several of our partners and designated some as leading lawyers in various practice areas such as banking and finance, capital markets, corporate & M&A, data protection, dispute resolution, private equity and investment funds, labour and employment, real estate & construction, technology, media & telecommunications (TMT) and tax.
Corporate Intl Magazine has named us the ‘Employment Law Firm of the Year (India) 2021’ and the ‘Cross Border Tax Law Firm of the Year (India) 2021’.
M&A Global Award 2021 has awarded ALMT Legal for Employment law in India.
Global Law Experts Awards has awarded ALMT Legal as ‘Employment Law Firm of the Year in India’ and ‘Cross Border Tax Law Firm of the Year in India’ in 2021 and 2020.
Asian Legal Business 2020 has recognized ALMT Legal for Intellectual Property (Patents) and M&A.
2020 International Advisory Experts Award has awarded ALMT Legal as winner of ‘Employment Law Award – India’.
Legal 100 Asia 2020 Awards has awarded ALMT Legal as ‘Law Firm of the Year Employment – India’.
Lawyer International Legal 100 Awards 2020 has awarded ALMT Legal for Tax.
Several of our partners are recognized as leading lawyers and experts in their field of practice by global and Indian legal publications:
Our Senior Partner, Mr. Aliff Fazelbhoy is recognised as one of India’s leading lawyers by India Business Law Journal (2020-21 and 2018-19) and Asian Legal Business in 2020.
Our Senior Partners; Mr. Aliff Fazelbhoy is recognised as ‘Distinguished Practitioner’ for Labour and Employment and Corporate M&A; and Mr. SR. Arun and Mr. Sameer Tapia are recognised as ‘Notable Practitioner’ for Corporate M&A and Dispute Resolution respectively and our Partner, Ms. Kruti Desai is recognised as ‘Notable Practitioner’ for Labour and Employment by Asia Law Profiles 2021 Edition.
Our Partners, Ms. Ryna Karani and Ms. Statira Ranina are recognised as ‘Highly Regarded Lawyers’ by IFLR 1000 for Banking and Finance, M&A and Tax.
Several of our partners are recommended by Legal 500 2021 Edition and our Senior Partner, Mr. Aliff Fazelbhoy is also featured in the prestigious ‘Hall of Fame’ for Tax.
The Enterprise World Magazine featured our Partner, Ms. Kruti Desai as ‘The 20 Prominent Women Lawyers to Watch in 2020′.
Q. Kindly brief us about the initial journey and your contribution towards the upliftment of the Lawfirm?
I was inducted in the firm in 2005 through the placement committee of Government Law College immediately after passing out of the 5 years course of BLS/LLB. Since then, there has been no looking back and in 2012, I was made a partner of the firm.
As a Partner with ALMT Legal, I have almost 16 years of experience in advising Indian and international clients on corporate and employment laws. I specialize primarily in labour and employment laws, commercial contracts, PE investments, JVs, M&As. I am also a POSH trainer and have an expertise in dealing with POSH complaints. Besides this, I also advise on exchange control laws, IPR, data privacy, winding up and restructuring matters. I advise extensively on labour & employment laws involving hiring and firing policies, employee handbooks and policies, regulatory compliances, payment of statutory benefits, retirement policies, dealing with sexual harassment complaints, framing POSH policy, conducting POSH training for employees and ICC members.
Happy to share that I was recently featured in The Enterprise World Magazine as one of ‘The 20 Prominent Women Lawyers to Watch in 2020′. I have also been consistently recognised by global legal publications like Asia Law Profiles, Chambers and Partners amongst others. Recognised by Asia Law Profiles as a ‘Notable Practitioner’ for Labour and Employment and Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT)in 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018 Edition. Recommended by Chambers & Partners (Asia Pacific) 2019 as a ‘Recognized Practitioner’ for Employment and by Legal 500 2021 Edition as ‘Other key lawyer’ for Labour and Employment.
I have also been on the speaking panel of several conferences, webinars, and prestigious events. Recently, I was given the honour to be one of the expert panellist on the webinar “Sustainabil-Tee A Feminist Take on Fashion” hosted by Girl up Delhi Coalition, a global campaign launched by the United Nations Foundation. In view of the confusion caused in the industry on the interpretation of multiple government notifications and case law developments pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have also conducted multiple virtual Master Classes as a trainer hosted by International Business Intelligence on “Termination & Pay cuts of Employees during COVID-19” and “Drafting of Employment Agreements post COVID-19” and also on “Data Protection Laws in India”. In the past, I have also been a guest lecturer at NMIMS University, ICFAI Business School, IBS Business School and Indian School of Design & Innovation (Parsons). I have also done trainings for All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) and VC Circle. I have also co-authored the Indian Chapter of ‘The International Comparative Legal Guide to Corporate Recovery & Insolvency’ 2013 edition published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London.
Q. Kindly share your opinion on the Lawfirm?
As a mid-size firm, we give a good blend of a team of qualified expert lawyers along with providing flexible rates. We ensure that a partner/ senior lawyer having expertise in the required practice area is at all times involved on the matter and don’t believe in 100% delegation of work to juniors without experience. We are a one stop-shop for all legal solutions. Clients have consistently appreciated us for our extensive knowledge, easy accessibility, friendly approach and prompt responses.
We believe in closing a deal in the interest of both parties rather than getting stuck on petty issues. We are a dynamic firm which believes in adapting to the need of the hour. We also have dedicated teams for knowledge management and keep ourselves updated and proactively inform our clients in case of any relevant legal update that may impact them especially during Covid 19 pandemic.
45% of our Partners are women and 60% of our associates across major practice areas are women. We are an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to being a diverse and inclusive firm. We have been one of the few firms who have consistently supported maternity benefits and have flexible working hours and work from home facility for our female employees even before the pandemic. We also believe in inclusive talent practices and equal pay without any discrimination or gender bias. We also have a full time visually impaired employee who is an asset to our firm.
Q. What are the distinct areas of practice of the Lawfirm?
ALMT Legal’s practice areas encompass all aspects of Indian law ranging from aviation, banking and finance, capital markets, corporate/ commercial, competition/ antitrust, dispute resolution, data protection, intellectual property, infrastructure and project finance. labour and employment, mergers and acquisition, private equity, tax, technology and telecommunication, media and entertainment, real estate, restructuring and insolvency, sports law, shipping and maritime etc.
Being a full-service law firm, we have an in-house team of experts in some of the niche practice areas like labour & employment, tax, and patents. These three practice areas are highly specialized and not common for all firms, which makes us quite unique and a full-service firm in the true sense. An interesting interplay of this can be seen in some of our landmark cases which truly distinguishes us from other firms in the industry.
Our clients include entrepreneurial, medium and blue-chip companies aiming to provide business oriented legal advice and support to in-house legal counsel.
Q. Share with us challenges faced by company in the Lawfirm?.
As a firm, our initial growth was quite rapid, though like in any business we faced challenges in matters such as price competition and poaching of trained associates by large firms as well as new entrants.
The years 2004 to 2008 were the trigger years when the firm acquired a lot of talent through lateral joinees of partners from different practice areas. We grew from a 10-lawyer firm in 2004 to a close to 50 lawyer firm in 2008 and there has been no looking back since then.
With the recent Covid-19 crisis, government regulations change every other day. We ensure that we are sending regular updates to our clients and actively tracking all the plethora of latest government notifications and judgements of the Supreme Court and various high courts pertaining to COVID-19 pandemic and other labour developments.
Q. What lies ahead of the Lawfirm in the future?
The legal sector has become more diverse in terms of gender, knowledge and emerging practice areas like data privacy, labour codes, IPR, etc. Law is no longer about merely filing and arguing cases before the court which used to be the case many years ago. We have also set up a dedicated team that will purely focus on emerging laws such as data privacy, competition, consolidated labour codes, etc.
We are hoping to continue our firm as the leading practitioner for labour & employment law which is growing rapidly in view of the tremendous amount of legal developments and updates in employment law. We also intend to be the number one go-to firm for insolvency matters which has seen a huge number of cases being filed since the IBC has come into effect. We also intend to further expand our knowledge and practice areas in international arbitration.