Ex-CAMers Srinivas Kilambi, Raghuram Raju (re)-unite to start fintec, corp firm Mandalā

Former Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) Delhi partner Raghuram Raju, who left the firm to set up his own finance and M&A practice in October 2016, has rebranded it as Mandalā Law Offices after former CAM Delhi partner Srinivas Kilambi joined Raju as a partner on 1 April.

Raju commented: “After leaving Cyril Amarchand I started on my own focusing on corporate practice in the areas of banking and finance and IT work.”

Former MNK Partners co-founder Kilambi had left CAM in January, a few months after the September 2016 exit of Raju who was his senior at Dua Associates and at GE Capital.

Raju, a 1987 Delhi University law graduate, had worked at GE Capital between 1995 and 2004 after making partnership at Dua Associates, joined Genpact until 2011, then moved to Religare for two years, set up LexPrudence until 2015 when he joined Cyril Amarchand for just over a year.

Raju said that when Kilambi joined the firm, which Raju had initially again named LexPrudence, “he also took this opportunity to come out with a name which is more Indian and more local”.

Kilambi commented on the firm’s name: “Mandalā, in Buddhism, is the sacred circle of trust. So we are building a circle of trust with our clients and lawyers.”Kilambi said that since he has been independent for the greater part of his career, “with the slight deviation” of CAM recently, when his former colleague Raju went independent both saw this as an opportunity to work together.

Kilambi, a 1994 NLSIU Bangalore graduate and Columbia Law School LLM from 2003, had worked at GE Commercial Finance from 2003 to 2005, then joined KSB Partners until 2013, and set up MNK in 2013 until joining CAM in 2015.

“We are focused on banking, financial services and M&A. The initial objective is bring on board lawyers specialised in disputes and regulatory practice area so that the firm can offer a wide array of services,” said Kilambi.

“I wouldn’t call it a ‘full’ service firm but a ‘multiple’ service firm. The aim is to provide what our clients would need immediately and then go into more specialised areas like competition, environment, etc later,” he added.

Raju said that the firm saw a lot of opportunity in the start-ups and fintec space, and therefore their financial services practice is a mix of IT and finance. “We see a massive drive towards digitisation in the financial sector and we want to be at the cutting edge of this change .”

The firm currently has two lawyers in addition to Raju and Kilambi and is operating from a temporary space in Gurgaon’s Horizon Centre, but would be adding two more lawyers by June and moving into a permanent space in the same building that can accommodate up to 20 people, said Kilambi.

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