Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) has received its foreign law practice licence to operate in Singapore, and brought on board Vivek Kathpalia, a former partner and head of Nishith Desai Associates’ (NDA) Singapore office.
“We are not here simply to business develop, or be a branch office” said Kathpalia, who will serve as CEO and partner. “Our vision is to be the first Indian law firm with a substantial presence in Singapore.”
Kathpalia moved from India to Singapore in 2007, and has spent 14 years in the Lion City. “Vivek is one of the most experienced Indian qualified lawyers based in Singapore,” said Cyril Shroff, the managing partner of CAM. “He has a diverse set of skills across practices. Above all he is very entrepreneurial. There is great chemistry with [he and] CAM.”
Shroff said the firm had no immediate plans to open an office in another country, but that Singapore “will not be the last” international office.
Kathpalia said he had been privileged to have had a ringside view of the rapid development of Singapore in the past decade. “As one of the first Indian qualified lawyers practising Indian law in Singapore, it was thrilling to be able to develop new markets, such as Singapore and Japan, and build deep relationships in the region,” he said.
Commenting on his previous firm, Kathpalia said: “NDA has been in Singapore for a long time and I wish them all the very best. We will all thrive in the growing market.”
Kathpalia will work alongside director Dipti Bedi and will focus on growing the team in the coming months. “We will scale the office and have identified certain key practice areas to start with such as international arbitration, private client, technology, fintech and cross-border insolvency, among others.”
Bedi rejoined CAM from Vedanta in February 2021, and has more than 13 years of experience with a focus on banking and finance, international arbitration, disputes and employment.
CAM opened a representative office in Singapore in February this year. As a licensed foreign law practice, the firm can now offer Indian law expertise and services across practice areas. CAM intends to use the office to assist companies in Singapore and the region in navigating through the Indian legal and regulatory framework. The office is located at 61 Robinson Road in the city.