The dispute between Mohit Saraf and Rajiv Luthra, the co-founders of L&L Partners, has neared a close with Saraf agreeing to an interim settlement, and to exit the firm, on payment of INR520 million (USD7 million).
Delhi High Court directed Luthra to make the payment by 7 June, and allowed Saraf to “set up his own independent law practice, either alone or in partnership”. Saraf and his new firm are entitled to compete for clients, work, lawyers and staff of L&L Partners.
Saraf can also have as his partner anyone who was a part of L&L Partners in New Delhi and Mumbai, and is entitled to claim himself to be a former partner of the law firm.
Delhi High Court Justices RS Endlaw and Sanjeev Narula ordered that Saraf should, on receiving the payment, surrender any right to be reinstated by L&L partnership firms. The order also asks L&L to transfer the entire database of the work done for clients who decide to move to Saraf’s law firm.
While this is an interim settlement, a final decision is pending arbitration. The cause of the dispute between the two founding partners of the firm was reportedly a disagreement over how the firm’s equity is to be shared with other partners.
Luthra removed Saraf from the partnership of L&L in October 2020, but Saraf challenged his termination in the courts, followed by a failed mediation effort. Delhi High Court then stayed the removal until the conclusion of arbitration proceedings.