Bharath leaves India’s Anand and Anand, starts new firm

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MS Bharath

MS Bharath, a partner and head of south India operations of Anand and Anand, has left the intellectual property firm to set up on his own. Bharath’s new firm, KRIA Law, is based in Chennai and will initially focus on intellectual property, before extending its scope to commercial and business advisory, transactional and advisory services, litigation support, dispute resolution and other related areas. It opened for business on 6 March.

“KRIA Law has been founded to be a national firm with a global reach and a platform to nurture contemporary ideologies, work culture, diversity, equality and inclusiveness,” Bharath told Asia Business Law Journal. “Having founded KRIA Law, I am keen to bring on board like-minded partners and colleagues. The IT infrastructure, website and team are under construction and the office will be bustling by April.”

The timing of Bharath’s move means he is setting up the new firm in the midst of the pandemic, but he believes this may play to his advantage. “The 2020 global pandemic brought about a level playing field for everyone having access to the best of technology,” he says. “The courts and tribunals across India embraced technology faster than the spread of the pandemic … this is the best time for anything new.”

The name KRIA has positive connotations in several languages, including Sanskrit – in which it refers to the act of doing something – but to Bharath, it’s an acronym that alludes to his goal of helping clients protect their knowledge, research, innovation and arts.

Explaining his decision to part company with Anand and Anand after almost 20 years, Bharath said: “The two decades of practice have been symbiotic for the firm and me, spread over eight years in New Delhi and the next 12 years leading the south India operations from Chennai.”

In the past year, his notable achievements at Anand and Anand have included representing Beiersdorf, the owner of cosmetics brand Nivea, before Delhi High Court to protect the colour combinations of its well-known packaging, winning more than six cases for Danone in Delhi High Court and protecting GOD TV channel against a spurious over-the-top mobile application called GODTV.