- Delhi HC to Set Terms to Resolve L&L Law Firm Dispute and Make Formal Orders
- Mohit Saraf to leave L&L; to get Rs. 52 cr, Rs. Bank guarantee of 25 CR from Rajiv Luthra
- Mohit Saraf cedes reinstatement right at L&L, can set up independent law firm
Noting that the bitter partnership dispute at a prominent L&L law firm will soon be put to rest, a bench of 2 Delhi High Court judges set terms for the departure of lawyer Mohit Saraf from L&L Partners, where he was a senior partner. While the conditions have been dictated with the consent of both parties, the draft will be fine-tuned and the formal order will be adopted tomorrow by the bench of 2 judges of Judge RS Endlaw and Judge Sanjeev Narula.
L & L’s founding partner, attorney Rajiv Luthra, will have to pay Rs. 52 crore and provide an unconditional bank guarantee of Rs. 25 crore to Saraf, which will be cashable in terms of an arbitration award between the two parties. The final outcome of the arbitration award will also determine the amount of payment to Mohit Saraf from the company’s profits. In return, Saraf will have to cede its right to be reinstated in the L&L firms.
The terms allow Saraf to set up an independent law firm, either alone or in partnership with someone. While he can describe himself as a former partner of L&L and compete for clients, staff and lawyers of L&L Delhi and Mumbai; the name of his new practice cannot be “Luthra” or “L&L”.
L&L should allow the transfer of clients wishing to switch to Saraf’s new legal practice, sharing the associated data without keeping any. However, no material can be taken from L&L and Saraf’s electronic identity will be blocked as soon as it receives the sum of money ordered.
While Rajiv Luthra agreed to make said payment to Saraf within one day and share the data of clients who visited Saraf, he sought to prevent Saraf from taking credit for the work done by the company. But the court refused to make such a demarcation, observing that it is difficult to draw such limits because everything that is done is attributable to the company which has partners.
Mohit Saraf had challenged his revocation of the L&L partnership by Luthra in October 2020, which was followed by an unsuccessful mediation attempt by lead attorney Harish Salve. After a single judge bench suspended Saraf’s impeachment from the L&L partnership, Rajiv Luthra moved the division bench alleging inconsistencies in the single judge bench order.
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