Elara Capital's former global legal head Rakesh Puri joins Mumbai law firm

Rakesh Puri, former global head of legal and compliance practice at Elara Capital (India) Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of London-based investment bank Elara Capital Plc, is joining Mumbai-based law firm MDP & Partners to head its banking and capital market practice.

Puri’s move is in tune with the anticipation of a rush in legal projects for law firms on the back of a spur in initial public offerings (IPOs) and restructuring and lending activity in corporate India.

“We see a good opportunity in corporate finance as well as capital market and a veteran like Rakesh will bring huge value to the firm’s growth,” said Nishit Dhruva, managing partner of MDP & Partners. “On one hand, more companies are raising capital through IPOs or through term loans and on the other, banks are struggling with their non-performing assets, which provides us a good opportunity to expand in the segment,” he added.

A veteran of over two decades, Puri has headed the legal function of many private companies in the past that include Crompton Greaves Ltd, EMCO Ltd, Pittie Cement & Industries Ltd and the Indian subsidiary of CA Technologies (formerly known as Computer Associates International Inc). Before joining Elara Capital in January 2007, marathon-runner Puri was company secretary and head of legal & compliance at CLSA India Ltd. In 2012, he had also launched his own firm Exact Advisory & Consulting. “Collaborative work is the need of the hour and that’s why I have taken this decision,” said Puri, confirming the move. “I will look after firm’s (MDP & Partners’) banking, capital market and securities law advisory practices,” he added.

Many law firms, currently, are looking to recruit corporate law and finance experts from industry as as these professionals are well-versed with the culture, unique requirements as well as legal intricacies.

In June 2016, Shagoofa Rashid Khan, who was heading legal practice at IDFC Alternatives, joined law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as partner to advise its clients on infra and project finance. IDFC Alternatives is the private equity arm of IDFC Bank.

According to Elara Capital’s web site, at the firm, Rakesh was involved in transactions of over $3 billion comprising IPOs, qualified institutional placements, private equity, and open offers of companies such as TCS, NTPC, Suzlon, Kiri Dyes and Parabolic Drugs and also worked on numerous cross-border transactions. “He has been responsible for setting up Elara in India and also for starting new offices in Singapore, Mauritius and New York,” says the site.

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