As we mentioned in Ch. 8 that October 29, 2019 was a watershed event for Nishith Desai Associates. Several members of the firm have quit since the beginning of the year 2020. In this post we have listed those who we know (and could remember) have quit in the last 22 months. This time period has been very unusual because we have hardly been at the office and therefore it is challenging to keep track of all that is going on at work. Besides we have also quit and thus don’t have a direct line of sight. In case we have missed out any name, mistakenly included someone or there is any error in the spellings, please do report via comments. Here is the list of all those who have resigned since January 2020:
Atikant Kaur Sahni
Blanche Christine D’souza
This is a very long list particularly when one considers that there are about 60 fee earners in the firm. The exits span all levels, PQEs, genders, geographic locations, practice areas etc. The attrition is across the board. People have moved on to a multitude of destinations – Among the T1 firms, Trilegal has been the most popular. Other than the usual T1 suspects, many have also moved on to NDA alumni startups with Rajaram Legal, Bombay Law Chambers and Anagram Legal Partners attracting the lion’s share [update: Resolut Partners is the latest entrant].
While the shit has hit the fan, Nishithbhai has gone ahead and given (paid) interviews wherein he has talked about the work culture at NDA and how it is seeing the best time ever in terms of business! Wake up sir – you cannot just talk your way out of this.
The NDAs core has been hit the hardest – hardly anyone is left in tax/funds/corporate side. It is these areas that the leaked documents pertain to and the firm is facing charges of abetment of tax evasion. Firm members in these areas don’t want to be associated with a tainted firm or risk surveillance from the agencies. They think it is safest to go to safer harbours.
As the above list shows, there has been tsunami of resignations. This has happened even when the market was a bit tight during the pandemic last year. In fact the only months when there has been a respite is during the months of total lockdown. The firm is fast approaching the size of a nano firm and losing its core with virtually no corporate/tax practice left and mostly into areas like IP, employment, ADR or Nishithbhai’s fads like cryptocurrency and drones. It is very likely that the firm has not yet seen the end of this Great Resignation wave.