The managing partners of India’s top law firm Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co — Shardul Shroff and his brother Cyril Shroff — on Wednesday submitted a report in the Bombay High Court stating that a three-member arbitral panel has “successfully mediated and settled” all their disputes, reports Express News Service in Mumbai.
The two brothers have amicably “agreed to split and bifurcate into separate entities independently carrying on the profession of law”, said a statement issued by a panel of mediators comprising retired justice BN Srikrishna, advocate Harish Salve and investment banker Nimesh Kampani. The dispute between Shardul and Cyril Shroff relates to a June 2012 video-graphed, holographic will of their mother Bharati Shroff and a January codicil to the will.
In those documents, she willed her entire assets and equity in the firm to Shardul Shroff.
A codicil is a document that amends a previously executed will. Bharati Shroff, who died in August 2014, was the single largest equity shareholder at Amarchand Mangaldas and held 22.5% share in the law firm, according to court filings. According to the mediators, Cyril Shroff has agreed to not challenge his mother’s will and Shardul Shroff has decided not to press the suit in view of the settlement and arbitral award.
“A detailed family settlement has also been arrived at for division of family properties, professional practice and allocation of assets,” said the statement issued by mediators. On Wednesday, the high court accepted the family settlement and also granted probate to the will of Bharti Shroff. Probate is the process of legally establishing the validity of a will before a judicial authority.
The law firm was started in 1917 by Amarchand Shroff, the grandfather of Shardul and Cyril. They took charge in 1994 after the death of their father, Suresh Shroff. Shardul is four years older than Cyril.
The two brothers and their firm are advisers to some of the biggest names in the corporate world such as Reliance, the Tatas, the Aditya Birla Group, Vedanta Resources and Morgan Stanley, besides being engaged with top regulators, especially in the financial sector. While the Delhi-based Shardul focuses on corporate advisory and policy initiatives, Cyril, who is in charge of operations in Mumbai and the southern region, is much sought after in the area of mergers and acquisitions, besides private equity.