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Rajiv K. Luthra, Founder and Managing Partner, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices

May 01, 2014
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As a founder and managing partner of Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, Rajiv K. Luthra advises clients on complex and high-value transactions, besides expanding the company’s client base and overseeing its management.

A successful lawyer today, Luthra initially aspired to become a chartered accountant. However, over time, he realised that law was his true calling. “At the time when I started practising law, the concept of a corporate law firm did not exist. Economic liberalisation in the early 1990s opened up a lot of opportunities and I realised that a market existed for the provision of legal services,” he says.

An alumnus of Delhi University, Harvard Law School and George Washington University, Luthra has legal expertise in the areas of IT, telecom, media, capital markets, corporate finance, securitisation, structured finance, construction and property.

Luthra’s most memorable assignment in the telecom sector was working out the legal aspects of the deal between the Shyam Group and Russian telecom operator Sistema. “In many ways, this is the most interesting telecom deal that I have handled,” says Luthra. “It involved complex structuring and we evolved innovative solutions, which included, among other things, utilising an intergovernmental arrangement between India and Russia to firm up the association. The deal size was about $627 million.”

Identifying the likely trends in the telecom sector, Luthra believes that consolidation will take place at a conservative but steady pace. “One of the big challenges facing the sector is figuring out how best to monetise data services while simultaneously driving user adoption of data. There is little doubt that this is the way the sector is headed with voice and SMS revenues declining over the next few years.”

Luthra points out that in order to encourage growth in the telecom sector, the government needs to address issues such as taxation of cross-border transactions, balancing of national security imperatives and commercial concerns in the context of certification of equipment and network audits, and legal and procedural issues with respect to operator liability for content carried on data networks.

Luthra describes his management style in the words of Theodore Roosevelt: “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”

Time away from work is usually spent with his family comprising his wife and two daughters. He unwinds by playing golf and reading Urdu poetry.

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