Former Economic Laws Practice (ELP) partner Deep Roy, whom we had reported to have resigned in March, has started up a boutique firm under the name Equilex, in the finance and sexy flavour-of-the-month insolvency space.

“I had this in my mind ever since I was planning to move on,” he said about the firm, which he started on 1 May in a temporary office space in Mumbai’s Bandra area.

Including himself as 1 partner, Equilex there are a total of 4 fee-earners, including some who had joined him from ELP.

He is a 2007 Symbiosis Law School alumnus, who had worked at ICICI Bank before joining ELP in 2010 and making partner in 2017.

“It is going to be a combination of my banking work and my insolvency practice,” Roy explained.

The first limb of the practice would be lenders legal counsel work in general debt documentation.

Second, he said he was focusing on restructuring and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) work.

Third, he was also working on project and asset finance, including structured finance.

And the final aspect of his practice puzzle consisted of banking regulation, including FEMA work: “I am already speaking to guys who are doing new NBFCs, setting up their standard documentation”, he said.

“Obviously I want to continue from where I left off. Clients have been nice and supportive, and God has been kind,” he noted.

“We have one matter that transferred from ELP to us, because the client wanted us to continue, and a few resolution professional [RP] mandates” working with professionals such as Grant Thornton.

As far as finance work was concerned, he denied that it was necessarily low margin work. Good fees were available “when the banks are doing hardcore structured transactions – last year I did one loan … to five group companies: that mandate was a chunky mandate [including a forced collateralisation]”, he said. “Those types of transactions definitely will be something I will look forward to.”

But for now, he said, he would continue servicing existing relationships even on more vanilla finance mandates, “if the work is coming within my ballpark”.

ELP managing partner Suhail Nathani had commented at the time we had reported his resignation: “We wish him well.”