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NLSIU 2001 alum Azmul Haque starts ‘Big Law disruptor’ Collyer Law in Singapore, classmate + others

Story originally featured on Legally India

NLSIU Bangalore 2001 alumnus Azmul Haque left Olswang Singapore in September to start up Collyer Law, in Singapore. NLSIU batch mate Palash Gupta joins Collyer as India Desk head, and former Duane Morris & Selvam partner James Wong joins as Director. Collyer will advise start-ups and small businesses.

It will focus on cross-border transactions especially in the India-Singapore deal corridor, advising on company formation, seed and venture capital, employment law, intellectual property, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, technology transactions, private equity and international arbitration.

Haque, who is the Director of Collyer – a “Law Corporation” and not a partnership firm, said in an email: “[Collyer Law has] a mission statement to provide an alternative to the large law-firms and disrupt Big Law, even if a little bit.”

He said that the firm does not bill clients according to hourly rates, and that there are “no junior associates handling work meant for Partners”, in addition to a “commercial problem-solving approach”.

“[These are] just 3 ways in which we are different”, he commented adding that Collyer was the first Indian-qualified lawyer-founded law firm in Singapore to be given a licence to practice Singapore law, and that he saw this as “a strategic and tactical advantage in dealing with the India-outbound work”.

Haque is also a solicitor in England & Wales, in addition to his qualification to practice in India and Singapore. He was a consultant at Olswang and before that, has worked with DSK Legal, WongPartnership, Berwin Leighton Paisner and Shook Lin & Bok.

The firm has two other lawyers currently, in addition to Haque, Jong and Gupta. Gupta did his JD in law from Boston Law College in the US and then worked with Unilever India, Dwyer & Collora Boston and S&R Associates before becoming partner at Haresh Jagtiani & Associates in Manila, Phillipines and then a general counsel at Elevar Equity in Phillipines. He left Elevar in December 2015.


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