Nipun Gupta is Consultant and joint leader of the India Strategy Group at leading international law firm Bird & Bird LLP. Nipun has been working on India-related matters for over 30 years advising international clients on inbound and outbound mergers, acquisitions and disposals with a particular focus on emerging markets. Nipun has been recognised as one of the “Hot 100” lawyers, 2001, was listed in the IBLJ as one of 2022’s top 100 “A List” international lawyers for India-related matters and has most recently received the Legal Era Global Achievers Award 2022 recognising cross-border India desk lawyers for their legal finesse, innovation and accomplishments and being as a Global icon. The award “especially noted the important role these lawyers played in placing India on the global map as a favoured nation for investments and galvanising our economic growth.”More From The Author >>
Rajiv Luthra Was A True Pioneer Of Law, Writes Nipun Gupta
Rajiv trained so many to be exceptional lawyers. Horizons were broadened to help develop skills, knowledge sharing about the best restaurants, the best place to buy suits - so that individuals under his guidance gained insight and skills across disciplines.
Rajiv Luthra was a true pioneer of law particularly for corporate and project finance law as it has evolved in India over three decades.
I first interacted with a Rajiv as a client (Ispat International) in the mid 90’s. He was an exceptional lawyer. The perfect bridge for international participation in India. I went on to work extensively with Rajiv and the Luthra & Luthra team on large financings, ECM, M & A matters from White & Case and subsequently Bird & Bird. The Luthra & Luthra team were driven by excellence, challenged and encouraged by Rajiv to do the best for the client and their Firm every time.
Rajiv trained so many to be exceptional lawyers. Horizons were broadened to help develop skills, knowledge sharing about the best restaurants, the best place to buy suits - so that individuals under his guidance gained insight and skills across disciplines. Over a period of years Rajiv built a Firm that grew to be one of the magic circle law firms of India. So many lawyers’ careers were launched by Rajiv and he continued to mentor them as they moved on into different roles. He did not stop wishing anyone well, or celebrating their birthday or any significant occasion in their life just because they did not sit in his office anymore. This is a rare trait and I am not sure he appreciated how special this characteristic was.
Recitals of Rajiv’s generosity, like his big booming, larger than life voice travel far and wide.
He has literally organised and we have jointly attended hundreds of meetings together over the years. Always with his trademark sense of humour and elegance. This was a part of the Rajiv Luthra understated grandeur. It meant you were focused in what you were doing but having fun, there was a unique charisma and charm to this time.
It was not unusual if you knew him that Rajiv had :
1. Lined up caipirinhas on a boat on a delegation with the PM in Brazil (even though I do not drink);
2. Instigated an initiation test of paan eating for visiting international lawyers;
3. Provided Thums Up and Old Monk for unsuspecting lawyers from my respective Firms at his home for the many events he magnanimously hosted, along with his gracious family;
4. Bought the latest season Prada coat for their puppy Bunker and declined the offer to bring the puppy in for a fitting in London;
5. Got his birthday number stuck at 40 years old and so eventually I became older than him as my Birthday number continued to increase in the ordinary way each year, and so he referred to me as Mata ji always with a huge smile across his face;
6. Bought crockery for his home and his office from Goode & Co; and so the long list of fun actions goes on and on.
He is the only person I have known to have their own train carriage which could get tagged on to any train journey he wanted it to.
A practical, driven person with tenacity and yet a taste for the absolute finest things in life anchored by both his Luthra & Luthra family and his Home family.
If you needed Rajiv, he was there, unequivocally. I and so, so many others have benefitted from an association with this kind, lovely, majestic human being.
A thoughtful visionary with so much goodwill. It has been a pleasure and a privilege. Long may the Rajiv Luthra legacy thrive and blossom.
Travel safe Sahib, I am sure there will be fun, splendour and excellence wherever you are.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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