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Amarchand Mangaldas Case: HC appoints 3 mediators to settle Shroff brothers’ Will dispute

Shardul and Cyril Shroff, brothers and managing partners of India’s largest law firm Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co., have agreed in the Bombay High Court for mediation on some issues arising out of the Will left behind by their mother late Bharti Shroff.

The brothers nominated investment banker Nimesh Kampani, senior counsel Harish Salve and Justice (retired) B N Srikrishna, as mediators, during a hearing at the High Court.

The duo agreed to not take any action on the 52,000 units of equity owned by their deceased mother in the legal firm. They also agreed to keep the profits on these units in an interest-bearing suspense account of the firm, till the mediation process is complete.

“The parties have validated an interim arrangement, and have agreed to a time-bound remediation to the family suit,” Justice R D Dhanuka said in his order.

He said that mediators will have to decide on the issues in a specific time-frame, and set the deadline as December 31. “This deadline is extendable by mutual consent,” Justice Dhanuka said.

Shardul, who manages the Delhi affairs of the family-run law firm, had moved the high court against his younger brother Cyril over implementation of their mother’s Will.

Late Bharti Shroff, the largest share-holder in the law firm holding 22.5 per cent shares, had willed her entire equity to Shardul. But as per the Family Framework Agreement signed by the family members, her share was to be divided equally between the two brothers.

Shardul contended that his mother has willed her entire share to him. “If there is no family arrangement, then the share of the deceased partner has to go as per the law,” P Chidambaram, appearing for Shardul, had argued.

He had contended that according to the Will, Bharti Shroff was ill-treated by Cyril, and hence decided to disinherit him. The Will has been applied for probate in the Bombay High Court by Shardul.

The brothers, however, decided on the names of three mediators who would look into a few issues arising out of the Will.

The high court will hear the matter on January 19 next year.

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