Rajiv Luthra (1957-2023) was an Indian Chartered Accountant (CA), lawyer, businessman, and philanthropist who was the co-founder of Luthra and Luthra – Law Offices India in 1989. He passed away on 10 May 2023 in Delhi.
Rajiv Krishan Luthra was born on Wednesday, 1 August 1957 (age 65 years; at the time of death) in New Delhi, India. His zodiac sign is Leo. He did his schooling at The Air Force School, Subroto Park, St. Xavier’s High School, and the Methodist High School. In 1968-69, he enrolled at the Air Force Bal Bharati School (AFBBS) in Delhi, where he remained a House Captain for four years. He, however, left the school later. In an interview, he talked about changing his school and said,
In Balbharti, there were mainly lady teachers, so there was a holiday on Karwa Chauth; so my father said, how can you be in a school where there is a holiday on Karwa Chauth. So he shifted me from there.”
After completing his schooling, he enrolled at The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), where he pursued chartered accountancy. While pursuing his chartered accountancy, he did several articleships at several places. After completing his CA, he started working with his father in his firm as an accountant; he worked in the firm for seven years before calling it quits. Thereafter, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in law at the Delhi University. He completed many law courses at the Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Parents & Siblings
His father, Anirudhar Krishan Luthra, served in the Indian Air Force. His mother’s name is Ved Luthra.
He has two siblings, Amit Luthra, and Rashmi Uday Singh. Amit is a professional golfer and Rashmi is a businesswoman.
Wife & Children
His wife, Gayatri Luthra, is an entrepreneur. He has two daughters, Sanaa Krishan Luthra, and Arshia Krishan Luthra.
Luthra and Luthra – Law Firm
After completing his LLB, Rajiv Luthra co-founded Luthra and Luthra – Law Offices India, a law firm, in New Delhi with Mohit Saraf in 1991. The firm later started working with renowned industrialists and businessmen, looking after their taxes and financial assets and giving them legal advice. Thereafter, his company was contracted by a US-based company to work in an advisory capacity and help them conduct business in China. Through his law firm, Luthra played a vital role in the merger of Coca-Cola and Parle Bisleri in 1993. His firm played an instrumental role in the merger of Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy, a $4 billion project, in 2015. In 2018, following a feud over partnership stakes, Luthra terminated Mohit Saraf’s appointment. In an interview, Rajiv talked about terminating Mohit’s appointment and said,
To explain my point, on 12th October 2020, he (Mohit Saraf) sent a notice to me and retired me from the Firm. Of course he had no such authority. Immediately after this letter he also sent a firm wide email telling everyone that I have retired from the firm. On the same evening he purported to distribute the equity held by me to others. This left me with no option but to terminate him in order to save the firm and the fate of the clients who would suffer from the dissolution of the firm..”
Later, Mohit Saraf filed a lawsuit against his dismissal in the Delhi High Court. In 2021, Justices R. S. Endlaw and Sanjeev Narula of the High Court delivered their judgement in Saraf’s favour and asked Luthra to pay Rs. 52 Crores in addition to Rs. 25 Crores as bank guarantee. The firm received another setback in July 2022 after its litigation department quit and joined DSK Legal. As of 2023, the law firm has more than 350 employees and has branches in Mumbai and Bengaluru. He later played a pivotal role in drafting and submitting the amendment of the Copyright Act of 1957.
Bars & Courts
- Supreme Court Bar Association
- International Bar Association
- Inter-Pacific Bar Association
- International Union des Avocats
Memberships of Committees, Boards, and Advisory Bodies
- Round Table on Legal Education (a Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, a Government of India initiative)
- National Executive Committee of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
- National Executive Committee of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
- Member of the Governing Body of BML Munjal University
- International University of Legal Education and Research: nominated by The Bar Council of India
- High-Level Advisory Group (HLAG): appointed by Commerce Ministry to formulate India’s trade policies
- High-Level Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility – 2018: appointed as a member of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs
- CII Task Force on Legal Services 2019-20: entrusted with the task to undertake policy advocacy on legal services / legal reforms in the country
- Convener of the Joint Economic & Trade Committee (JETCO), Ministry of Commerce: between India and the UK, formed to advise the Government of India on the liberalisation of legal services under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
- National Law School of India University’s Board of Governors
- Advisory Board of the Competition Commission of India
- Competition Advocacy Steering Committee
- Advisory Board of the National Law University, Jodhpur
- Advisory Board of BML Munjal University, School of Law
- City of London Corporation India Advisory Council
- National Competition Policy: An expert panel to formulate the 11th Five-Year Plan by the Planning Commission of India
- High-Level Committee of the Securities and Exchange Board of India
On 9 September 2000, Rajiv founded Petroleum Helicopters India Private Limited. He became the director of Afc Network India Private Limited on 24 November 2008. On 12 August 2013, he assumed the directorship of DLF Limited. On 27 November 2014, Rajiv Luthra became the director of Network18 Media & Investments Limited. He founded Mylan Laboratories Limited in Hyderabad on 30 March 2015. On 31 March 2015, he founded a law firm named Lex & Legal Services Llp in Delhi. On 12 October 2015, he assumed the directorship of TV18 Broadcast Limited. He assumed First Source Impex Private Limited’s directorship on 16 February 2023. He was appointed as Kairos Edutech Private Limited’s director on 19 February 2023.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Market Leader: Banking, Finance, and Corporate by IFLR1000 in 2022
- Eminent Practitioner for Corporate/M&A in Chambers & Partners Asia-Pacific 2022 and Chambers & Partners Global in 2022
- Commended External Counsel by In-House Community
- Mentioned in India Business Law Journal’s A-List – India’s Top Lawyer 2021
- Leader for Project Finance practice by Who’s Who Legal in 2021
- Hall of Fame for Corporate by India by The Legal 500 in 2021
- Mentioned in Top Managing Partners, a Forbes India Legal Powerlist list in 2020
- India Business Law Journal’s Top 35 Legal Icons, India, in 2020
- LegalEra India Award in the Managing Partner of the Year category in 2020
- ALB India Law Award in the Managing Partner of the Year category in 2020
- Qadat Al Tagheer Awards 2019 under the Excellence in Business Transformation category in UAE
- Forbes India Leadership Award in 2017
- The Most Promising Business Leader of Asia Award by Economic Times’ Asian Business Leaders Conclave in 2016
- National Law Firm of the Year Award by IFLR in 2015
- International Jurists Award by the Attorney-General and Chief Justice of the United Kingdom
- Lifetime Achievement Award in the International M&A sector at the 4th Annual International M&A Advisor Awards in New York
- Asian Business Leadership Forum Excellence Awards’ Legend in Indian Corporate Law and Ace Legal Eagle for Indian corporate law, specializing in tax, regulatory & compliance laws honours
- National Law Day Award by the Government of India in 2008
On 10 May 2023, Rajiv K. Luthra breathed his last in Gurugram, Haryana, at the age of 65. According to sources, Rajiv was undergoing treatment for an illness at the Medanta Hospital. He was cremated on 11 May 2023 in New Delhi.
- Rajiv Luthra was affectionately called Thudd by his friends and family.
- Rajiv used to smoke a pipe.
- Rajiv was an ardent follower of Sadhguru and his teachings.
- Before starting his law firm in 1989, Rajiv Luthra founded a travel company in New Delhi.
- Rajiv Luthra was multi-linguistic and was fluent in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, and Japanese.
- Rajiv was an avid golfer and spent his leisure time playing golf.
- Rajiv Luthra played a vital role in the launching of the Pro Kabaddi League in India in 2014. The league was founded by Mashal Sports in which Rajiv was one of the directors. Talking about it, in an interview, Rajiv said,
The sport is very big in rural India, which is where the next big growth in the Indian economy will be. It is about time we gave ourselves a new sport to breathe for.”