Denton Wilde Sapte is suing the former head of its India group, Ms Gauri Advani, who is alleged to have been involved in an illegal act. The law firm and its insurer, Travelers, are taking action against Ms Advani for £779,000 in a bid to recover costs resulting from an earlier claim brought against her and Dentons by travel agents Mr Romy y Nayyar and Mr Paramjit Kang.

According to the judgment that was handed down in the preceding case, Ms Advani was found to have arranged for the claimants to pay a £400,000 bribe so that they might obtain exclusive rights to sell Air India flights in the UK and Ireland. It is alleged that the claimants did not obtain the rights and the sum was not recovered. In the judgment, Mr Justice Hamblen dismissed the claim on the grounds of illegality and Mr Nayyar and Mr Kang were ordered to pay costs, which Dentons argues have not been paid in full.

However, Mr Christopher Coffin, the lawyer acting for Ms Advani, said his client "denied she arranged for a bribe to be paid” and that the current claim would be “vigorously defended”. Dentons and Travelers allege that “by the use of her DWS [Dentons] business card, email address and headed notepaper, Ms Advani wrongly held herself out to the claimants as acting in and within her capacity as a solicitor employed by DWS.”

Ms Advani left Dentons in 2007 to become head of the India group at Eversheds. She left the latter firm on 31 May this year and is not thought to be currently practicing as a solicitor