LexTalk World Interviews Anish Jaipuriar. Anish was currently heading the general corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions practice at a prestigious firm, Anish Jaipuriar is a commendable legal professional regarded by clients for his hands-on-approach, technical knowledge and negotiating skills. He has his expertise in the following fields, Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Joint Ventures and ECB. He pursued his education from the National Law University, Odisha. Anish has represented many local and international corporations on both corporate as well as dispute resolution. He has also advised major corporates, tech companies and some of India’s biggest companies on a wide spectrum of issues pertaining to corporate and commercial laws. He has been appointed as arguing counsel in the Supreme Court of India for the state of Jharkhand. In addition to this, Anish is also an empanelled advocate for Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Steel Authority of India Limited, Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited, and Central Coalfields Limited.
Host: What factors led you to quit your engagement at top tier law firms and start your own practice?
Anish: I have worked at top tier law firms such as Khaitan & Co and Shardul Amarchand and Mangaldas & Co and have been trained by some of the best in the field. This experience has enabled me to build my own corporate practice which I have been able to establish at AKS Partners. My aim is to be recognised as an attorney who understands the dynamics of a matter / deal and is able to offer bespoke service to match the needs of the clients. I aspire to be known by my clients, peers and by leading lawyers as someone with the necessary commercial acumen to handle complex and complicated matters with ability to provide out-of-box solutions.
Host: What practices and innovations have you been able to introduce at AKS Partners to enable its continued outreach and visibility?
Anish: As part of building the corporate practice at AKS Partners, I implemented several measures pertaining to knowledge management, consistency of templates used for contracts and undertook sessions on efficient working. The importance to continuous learning is essential to legal profession and therefore I make it a point to learn something new and fresh each year. In this regard, I recently completed a 6-week (online) certificate course on ‘Financial Analysis and Valuation for Lawyers’ from Harvard Law School. I encourage my underlings to undertake and complete similar course of their liking.
The Firm has recently introduced policies such as pool system / resource sharing and weekly capacity assessment amongst other policies to increase the productivity and efficiency of the Firm. This has helped the team members to work collaboratively. The Firm encourages and ensures that key management responsibilities are been assigned and delegated to other associates at the firm. A specialized committee called Knowledge Management Committee has been formed by the Firm for creating, managing and channelizing the knowledge within the Firm.
Host: Tell us about a complex legal issue you worked on. Describe the complexity and tell us how you approached it.
Anish: Every legal issue bears in itself a certain level of complexity. One such complex issue that I was asked to advise on revolved around the crypto currency exchanges in India and the complete absence of laws and regulations thereto. While Supreme Court has turned down the RBI notification prohibiting banks from dealing in crypto currencies, there still existed several issues both practical and legal which continue to haunt the sector including a new market entrant. Our advice on issues such as privacy laws, e-wallet rules, e-commerce rules, FDI had to be greatly customised based on the regulatory acceptability and the viable interpretations of various laws which may apply to the crypto sector particularly the anti-money laundering laws, KYC norms etc.
Complexity of law may be one thing, here we were dealing with a lot of derivative application of potentially applicable laws which required us to draw from our past learnings including the ongoing industry practices. Advising in one of the up and coming sectors is exciting but carries a huge responsibility of advising correctly considering absence of laws and the keenness of the authorities to regulate.
Host: In the era of legal technology, what are the most common used tools for you?
Anish: Pandemic has pushed us lawyers to explore ways of introducing efficiencies in our work as we learnt to adjust to the new normal. Legal technology has enabled this endeavour. We as a firm have employed legal tech like AI based proofing and formatting software to finalise the documents / agreements prepared by us. This tool has helped in reducing the time spent by fee earners on such tasks while ensuring adequate quality deliverables. Few other tools also include, data rooms, common servers etc.
Host: Time is money in any profession and in legal it's most of all. How do you ensure to make the best of your time as a lawyer?
Anish: We have introduced capacity assessment tools to ensure that the associates are not overburdened and are allocated appropriate amount of work. We have regular meeting on a weekly basis to assess deliverables for the week. The simplest things like ‘To Do Lists’ with regular follow-ups and chasers to get the work done. It is essential to sort the work on the basis of priority which is set by the partner in-charge. Accordingly, easy accessibility is ensured that the associated staffed on a matter complies with the priority sorting done by the senior in-charge. Timesheets are another tool that we employ to keep a track of the time being spent on completing deliverables.
We regularly discuss the need for training on areas which we regularly advise and work on mainly to identify streams for introducing practices which reduce the time taken perform such tasks. Close discussions with colleagues and fee earners on how to reduce the time being taken for performing tasks including using of legal tech and /or efficient allocation of work.
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