Manisha Singh is the Founder Partner of LexOrbis. Manisha is known and respected for her deep 1 expertise in prosecution and enforcement of all forms of IP rights and for strategising and managing global patents, trademarks, and designs portfolios of large global and domestic companies. Her keen interest in using and deploying the latest technology tools and processes has immensely helped the firm develop efficient IP service delivery models and provide best-in-the-class services. She is also known for her sharp litigation and negotiation skills for both IP and non-IP litigations and dispute resolution.
Host: What motivated you to choose the Legal sector as a domain of work and how has been your career span?
Manisha: The Indian IP sector is filled with opportunities for those who wish to leverage the growing innovation and creativity, and intellectual challenges in IP protection and management. When I entered the legal arena, there was an evident dearth of female representation and even the country’s economic landscape was rapidly transitioning. I faced numerous hurdles in my early days due to the gender bias that existed, along with administrative and legislative challenges.
However, I could identify the potential that IP laws hold and therefore, I delved into the opportunity of starting a boutique firm that specialised in intellectual property. As a first-generation lawyer, I started LexOrbis with my partners and since its inception, I have constantly endeavoured to match the international standards that were ordinarily absent from the Indian landscape.
For the last 25 years, it has been a continual team effort to serve our clients, whether they are large corporations or young startups, with the best legal solutions that match their requirements. The opportunities that have come my way in the past decades have enabled me to build a lucrative career for myself and establish LexOrbis as one of the most reputed IP law firms in the country.
Host: Talking about the opportunities in this field, how or in what ways would you like to present them and expand those, thinking of the longer run?
Manisha: While the opportunities in the legal sector are abundant given the constantly evolving nature and requirements of industries, the sector still lags in terms of diversity, equality, and inclusion. Historically, there has been a significant under-representation of women professionals from entry-level to leadership positions.
What the legal arena requires contemporarily is ceaseless endeavours by organisations to ensure equal representation in employment irrespective of an individual’s gender, race, orientation, religion, or age. It is also important to remove discriminatory obstacles for women professionals especially when it comes to senior positions.
Host: What are the opportunities if you have created any, in the industry and how will this opportunity create a room of healthy competition for new business initiatives to flourish?
Manisha: As a believer in equal opportunity for all, LexOrbis has been persistently promoting diversity & inclusion and has set policies in place to support the different needs of different working groups, like work from home facility, six months of maternity leave, sabbaticals, crèche facility, flexible working hours, and a safe environment - all aimed at providing a healthy work-life balance.
Women comprise 70% of the firm’s total staff, out of which a substantial percentage of women are operating at the top levels as Partners and Team Leads. We have also been regularly involved in promoting DE&I efforts and employ an array of talent belonging to different age groups, backgrounds, ethnicity, physical abilities, political and religious beliefs, sex, gender, and other attributes. Members as young as 21 and as seasoned as 60 years are a part of team LexOrbis.
My aim as an employer is to generate relevant employment opportunities for female professionals – attorneys, paralegals, and administration experts. Over the past year, more than 75% of the firm’s new hires were women at different Associate, Manager, and Support levels. The firm has created a safe workplace for women, devoid of societal predispositions. The firm has unwaveringly created an inclusive culture, where no distinction is made based on factors such as gender, religion, region, ethnicity, personal choices, and physical attributes. The scarcity of progressive opportunities for women in the workplace motivated us to create policies where everyone gets to explore their full potential, irrespective of their gender. A key measure in furtherance of these beliefs is our Mumbai office which is led and operated by an all-female workforce.
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