Neha is a tenured lawyer with extensive experience in multiple facets of corporate law, as well as business development and relationship management with stakeholders including leadership, senior counsels and government agencies.
Has over 13 years of practice and has delivered successfully on negotiations, arbitration, drafting opinions and contracts for multi-million deals/projects.
Has been associated with Aviation over a decade and worked with players in the entire aviation value chain on deal structuring, litigation, insolvency, regulatory, compliance, policy making and enforcements.
In her capacity as Sr.Legal Counsel, Flynas she has successfully closed multimillion SLB transactions and financings in a short span.
Host: What are the different challenges and opportunities that you have or had faced while working in this field?
Neha: Whilst every profession comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities that it can offer, legal profession and the given practice area comes with its own. Aviation was a developing field when I started. To set up best practice and work alongside business and the legislature to bring about adherence was indeed an opportunity which came with a lot of challenge. Aviation is by its very nature a very international subject which would require cooperation and collaboration amongst countries in the form of recognised rules and regulations such as international conventions for securing the rights and interests of all parties concerned i.e., the OEM, the Lessor, the Operator, the MRO, the Financier, security interest holder, the jurisdiction et al. To bring about this recognition and security is pivotal to consistent growth in the field of aviation.
Host: As a professional how did you deal with the challenges and also how did you figure out the solutions to counter these challenges?
Neha: As a professional I believe one must never lose sight of the larger objective and keep changing the vantage point to be able to assess better. The volatility of Indian aviation sector and the continuous rise and fall of airlines is indicative of a few strong drivers - (a) strong market dynamics, (b) strong and growing middle class (c) lack of major structural reforms and (d) lack of implementation of international conventions. Whilst the market is very strong and positive the parallel growth of all verticals is equally important to sustain this growth. A need to continuously work with international players and rulemaking bodies to provide more security to the financiers and owners of airplanes is as important as securing the airlines and operators by providing them just support under the domestic legal framework. To continue to have meaningful and effective dialogue amongst key stake holders is probably the only way to counter a challenge of this nature as it may not be possible to reach consensus.
Host: Relating to your experience in this field, have you worked on any essential projects?
Neha: There are multiple important projects that I have been a part of and to name a few, i have been very closely involved in the implementation of Cape Town Convention in India (which involved working closely with the Government of India and the Aviation Working Group); repossession and court action at the time of down fall of Kingfisher Airlines; repossession and securing the interest of lessors, financiers at the time when SpiceJet started defaulting some time in 2014/15; repossession and working closely with the bankruptcy professional at the time when Jet Airways went down; Air India disinvestment; etc
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