LexTalk World Talk Show with Shraddha Gupta, Associate at The Law Chambers


Shraddha is a graduate from National Law University Odisha and has received two gold medals from the University. She has been enrolled with the Telangana Bar Council since 2014. Shraddha has over 8 years of experience in the legal field. Shraddha began her career in law with litigation at the District Court level, working at Ganu & Co. She has been focused on representing clients in civil litigation matters at Ganu & Co. She moved on to Lakshmi Kumaran & Sridharan, Hyderabad in the year 2016 to take up practice of Indirect Tax Litigation. In the year 2017, she moved to Trilegal, Hyderabad and thereafter The Law Chambers, Hyderabad. In March 2020, she started her boutique law firm, ‘Accord Juris’ and continues to work as a Senior Consultant with The Law Chambers.


Shraddha has closely worked in several areas of arbitration and dispute resolution, commercial real estate, corporate law, including drafting joint development agreements, business transfer agreements, employment contracts, share subscription and shareholders agreements, investment agreements, hire purchase and leasing agreements, loan documents, conduct of due diligence in large transactions, as well as advisory and consulting work for clients in diverse fields, including Labour Laws, IT, ITES, real estate and infrastructure, banking, financial, manufacturing, trading, service, FMCG, hospitality, healthcare and Technology, Media and Telecommunications sectors. Having closely worked with various commercial entities, real estate firms, companies in entertainment and media industry, hospitality industry and IT Companies, she has vast experience in civil and corporate litigation, insolvency and bankruptcy laws, commercial real estate, local revenue laws, intellectual property laws, entertainment and media laws, employment laws and commercial contracts.


Shraddha has been instrumental in advising and facilitating the day-to-day business of various start-ups in the State of Telangana. Apart from servicing wide range of clientele in the industry, Shraddha has also been actively catering to legal requirements of individuals. Her passion towards the field of law has also driven her to taking initiatives to spread legal awareness amongst the masses and motivate young individuals in pursuing the profession.


Shraddha regularly appears before High Courts, Civil Courts, NCLT across the Country in commercial litigation matters. Shraddha has represented clients in Revenue Matters, PF Matters, Writ Petitions. Quash etc. Having handled cases at NCLAT and Supreme Court in the field of arbitration and IBC. Her passion towards the judicial system and her clients has made her a problem solver and she takes a special yet unbiased interest towards all his clients.


Interview :


Host: ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A LAWYER?


Shraddha: I have been a little experimental with my journey. I always believed in starting from the basics. While I was advised otherwise, I still choose to begin my practice from the trial courts and I joined a lawyer’s chamber at Hyderabad immediately after graduation (I even advise every lawyer who plans to get into litigation to start with trial court practice by default). After practising at trial courts for two years, to explore the prospects of a specialized field, I joined a tax law firm. After a year of tax practice, I moved to another law firm where I handled corporate litigation, general corporate advisory and real estate law. As we speak, with ample experience in various segments, I deal with interalia civil and corporate dispute resolution, real estate law, corporate advisory in specialized sectors. I have started a boutique law firm Accord Juris in the year 2020. I am a first-generation lawyer and I would not have made it to this platform of lextalk without the limitless guidance and support of all the seniors and fellow colleagues I have worked with in past and continue to work with. With all humility, I convey my deepest gratitude to each one of them.


Host: TELL US ABOUT A COMPLEX LEGAL ISSUE YOU WORKED ON. DESCRIBE THE COMPLEXITY AND TELL US HOW YOU APPROACHED IT?


Shraddha: When it comes to complexities in this profession, we are often seized with not just legal complexities but also factual complexities. It will be difficult for me to select any one case, however, if I am hard-pressed to discuss one, I’ll go with the most recent case concerning a legal complexity, dealing with on ‘Champertous Contracts” i.e. “ThirdParty funding of Litigation”. The legal position governing these contracts in India dates back to independence era, which hold that, contract with a third party for funding litigation constitute an extortionate, inequitable or unconscionable bargain and hence are illegal. While such a legal position could have been apposite 50 years ago, however, it cannot be lost sight of the fact that third-party funding of litigation today is an accepted practice all across the world, specially, in arbitrations. I was dealing with a case where certain disputes arose in a similar contract and my client was refused any relief by the trial court on the ground that the contract is champertous and hence illegal. When the matter was taken up in appeal before the High Court, we were able to convince the court about how such contracts have to be revisited in present times and more particularly in view of the fact that litigation now is expensive and time consuming process. We dealt with the legal position governing such contracts in other countries as Indian Law does not have any jurisprudence on this. While we have an interim order in our favour, the case is still pending. I am hoping this case will be instrumental in bringing a shift in the law of Champertous Contracts. This shift will be a breather for various litigants who are unable to pursue their legitimate cases on account of financial crunch.


Host: THE PANDEMIC SAW SOME COURTS BEGIN MOVING TOWARDS MORE REMOTE PROCEEDINGS AND AVAILABILITY. IS THIS SUSTAINABLE, AND A POSSIBLE WAY TO INCREASE ACCESS TO JUSTICE, IN YOUR OPINION?


Shraddha: I can say this without any demur that moving towards remote proceedings is indeed sustainable. It is only because the legal fraternity opted for virtual hearings and virtual filings that we saw that grievances of lakhs of people could get addressed when the entire world was going through the Covid-19 turmoil. Having said that, it will be wrong on my part to not acknowledge that many people at the bar have faced and continue to face difficulty in adapting to remote proceedings. This is because of the sudden shift from physical to virtual mode without any preparedness. However, with the advancement in technology and after having witnessed how remote proceedings can help in quicker disposal of cases, I see no reason why this should not be made a norm. Not to forget, these proceedings are also undeniably more economical, environment friendly and hence a more feasible mode.


Host: HOW WOULD YOU RATE THE CURRENT LEGAL SYSTEM DRIVE TOWARDS ENCOURAGING ACCESS TO JUSTICE? IS THERE TANGIBLE MOVEMENT IN CLOSING THE JUSTICE GAP?


Shraddha: I personally believe that the way in which the judiciary and the lawmakers are functioning, there is certainly an overt attempt to bridge the justice gap. We have seen various welcoming laws which have been introduced to address the pressing issues such as grievances of senior citizens, juvenile justice, road accidents, workplace harassment etc. On the commercial side we have had GST, IBC, which were enacted to streamline the legal system. However, the downside is the number of litigations (frivolous litigations) which are pending, even to the extent of interpreting these laws. A lot of unsuccessful litigants travel from the Trial Court upto the Supreme Court and as there is a dearth in the judiciary, it takes many years for any matter to get disposed off finally. In my opinion, it is not just the legal system, but the individuals/citizens are also equally accountable and shall act in synergy with the judiciary and legislature to be able to bridge the justice gap quicker than it appears to be.


Host: TIME IS MONEY IN ANY PROFESSION AND IN LEGAL IT'S MOST OF ALL. HOW DO YOU ENSURE TO MAKE THE BEST OF YOU TIME AS A LAWYER?


Shraddha: Alas! it has been eight years that I am in this profession and I am still learning how to manage time and be able to balance my personal and professional life. But every person has their different ways and means they are comfortable with. Like I prefer using my driving time to keep myself abreast with legal updates by listening to news or a podcast. Also, I ready my case files and records in such a manner that I do not invest long hours on them and focus on specifics. Planning and team work are also most essential for time management. I know I am stating the obvious, but I say it with experience that it matters. Each and every minute you spent as a lawyer is an investment and when this investment is manifold, it indeed gives better and satisfactory results.

 

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