In part II of the interview with Senior Advocate Janak Dwarkadas, he talks about how he made it in the profession, how his style of argument evolved over the years, being designated Senior Counsel at a young age, and more. Anuj Agrawal: Coming back to your career. There must have been some significant cases and turning points. Janak Dwarkadas: It would not be right for me to talk about the cases I have handled, although I would like to share how I got my first break. It was the result of my “being around”. It was a legal battle for the […]

He is a hard man to follow, quite literally. He may be in his early sixties, but senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas walks with a pace that belies his age. So if you do want to interview one of the most successful lawyers at the Bombay Bar, step one is to actually catch the man. But once you do, and once you do get an hour or so of his time, you get an up-close look at the quintessential old-school lawyer. He answers most questions with his eyes half-closed, much like he argues in court, running his hands through his hair […]

Following in the footsteps of Jyoti Sagar, J. Sagar Associates’ Senior Partner Berjis Desai retired from the firm on March 31 this year. Having followed the firm’s retirement policy, the senior partners have walked the talk. In 2013, Jyoti Sagar, the founding partner retired from the firm, giving away all his equity. Although Jyoti continues to be the Chairman and Mentor of the firm, Berjis will no longer be connected with JSA. Jyoti and Berjis were introduced to each other through a common friend about 15 years ago. Remembering his first meeting with Jyoti, Berjis in an earlier interview with […]

Early last year, students from the Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) started the Legal Entrepreneurship Cell (LEC), an initiative aimed at providing business advisory to early stage ventures, and pro bono advisory to Tibetan refugees, amongst other things. In this interview, Bar & Bench’s Shreya V chats with Harsh Loonker, a final year law student, to discuss the workings of the LEC. Shreya V: Tell us about this society? Harsh Loonker:  The LEC is a pro bono initiative, aimed at providing holistic legal research solutions to early stage ventures, NGOs and individuals who typically cannot afford to hire legal services. The […]

Justice Shiva Kirti Singh was elevated to the Supreme Court of India on September 19, 2013. After a tenure that lasted a little over three years,  Justice Singh retired in November last year. Justice Singh’s father was a judge of the Patna High Court, while his maternal grandfather, Justice BP Sinha, was the sixth Chief Justice of India, from 1959 to 1964. Justice Shiva Kirti Singh enrolled as an advocate in 1977 and was designated a Senior Advocate thirteen years later. In 1998, he was appointed as a judge of the Patna High Court, where he served as Acting Chief […]

Andhyarujina got through the Indian Foreign Services but took up law. “It was a difficult decision to make. I opted to go for the legal profession for two reasons. One, my father was a lawyer in Bombay. Secondly, we knew HM Seervai, who was an eminent jurist.” A junior lawyer working under one of the biggest names in the constitutional law, HM Seervai, Andhyarujina never regretted his decision. He spent fourteen years in Seervai’s chambers. “Seervai was not one of these run of the mill lawyers. He didn’t believe in being in the profession just to earn money. He himself […]

In part 2 of the interview with Justice GC Bharuka, he talks about how his mission to computerise all courts in India, how the plans have fallen short of implementation, and a lot more. On December 8, 2004 the Ministry of Law and Justice announced the establishment of an “e-Committee” for “monitoring” the use and implementation of technology in the Indian judiciary. The first Chairman of this committee was none other than Justice Bharuka; the CJI at that time was Justice RC Lahoti. “We were entrusted with making of national policy on all the facets of computerisation and automation of […]

He has more than a few interesting stories, you have to give him that. With a professional life that began as a mathematics teacher, GC Bharuka went on to become one of the leading commercial lawyers in the Patna High Court. Elevated to the Bench in 1990, he was also the Acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. He remained on the Bench for thirteen years. But it was neither his successful practice nor his judicial career that was the focal point of the interview, one that lasted the better part of three hours. No, this was not one […]

Citi, with one of the largest in-house legal teams in the world, has further deepened its presence in India (and abroad) with the formation of a legal hub in Mumbai, which will not only cater to the domestic Indian market but will serve its businesses spread across the APAC region. As a multi-faceted institution, this will supplement Citi’s global operations with support from their Indian franchise. Leading this project is Nitin Batra, who heads Global Legal Solutions for Citi, with ground-level logistics support being provided by Pramod Rao, General Counsel of Citi India. However, this is not the first time […]

Senior Advocate Yatin Oza has been a very vocal critic of the Executive interference in judicial appointments. He was recently exonerated by the Supreme Court on contempt charges after the letters he sent to Chief Justice of India TS Thakur. Oza spoke to Bar & Bench’s Murali Krishnan on what he perceives to be arm-twisting of the judiciary by the Executive. He also called upon the Bar Associations across the country to throw their weight behind Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, who had recently made some scathing allegations against listing of certain cases in Supreme Court. Below are the edited excerpts from the […]

In part II, Dr. Armin Rosencranz talks about the Bhopal Gas tragedy, the Supreme Court’s role in protecting the environment, the National Green Tribunal, and more. Anuj Agrawal: Your Indian connection goes back several decades. Dr. Armin Rosencranz: I first visited India in 1975. I got a Fulbright in 1983 for India. By that time, I had already started publishing on environmental law. In 1975, I wrote something on the future of environmental defence. I thought that this was an area that I was developing an expertise in. And then this guy from Cochin University, the head of the law […]

A few weeks ago, a suicide note purportedly written by late Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul raised more than a few eyebrows amongst the legal fraternity. The note, which first surfaced about six months after Pul’s suicide, made some shocking allegations against sitting and retired Supreme Court judges, lawyers and politicians. Quite astonishingly, the national media, which usually goes into top gear at the drop of a hat, chose to maintain silence over the issue. And then something interesting happened. Pul’s widow, Dangwimsai Pul, wrote a letter to Chief Justice of India JS Khehar seeking his permission for the registration of […]

Dr. Armin Rosencranz is currently a Professor of Public Law and Policy at Jindal Global Law School, Sonepat. A lawyer, political scientist and environmental law expert, Dr. Rosencranz has written extensively about environmental issues in India. In this first of this two-part interview with Anuj Agrawal, Dr. Rosencranz talks about his Stanford days, student politics and protests, the costs of legal education and more. Anuj Agrawal: In the 1960’s you chose to stand for elections to the Associated Students of Stanford University. Dr. Armin Rosencranz: I didn’t. I was a teaching assistant and one of the students in my class […]

The results of the Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record (AoR) examination were released earlier this month. While for some, judgment day meant disappointment and regret, for Sahil Tagotra and Deepayan Mandal, it was jubilation all the way. The first and second rank holders had some interesting insights to share from their experience. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Vasudha Misra, the victorious duo reveal how their respective journeys have fared thus far. Vasudha Misra: Who or what influenced your decision to be a lawyer? Any inspirations? Sahil: I was a science student in my school, and as such, was typically expected […]

This year’s budget made a short yet significant reference to amendments that will be introduced in the Arbitration Act, 1996 to ‘streamline institutional arrangements for resolution of disputes in infrastructure related construction contracts, public-private partnerships and public utility contracts’. This, however, is not the first time that such reforms were suggested in the budget speech. Last year’s budget speech, also, proposed a ‘Public Contracts (Resolution of Disputes) Bill’ which, inter alia, made provisions for institution of separate tribunals for resolution of such disputes. Last year also witnessed, the constitution of India’s first institutional arbitration centre, the MCIA, and a 3-day […]

DLN Rao is a designated Senior Advocate of the Karnataka High Court. A veteran lawyer who has spent more than four decades at the Bar, Rao is also the foremost authority on mining laws in the country. Apart from that, he is also the person to be credited for the underground Metro rail system in Bangalore. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, he talks about how things have changed in forty-six years, his most memorable cases, and the role law officers can play in helping reduce pendency. (Edited excerpts below) Aditya AK: Was law always the plan? […]

Justice Ram Mohan Reddy is a former judge of the Karnataka High Court. After a tenure of more than twelve years, Justice Reddy retired in June last year. He was previously Chairman of the High Court’s Computerization Committee as well as the Judicial Process Re-engineering Committee. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, Justice Reddy talks about his experience as a judge, how computerization is resulting in better case management, and more. (Edited Excerpts) Aditya AK – How would you describe your experience as a judge? Justice Reddy – During my tenure as a judge for 12 years […]

One of those rare people who is equally liked amongst the various factions of the Bombay Bar, senior counsel Milind Sathe is a rather soft-spoken man. Which is a bit hard to digest, given the fact that he is the President of the Bombay Bar Association. In this hour-long interview with Bar & Bench’s Anuj Agrawal, Sathe talks about his early years, teaching at GLC, and much more. (Edited excerpts) Anuj Agrawal: There is very little information about your early years. You used to teach at Government Law College, Mumbai. Milind Sathe: I actually did my BSc in science from Chiplun […]

Darshan Kulkarni is part of the limited club of lawyers working on US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory and compliance. A member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania State Bar Associations, Darshan Kulkarni has also worked as a pharmacist for more than a decade, and has even participated as a clinician in clinical trials. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Varun Marwah, among other things, Darshan Kulkarni speaks about the Indian legal landscape for pharmaceutical companies, investor confidence, and the limits of pharma regulation. Varun Marwah: Tell us more about your educational background. Darshan Kulkarni: We are at […]

Asim Pandya is the President of the Gujarat High Court Bar Association and a noted author. If things had worked out differently, he would also be a High Court judge; in 2009, his elevation to the Bench was denied in some rather controversial circumstances. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, Asim Pandya talks about the flaws in the current system of appointing judges, politics at the Bar level, the importance of writing skills for a lawyer, and more. Aditya AK: How were your early days in the profession? Asim Pandya: When I started, I found it difficult to sustain myself […]

Gaurav Bhatia is hardly an unknown face for Supreme Court regulars. As Uttar Pradesh’s former Additional Advocate General, Bhatia has had a successful practice in the apex court. But that is not all. Elected for the second time as the Secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Bhatia has let his work speak for himself. Despite this, controversy, like an unshakable poltergeist, seems to follow him. In this exclusive interview with Bar and Bench’s Vasudha Misra, Bhatia opens up on his plans as SCBA Secretary, working with recently elected President R S Suri, and everything a Supreme Court lawyer can look forward to in this term. […]

Emeritus Professor at the Law Faculty in Bond University, Professor Mary Hiscock has written extensively on international trade law, as well as the “internationalisation” of legal education. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Anuj Agrawal, Prof. Hiscock talks about the importance of a law degree, why her students nicknamed her “Bloody Mary”, and much more. Anuj Agrawal: You have written extensively on the “internationalisation” of legal education. Professor Mary Hiscock: My own personal view is that, to some extent, internationalisation has always been a part of university education. I can remember my first days as a student in Melbourne Law School in […]

In the second part of the interview with Pallavi Saluja, Hemant Sahai and Amitabh Sharma speak about the firm’s equity structure, liberalisation and the legal profession in India. (You can read Part I of the interview here) Pallavi Saluja: Having worked at JSA and Khaitan, what are some of the cultural differences you see within these firms? Amitabh Sharma: Let me respond to this question by highlighting the positive cultural aspects that I see here – HSA’s greatest strength is its openness, transparency and systems driven culture. Mutual trust, faith and comfort is the bedrock of the firm’s leadership’s philosophy. […]

HSA Advocates is going through an interesting phase with the entire restructuring exercise, one that includes Khaitan & Co’s Amitabh Sharma being appointed Managing Partner. In the first part of an interview with Bar & Bench’s Pallavi Saluja, both Hemant Sahai and Amitabh Sharma talk about the firm’s growth trajectory, decision to get an outsider as the firm’s Managing Partner, HSA 2.0, and much more. Pallavi Saluja: The firm has been on a significant growth trajectory of late. Hemant Sahai: Growth has always been part of our DNA. We have always adopted a strategy of strategic growth rather than mere growth in headcount, […]

Politician, BJP spokesperson, lawyer and engineer, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has made his presence felt in the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court after his involvement in multiple public interest litigations. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Nalini Sharma, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay talks about his political career, demonetization and his “passion to file PILs”. Nalini Sharma: How did law happen? Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay: I did my engineering and worked in many companies including Hero Honda, and Maruti before I decided to do my law. I quit my job when the Anna Movement started. I was a Senior Engineer in Maruti Suzuki then. I […]

During his illustrious career, Justice CK Thakker has donned many hats: those of a Supreme Court judge, a distinguished author, a lawyer and even a part-time lecturer. In this conversation with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, the retired judge takes us through his journey in the legal profession, his relationship with noted British jurist Lord Denning, and more. The first thing you notice about Justice Chunilal Karsandas Thakker is his infallible memory. He recounts each and every detail from his childhood, including the name of the bus that took him to school, after he would walk for three kilometres from […]

Dr. Purvi Pokhariyal is the Director of the Institute of Law at NIRMA University (ILNU), Ahmedabad. In 2014, we had interviewed her on the state of affairs at the institute. Two years later, Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK catches with the Director to find out the changes at ILNU, and a lot more. Aditya AK: What changes has ILNU undergone in the past few years? Dr. Purvi Pokhariyal: The major change is with regard to our curriculum. We have tried to incorporate many elective courses, and we are marching towards the choice-based credit system. We have around 73 elective courses from […]

Dispute financing (also known as third party funding, or litigation financing), an area of practice which is relatively unheard of in India is a multi-million dollar industry which is young, but growing by the day in countries such as USA, Australia and England. And Selvyn Seidel is one of the forerunners in this industry, being one the first few to have set up a company for dispute financing. Not just one, but two, first Burford Capital, and then Fulbrook Capital Management. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Varun Marwah, Selvyn discusses the intricacies and nuances associated with dispute financing, […]

Senior Advocate Kirti Uppal recently defeated long-time President Rajiv Khosla to become the new President of the Delhi High Court Bar Association. Emerging victorious by over 300 votes, Uppal has come a long way from being a first-generation lawyer to a senior advocate and now the DHCBA President. He spoke to Bar & Bench about the politics in the bar, his plans as the new president and his past experiences after a long stint of being associated with the Delhi High Court. Nalini Sharma: Why did you decide to run for the President? Kirti Uppal: I’ve been a part and parcel of the Bar Association for […]

Three law students from India recently made the cut for this year’s Rhodes Scholarships. Gauri Pillai from NUJS, Kolkata, Vanshaj Jain from NLSIU Bangalore and Mary Kavita Dominic from NUALS, Kochi will fly the Indian flag at Oxford University come next year. We interviewed two of these Rhodes scholars – Vanshaj Jain and Mary Kavita – and asked them about the selection process, the role their respective law schools played, and their future plans. Aditya AK: What inspired you to apply? Vanshaj Jain: I don’t think I ever actually felt I had a chance until they announced my name, you […]