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Uday Singh Ahlawat, Managing Partner

Managing Partner Uday Singh Ahlawat explains how Ahlawat & Associates responds to clients’ changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Ahlawat & Associates from your competitors?

Our top priority is to provide the clients with high-quality legal services, productive client interaction and create a personalized approach to address their legal issues. We believe that each client comes with different needs and concerns – and we work tirelessly to achieve their goals and pursue their objectives. Further, our Partners work on the premise that there is no problem that is minor for a client and therefore as and when the clients require the partners availability, the same is made available to the client.

After noticing a considerable number of legal queries and need for advisory services flowing from certain territories, we decided to structure our legal teams in a manner that would be able to cater to these needs with an ubiquitous approach for regions such as the U.K. this approach includes overcoming the most basic hurdle of miscommunication due to the language for region such as Japan and Korea ;which help them better understand the Indian market and the manner in which business is conducted.

Our fee structure is tailored to meet each client’s specific requirement and are molded in a manner that there are no surprises for the client at the end of each assignment. We believe that client relationships are based on trust and a sense of common purpose. Moreover, flexibility in our fee structure enables us to not only service large corporates, listed entities and multinational corporations but also allows start-ups and entrepreneurs to use our services at the beginning of their journey.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Considering the state of the global economy, India has proved to be one of the best investment destinations in the world. Since the focus is more on inbound and outbound investments, we see our practices relating to Foreign Direct Investment, India Entry Strategy and Mergers and Acquisitions practice growing the most.

Apart from that due to the recent regulatory changes in the insolvency laws and the arbitration laws, we have seen a steady growth in those respective practices over the last year, which we feel will continue to grow steadily over the next 12 months.

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

As a Firm policy we follow a mechanism, wherein a team of lawyers is assigned to a client to ensure that no client is dependent on one particular lawyer and in case of non-availability of one lawyer there will always be another one from the team to assist them who is well versed with their matter. This has been aided by the increase in the number of lawyers in the Firm because of which the Firm has opened its 3rd office in Delhi.

We have also expanded our presence in U.K by introducing a UK National to co-lead our UK desk. Similarly, we have recently also set-up our Korea desk to provide customized solutions coupled with local expertise to our clients coming in from Korea.

We try to keep ourselves abreast of the ever-changing needs of people and have also updated our website which represents the modern outlook of the Firm while keeping the old guns to monitor the progress. This has been done with the aim to help clients both current and prospective to understand the various services provided by the Firm as well as co-relate and initiate any service of the Firm as per their requirement.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Technology has certainly impacted the way we do business these days. Efficient and effective client meetings and interactions are a initiated at a click of a button and are no longer restricted by distance. Case progress can be tracked and monitored from anywhere; our clients have been given the ability to remotely monitor the progress in their matters through cloud services.

We have also adopted a system of mapping performance and productivity of our members with an aim to deliver the best solutions in a cost-effective manner. Having said that, fortunately, technology has not been able to find a replacement for the job done by lawyers.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Our Firm has constantly been evolving its service delivery mechanisms based on the client’s requirement. One of the prime examples of that can be seen from the fact that majority of our clients have used our Firm’s services and capabilities to eliminate the requirement of having an in-house legal team. Depending on the specific concern of the client the respective specialized team have acted on behalf of our client to address their concern more efficiently and cost effectively.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Yes, of course, the clients are looking for stability. No one wants to change their legal representation on a frequent basis and adding extra cost every time. Stability comes with quality and consistency especially from the Partners. Over the years we have been able to retain talent and provided consistency to our clients through that, which has not only helped give clients the confidence to work with us but also provide sound advice on some of the most complex matters. This approach has enabled us to extend our relationship with the client over a long period of time which is visible from the fact that most of our clients who were associated with the Firm since its incorporation, continue to work with us.

In the coming three years, I see the Firm continuing to grow organically with more lawyers coming up through the Firm and taking up leadership roles within the Firm. We also expect to setup at least 3-4 more international desks which is in line with the Firm’s growth trajectory currently.

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