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C-254 DEFENCE COLONY, NEW DELHI 110024, INDIA
Tel:
Work +91 11 4163 0033
Fax:
Fax +91 11 2433 9075
Email:
Web:
www.chandhiok.com

Pooja Mahajan, Managing Partner

Managing Partner Pooja Mahajan explains how the firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs

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

Clients are no longer chasing volume (in terms of number of lawyers or deals). They require considered and “thought through” advice. C&A has a fastidious obsession to attention to detail. We center our practice on predicting outcomes for our clients and helping them prepare for it. This is why strategy plays an important role in whatever we do – so that our advice is considered and relevant to the client. This is reflected in the number of challenging transactions; regulatory issues; and disputes that we have been involved in.  

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

We expect our insolvency and restructuring; and mergers & acquisitions practices to get busier. Our insolvency and restructuring practice been involved in key mandates; and this practice is practice is expected to grow as the dust around the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code settles. We also foresee greater M&A activity driven by consolidation across industries.

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

The cost of litigation has soared through the years. This is primarily due to the reliance on senior advocates for corporate and regulatory disputes. No doubt, some matters demand the advocacy skill and experience of senior advocates, but not all. We are encouraging our lawyers to play the role of both “advocate” and “solicitor”. Clients have trusted us with this approach. This has led to significant savings on litigious and regulator matters, without compromising the best representation for our clients.

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

The legal services industry is a people business and technology places a big part in bridging distances. It is also essential in how we deliver legal services especially at the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution. Technology is changing the business models of clients; so we make a conscious effort to invest in our understanding of these changes. For example: we recently flew in an expert from Silicon Valley to discuss the latest on artificial intelligence.

Looking back at the last twelve months, what area of practice has really distinguished itself within Chandhiok & Associates?

We have one of – if not the best - competition law teams in India. The last twelve months have been extremely busy for them across a range of mandates and industries. In May 2017, we obtained pre-merger approvals for clients in the financial services, medical devices and lightening industries. The Competition Commission of India’s public announcements for all three approvals came on the same day. With technology changing how our clients are doing business, we are guiding them on the rules of competition in the digital era.

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

Over the past four years, we have increased headcount by nearly 10 times – added practice areas such as restructuring, banking, capital markets. Our focus will be to continue to provide top quality work at the right value. We work with some of the largest and prominent international firms across jurisdictions. Over the next three years, we see those partnerships deepen – with us continuing to deliver results for them and vice versa.

Legal Developments in India

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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    According to the eighth annual survey conducted by the Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises (ABLE) and Bio Spectrum, the Indian biotech industry grew threefold in just five years to report revenues of US$ 3 billion in 2009-10, a rise of 17 per cent over the previous year. Maintaining the momentum of the previous years, the Indian biotech industry grew 16.28 per cent in FY2014; the total industry size was US$ 5 billion at the end of the financial year and it reached US$ 7 billion in FY2015. Fast-paced growth is likely to continue; the industry is expected to increase in size to USD11.6 billion by 2017, driven by a range   of factors such as growing demand, intensive R & D activities and strong government initiatives ( http://www.ibef.org/industry/biotechnology-india.aspx )
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    At the time when India is completing two decades of the economic liberalization there are several laurels which the policymakers can boast of.   The path-breaking shift from the license-raj to a regime focusing on regulation introduced by the Government of India in the landmark year 1991 have been continued through further economic reforms and the same has also found support from the regulators and the market players.
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    Soon after the rollback of the much criticized aspect of the Consolidated Foreign Direct Investment policy dated October 1, 2011 which treated foreign investments in Indian securities as external commercial borrowings in case such investments conferred options on the foreign investors, the policy makers have brought more good news for the investor community.
  • Franchising in India

    In the last two decades, India has witnessed a sea change in its foreign investment policy resulting in it being one of the most preferred investment destinations. With growing globalisation and liberalisation, brand awareness has been created in the Indian masses and today India is the one of the biggest and fastest emerging markets for various businesses across the world. Being geographically vast and culturally diverse, India offers the most favorable franchising environment with a huge consumer market. Franchising in this respect has managed to pick up as a successful business module for local companies in India.