Firm Profile > ARA LAW > Mumbai, India

ARA LAW
THE CAPITAL, 1001 C
B WING, BANDRA KURLA COMPLEX, BANDRA (EAST)
MUMBAI 400 051
India

Investment funds Tier 3

ARA LAW ’s investment funds team handles fund establishment, operation and exit exercises for clients in the venture capital and private equity spheres. The team cites particular expertise in assisting domestic and international funds with their inward investments into the tech sector, often handling complex issues pertaining to tax efficient structuring for category three funds and pre-IPO investment operations. As of July 2019, Subharekha Ravi was brought in from Platinum Partners to co-head the practice alongside Rajesh N Begur.

Key clients

Malabar India Fund

Malabar Value Fund

Paysense Pte

Nexus Ventures III

Jungle Ventures II Investment Holding

Rubique Technologies India Private Limited

Shunwei Ventures (Mauritius) Limited

IIFL Seed Ventures Fund I and IIFL Select Equity Fund

Sixth Sense India Opportunities II

TrustLine Holdings Private Limited

IIFL India Private Equity Fund

Banking and finance Tier 4

The 'responsive and accessible' banking and finance practice at ARA Law acts predominantly for clients providing loans to companies in order to satisfy working capital requirements or for refinancing purposes, showing particular strength in depth advising lenders on ensuring robust securities are in place to protect their investments. Rajesh N. Begur , who has over three decades of experience, is known for representing domestic and international clients across Asia, Europe and in the US in private equity, venture capital, m&a and financing deals. In 2019, the group increased its headcount with the recruitment of two associates, Ritika Juneja and Aishwarya Gupta, and Priyesh Sharma ’s return to the practice as co-head of the M&A group.

Key clients

India Infoline Finance Limited

SC Credit Fund

Walton Street Blacksoil Real Estate Trust

PHL Fininvest Private Limited

Corporate and M&A Tier 4

The corporate department at ARA LAW is known for its expertise in cross-border transactions, demergers, joint ventures, hostile takeovers and leveraged buyouts, with particular expertise in the technology and aviation sectors. Practice head Rajesh Begur acts for domestic and international clients in Asia, Europe, the UK, the US and MENA, standing out for his expertise advising investment funds doing business in India. Priyesh Sharma re-joined the firm in 2019 as co-head of the M&A practice after a brief period working at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

Key clients

Superskies Aviation Private Limited

Kwench Global Technologies Private Limited

Real estate and construction Tier 4

ARA LAW advises on title searches and investigations in relation to all types of property, ranging from commercial and residential properties to agricultural land. Other areas of activity include assisting with the acquisition and disposition of immovable property, joint development agreements, and slum rehabilitation projects, as well as financing matters and the establishment of real estate investment trusts. Rajesh Begur leads the team, which is also experienced in land use issues, planning and zoning regulations.

Key clients

Netflix India Entertainment Services Indian LLP

IIFL Wealth and Asset Management Limited

Walton Street Blacksoil Real Estate Trust

OVERVIEW:
ARA LAW is a dynamic first generation law firm that is known for its creative and agile thinking, commitment to its clients and the ability to provide sound and innovative solutions to the most complex business challenges. Situated in India’s commercial capital, Mumbai, and IT capital Bengaluru, ARA LAW believes in forging sturdy and long-term relationships with its clients. We believe in team-based work because we know that the only way we can secure our clients business interests is by leveraging the expertise of the entire firm to achieve a desired result. We want to win and we want to ensure that we always exceed the expectations of our clients. The Firm has a domestic and multinational client base that includes government and public authorities, commercial banks, financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies, equity and venture capital funds across a range of sectors, including Pharmaceutical, Infrastructure, Telecom, Media, IT, Insurance, Mutual Fund and Banking. Our commitment to our client needs has helped us maintain long term relationships with them and has brought us recognition in international publications for being a leading and reliable law firm in India in its core areas of practice.

ARA LAW is guided by five core values –
(a) Accountability
(b) Adaptability
(c) Collaboration
(d) Commitment to excellence
(e) Desire to succeed.

PRACTICE AREAS:
PRIVATE EQUITY & VENTURE CAPITAL
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
INVESTMENT FUNDS
REAL ESTATE
BANKING & FINANCE
CAPITAL MARKETS

PRIVATE EQUITY & VENTURE CAPITAL:
Overview: Since its inception, ARA LAW has been at the forefront of the Private Equity and Venture Capital (“PE & VC”) space in India with expertise in investment planning, structuring and execution and exit strategies, Our lawyers understand the nuances of the most sophisticated PE & VC deals and advice clients on structuring of funds, legal requirements in investment jurisdictions, and flexible options for maximizing fund-raising opportunities. We keep abreast of the constantly changing and complex regulatory regime and other issues that apply to typical PE & VC deals. For very deal on the table, the team reaches out to specialists within the Firm, such as banking and finance, to ensure that our clients are barricaded from every possible risk and their commercial interests strengthened.
Our Capabilities:
PE & VC Investments: Structuring, documentation, execution and completion of transactions and regulatory compliances.
Cross-border transactions: Structuring and compliances under Foreign Exchange Control laws, tax laws, securities laws in coordination with local offshore lawyers.
Taking private: All aspects of taking private including key strategic considerations, fiduciary duty issues, procedural safeguards, compliances, completion of the takeover process, regulatory filings, delisting, insider trading and required disclosures.
Mezzanine capital: Mezzanine capital financing, debt-equity structuring issues, risk management, regulatory compliances under foreign exchange laws, SEBI regulations and ECB regulations.
Exits: Exits from investments, whether by qualified IPO or strategic sale or Promoter & Company Buybacks or drag along.
Corporate and commercial issues: Corporate and commercial issues relating to Private Equity & Venture Capital transactions such as issuance of ESOPS, compliances under Companies Act, corporate governance issues, secretarial compliances and regulatory compliances.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS:
Overview: In a market that is highly competitive, ARA LAW’S M&A team stands out for its acumen, transactional strategies and its ability to pre-empt potential regulatory and bureaucratic bottlenecks so that its clients’ strategic and commercial interests are always protected. With over two decades of rich experience in all aspects of M&A, our clients span the entire gamut of businesses, both international and domestic. They include buying and selling companies, investment banks and other financial institutions, government and public sector bodies, domestic and international investors, entrepreneurs, sovereign wealth funds, private equity and hedge funds. This diverse client base is reflective of our deep technical and sectoral knowledge of the market and its complexities. It allows us to quickly identify the contours of a deal and to put together a multi-disciplinary team to craft a cost effective strategy that we believe will best advance our client’s business interests.
Our Capabilities
Cross Border Acquisitions: Structuring, regulatory compliances under Foreign Exchange laws and tax laws in conjunction with local lawyers and law firms in various jurisdictions.
Demergers, Business & Assets Sale: Structuring, regulatory and legal compliances of transactions involving the demerger of a unit (including the court approval process) and/or sale of assets and/or business divisions by undertakings and spin-off transactions.
Joint Ventures & Foreign Collaborations: Setting up joint ventures and collaborations in diverse industries keeping in mind industry specifics, regulatory requirements and business goals.
Amalgamations: Forging strategic mergers and amalgamations of entities by formulating schemes and assisting right through to the implementation of the scheme.
Hostile Takeovers and Tender offers: Assessing vulnerability to unsolicited takeovers, procedural and structural defensive strategies against hostile tender offers, insider trading issues, required disclosures and compliances with applicable laws on takeover regime.
Leveraged buyouts: Developing and structuring buyout structures, financing and debt issues, exit strategies and other compliances under foreign exchange laws, Companies Act, ECB regulations, SEBI AIF regulations and listing requirements.
Taking private: Advising on all aspects of taking private including key strategic considerations, fiduciary duty issues, procedural safeguards, compliances, completion of the takeover process, regulatory filings, delisting and required disclosures.
Activist investor defense: Crafting strategies to protect against activist shareholders and planning for shareholder focus on annual meeting matters, ranging from board structures and governance to executive compensation.
Anti-trust issues: Advising on competition law perspectives in M&A transactions, including compliances under competition laws, abuse of dominant position, merger control regulations, cartels, and anti-trust investigations.

INVESTMENT FUNDS:
Overview: Our team at ARA LAW is recognized for its trustworthy legal guidance and broad-based experience relating to all aspects of investment funds and asset management activities, including assessing risks and navigating the legal and regulatory labyrinth. Our experience with a broad spectrum of industry gives us the advantage of staying current in an investment environment that is so dynamic. Our clients include major domestic and international institutional investors, financial institutions, sponsors, investment managers (of varied fund sizes and investment strategies), fund administrators, trustees, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, charitable organizations and family offices on the formation of close and open ended fund vehicles. Our advice covers legal and regulatory matters relating to alternative investment funds, mutual funds, collective investment schemes, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InViTs). We service India-focused funds operating from multiple jurisdictions in coordination with offshore local counsel and administrators. Our Investment Fund lawyers have a unique insight and a 360 degree perspective of prevalent market trends with the ability to zero in on key issues.

Our Capabilities
Alternative Investment Funds: Structuring and formation of all types of alternative investment funds including documentation, providing integrated legal and tax solutions and registration with SEBI and other offshore jurisdictions to: • Debt funds • Hedge Funds • Private Equity Funds • Social Venture Funds • Venture Capital Funds • SME Funds • Fund of funds • Art Funds • Angel funds • Film Funds • Mezzanine Funds • Infrastructure Funds • Health Funds • Other industry/sector funds
REITs & INVITs: Formation and registration of real estate investment trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure investment trusts and related legal and regulatory issues
Mutual Funds: Formation and registration of mutual funds, portfolio management services and collective investment schemes and related legal and regulatory issues
Carry Structuring: Carry structuring, including formation of employee benefit trusts
Solicitation: Marketing, Solicitation and Selling restrictions
Regulatory Compliances: Compliances with legal frameworks such as the SEBI Investment Advisers, SEBI Alternative Investment Funds, European Union Directives on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMD), the United States Foreign Accounting Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and other international pacts

REAL ESTATE:
Overview: ARA LAW’s real estate practice has grown as rapidly as this sector has developed in India and is now a key focus area for its team of senior lawyers. As with most sectors in a newly opened up economy, it is crucial that lawyers stay updated on the legal and regulatory developments related to their areas of specialization. This is something that our Real Estate specialists take very seriously, given the constant changes in regulations in this sector. For it is this, combined with a balanced and realistic perspective of the issues at hand, financial expertise, our multilingual capabilities and a solid network of local partners across the country, that ensures that our clients always have a steady guiding hand through all of their real estate needs, whether connected to a commercial transaction or specific property deals. Our team is nimble and surefooted, with the ability to navigate the regulatory labyrinth and the local laws without losing sight of the commercials. We have advised a wide range of financial institutions, commercial banks, corporations, property owners, real estate fund managers, domestic alternative investment funds, real estate developers and foreign and domestic investors on all aspects of real estate transactions. Our practice covers the entire span of real estate deals, from acquisition and development to leasing and sale of residential, commercial and industrial projects and special economic zones.
Our Capabilities
Title Investigation: Title search and investigation on all types of property situated across India in coordination with local lawyers.
Acquisitions, Sales & Exchanges: Acquisition and disposition of all types of real estate, including residential, commercial, industrial and properties situated in special economic zones.
Project Development: Development, Joint Development, Redevelopment and Slum Rehabilitation projects including Operation & Management Contracts and related documents.
Financing: Raising finances from banks, lenders, domestic and offshore investors for the development of property and the creation of security.
Real Estate Investment Trusts: Investments by domestic as well as offshore Investors in REITs, including advising on SEBI regulations and exchange control regulations.
Land Use and Zoning Regulations: Assisting in land use matters, sub-division, planning and zoning regulations in coordination with local lawyers.
Regulatory Compliances & Approvals: Regulatory compliances and approvals under complex state and central property laws, including pertaining to the formation of condominiums and societies.
Leases, Leave & Licenses: Lease Deeds, Leave & Licence Agreements, etc., relating to residential, commercial and industrial properties.
Stamp Duty & Registration: Applicability and computation of stamp duty and assisting in registration of property documents in coordination with local lawyers.

BANKING & FINANCE:
Overview: ARA LAW’s Banking & Finance team has had the unique opportunity of working seamlessly across all of the Firm’s specialist groups and deals that the Firm has advised on. Given the range of clients and the broad spectrum of corporate commercial work that we handle, this has meant that our Banking and Finance has had unparalleled experience in all manner of corporate transactions involving international and domestic market leaders. This has also meant that the team has stayed on top of all the sweeping changes in domestic financial regulations while at the same time, understanding potential conflict and compliance issues in the international context. And where a bank or a financial institution has been a client, ARA LAW has been able to effortlessly create a bench of relevant specialists from among its other areas of specialism to ensure that the client receives advise that ensures they stay ahead of the competition. ARA LAW has over the last two decades developed a knowledge-backed practical and common sense approach to complex banking and finance transactions covering a wide spectrum of financial products, including project finance, syndicated lending and structured products. We regularly advise public and private sector banks, non-banking financial companies and financial institutions on domestic and cross border transactions. And in all these matters, we always take our clients on board as an important member of our team to ensure that their commercial objectives are met within stipulated transactional timelines. It is for this reason that we have been recognized for our “to the point commercially viable advice” – advice that is innovative and rich with the knowledge of the team’s varied experience.
Our Capabilities
Debt Instruments: Structuring and documentation in relation issuance of listed/unlisted/secured/unsecured non-convertible debentures; tax saving/deep discount bonds, masala bonds; money market instruments such as treasury bills, commercial bills, commercial papers, certificate of deposits, inter corporate deposits, banker’s acceptance, repurchase agreements and other short term securities.
Project Finance: Structuring and documentation in relation to setting up of power projects and greenfield plants; construction financings; refinancing of existing rupee facilities, security creation and perfection for project securities; term loan facilities; intercreditor issues; restructuring of working capital debt; concession agreements and bid documentation for selection of concessionaire; transmission agreements; operation and maintenance arrangements; procurement and maintenance arrangements; production sharing arrangements; Engineering, Procurement and Construction arrangements; BOOT model based projects; off-take arrangements.
Structured Finance: Structuring, due diligence and documentation in relation to a company’s debt obligations under the corporate debt restructuring forum; restructuring debt portfolios; sale of homogeneous illiquid assets to multiple buyers by way of pooling and issuance of pass through certificates backed by receivables and cash flows; restructuring stressed and nonperforming assets; restructuring of foreign debt including foreign currency convertible bonds; acquisition of stressed financial under SARFAESI, 2002; CDR Cell guided debt restructuring; securitisation of asset backed securities and mortgage backed securities.
Acquisition Finance: Structuring and documentation in relation to foreign currency term loan facilities in connection with overseas acquisitions; foreign bridge loan facilities; leveraged buyouts; (d) acquisition of majority shareholding interests in targets; refinancing transactions.
Syndicated Loans and External Commercial Borrowings: Structuring and documentation in relation to cross border leveraged recapitalization transactions; bridge financing and subsequent long term refinancing in relation to purchase of assets; financing for onward financing of infrastructure projects; multi-tranche dual currency syndicated term loan facilities; debt cum equity financing for new projects; dollar denominated term loan facilities from overseas banks

CAPITAL MARKETS:
Overview: Fluctuating financial markets and changing regulatory conditions are a part of the course in an emerging economy. ARA LAW’s capital markets lawyers always have their ear to the ground and bring to the table a deep understanding of not just their area of specialization, but also of the political and economic landscape as well as the ability to forecast policy directions that could have a bearing on their client’s business. ARA LAW regularly advises issuers, issue managers, underwriters, institutional investors, brokers, investment funds, listed companies and merchant bankers on domestic and international capital market transactions across a wide range of sectors on recognised stock exchanges in India and abroad. Our clients and our professional peers recognize us for our dexterity in navigating a complex market and regulatory environment to efficiently advise clients on all types of capital market transactions including initial public offerings, debt offering, foreign currency and convertible bonds.
Our Capabilities
Equity Offerings: Structuring, conducting legal due diligence, preparation and filing of stock exchange communications, review of publicity material and transaction documentation for Initial Public Offerings and listing on recognised stock exchanges in India and abroad, Follow-on Public Offers, Rights Issues , Institutional Placement Programmes, Offer for Sale on the stock exchanges and other secondary market issuances; Qualified Institutional Placements, Depository Receipts Issuances, along with advising on Takeovers/Tender offer/competitive offers and Buy-Back & Delisting of Securities, Continuing listing requirements, Corporate Disclosures and Corporate Governance issues.
Debt Offerings: Structuring, conducting legal due diligence and documentation of all types of domestic and international debt offerings including public issuance of non-convertible debentures; private placement of nonconvertible debentures on the Wholesale Debt Market of the stock exchanges, issuance of commercial papers, foreign currency convertible bonds and medium term notes.
Derivative Transactions: Structuring, documentation and negotiation of complex derivatives transactions involving single or multiple jurisdictions in the areas of credit, equity, commodity with structures ranging from vanilla swaps, forwards and options to sophisticated hybrid securities and related credit and collateral issues.
Trust Listings: Structuring, documentation and negotiation of trust listing transactions such as real estate investment trusts, infrastructure investment trusts and business trusts on the Indian and overseas stock exchanges

OUR KEY DIFFERENTIATORS:
ARA LAW has set itself a few guiding principles that differentiate it from its peers:
1. PARTNER OVERSIGHT
No transaction is complete and no document leaves the firm without the scrutiny of a Partner. Every client receives the personalized attention of a Partner and every transaction or deal that the Firm works on will bear the signature of a Partner.
2. WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE
As a Firm, we hold ourselves accountable to our clients as well to our very own core values. We are a client-centric firm that firmly believes that our clients always come first
3. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
We understand that time is of the essence in every deal or transaction. We work within very strict timelines while at the same time ensuring that our high standards of quality are always met.
4. REPUTATION
Our reputation for always providing outstanding work to our clients is very important to us. We have worked hard over the last two decades to establish a reputation among our peers and our clients for providing high quality work that is cost effective and commercially viable both within the short and long term.
5. COLLABORATION
We believe in collaborating within our departments to ensure that we always provide our clients a bespoke team that leverages the relevant specialisms of the Firm. We consider our clients important team members and always ensure that that their views and concerns are taken on board before any strategy is drawn up for them.
6. WE UNDERSTAND THE COMMERCIAL IMPERATIVE
Our reputation among our clients for providing high quality work stems from the expertise of our lawyers, who combine business acumen, an instinctive feel for the market with their indepth knowledge of the law. The solutions we provide to our clients will always further their commercial objectives, while providing them the full protection of the law.
OUR TEAM AND ITS VALUES:
Our clients recognize our commitment to providing exemplary service and finding innovative solutions. Our reputation and good will in the industry has helped us liaise easily with a wide network of local counsel in multiple jurisdictions for fundraising deployment and closing of investments typical to this area of practice. We are collaborative in our approach. Our advice and solutions are designed to work in harmony with client’s business objectives and strategic plans.
Our impeccable record over the past two decades has been built on empathy with our clients and the attention to detail provided to every transaction by the Firm’s partners. We are recognized for providing quality service within very stringent timelines as well as for our agility in straddling business knowledge with our expertise in law.

Department Name Email Telephone
Founder & Managing Partner Rajesh Begur rajesh@aralaw.com 02266199800
Photo Name Position Profile
 Rajesh N. Begur   photo Rajesh N. Begur 

Rajesh Begur, Managing Partner

This year ARA LAW completes 20 years, take us through the initial years of starting the firm and your journey so far.

We began as a small firm with a handful of members in early 1996, and I am proud to say that today we have risen up to stand tall amongst the best firms in the country, as a unique boutique law firm practicing niche areas of law. We started out with the knowledge that our vision was not failsafe, but we took the plunge anyway. At that time, we had no strong backing in terms of a father figure or a known name within the firm itself; just a belief in our expertise in the subject matter and a passion to learn. The most interesting aspect of our 20-year-old journey is that we knew that our strength lay in an innovative concept – boutique corporate law firms were even more uncommon then than they are now, and we constantly reinvented and innovated our practice and kept ourselves on our toes. We were always on the lookout to do better and be better – be it our consultation services to our clients, adopting in-house best practices, new age technology, participating in external legal and business events, educating ourselves with the latest developments in law and revisiting our growth plan and strategy regularly, we only pushed ourselves to perform better and sustain a steady growth. The journey, I would say, has been one of constant learning – of course in matters of law but also in the nuances of running your own practice and what that means.
Completing 20 years does feel like a real milestone and we need to keep innovating to offer even higher levels of service to our clients. This journey though is dedicated to the people who have supported us throughout our remarkable 20-year history- our lawyers, clients and colleagues in the industry. Our journey of learning continues!

Was it a strategic decision to position ARA LAW as a boutique law firm with niche expertise?

Right at the outset we realised that it is better to be a specialised and focused firm than being a jack-of-all practice areas. Given that desire and vision we stuck to our core competencies and developed our own processes based on our experience and brought the requisite expertise, wherever required, in such transactions. Our aim had been to become the best boutique firm in the country in our niche areas of Private Equity & Venture Capital, Mergers & Acquisitions, Alternative Investment Funds, Banking & Finance, Real Estate and Capital Markets. We believed in sustaining a lean team with quality lawyers providing exceptional and timely services to all our clients and we have continued on the same path.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate ARA Lawfrom your competitors?

Every matter at the Firm gets individual Partner time and attention throughout the transaction. A dedicated team of associates with the relevant legal and business experience is assigned to each matter. This has earned us a reputation for promptness and great turnaround time, while at the same time not losing sight of the quality of our work. The quick turnaround time has also been greatly aided by the investment we have made in putting in technological aids as well as providing state-of-the-art infrastructure. As a boutique firm with a primary focus on some of the specialized areas of law – Private Equity, Venture Capital and Investment Funds, we have become a one stop shop for our clients in these niche practices. Our 360-degree approach in these practice areas – advising major investors, financial investors, financial institutions, offshore and domestic private equity houses and funds on the entire cycle of formation of investment funds, to making investments in diverse industries till their exit including structuring, regulatory advise and post transaction support, is a key differentiator.

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

I believe in the next few months the practice areas we will really focus on are Real Estate, Debt and M&A. The factors are internal rather than external – we’ve had a great set of senior, experienced professionals join us in these practice groups, so we’re very excited about expanding our work in these practices. As I had mentioned before, we do not believe in spreading ourselves too thin, but the talent and experience we have added to these teams is fantastic, and we’re looking forward to doing some good work. However, we will continue to strengthen our other focused practices and cater to our clients.

Which area or aspect of law do you enjoy the most and why?

PE & VC, M&A and Investment funds are dear to me personally, and hence the firm’s focus has been on these practices. The reason is simple – I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and these practices give me a chance to come across and interact with other entrepreneurs with set ups of all sizes, from start-ups to conglomerates. We are given an opportunity to act alongside them as business partners and enlighten them on legal issues and assist them in negotiations and quite often even on certain strategic business related issues. Advising entrepreneurs with vast experience and achievements in their fields on legal aspects gives me great personal satisfaction.

Can you share with us some of the strategies you have employed that have worked for the firm in the recent past?

The nature of our core practice and our clientele rightly prompted us to move to a larger, state-of-the-art office space in Bandra Kurla Complex – the commercial hub of Mumbai, as well as to open a second office in Bengaluru. Client satisfaction is the cornerstone of our firm’s work culture and our energies are focused on taking care of the legal support of our clients in the most innovative manner that aligns with their specific business goals.

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

As I mentioned before, we had invested in making sure that we are growing and adapting as technology develops further and further, and adopting the latest technology available to make our work more efficient and convenient for the lawyers as well as the clients. Client data security is our top most priority. We have adopted technology in all means of communication and storage of all confidential client informative and intellectual property. Lately, we have modernized our teleconferencing and video conferencing facilities to better interact with our clients on a real time basis. We have also implemented a new legal management solution software to enable efficient time keeping, practice management and billing.

Along with easy access to finance and the ability to laterally attract talent because of higher pay scales, technological advancement is the major reason I believe western law firms have traditionally had an advantage over us, so I am going to change what I can!

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms? Given the large share of international clientele that ARA LAW has, how different is client servicing between domestic and international clients?

The number of law firms has multiplied manifold over the past few years, and we recognise that there has been a significant churn in the legal market, which I believe has not been entirely beneficial for companies. I have been practicing for nearly 30-odd years now, and from what I know from the market as well as from friends who run successful businesses, is that clients prefer to have continuing engagements with their law firms and have stability in professional relationships. At the end of the day, they clearly realise that having someone on their side who understands every single aspect of their business is undeniably an advantage that they do not want to lose out on.

We have had the good fortune of having seen very little client attrition in all these years, and this may be for any number of reasons, including the niche practice and the expertise we have built or the quality of our deliverables, but over the course of time the biggest factor has been that we have emerged as trusted advisors to both our domestic and international clients.

The aim for any professional services firm has to be, to always go one step further than the assignment on hand and deliver more then what was expected from us and work towards building a long term relationship that benefits everyone.

As legal advisors we have never differentiated between our international and domestic clients. But if I were to draw differences, International clients generally have higher expectations with respect to substance, processes followed  as well as the approach of the firm. However, domestic clients concentrate more on the final solution and lesser on other aspects.

However, frankly speaking, no matter whether the client is international or domestic, we concentrate on providing them with the highest level of service we can, and our systems and processes for delivery remain the same.

Your thoughts on Indian legal industry and how the legal profession has evolved over the years.

The Indian legal sector has mirrored the growth trajectory of the country, as can be seen by the clear cyclic shifts in profitable practice areas during different phases of India’s growth. In my opinion, the recent past has witnessed a flurry of activity across sectors and perhaps the legal sector has not fully caught up. This presents a tremendous opportunity for all law firms, not only to increase their business, but also contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy.

As has been witnessed across the world, lawyers and law firms have historically become an integral part of the business community, and I believe that is our natural progression. As commercial lawyers, our advice has commercial implications and thus promoting the economy is a duty, not just a work profile.

To sum it up, the Indian legal sector is poised to take off and it is up to us to ensure that it reaches the next level of its evolution.

What has been the management philosophy of ARA LAW?

Honesty and integrity, coupled with a conscious decision of not being a part of the numbers or size game, can help you go a long way. Satisfaction of each and every client is important and all lawyers must believe in not just making deliverables but in having contributed to the benefit of the client. It’s pretty much as simple as that and everything else just ties in with this line of thought.