“Challenges in insolvency proceedings are prevalent, but restoring client faith amid delays is essential. Legislative amendments offer hope for a brighter future.” – Unveiling the Journey of Shikha Goenka Ginodia, Partner at ANM Global

This interview has been published by Namrata Singh and The SuperLawyer Team

Shikha, could you tell us about how you began your journey in law and what motivated you to pursue this career path? What were some of the initial challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them to establish yourself in the legal profession?

I don’t recall as to why, but as a child, I wanted to be a Judge. Then, post my 12th grade exams, like everyone else, I had to decide my career path and I chose law as may career path ahead. I distinctly remember some of my relatives advised my father that if I do law, then it will be difficult to find a groom for me. This increased my determination further to go ahead with law as my career path. Being a girl and belonging to a Marwari family, it was not an easy choice. However, fortunately, my parents supported my decision. That said, I didn’t have any guidance or a shoulder to fall back on for my journey in law. One thing which helped me to survive the various challenges in this otherwise fruitful journey was my passion. I guess somewhere that dream of mine to become a Judge, helped me to hang in there.

Your journey from in house to law firm and also from litigation to corporate restructuring and insolvency practice is quite intriguing. Can you share what inspired you to transition into this field and how your previous experiences have shaped your current expertise?

Yes. It has been quite a rollercoaster rise. I am among the few who has gone from a law firm to an in-house and then back to a law firm. My journey of Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency Practise started when I was with Piramal Capital & Housing Finance Limited.  I was fortunate to get the best team and guidance and support. I still remember, my senior at Piramal, guiding me that as an in-house counsel, how one has to wear both the hats – business and legal and keep shuffling between them. At Piramal, I was part of some of the high-profile real estate resolutions and saw the entire cycle of restructuring, pre-insolvency strategy, CIRP process and settlement. It also helped me to have a business enabler mindset rather than just a legal mindset. So, my experience with Piramal Capital really helped me to shape the current expertise of mine.

In your current role at ANM Global, you’ve been involved in advising creditors and representing resolution professionals in insolvency matters. What unique challenges do you face in this area, and how do you overcome them?

The biggest challenge which I am seeing is that creditors have somehow lost the faith in insolvency proceedings given a lot of delay in hearings at NCLT because of vacancy in the benches. The vacancy has now been filled and various positive amendments are being passed by legislature. Hence, when we speak to our clients, we inform them about these developments and are hoping that sooner or later their faith will be restored.

Looking back at your journey so far, what’s one piece of advice you wish you had received when you were starting your career?

When I see back, I feel none. I strongly feel each of my experiences in my entire journey and the challenges were a milestone rather than a stumbling block. Absence of any of those challenges would have made the journey less memorable. Looking back, I also feel that not having any godfather, so to say, helped me even more to get more out of each of my challenges on the way.

What is your view on internships and early stages of a law career?

Internship is a really good opportunity at the start of one’s career to understand areas of interest while at the same time, I would say that enjoy the college life as well as I strongly believe those days never come back again. During early stages of law, I would suggest one to work as diligently as possible as that is the time when one can create a strong base in law which is important to shape the career in the long run.

You’ve been involved in various high-stakes cases throughout your career. Can you share a memorable success story where your strategic approach led to a favorable outcome for your client?

I believe, the strategy should start right at the time of entering into any agreement or contractual obligation. Being always on litigation side, I knew how are the clauses interpreted and what are the things which should be taken care of at the time of entering into contracts and during the life of the contracts. Accordingly, we have a White Paper listing out statement of procedure (SOP) to be followed while executing the documents as well as during the transaction. We discuss this with our clients so that proper steps can be taken right at the documentation stage itself. The SOP tremendously helps in resolving the complicated matters.

Besides that, from time to time, once the matter goes into litigation, we understand the end solution required, devise a strategy and then work towards it. This exercise done by us in each of the matter really helps us to get better results for our clients.

Though I have been part of some of the big real estate resolution and dispute resolution where our strategy really worked for our client, there is one matter which I had in my initial days of legal practise and which remains close to my heart. We were briefed by an individual client wherein he had a huge property in South Mumbai and he had learnt that one of his relatives, has fraudulently filed some litigation in it and is about to take absolute possession on the next day in Bombay High Court. We devised the strategy on the same day, drafted the application overnight, filed the matter in morning, mentioned it and got a stay on the process of handing over the keys, all within a period of 24 hours.

You have chosen Insolvency and Bankruptcy Law, litigations as your area of specialisation? Any specific reason behind it?

Litigation was always my passion. Hence, even after completing my CS, I never pursued the same. I find Insolvency & Bankruptcy Law logical and versatile. The best part is that it keeps on evolving on a daily basis which makes it challenging as well as interesting.

Apart from your legal career, we hear you enjoy cooking and playing badminton. How do you balance your professional life with your personal interests, especially with a young child?

Yes. I love playing badminton with my husband and son. Whenever possible, I also play board games with my son and cook food for the family. These are stressbusters for me. For me, my career and my family has to go hand in hand and I try my best to spend my early mornings and weekends with my family. 

Given your extensive experience, what advice would you offer to young professionals aspiring to build a career in law, particularly in the fields of corporate restructuring and insolvency?

I believe today’s young professionals have become impatient looking for instant gratification. To all of them, I would suggest to show some perseverance and hang in there. As they say, Rome was not built in a day! All you need to do is continue working hard, focus on process and results will follow. With regards to Insolvency practise, my suggestion would be to try to understand it logically and keep yourself updated.

What would be your one piece of advise for women practitioners?

To the young women practitioners out there, I would just advice, be yourself. Don’t compete yourself with anyone. At times, in order to manage everything, we get too harsh with ourselves. I would say, learn to let go and enjoy your journey. It is the journey which makes the destination beautiful!  

Get in touch with Shikha Goenka Ginodia-

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