“Continuous learning and knowledge sharing are vital in navigating the complexities of the legal landscape. Understanding one’s strengths and finding the right career path requires introspection and exposure to different experiences.” – Awanish Srivastava, Managing Partner & Founder of Naks & Associate (Advocates & Solicitors)

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

Before we delve into your remarkable career journey, could you please introduce yourself to our readers, sharing a bit about your background, your passions, and what drives you professionally and personally?

I am Awanish Srivastava having experience of more than 22 years in Corporate & Core Litigation, Corporate Law, Agro Litigation, Intellectual Property Management, Contract Management and Corporate Consultancy.

I am Founder & Managing Partner of NAKS & Associates (Advocates & Solicitors), a Pan India Law firm. I am also a Fellow member of Institute of Company Secretaries of India and Regional Council Member, currently holding the post of Treasurer of NIRC of ICSI. I am Law graduate from Delhi University, Master in Law, Post Graduate in Commerce and M.B.A. (Finance). I am an active member of the ICSI, Bar Council of Delhi, Supreme Court, Delhi High Court Bar Association and NCLT Bar Association.

My journey has been driven by a passion for justice and the belief in law as a tool for societal improvement. Professionally, I am driven by the challenge of navigating the complex legal landscape to deliver solutions that not only serve our clients but also contribute to the legal profession’s evolution. Personally, I am motivated by the impact we can make through our work, in both the corporate sphere and community initiatives like Pink & Blue.

You’ve played a significant role in defining new standards of legal services in India through your firm, NAKS & Associates. What motivated you to establish NAKS with such a unique vision of operating as a Corporate Law Firm in a Retail Concept?

The vision for NAKS & Associates stemmed from recognizing a gap in the legal services market – the need for accessible, reliable corporate legal solutions across India. The Idea of Pan India Litigation came into my mind when I was working with a future group where we, as In-house Counsel, were struggling to hire lawyers in small cities and at Taluka level. In the Year 2012, we started Naks as PAN India law Firm with the aim of providing one stop solutions to our clients. 

This initiative really created a platform for Corporate at one end and Lawyers in small cities at the other. Further, this platform makes legal assistance more accessible and also allows us to reach a wider level, ensuring that businesses, regardless of size, have access to top-notch legal counsel. Our System helped small Cities Lawyer to handle Big Corporate Clients.

Your work with Pink & Blue- A Symbiotic Living initiative is commendable. Can you tell us more about the initiative and how it’s making a difference in society?

Pink & Blue – Symbiotic Living (A unit of Chamber of Professional (CoP)- A Registered NGO) is a team of expert professionals, working for welfare of Working Women and Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace and this is very close to my heart.

Pink & Blue is operating with the aim of creating awareness among each and every member of society about the ill impacts of Sexual Harassment and the means to prevent & redress the complaints of Sexual Harassment. We have taken a pledge to give Free training and Support to Maximum People for the betterment of the Society and promoting Happy & Healthy Co-Living Workspaces.  We are a team of expert Company Secretaries, Advocates, HR Professionals & Social Workers.

We have conducted more than 200 Training sessions so far and trained and empowered more than 2 Lakh People. We have trained and certified more than 140 Posh Trainers who are CS, CA, Advocates and CMA.  Our Trainers have successfully conducted training in more than 500 organisations. 

Our work is making a difference by educating employers and employees alike, fostering environments where everyone can feel secure and respected. This initiative is a reflection of our commitment to social responsibility, aiming to enact real change in society through education and awareness.

Handling cases involving complex corporate litigation and intellectual property management requires a unique skill set. What are some of the key challenges you’ve faced in your career, and how have you overcome them?

One of the key challenges in handling complex litigation and intellectual property cases is staying abreast of the rapidly changing legal landscape. Keeping updated with the latest laws and judicial precedents requires continuous learning and adaptability. In today’s era, where litigation and judiciary is taking turns frequently, one cannot make distance with reading or upgrading himself with legal knowledge even for a slightest of time period.

I’ve overcome these challenges by fostering a culture of ongoing education, Reading, making notes and knowledge sharing within our firm, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of legal upgradation and best practices.

You’ve served in senior positions as in-house counsel for prominent Corporate like Videocon Telecommunications Ltd. and Future Group. Could you share some insights into your experience in these roles and how they have influenced your approach to legal practice and corporate consultancy?

My career took an airlift when I joined Future Group as Junior Manager. I was responsible for the Supervision and Monitoring of Legal & Liaisoning team of 12 members of PAN India for Legal, Contract Management, Regulatory, Liaisoning and Compliance related issues/matters. I was awarded Best Employee at Future Group for 2 (two) consecutive years and an Appreciation Award from CEO for my performance in supervising PAN India Legal & Liaisoning Team.

Thereafter, I joined Videocon Group as Deputy Manager, Videocon Telecommunication Ltd. and I was responsible for Litigation and Contract Management. I have handled highly reported 2G Litigation matters in Videocon.

Working with Future Group and Videocon Telecommunications Ltd. was a defining period in my career. These roles taught me the importance of aligning legal strategies with business objectives. 

This experience has been instrumental in shaping my approach to corporate consultancy, where the focus is not just on legal compliance but on facilitating business growth and protecting intellectual assets in a strategic manner.

Your firm, NAKS & Associates, operates in more than 700 districts in India, which is quite impressive. What strategies have you implemented to ensure such extensive coverage and maintain high-quality legal services across different regions?

With the increase in technology and awareness in the small Cities, the litigations against the companies are also increasing day by day. Due to increase in consumer cases, Civil Cases, Criminal Cases and others litigation, big corporates are facing the problems of appointing counsels at various places in India including small cities to represent them even at the remote locations. I faced similar kind of difficulties when I was working in Future Group and Videocon and these difficulties motivated me to start Naks in this concept to provide Pan India Litigation services support to our clients where they get representations even at far reaching locations. 

The strategy for achieving extensive coverage while maintaining high-quality legal services hinges on leveraging technology and building a strong network of legal professionals. We’ve implemented robust training programs to ensure uniformity in service quality and employed technology to manage cases efficiently across different regions. This blend of human expertise and technology enables us to serve our clients even in far corners of the country with a high standard of legal assistance.

As a Fellow member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, what advice would you give to young professionals aspiring to build a successful career in corporate law and litigation?

For those aspiring to build a career in corporate law and litigation, my advice is to join the Company Secretaryship Course. 

A ‘Company Secretary’ is a senior, strategic-level corporate professional who plays a leading role of a Key Managerial Personnel (KMP) entrusted with the responsibility of the company’s Corporate Governance. Corporate Governance is more than just complying with laws, regulations, standards and codes; it is also about creating a culture of good management practices. The position of a Company Secretary as the KMP comes close to that of the Chief Executive Officer or the Managing Director and underlines the importance of the role played by him in the company. 

After completing Company Secretary course, one has enormous opportunity to become KMP, Secretarial Heads, Head Contract Manager, Compliance Head, Regulatory heads, General Counsel, Practicing Company Secretary, Insolvency Professional, Registered valuer, Appearance before various tribunals. 

Young professionals can build successful careers in corporate law and litigation by continuous Learning and Practice. The legal field is ever-evolving, and success requires not just a solid foundation in law but also an understanding of business principles and technological advancements. Focus on building a diverse skill set that includes legal expertise, business acumen, and emotional intelligence.

Balancing a successful legal career with social responsibility and community service can be demanding. How do you manage to juggle these responsibilities effectively?

Balancing a demanding legal career with social responsibility involves setting clear priorities and being passionate about your social initiatives. For me, initiatives like Pink & Blue are not just additional responsibilities but integral part of my professional identity. Effective time management and a supportive team are crucial in managing these dual aspects seamlessly. Decentralising decision making at execution level, wherever necessary and having established a tried & tested reporting system helps minimizing any unfortunate incident of error in the system which indirectly helps me spare some moments for initiatives like Pink & Blue.

Given your extensive experience and expertise, what are your thoughts on how the current generation can better understand their strengths and identify the right career path for themselves, especially in the legal profession or corporate world? Do you have any advice on discovering one’s true calling and leveraging their strengths effectively?

Understanding one’s strengths and finding the right career path requires introspection and exposure to different experiences. I encourage the current generation to seek mentorship, engage in diverse internships, and participate in community service to gain a broader perspective. Discovering your true calling is a journey of exploring your passions and how they align with your professional aspirations. Embrace opportunities to learn and grow, and don’t be afraid to chart your own path in the legal profession or any field you’re passionate about.

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