“Don’t ever lose hope, be patient, and focus on your work, as there are no shortcuts in this profession.” – Himanshu Tyagi, Advocate-on-Record at the Supreme court of India

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

Your journey from Meerut to becoming an Advocate On Record at the Supreme Court is quite inspiring. Could you share some pivotal moments or challenges you faced during your early years in Delhi, and how you overcame them to establish your practice?

Once you step out of your comfort zone every first thing seems to have its own challenges. However, on the professional front I can say that I decided to take the plunge to the Capital with dreams and hope to make it big, in spite of not having any significant father figure in the field of law. Initially the first question which was required to be answered was from where to start as there was hardly anyone to suggest or guide what are the choices one could make while entering the profession. I made my choice and started with litigation as I had attained little experience while being associated with the chambers of Mr. Ravi Shanker Tyagi for a very brief period in Meerut Bar which was initially very helpful as Courts in Delhi are much more refined in terms of infrastructurally and in other avenues as well.

Your journey as a first-generation lawyer is truly commendable. What were the key principles or values that guided you in your career, especially during the initial stages when the path might have been more challenging?

Yes, being a first generation lawyer is a very difficult choice to make especially when you are in litigation. But all that I can say is don’t ever lose hope, be patient and focus on your work, as there are no shortcuts in this profession, the only way you can accelerate is through your abilities to make hard choices and by burning midnight oil.

Becoming an Advocate On Record involves rigorous training and experience. How was your time with Retd. Justice S.R. Singh shaped your understanding of the legal field, and what key lessons did you carry into your independent practice?

I was fortunate enough to join the Chambers of Retd. Justice S.R Singh ( Retd. Judge from Allahabad High Court) Sr. Advocate in the year 2009.  After working with Mr. Singh for almost two years and having gained opulent experience by understanding the nuances and intricacies of legal field along with drafting, filling and everything that the field entails.

One judicious adage told to me by my very veteran Senior was that “ Vakalat is your first wife” if you want to do justice to your profession and I have ever since imbibed this in my practice till date and I am always grateful to all my seniors and colleagues from the chamber and outside the chamber for always guiding me in the profession. 

As Ex. Additional Advocate General for the State of H.P., you’ve handled significant cases. Can you share an experience where your role had a meaningful impact on the state’s legal representation, and what insights did you gain from that experience?

It was a very enriching journey while discharging my duties as AAG for state government before the Hon’ble Supreme Court as such opportunities help you bring the best out of you. As while holding such an esteemed office one has to be very candid with all the briefs while representing the State before the Court.

Handling cases involving state entities like the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) requires a nuanced understanding of administrative and constitutional law. Could you elaborate on the challenges faced and strategies employed in representing HRTC in various legal matters?

It is always challenging to represent Road Corporation before the Hon’ble Courts as the mostly the matters pertaining to the Corporation is of higher monitory significance be it MACT matters or service matters. What I can say from experience is that you are required to be more updated with the law and recent judgments so that you can provide better assistance to the Hon’ble Court.

Handling criminal matters requires a different set of skills. Can you share an experience from a criminal case you’ve worked on, discussing the complexities involved and the strategies adopted for a successful outcome?

Through my experience in handling criminal matters I must say one should have a very fair understanding of criminal jurisprudence as most of the criminal matters involve personal liberty which is of utmost importance.  During my time at bar I have done several criminal trials, appeals but what always challenges me is the stage of cross examination as in my view Cross examination in any criminal matter is the heart and soul of the Trial.

Apart from your legal pursuits, do you have any personal hobbies or interests that you find to be a great source of relaxation or inspiration?

I can say visiting places and spending time with family and friends keeps me motivated other than work. 

Coming from a small town like Meerut and making a mark in the legal profession in Delhi is undoubtedly a significant achievement. Could you share some extra efforts or unique strategies you employed in your journey to overcome any perceived challenges or biases associated with being from a smaller town?

Once you make your mark , and in this industry that is possible only when you garner some accomplishments in your name. The bias associated with a small town only remains so long as you let it affect your mental make up. If you are determined enough, the tag of coming from a small town and making it big in the capital only adds to your reputation , which at the same time works as an inspiration for people coming from the same background, and are hesitant in pursuing their goals. My only advice to the budding generation of lawyers is to fight your demons and always be hopeful and take each day as it comes. The road to success may seem endearing but it sure is fruitful at the end.

You emphasize the importance of hard work and dedication in your career. What advice would you give to the current generation of aspiring lawyers to navigate the challenges of the legal profession and build a successful practice?

I can vouch for the fact that hard work is the key “what you are seeking is seeking you”. I make my juniors understand that to be candid with clients and accurate in analysis and strict in study, you will achieve whatever you aim for as there are no shortcuts in this profession.

Having experienced both your own student journey and now interacting with the current generation, what notable differences do you observe in the approach and mindset of today’s law students compared to your time? Are there specific areas where you believe current students could focus on improvement to excel in the legal profession?

The major shift that I witnessed in the mindset of the students in comparison to when I was one, is the availability of resources and better infrastructure that can help them achieve their goals with a lot of help which is easily available, of which there was a dearth during our college  days. Accessibility and availability are the major factors that determine the early years in one’s legal career as initially apart from all the teachings done at college level, the practical learning is also very vital if you wish to stay in this field.  

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