“Dream big so that you work hard to achieve the life you want, but in the meantime, donโ€™t forget to live.” Encouraging young legal professionals to approach their careers with positivity and resilience – Karan Bindra, ๐—™๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ž๐—œ๐—”๐—” ๐—Ÿ๐—Ÿ๐—ฃ

This interview has been published byย Namrata Singhย andย The SuperLawyer Team

Can you share insights into your journey from college to becoming the Founder and Partner at KIAA, LLP? What were the pivotal moments or experiences that shaped your decision to establish your own firm?

Like every law student, I too have had my share of carefree days in college but as I progressed into senior years, the zeal of doing something started to kick in. In the early year of 2011, after the completion of our law degrees, the members of KIAA LLP (as they are today) found themselves taking divergent paths in the legal profession. Some ventured into roles as in-house counsels for corporations, while others worked with seniors in the field, gaining valuable exposure and experience. However, as we navigated our journeys, it became evident that establishing one’s presence in the legal field required more than just exposure. While working with seasoned professionals sure helped us create a space for our own in the industry, the opportunities that we had created for ourselves in that space needed to be tapped in time.

Realizing this, I engaged in discussions with like-minded colleagues, Ankur and Chayan, who shared similar perspectives on the importance of creating a niche for ourselves in the legal arena.

Fortuitously, our discussions culminated in a collective decision to join forces and establish KIAA LLP in early 2012. This marked the inception of our law firm, where we aimed not only to leverage our individual experiences but also to pool our strengths and work collaboratively. The firm was founded on the belief that client satisfaction using correct knowledge, providing the right information, and ensuring accessibility of service to our clients even if located in the remotest part of the country. Hence, that got us a name for our perspective, KIAA LLP- Knowledge Information Access Associates Limited Liability Partnership.

Given your involvement in pro bono services for organizations like Malala Funds and Trust Law, how do you balance commercial legal work with contributing to social causes?

So, itโ€™s not about balancing at all. Itโ€™s about aligning your principles of  life with your work, and what is a man without principles?

I was born and raised in a Sikh Family with the teachings of the Gurus. I want to take this opportunity to refer to a verse from Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji which has immortalized words of Guru Nanak Dev Ji โ€“ โ€œOne who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has in charity, O Nanak, he knows the path to fulfilment.โ€ Taking inspiration from which, we have always been inculcated with a habit of doing โ€˜Sewaโ€™ which can be either through  เจฎเจจ,  เจงเจจ (tan (physical service), man (mental/emotional service),  or  dhan (financial support)).

My intention of working for social causes has always been that of giving something back to society in terms of my time and efforts. So, I utilise my knowledge and expertise to earn my livelihood through commercial matters, and I consider myself privileged to be able to utilise some of it for a social cause.

KIAA, LLP has received numerous awards and recognitions. What do you attribute the success of the firm to, and what sets it apart in the legal landscape? 

I attribute the success of the firm to my team- my co-founders, associates and every other member of our staff who do not hesitate to work around the clock if need be. It is also about the work culture at KIAA LLP that we have all built through the years. I have always said that we measure our success not by trophies, awards or cheques but by โ€˜Client Satisfactionโ€™. I think, our โ€˜Client Firstโ€™ attitude is our USP!

You’re a member of various legal associations and clubs. How has being part of these networks enriched your professional life and influenced your perspectives on law?

To be very honest, networking is very important in our profession and being part of the legal associations and clubs is a great way to socialise and build a meaningful network. I have benefited greatly from it, not only because I met many of my prospective clients through these clubs but I met people from various walks of life including law, seniors & juniors having different experiences.

These kinds of experiences widen your horizons as a lawyer. The job of the lawyer is to understand the perspective of his client, and the Court both. We all know how dynamic and subjective human nature is. Being a part of these clubs helps you enhance the emotional quotient- the greatest asset of our profession!

You’ve served as the Central Government Counsel at the Delhi High Court. Could you shed some light on your role during that time and share any experiences or cases that left a lasting impact on your professional journey?

Certainly! I was pleased to be appointed as Government Pleader in the year 2012, and I remained on the list of empanelled lawyers with the Central Government Litigation branch at the Delhi High Court until 2017-18.

This six-year period was most significant in shaping my professional journey. It exposed me to the intricacies of handling multi-faceted and high-stakes government matters.

One of the distinctive aspects of appearing on behalf of the government is the sense of responsibility and accountability because your actions and advice can have a direct impact on the general public. It goes beyond individual client representation, as you are entrusted with safeguarding the interests of the larger public and the government as a whole. Thatโ€™s the combination of power & responsibility that a government counsel bears on his head.

A set of experiences that seemed cumbersome to my 10-year younger self but had the most impact on my professional journey was the manual filing process prevalent at the time. Unlike today’s E-filing systems, we used to stand in queues before filing counters with strict deadlines to meet. This hands-on experience taught me the importance of time management, meticulous preparation, and adherence to court procedures.

Now, the agility and clarity with which a court case needs to be handled comes as a second nature to me. I guess, now I truly understand the meaning of this phrase โ€œThe more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.โ€

Can you tell us a bit about the talented team at KIAA, LLP? How do you nurture and support your team members, and can you give us an idea of the size of your team or the number of interns involved in the firm’s operations? 

First things first, I think every person at KIAA, LLP knows their job well and my co-founders & I give our Associates a free hand to conduct the matters. Of course, we discuss each proposition together and work on possible solutions but flexibility is the key.

We believe people can work better if they are not micromanaged. We allow them to work freely while standing strong and tall as their support should the need arise. We are a happy, hardworking and fun-loving bunch of about 15-17 people including our clerical staff.

You’ve expanded KIAA, LLP into a multi-service law firm. What inspired this diversification,  how do you ensure the team provides practical legal solutions to clients?

Iโ€™d rather say, WE have expanded KIAA, LLP into a multi-service law firm. Naturally, when we started the firm, we were a boutique firm working only on the matters that our clients got to us. Over time we realised that most of our clients (largely business & commercial houses) face similar problems, and we thought why not have an end-to-end solution for all these problems starting from compliance to representation in appropriate forums?

Thatโ€™s how we undertook expansion and diversification. Just as Rome wasnโ€™t built in a day, we also took our time, took one department, one specialisation at a time. Categorised various departments and hired associates having specialised knowledge in that department. KIAA, LLP as you see today is years of hard work, late nights, early mornings, sweat & blood.

We have only one mantra of providing legal solutions to our clients- WE PUT OUR BEST PERSON ON THE JOB!

In addition to your legal expertise, you’ve delved into blockchain and cryptocurrency, as seen in your certification from Berkeley Law. How do you see emerging technologies influencing the legal landscape, and how is KIAA, LLP adapting to these changes?

Well, the emerging technologies can influence the legal landscape in many ways or they have already started influencing the system, Iโ€™d rather say. With Smart Contracts, Live Streaming of court hearings, E-Filings, E-tokens etc. It would come as no surprise when there will be an official cryptocurrency being used as legal tender! Maybe there will be dedicated law firms for Crypto Law Practice in the future, who knows!? The possibilities are endless!

We are talking about two things that are highly dynamic- Law & Tech! An impact on one industry will definitely impact the other.

Outside of your busy legal career, can you share a personal interest or hobby that might surprise our readers and provide a different dimension to your personality?

I love travelling! I find immense joy in exploring new places and immersing myself in different cultures. It’s not just about leisure; I often plan my trips strategically, making the most of the court summer vacations to indulge in this personal interest. Whether it’s a serene beach destination, a historic city, or a picturesque mountain retreat, I appreciate the diversity our world offers, and I make it a point to experience it firsthand. It helps me unwind, gain fresh perspectives, and recharge for the challenges of the profession.

Another hobby that adds a different dimension to my personality is playing golf. I find solace in the greens, it helps me strike a perfect balance between relaxation and skill, offering me a chance to clear my mind while engaging in a sport that requires focus and precision.

Not many would know but I am also an avid collector of watches and antiques. I appreciate art & craftsmanship. Each watch or antique item tells a unique story, and helps me travel in the era bygone!

Having navigated through diverse legal challenges, is there a piece of advice or a valuable lesson from your career that you would like to share with the upcoming generation of legal professionals as they embark on their journeys in the legal field?

I would say to my young colleagues & fellow persons: – Dream, Work & Live! Dream big so that you work hard to achieve the life you want but, in the meantime, donโ€™t forget to live. That would mean allowing yourself to make mistakes, they would teach you lessons no law school and mentor can teach. Keep moving and be positive about your work because like a wise man said-

โ€˜A pessimist makes nothing not even a mistake!โ€™.

It would be most appropriate to end this conversation with a saying of Steve Winwood, โ€œThe finer things I feel in me, the golden dance life could be.โ€

Get in touch with Karan Bindra-

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