“Finding ‘Managerial Solutions to Legal Problems’ is the key to successful corporate advocacy.” – A Journey of Passion and Purpose, Praveenkumar Hiremath, Co-Founder & Partner at PSA Law Partners

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

Your journey from law school to becoming a Co-Founder & Partner at PSA Law Partners is impressive. Can you share a bit about how you started your career in law and what inspired you to focus on litigation and compliance?

My journey began after graduating from R L Law College Belagavi, driven by a childhood inspiration from a practicing lawyer in my village and my natural inclination towards argumentation, which had me tagged as a “lawyer” since school. Pursuing a Master’s at Bengaluru University was a decision made out of a passion for legal intricacies, despite an initial reluctance. My formative years were significantly shaped by my tenure as a Law Clerk cum Research Assistant under Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, which diverted my path from criminal law to broader legal practices. My work at notable firms like Poovayya & Co and Khaitan & Co further solidified my commitment to using my legal expertise as a “bulletproof jacket” against injustice.

Having handled a variety of cases in different fields and having represented corporate houses and currently representing them in litigation and policy advisory, is there any special care which needs to be taken to handle such clients?

Corporate clients require a blend of legal precision and business acumen. My approach, which emphasizes “Managerial Solutions to Legal Problems,” reflects an understanding that legal challenges must be integrated within a company’s strategic framework. This philosophy has been shaped by my diverse experiences across legal practices, teaching me that true value lies in aligning legal strategies with business objectives, ensuring compliance and navigating regulatory landscapes effectively.

With a decade of experience in Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property Rights, Direct Tax, and more, you’ve worked on diverse cases. Could you highlight a case that was particularly challenging or interesting, and share the strategies you employed to navigate through it successfully?

My experience at Poovayya & Co, where strategy discussions included even the youngest lawyers, marked a pivotal shift in my professional development.

A significant challenge was contesting a State Government Notification on Minimum Wages that adversely impacted a sector. By initiating a fresh legal challenge in the High Court, leveraging strategic litigation techniques, we overturned previous adverse decisions, showcasing the importance of resilience, innovative legal thinking, and the impactful role of strategic legal advocacy.

Having represented clients in major corporate debt recovery and insolvency litigations, what advice would you give to young lawyers aspiring to specialize in this area of law?

My advice is to embrace a broad spectrum of legal challenges early on, fostering a versatile skill set before narrowing down to a specialization. This foundation allows for a deeper understanding and a more informed choice when selecting a niche, emphasizing the importance of building a reputation for meticulousness and dedication to excellence.

In your experience, navigating through various legal domains, what’s one unconventional or unexpected lesson you’ve learned that has had a profound impact on your approach to practicing law?

The most profound lesson has been the importance of empathy. Recognizing the human elements behind legal cases has reshaped my practice, guiding me to approach each case with a deeper understanding and compassion. This insight, fostered through my diverse experiences, has not only enhanced my negotiation skills but also strengthened my relationships with clients and colleagues.

Do you consider a career in the Judiciary as an option for young lawyers and for yourself?

Embracing a judicial career entails significant sacrifices but offers unparalleled opportunities to contribute to society. The attractive aspects, such as contributing to societal well-being and the prestige associated with the judiciary, appeal to my sense of duty and commitment to justice. Personally, I view the judiciary as a noble calling, one I would consider with great reverence if the opportunity presented itself.

In your career, you’ve practiced in various courts and tribunals. Could you share an experience or lesson from your early years that significantly shaped your approach to legal practice?

My early experiences in Bengaluru, particularly the encouragement from judges and seniors, played a crucial role in my professional development. An instance that stands out was my first reported case in Direct Tax when I was associated with M/s K.R.Prasad, Advocates & Tax Consultants, where I was encouraged to present a case on merits, marking a significant milestone in my career. These formative experiences taught me the value of preparation and the courage to seize every opportunity to stand before the court.

Given your focus on White-collar crimes, what unique challenges do you encounter in handling such cases, and how do you address them?

Specializing in white-collar crimes involves navigating intricate legal frameworks and voluminous documentation. My approach, grounded in  a thorough understanding of law and clear client communication, aims to dissect each case meticulously, building robust defenses against complex allegations. This specialized focus demands strategic thinking and a detailed-oriented mindset.

PSA Law Partners was founded in 2019. What motivated you to establish this firm, and what values or principles guide the firm’s approach to client representation?

Founding PSA Law Partners was the realization of a lifelong dream, driven by a desire for autonomy and the pursuit of justice. Our firm’s ethos, shaped by my experiences and personal values, is committed to delivering timely and effective relief to our clients, upholding the principles of integrity, excellence, and client-focused advocacy.

As someone who practices in the High Court of Karnataka, could you highlight any distinct characteristics or challenges of the legal landscape in this jurisdiction?

Practicing in the High Court of Karnataka requires an adept understanding of legal intricacies and the ability to articulate compelling arguments. The jurisdiction’s unique challenges include navigating complex legal issues and effectively representing clients with limited direct interaction, demanding a high level of analytical and strategic thinking.

Considering your impressive academic background, including securing the second rank in LL.M, how do you perceive the value of pursuing postgraduate education, such as an LLM, for the current generation of aspiring lawyers? What advice would you give to those considering further specialization in law through advanced studies?

Pursuing an LLM provided me with invaluable insights, particularly in labor law, shaping my approach to litigation. I advise aspiring lawyers to choose specializations that align with both their interests and the evolving legal landscape, ensuring their education enhances their career trajectory in meaningful ways.

Beyond the legal realm, we’re curious to know more about your interests outside the courtroom. Could you share a bit about your favourite hobby or activity that brings you joy and relaxation when you’re not immersed in legal matters?

Away from the demands of legal practice, I delve into political history and enjoy exploring scenic landscapes, activities that offer a refreshing contrast to my professional life. These interests provide a sense of balance, enriching my personal growth and offering perspectives that influence my professional demeanor.

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