Could you please share your journey and the pivotal moments that led you to pursue a career in Intellectual Property Rights and Corporate Law, especially considering your diverse experience and background?
I am a first-generation lawyer and belong to a through and through business oriented family. So it would be fair to say, Business instinct runs in my genes. My journey in law began with a genuine passion for understanding the intricacies of business and innovation. Throughout my educational years, I was deeply intrigued by how businesses evolve, and the role intellectual property plays in safeguarding creativity and fostering innovation. Those formative years allowed me to delve deep into the nuances of Intellectual Property Rights. It’s not just about trademarks or patents; it’s about safeguarding the very essence of an individual’s or a corporation’s innovative spirit.
Corporate Law, on the other hand, appealed to my analytical side. It provides a framework for businesses to operate, grow, and expand. I was particularly interested in how businesses navigate the complex regulatory landscape, make strategic decisions, and ensure compliance while still being competitive and innovative. Over the years, with my diverse experience, I’ve come to appreciate the nuances, the intricacies, and the beauty of both these fields. They might seem poles apart for some, but to me, they are two sides of the same coin – both essential for a business’s growth and protection.
How has your global academic exposure shaped your perspective and approach in law?
Pursuing my education from the University of Torino and WIPO was a transformative experience that deeply influenced my approach to the legal landscape. The University of Torino, with its rich academic traditions and its location in Italy—a hub of art, culture, and innovation—offered a profound understanding of the historical and contemporary nuances of IP law. This foundation was complemented by WIPO’s expertise, which is the Mecca of IP. The synergy of these two esteemed institutions offered a unique blend of academic rigor and practical insights into the global IP landscape.
Interacting with a diverse group of peers, professors, and industry experts, I gained a holistic view of legal frameworks across various jurisdictions. This experience not only sharpened my technical acumen but also cultivated a global perspective in me. Today, when I advise clients or engage in multifaceted legal cases, I frequently draw upon this reservoir of international knowledge, ensuring that the counsel I provide is both globally informed and locally pertinent.
In fact, this was not just an academic endeavor; it was an opportunity to be part of a global community of legal professionals. This rich network that I cultivated during my L.L.M has since become an invaluable asset in my practice back in India. With this international network at my fingertips, I can confidently assist and represent my clients on a global stage. It ensures that they receive not only locally tailored advice but also benefit from a wealth of international insights and collaborations.
What prompted you to start your own journey and launch your Firm in 2019?
After years of working in the bustling legal environment of Delhi, life took an unexpected turn and led me to relocate to Dehradun in 2019, owing to personal circumstances. Having been deeply rooted in a corporate framework for most of my career, I felt a distinct void in Dehradun’s legal landscape. Rather than viewing this shift as a setback, I saw it as an
opportunity – a chance to create the very ecosystem I thrived in. It was a confluence of this need, my passion, and years of experience that drove me to establish MAK LAW. Launching my own firm wasn’t just about continuing my profession; it was about recreating the dynamic environment I was so accustomed to and contributing to the legal community in Dehradun.
Although launching it single-handedly, especially as a first-generation lawyer, presented its own set of unique challenges, I was not alone in this journey. The wonderful support and guidance of my family, friends, colleagues, mentors, and even my professors were instrumental in helping me take this bold step. Every challenge faced, every hurdle overcome, served to solidify the foundation of MAK LAW, making it the reputable law firm it is today.
Could you shed light on some of the most significant cases you’ve handled, and the complexities or challenges they presented?
Among the cases that deeply resonate with me, the one involving a seasoned Silicon Valley professional with over three decades of experience, engaged our firm in a multi-faceted case encompassing violation of contractual obligations, IP infringement, and theft of intellectual property between his company and two other entities.
The case was particularly challenging due to its international scope, requiring adept handling of both Indian and US laws. However, what sets this case apart was not just the complexity but also the swiftness with which it was resolved. Within a mere span of two months since initiation, we managed to settle the case for an impressive amount of 200 million dollars against a prominent US company. Achieving such a settlement in a short time frame was a testament to our meticulous strategy, transparent communication, and relentless pursuit of our client’s best interests. It’s cases like these, where the stakes are high and the complexities manifold, that truly underscore the essence and importance of the legal work we do at MAK LAW.
You also practice Family Law along with IPR and how does that intersect in your practice, and what inspired your involvement in both areas?
In my practice at MAK LAW, I’ve had the privilege of delving deeply into both Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Family Law. While they might seem worlds apart to many, I approach them with equal commitment and passion. My foray into Family Law began organically, initially assisting on pro bono cases and extending a helping hand to friends and family. Over time, this transformed into a specialized vertical within our firm.
Handling intricate matters of Family Law, especially matrimonial disputes, demands a high degree of sensitivity, discretion, and compassion. At MAK LAW, we’ve tackled some of the most challenging familial disputes, always prioritizing the well-being of the aggrieved parties. Being a woman-led firm, I’ve emphasized an approach that is empathetic, yet ensures fairness, striving to offer relief without any gender bias. We are known to have settled family disputes effectively in shorter spans than the usual legal scenarios.
What are the challenges you faced while floating your own law firm and how has that journey been for you?
Launching MAK LAW was both a dream realized and a massive challenge, especially as a first-generation lawyer. Establishing a new law firm in a market already populated with well entrenched firms was not easy. I was resolute that MAK LAW would not just be another firm
but would stand for ‘Legal insight. Business instinct’. Our initial struggles ranged from convincing potential clients to entrust their legal matters to a relatively new firm was a hurdle. However, our emphasis on strong relationships and transparency gradually solidified our reputation in the market. The most difficult to handle was personal pressure: Being at the helm meant my successes were the firm’s successes, but so were my failures. The weight of responsibility, especially in the initial years, was immense.
Despite these challenges, the journey has been immensely rewarding. Each time we win a case, we win a client’s trust, and we solidify our base automatically. The testimonials from satisfied clients have been constant reminders of why I embarked on this journey. It has truly been a path paved with lessons, growth, and sheer hard work.
Given your background and expertise, what do you believe are the most significant challenges and opportunities in the field of Intellectual Property Rights and Corporate Law today, and how do you see it evolving in the future?
At MAK LAW, we pride ourselves on navigating the complex arenas of IPR and Corporate Law with meticulous precision and dedication. That said, practicing these domains hasn’t been without its challenges. With technology evolving at a lightning pace, keeping up with IPR changes to safeguard digital creations and inventions has been a continuous effort. Especially in fields like AI, IoT, and blockchain, where the line between innovation and IP often blurs.
Representing clients with global portfolios has meant grappling with diverse IPR laws across countries. Each jurisdiction has its nuances, making it essential to continuously update our knowledge. On top of that, the digital age, while presenting opportunities, has also been a breeding ground for copyright and trademark infringements. Monitoring digital platforms and swiftly acting against violations remains a consistent challenge. Especially in M&A or joint ventures, ensuring IP assets are correctly valued, transferred, or protected can be intricate.
It’s a delicate balance of safeguarding IP while also looking at the broader corporate picture. I envision the realms of IPR and Corporate Law becoming even more intertwined in the future. As businesses increasingly rely on their IP assets for growth, corporate strategies will need to be framed with IP protection and monetization at their core.
In future, I foresee an increased emphasis on digital IP rights, sustainable business practices, and more collaborative, international legal frameworks to address the challenges posed by a globalized business environment. We are continually preparing and adapting for this future, ensuring we remain at the forefront of these evolutions.
Finally, what is your Advice for aspiring law graduates stepping into the legal world?
For those stepping into the legal world, my advice is multifaceted –
– Stay curious, passionate and keep pace with the evolving legal landscape – in short read, read and read the relevant laws and new developments, especially in the world of Artificial intelligence – create your niche.
– Building and cherishing relationships should be paramount; they are as invaluable as your legal skills.
– Engage in continuous internships, stay actively connected with your alumni, and network diligently. Especially for first-generation lawyers, embrace every opportunity and task, no matter how daunting.
– Additionally, never underestimate the importance of your academics and participation in moot courts. They provide the foundational bedrock upon which you’ll build a successful legal career.
Remember, in this profession, the combination of a solid academic base and a strong network often determines your net worth. While at it, please also remember to have fun – this profession is already notorious for being taxing!
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