“I have always wanted to be in a profession that is more society-centric and has good opportunities to meet people from different walks of life.” – Manish Gaurav, Founding Partner at Lexspectrum

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

Could you take us back to the beginning of your career journey? What inspired you to pursue law, and can you share any pivotal moments or experiences that shaped your decision to enter this field? Additionally, what were some of the challenges you faced when starting out, and how did you overcome them to establish yourself as a prominent figure in the legal profession?

I have always believed that God has bestowed grace upon me. Importantly, my parents have always encouraged me to make decisions and have provided enough freedom and information to make an important decision that has a long-term impact on my life.

I have always wanted to be in a profession that is more society-centric and has good opportunities to meet people from different walks of life. In this context, law as a profession was an obvious option for me. I consulted many of my friends/seniors and some reputed lawyers before taking this decision to pursue law. Their encouraging words (along with challenges in the profession that they mentioned) encouraged me to pursue my career in this field.

Since I am first generation lawyer, there were plenty of difficulties. I was very clueless in my initial days (after completing my law degree) about my next step and other related aspects. But, there is always someone to help me or guide me in such difficult situations. They were either friends/colleagues or strangers (as well). I am thankful to all of them.  

Lexspectrum is known for its comprehensive legal services. What inspired you and your partner to establish this firm, and what sets it apart from others in the field?

I have always believed that there is enough space for new law firms in the sector that can be more focused (handholding approach) towards clients. Additionally, having experience of a certain number of years, acted as an asset for me in this endeavour.

Importantly, I sought feedback from various clients/friends to provide their suggestions regarding setting up a new law firm. In most the cases, I got very positive and encouraging suggestions/responses that helped me make such a decision.

Your bio mentions you’re recognized as a recommended lawyer for Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions. What advice would you give to young lawyers aspiring to achieve similar recognition in their careers?

Well, such recognitions are always welcome. It gives a sense of satisfaction and improves confidence. In my opinion, consistency with quality work is key to success in the field. It is important for a young lawyer to be very consistent with quality work to achieve their professional goal.  

In your opinion, what can the current generation do to carve out successful careers in law, especially in a field as dynamic as yours?

The current generation of lawyers should focus (in addition to basics) on the changes which is taking place in the field of law. For example, legal practice in the field of data/AI/the international context of multi-party disputes/PE/VC transactions was not so common a few years ago but now it is very much mainstream practice. Hence, it is imperative that a lawyer should pay adequate attention to the development/changes in the legal field wherein such lawyer is practising.

Additionally, quality of work and timely response to clients is imperative. I have noticed that these days clients are well informed about the existing legal provision(which affects them) and their expectation from the lawyer is not only to be better informed about applicable legal provisions but also to have good understanding of the case which such a lawyer is handling. Hence, a lawyer should be much more attentive to the case/assignment that they are being entrusted with. 

Outside of your professional life, do you have any hobbies or interests that you’re passionate about? How do you balance your personal interests with your demanding career?

Typically, I do not get much time to pursue my hobbies which has changed with time. I love travelling with my family and friends and I try to do the same whenever it is possible. Being with family and friends is always a wonderful experience. 

With the constantly evolving legal landscape, how do you stay updated with industry trends and changes, and how do you ensure your team at Lexspectrum remains ahead of the curve?

We, as a firm, have weekly sessions on the legal updates on the matter concerning the current assignments and generally related to the subject matter of practice area. Additionally, we encourage our team members to write articles/updates regularly to get a better understanding of the subject matter. We also encourage our team to participate in relevant conferences to be fully updated.

There is always an emphasis that we as Lexspectrum should be well aware of the subject matter which we are dealing with. There is also an emphasis on having a good understanding of the sector in which such client is engaged.

Being recognized as one of the highly recommended lawyers in Mergers & Acquisitions is a remarkable achievement. For students aspiring to excel in this field, what specific skills or knowledge areas would you recommend they focus on during their education and early career to position themselves for success in M&A transactions?

Typically, I have noticed that law schools have a higher degree of inclination towards litigation than corporate matters. Likewise, law students have better exposure to litigation matters. Hence, it is imperative that law students must participate in all relevant events /seminars (typically organised by Investment banking firms/law firms/CA firms) to get exposure to the subject matter.

Additionally, various blogs/research paper are being published by law firms that should be referred regularly. Having internships in law firms with maximum exposure to corporate matters will be very helpful. 

Could you share with us the experience of the first time you stepped into a courtroom to argue a case? What was going through your mind, and how did it shape your approach to advocacy?

I consider myself lucky in this respect wherein my senior permitted me to argue a matter when I was just 4-5 months into the profession. My senior mentored/guided me well on the said case. However, it was a bit shaking moment for me till I started making submissions to the Hon’ble Court. Once, I started, it became relatively normal for me.

Courtrooms often witness intriguing moments and unexpected twists. Can you recall any particularly memorable anecdotes or moments from your time practicing law that stand out to you?

On several occasions wherein the Hon’ble judge and/or opposite counsel has agreed to deviate from the established norms keeping the larger interest of the litigants in mind and the same has served very well in the interest of justice. On one such occasion, a key witness has arrived here in India for a minimal time period. Such a witness was critical to the matter. On our request, the Hon’ble court and opposite counsel agreed to complete all procedural aspects concerning such witness on the same day which is not so common.

On several occasions, we are informed about certain documents/events on the day of the hearing which is critically important.  Such events on many occasions require us to immediately make suitable changes in our strategy/submission. Due to confidentiality, I will not be able to delve into this any further.

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