Law Firm

“My diverse practice is a result of experience with a diverse set of clients and colleagues doing niche work, exposure to the start-up community of Bangalore, and constant learning and growth”- Aditi Verma Thakur, Senior Partner at Ediplis Counsels

This Interview has been published by Pragya Chandni and The SuperLawyer Team

Ma’am, could you please share with our listeners how your journey into the field of law began? What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in intellectual property and corporate commercial law?

My fascination with the legal field began when I witnessed my father’s dedication to law. He pursued his law during my teenage years. Though at that young age, I never thought of being a lawyer myself. Before entering the field of law, I explored different options. However, I lacked a sense of connection with what I was doing. Eventually I tried my hands at legal studies by enrolling myself in B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) course at Devi Ahilya University. I found law and arts subjects quite interesting, focussed on my law education, and enjoyed exploring diverse avenues of law, with strong inclination towards constitutional law, criminal law, contractual law, and intellectual property. I consistently excelled in my studies, and was recognized as the university topper in my graduating class.

Upon completing my undergraduate studies, I pursued a Master of Laws in Intellectual Property at National Law University, Jodhpur, where I delved deeper into the intricate world of IP law. Through focussed internships, I was fortunate to see different sides of IP practice, such as advisory, litigation, valuation and commercialization of IPs. Additionally, my interest in international technology transfer drove me to undertake a university dissertation on the subject, further enriching my understanding of this domain.

My first role as a full-time IP role at Krishna & Saurastri culminated from an earlier long-term internship at the firm. At K&S, I learnt the basics and practical aspects of trademark and copyright law practice, sharpen my drafting and documentation as well as hone skills, such as, communications, critical analysis, and attention to detail. While working on contested and uncontested IP matters at my first firm, I developed a keen interest in commercial and contractual IP work, and generally in contractual law too. 

Your profile mentions that you have a versatile practice, covering soft IP, corporate commercial, technology, data protection, and media law. How did you develop expertise in such diverse areas, and what motivated you to explore these different facets of law? How do you balance these differences in your practice?

I’ve been fortunate to encounter exceptional opportunities throughout my professional journey. Following my initial role at my first law firm, where I handled various contested matters under the mentorship of seasoned industry professionals, I transitioned to corporate firms, where I further refined my legal skills and broaden my expertise. At IndusLaw, I was entrusted with leading then-growing IP practice, which allowed me to deepen my understanding and proficiency in this area.

My tenure in corporate firms played a pivotal role in sharpening my legal acumen and skills. Collaborating across different practice teams within these firms, I had the chance to engage in diverse projects tailored to meet our clients’ specific needs. While my primary role was to manage IP and IP litigation assignments, I also had the opportunity to delve into a wide range of commercial, IP, technology, data, and media contracts, both independently and as part of larger transactions. This collaborative environment facilitated a continuous exchange of knowledge and expertise, contributing significantly to my professional growth and development.

Throughout my tenure in Bangalore, I have had the privilege of serving a diverse clientele, ranging from foreign firms and large multinationals to investors, universities, and small enterprises across various industry sectors. Given Bangalore’s status as a hub for niche tech start-ups seeking comprehensive legal support, a significant portion of my work revolves around providing a wide range of commercial legal and intellectual property services to tech and media enterprises, including start-ups in these domains. My responsibilities within the management committee of Ediplis Counsels (which began as an IP boutique firm focussing on technology and related domain, and now has evolved into a full-service national firm) have been pivotal in expanding my expertise. My role at the firm has provided me with a nuanced understanding in the legal domains of technology, media, data, and corporate commercial laws, allowing me to provide more comprehensive and tailored solutions to our clients. 

In addition to my client-facing responsibilities, I am actively engaged in thought leadership initiatives. Collaborating with other senior partners at the firm, I participate in discussions concerning the policies and governance of Ediplis. Moreover, I dedicate time to mentoring young lawyers and contributing to both national and international publications, drawing from my experience as the former editor of a bi-monthly IP newsletter. These initiatives foster knowledge-sharing and professional development.

So, my diverse practice is a result of experience with a diverse set of clients and colleagues doing niche work, exposure to the start-up community of Bangalore, and constant learning and growth. 

I believe the different aspects of my practice have synergies and that is the core strength of my practice. For instance, my experience in contentious work has provided valuable insights that inform my advisory role, allowing me to anticipate and address potential legal challenges proactively. Similarly, my understanding of technology and media law enables me to advise clients on both the creation and commercialization of intangible assets, ensuring compliance, and mitigating risks effectively. 

Congratulations on being recognized as the ‘Copyright Lawyer of the Year’ and achieving various accolades. Clients have praised your problem-solving skills and transparent communications. How do you think these recognitions have shaped your career, and what impact have they had on the way you approach your work?

Many thanks for your kind wishes. I am sincerely grateful for the recognition that I have received from esteemed industry bodies, both in India and internationally. It is truly an honour to have one’s work acknowledged in such a manner, especially when such recognitions are also tied with positive feedback from clients. These industry recognitions provide credibility to my practice to a great extent, and there is an underlying sense of serving better to clients. I have also been told by several lady lawyers that my work and achievements motivate them to excel. I remember one of my neighbours trying to motivate his daughter citing my achievements. It is incredibly rewarding to know that my journey has had a positive impact, and it encourages others to excel in their own endeavours.

However, I believe it is essential to maintain a balanced perspective on industry awards and accolades. While they provide validation and encouragement, it is crucial not to allow them to overshadow the primary focus of our work. For me, maintaining a sense of humility and dedication to my craft is paramount. I approach each day with the energy and enthusiasm of a newcomer, eager to learn and grow, while also drawing on my experience and sense of responsibility in handling both my work and relationships.

Ultimately, my goal is to continue delivering high-quality legal services to my clients. By remaining focused on the task at hand and staying true to my values, I hope to uphold the trust and confidence that clients place in me and my abilities.

You’ve served as a guest faculty at premier law schools and contributed to national and international publications. What value do you see in sharing your knowledge with others?

I have always held a deep interest in teaching and writing, recognizing them as invaluable tools for personal and professional development. Besides this, I view teaching and writing as essential means of giving back to the broader community. 

Whether engaging with colleagues or clients, I make it a priority to share insights, perspectives and anecdotes from my own experiences. For instance, I regularly share legal and practical knowledge with my colleagues, promoting a culture of continuous learning and growth within our team. Similarly, I ensure that my clients are equipped with a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape relevant to their matters, empowering them to make informed decisions. My mentors’ willingness to share their wisdom and perspectives – both on work-related matters and broader life topics – has instilled in me a deep appreciation for the value of knowledge exchange. 

What role have your mentors played in your career growth? What is the importance of mentorship and guidance in one’s career and growth? 

I am incredibly grateful for the guidance and mentorship I have received from various individuals throughout my professional journey. From my parents, seniors at Krishna & Saurastri and IndusLaw, my husband and now my peers at Ediplis, I have been fortunate to have wise mentors who have played a pivotal role in shaping my professional and personal life. Their mentorship has been multifaceted, encompassing everything from learning the fundamentals of law and drafting to navigating complex professional challenges and finding a balance between work and family life. Each mentor has provided invaluable insights and guidance, contributing to my growth and success in different ways.

I feel mentorship plays a huge role in one’s success. If you get a wise mentor early on and they also are willing to invest in you, you can advance well in your professional life. It’s certainly important to find and believe in good mentors. 

What are your thoughts on work-life balance? Are you able to achieve that considering the kind of work you do? 

I believe if you don’t have a healthy work-life balance, you have stress, fatigue and burnouts. I understand a good work-life balance is very difficult to achieve when you want to also grow professionally, but one has to keep trying to achieve that state for your physical and mental being. 

In fact, we at Ediplis encourage our firm members to focus on their work and well-being both. We try and ensure a good work culture at the firm. Members are able to spend time on their interests and hobbies. We support working parents at our firm so that they are able to devote time to their families while managing their professional responsibilities. These efforts have resulted in well-organized and productive teams who are able to thrive both personally and professionally.

In the past, I have experienced first-hand the challenges of balancing work and personal life. There was a time when I prioritized work over everything else, believing that it was necessary for career growth. However, I realized that neglecting my personal well-being had adverse effects on my health and overall happiness. 

Since then, I have made a conscious effort to establish boundaries and prioritize self-care. While maintaining work-life balance can still be challenging at times, I am committed to making consistent efforts to achieve it. I have found that by taking care of my physical and mental health, I am able to work more efficiently and mindfully, ultimately leading to greater overall satisfaction.

As a lawyer and a mother, I recognize the importance of finding a balance between professional responsibilities and personal commitments. While there may be moments when work pressures demand more of my time, I remain optimistic and resilient, knowing that I am continually striving to do better.

Lastly, considering your extensive experience, what advice would you offer to law graduates who are just starting their careers in the legal field?

My advice to the younger pool of lawyers is to remain focussed, patient, persistent and consistent; seek out mentorship; and embrace lifelong learning. By adhering to these mantras, young lawyers can build a solid foundation for a successful and fulfilling career in the legal profession.

Get in touch with Aditi Verma Thakur-

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