Associates, In-House Counsels & Advocates

Shine Joy, Deputy Manager-Legal, Snapdeal, on work as in-house counsel

Shine Joy graduated from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in 2008 and had thereafter worked with various law firms including MV Kini & Co., Akash Chittranshi & Associates and Ranjan Narula Associates (Part of Rouse & Co. International). He also holds an experience of an Assistant Manager- Legal at DLF Utilities Ltd. He currently works as a Deputy Manager – Legal at Snapdeal.

Over here, he talks about:

  • The appropriate time in law school to undertake internships
  • Making the switch from a law firm to a company
  • Why it is okay and even desirable to change multiple jobs
  • Working at e-commerce giant Snapdeal

 

What got you into legal studies? Was it all planned or something that just happened by chance?

It was pure chance! I come from a typical south Indian family who would have loved an engineer son; so pursuing law as a career option was never on the table as such. However, a chance interaction with a friend made me think about law as an option.

 

How was your experience at GGSIPU? What activities were you involved in apart from the regular academic curriculum?

College days can never be anything but good; especially when you are in a law college which is located close to CP, GK and other hot spots for youngsters in Delhi

(GGSIPU and my college – ‘University School of Law and Legal Studies were located in Kashmere Gate Campus when I was pursuing law; it has since been shifted to Dwarka Sec 14.)

Apart from regular academic curriculum I was involved with the college Moot Court Society because of which I had the privilege of representing my college in four moots court competitions. I was also a member of the editorial board of the University magazine – ‘Adamya’.

 

What were your major interests as a student of law? Any suggestions for the law students on how to deal with the Pandora box of laws?

I was very much interested in Intellectual Property Laws during my college days. Fortunately during those days the law relating to trademarks & copyrights were being constantly debated in the courts across our country. This only fuelled my passion for the same subject.

I wouldn’t call law a Pandora’s box. It is more of Santa’s sack of toys! What I mean to say is law is such a diverse field with so many subject areas that you have the option of experimenting and zeroing on the one you may fall in love with.

 

How should one go about the internships? How important it is for a law student to plan out the course of his internships to successfully gain from the internship experience?

Internships are important as what we learn in college does not completely prepare us for what happens on the ground. Internships do give us a glimpse into the life an actual lawyer lives on a day-to-day basis. However, I would suggest undertaking internships from the 3rd year (of the 5-year course) onwards only since by then one would have studied both the substantive and procedural law. This gives you a better understanding of what is happening in the practice of law.  The idea is to enjoy the fun side of college and academics for the first two years of college while you are also acquainted to law as a subject, then go on to intern and eventually work as a lawyer.

 

After graduation you worked with various firms including MV Kini & Co., Akash Chittranshi & Associates and Ranjan Narula Associates. How was your experience working at these places?

MV Kini & Co. gave me the opportunity to intern with them and be involved in an Associate’s work profile even before enrolling as a lawyer, so to continue there as an associate after enrolling was an obvious choice. Also, the firm gave me immense exposure to litigation practice, infrastructure and corporate work. However, I had a keen interest in being an IPR lawyer and was motivated me to join Akash Chittranshi & Co. which was a leading firm in copyright laws.

The time spent at Akash Chittranshi & Co. equipped me and developed my skills as an IPR lawyer. It is then that I got an offer to join Ranjan Narula Associates (which is an associate office of Rouse & Co. International – an international IP law firm). Letting go of an opportunity to work with the best in industry and amazing international clientele was not something I would even dream of doing. My work experience  at each of these firms have enhanced my skills immensely as lawyer and gave me a chance to work under the guidance and with some of the best lawyers in the business.

 

Thereafter you joined DLF Utilities Ltd. as an Assistant Manager- Legal. What led to the shift from law firms to a real estate company? How was your experience working there?

While working as an attorney with Ranjan Narula Associates, I had the privilege of interacting with some of the best in-house counsels in the world. These interactions made me realize that often while advising their clients, lawyers have a myopic view of how businesses look at legal issues faced by them. It is imperative that lawyers should understand the business implications of their advice. So when an opportunity came to work as an in-house lawyer for a leader in real estate business and with seniors who are widely respected for their work, it was difficult to say no.

 

Currently you work as a Deputy Manager-Legal at Snapdeal. How did the switch from DLF take place?

Currently I work as Deputy Manager – Legal (got promoted in Oct 2014). I live by the mantra ‘what next? I believe that one should always strive to learn more and more and gain as much experience one can get so that one is moulded into a better professional who can give the best possible advice to his client. Therefore, when I got an opportunity work with Snapdeal – which was a pioneer in the e-commerce sector, I thought that it would be an immensely enriching experience for me as a professional. I would also get to deal with issues in a sector which was both new and fascinating.

As Snapdeal had chalked out plans of expansion when I was offered the job, the offer was more like a door to hands-on work in a plethora of legal issues that a growing entity would be involved in.

 

How did your appointment take place? Please tell us about the recruitment process at Snapdeal. What do they look for in their prospective employees?

I was contacted by the HR department of Snapdeal. The company conducts three rounds of interview before extending an offer to a prospective employee.

 

What does your current work profile at Snapdeal consist of? How is a typical workday like?

At Snapdeal I am involved mainly in high stake litigation matters, IPR issues and M&A activities. I also advise on issues pertaining to commercial contracts, advertising and real estate.

 

Are there new challenges everyday or has work settled into a predictable pattern? Can you tell us about a few of the most challenging problems you have faced so far?

To my understanding and experience a lawyer’s day at work can never be predicted, each day the nature of issues dealt with and work undertaken are different. As to challenges, every day is welcomed with a new one.

 

What amount of legal work is there? What have been your failures and successes?

Almost 95% of my work is legal. Recently, we were successful in defending the company against allegation of anti-competition activities before the Competition Appellate Tribunal.

 

How do you keep yourself abreast with latest industry news and trends?

I do so by perusing through standard industry journals, following blogs, attending national and international conferences etc.

 

Lastly, what would be your parting message for our readers?

Work is important but having a ‘life’ outside of work is more important.

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