“The diversity in my work not only keeps it intellectually stimulating but also allows me to bring a unique perspective to the table.” – Navigating the Legal Tapestry of Media and Entertainment, Sudisha Mukherji, Co-Founder of International Legal Alliance.

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

How would you introduce yourself to our readers, considering your diverse background in law, media, and entertainment, along with your successful stint as a model?

Hello, I’m Sudisha Mukherji. With over eight years of experience as a media and entertainment lawyer and IP attorney, my journey through the media industry has been both diverse and enriching. Prior to my legal career, I delved into the worlds of modelling and theatre. I modelled for renowned brands like Garnier, Lux, and Coke, and walked the ramp for various designers at fashion events such as the Bangalore and Pune Fashion Weeks. These experiences, alongside my legal studies, gave me a unique perspective enabling me to adeptly navigate the complexities of the media and entertainment sectors, both in India and internationally, with a deep understanding of their intricacies.

Your journey into the legal profession is quite intriguing. Could you share some key milestones and experiences that shaped your journey from being a model to becoming an esteemed media and entertainment lawyer? How did your experience in the fashion industry contribute to your current role as a media and entertainment lawyer?

My transition from modelling to law was marked by several significant milestones and enriching experiences. Winning MTV’s “Making the Cut Season 1” and being a finalist in Miss India East 2012 were key highlights. Additionally, my active participation in the theatre production ‘Stories in a Song’ offered me a profound insight into the intricacies of the fashion, media, and theatre industries. Meeting my mentor, Adv. Jamshed Mistry, during my MCom, led me to pursue law. Even before I enrolled in LLB, I was certain about specializing in a specific area of law i.e., media and entertainment. This early clarity and guidance have been pivotal in my legal career.  These experiences coupled with mentorship have proven to be invaluable in my legal career. 

The opportunity to work in fashion, media, and theatre industries equipped me with a deep and nuanced understanding of the inner workings of these sectors, enabling me to provide effective counsel to a diverse range of clients within the media and entertainment industry. This unique blend of practical industry knowledge and legal expertise allows me to approach each case with a comprehensive perspective, ensuring that I am not just a lawyer, but also a strategic advisor who understands the creative and business aspects of the media world.

Managing both legal practice and involvement in the Ethics Committee of Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital and Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children is impressive. How do you balance your professional commitments with your responsibilities in the healthcare sector?

My involvement with the healthcare sector, particularly with Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital and Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, spans over six years. In this role, I serve as a Legal Expert on the Ethics Committee, focusing on ensuring adherence to good clinical practices for collaborative studies and research. This responsibility complements my legal practice rather seamlessly.

In all honesty, I don’t view my role in the healthcare sector as an additional task to manage; rather, it’s an integral part of my professional journey. My work with the Ethics Committee enriches my understanding of legal issues in healthcare. The skills and insights I gain from one sphere often benefit the other.

Balancing these commitments comes down to effective time management and a deep passion for both fields. The synergies between my legal practice and my role in healthcare governance allow me to navigate both areas effectively. My experiences in healthcare have provided me with a broader perspective on legal issues, enhancing my ability to advise clients with a more holistic approach. Therefore, rather than balancing two separate roles, I see them as complementary aspects of my professional life that enrich each other.

Your clientele includes a diverse range of entities, from production houses to hospitals. How do you navigate between such different sectors, and what challenges or rewards come with representing clients with varied interests?

Navigating between diverse sectors like production houses and hospitals presents its unique challenges and rewards, and my experience in both the media and healthcare industries plays a crucial role in this. One of the main challenges is the need to constantly adapt to the distinct legal landscapes of each sector. The media and entertainment industry, for instance, involves a lot of intellectual property, contractual, and compliance issues, while the healthcare sector demands a thorough understanding of medical ethics, privacy laws, and regulatory compliance. My background in both these areas allows me to transition smoothly between these different legal environments.

The rewards of representing such a varied clientele are immense. It provides me with a rich, multifaceted perspective on legal issues. Working with production houses keeps me connected to the creative and dynamic world of media, while my involvement with hospitals grounds me in the impactful and socially responsible realm of healthcare. This diversity in my work not only keeps it intellectually stimulating but also allows me to bring a unique perspective to the table, combining creative problem-solving with a deep understanding of regulatory frameworks. In essence, the variety in my clientele enhances my capability as a lawyer. It enables me to approach legal issues with a broader, more informed perspective.

Your journey involves a transition from a legal consultancy role to being an independent practitioner. What inspired you to take this leap, and how has it influenced the way you approach your work?

The decision to transition from a legal consultancy role to becoming an independent practitioner was not so much a choice as a necessity. At that time, I was struggling to find work that aligned with my interests and expertise. However, once I made the leap, thankfully, my practice started to grow organically through word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals.

This journey has profoundly influenced how I approach my work. One of the key aspects is my perspective on learning. I consider myself a lifelong learner; I learn something new every single day. This mindset has been crucial in my journey as an independent practitioner. I’ve learned everything on the job, and I’m deeply grateful to my mentors and seniors who have offered unwavering support, guidance, and encouragement. Their assistance was invaluable in the early days of my practice, and it remains just as important now, whenever I reach out for insight.

Being an independent practitioner has also instilled in me a sense of resilience and adaptability. It has pushed me to be more proactive in seeking opportunities, developing new skills, and expanding my network. This journey has not only honed my legal skills but also sharpened my entrepreneurial instincts. It has taught me the importance of building and maintaining relationships, understanding client needs deeply, and consistently delivering high-quality work.

In summary, the transition to independent practice has been a transformative experience. It has shaped me into a more versatile, knowledgeable, and resourceful professional, enabling me to offer more comprehensive and personalized legal services to my clients.

During your secondment with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited on their digital vertical while working for ANM, how do you perceive the ongoing digital transformation in the media and entertainment industry, and what legal challenges and opportunities does it present?

The digital transformation in the media and entertainment sector, fuelled by online curated content platforms, broadens content variety, targeting diverse audiences. This shift brings legal challenges and opportunities in management of rights and online content regulation. Key areas include managing rights through agreements like co-production and licensing, and handling sensitive content and brand associations. Legal expertise is essential to navigate this evolving digital landscape, ensuring compliance and protecting interests amidst changing regulations and audience dynamics.

Beyond the legal realm, what hobbies or activities do you engage in to unwind and rejuvenate?

Outside of my legal career, I find joy and relaxation in spending time with my family and  my two wonderful boys. One of my favourite activities is curating sensory bin activities for them, which is both fun and engaging. Additionally, I enjoy unwinding by taking long drives, and immersing myself in the world of books. 

With your extensive experience in media and entertainment law, what advice would you give to aspiring lawyers looking to enter this dynamic and ever-evolving field?

To aspiring lawyers entering the field of media and entertainment law, I advise prioritizing mental health due to the field’s demanding nature, where everything often seems urgent. While it’s a learning-rich profession, remember that you can’t master everything at once. Taking time off for yourself is crucial to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy balance.

Get in touch with Sudisha Mukherji-

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top