“The process of learning in an advocate’s life is imperative and keeps you in line with the advancement of life, law, and technology,” – Dr. Mohit Singhvi, Founder and Head at Singhvi & Co.

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

Can you share with us how your journey into the field of law began? What motivated you to pursue a career in law, and what challenges did you encounter during your formative years in the legal profession?

Frankly speaking, I was really bad at science and mathematics so that door was closed but had always liked to engage into arguments only to ensure that I have to fight for the right coupled with the attraction of the robes that lawyers carried in the courts which motivated me to the core. Now, I thank myself for choosing law as my career as well as my family and friends who supported my decision. 

I never faced any challenge by the way, as I loved what I was doing, that included drafting, reading, researching as well appearing before the courts and tribunals. The only difficulty was to cope up with the financial doldrums. So, with whatever time I could manage and owing to my passion for teaching which I had developed during my law school, I engaged myself in taking up classes at universities, coaching institutes including taking up training sessions at ICSI and ICAI and was the youngest guest faculty at most of the places. That not only encouraged me to read and be well versed with the latest updates, it also helped me to have a harmonious balance between my expenses and income. Though the journey at Infosys, Vaish and thereafter with my litigation guru, Late Shri MR Singhvi, Senior Advocate and most importantly, my favourite mentor, Sr. Advocate Shri Ravi Bhansali was phenomenal and all the hard work and perseverance has led to the present day, for which I can’t thank enough to all those who had supported me in minutes.  

As the Founder and Head of Singhvi & Co., what inspired you to establish your own legal consultancy firm, and what were some of the challenges you faced in the initial stages?

I always believe that as a team of young individuals, you can always do more, think more and prosper more. The idea to have a team was dawning on my mind since law school days when we used to intern at various law offices and see the seamless way of functioning and sharing of thoughts and ideas. As a first generation lawyer, when you think of having your team, it brings along that guts to incur expenses of having proper office space, payment of professional fee to the team as well as office administration expenses. So, during the initial days, I ended up squeezing all my income in order to cope up with the management of the office. Though, the scope of work increased along with the client base and we could eventually end up serving varied clients at different locations with ease and came out with amazing reliefs and results from Hon’ble Courts and tribunals apart from serving the clients on non-litigation work. 

Empanelled as counsel for various esteemed institutions, could you shed light on the significance of such partnerships in your legal practice? Also could you please share some insights to your role.

In the beginning of my career, I always saw others engaging and thriving into empanelment of various private and government institutions but I was always busy serving my clients and could not spare time to invest in the effort to get myself empanelled anywhere. I always focused on work and ensuring timely resolution of my client’s grievances. With 7-8 years of experience in my kitty and having developed little name and reputation, there came a time when various institutions and companies approached for engaging me as a retainer/empanel as their lawyer and time just went in a jiffy without realizing the journey which has been extremely rewarding, challenging and full of learning nuance. The focus is yet again on serving clients with honesty and integrity and that is the success mantra. 

Given your interest in contract and arbitration, could you discuss the evolving landscape of dispute resolution mechanisms in India, particularly in light of recent legal developments?

Even as a law student, I was very keen in learning about the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and used to request the seniors during my internships to involve and engage me in the respective arbitration and dispute resolution team which nurtured my mind at the very inception. The timely resolution of the disputes with such flexibility in approach revolutionized my mind and shaped me to work more and more towards this stream and today I have the honor to have resolved disputes related to partnerships, infrastructure, construction and JV and working capital consortium agreements amassing more than 3000 Crores. India has passed the proverbial litmus test after conjoint efforts from across the wings of the government in the last decade or so and has left no stone unturned to transform India into a matured arbitration hub and the future seems to be extremely promising and fructifying. 

As a visiting faculty member at various institutions, how do you integrate academic insights into your legal practice, and what do you hope to impart to aspiring legal professionals through your teaching engagements?

I always believe that the best way to keep yourself updated is to read and exchange. When you have to teach, you end up doing both though you do not realize that you gain so much from the students and professionals you engage with which will shape you into a better, healthier and smarter lawyer. I have been very practical in my approach towards my life as well as profession and that’s what I request each and every individual.

As someone deeply involved in real estate transactions, what are some key legal considerations that individuals or companies often overlook when engaging in such deals, and how do you ensure comprehensive due diligence?

Land due diligence is the most critical aspect which was not really considered by the general public, barring corporate dealing into big land parcels. Over the past 10-15 years, I have witnessed imperative growth and recognition which has been extended to DD which assists to thoroughly investigate and assess the details & risks associated with a transaction before taking a final decision on the execution and acts as a shield to protect against possible fraud which is very common these days.

As someone pursuing CS [Final], how do you perceive the intersection of company secretarial practice with your legal expertise, and how does it complement your role as a legal consultant? Also what motivated you to pursue a Ph.D. in Law, and how has this advanced degree contributed to your expertise and outlook in the legal field?

I understood the importance of studies and knowledge gaining while being a part of Infosys which believed in the Continuous Education Programme (CEP) and that motivated me to improvise my skills and knowledge and learn every day. The process of learning in an advocate’s life is imperative and keeps you in line with the advancement of life, law and technology. Doctorate in law allowed me to understand the importance of research which I was always very keen on and is one of the important pillars for any one practicing law. 

As a visiting faculty member interacting with students, what positive attributes do you find most prevalent among the current generation, and conversely, are there any areas you believe they could improve upon to excel in the legal profession?

The present generation is advanced, well-read and extremely stylish. Though,  I see that they need to learn to remain grounded and stick to the basics of law and life which will prepare them to accommodate and live with the day to day challenges and set-backs litigation can offer you. Being punctual can add feathers to your profession as you may miss your matter by a fraction of second and the litigant suffers. This is just not a profession, this is service to the society and that’s why we lawyers are known as social engineers. Though, I believe that the upcoming generation should focus on dress well, address well and redress well. 

With your busy schedule and demanding profession, it’s essential to find moments of relaxation. Could you share some activities or practices you engage in to unwind and recharge outside of work?

I am fortunate to have my life partner, Deepika as a professional partner as well and that keeps us occupied and entertained. We travel a lot for work and use it for leisure as well and that maintains work-life balance. Thankfully, in Rajasthan we have a long summer break and decent winter break, which we dedicate to travel abroad with family and this has now become a norm of our lifestyle. We also enjoy cricket and our leisure time is mostly spent with family and friends while enjoying music and rejuvenating ourselves. 

Your internship experience includes working with Infosys, a renowned IT company. How has this experience influenced your perspective on legal matters, and what differences, if any, did you observe between working in a law firm and an IT corporation?

The work there was limited to compliance and drafting with minimal court work. Though, working with the top in-house legal team with fantabulous work style and strategies shaped my capacity to perceive, interpret and implement complex legal issues which has culminated into a matured and calculated approach in the legal profession. 

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