You have to be in the process of continuous learning as the legal world is like a dynamic river; it never stops moving-Shivee Pandey Sinha, Managing Partner at Sinha & Partners

This interview has been published by  Priyanka Karwa and The SuperLawyer Team

Can you share the story of how you decided to pursue a career in law, and  what inspired you to become a lawyer? 

Well, my journey into the field of law was greatly influenced by my family’s  legacy of distinguished lawyers, particularly my maternal grandfather, Mr. Gyan  Chandra Dwivedi. He was a Senior Advocate at the High Court of Judicature at  Allahabad and a true luminary in the legal world. His reputation for his commitment to  justice and his impact on people’s lives left an enduring impression on me. 

As a child, I often found myself intrigued by the stories and discussions about  legal cases that echoed through our family gatherings. These conversations weren’t just  about courtroom dramas; they were about real people’s lives being shaped and justice  being served. The more I heard, the more I felt drawn to the idea of becoming a lawyer. 

After finishing school, I decided to follow this innate calling and embarked on  my journey towards a career in law. I got myself enrolled in a B.B.A. LLB (Hons) program at Amity University, Uttar Pradesh. This was the first step in the realization of  my passion for the legal profession. 

However, the pivotal moment in my journey came during my second year of  law school when I had the opportunity to intern with the Human Rights Law Network  (H.R.L.N.) in Allahabad. It was during this internship that I got a taste of what it truly  means to be a lawyer. 

One particular case during this internship became a turning point in my life. I  was entrusted with the responsibility of drafting and arguing a Public Interest Litigation  (PIL) seeking a ban on the sale of acid in Uttar Pradesh. This was not just a case but a  chance to bring about tangible and positive change in society. 

The day came when I had to stand before the court and present our case. To my  surprise and honour, the case was heard by the now Chief Justice of India, Justice D.Y.  Chandrachud, who was then presiding in Allahabad High Court along with Justice  Harcauli. My heart raced as I presented our case, knowing that it had the potential to  make a difference in the lives of countless people. 

The order came in our favour, whereby the CMO of Allahabad was directed to  ensure that medical aid (bed in the severely burned ward) be provided to the acid attack  victim immediately. Further, Justice Chandrachud’s kind words of appreciation for our  efforts were incredibly encouraging. This experience was profoundly enriching and  reinforced my passion for law. It showcased the immense potential law holds to bring  about positive change in society and ensure justice is served. 

From that moment on, my commitment to the legal profession deepened, and I  knew that I was on the right path. It was a journey driven by my family’s legacy and  fuelled by the desire to make a meaningful contribution to the world through the pursuit  of justice.

Today, as a lawyer and Managing Partner at Sinha & Partners, Advocates and  Solicitors, I continue to be inspired by the values instilled in me by my family and the  belief that law has the power to transform lives and society for the better. This is the  story of how I found my calling in the world of law, and it’s a journey I cherish every  day. 

Can you walk us through some key milestones and experiences that shaped  your legal career? 

Certainly, let me take you on a journey through some key milestones and  experiences that have profoundly shaped my legal career. 

One of the pivotal moments in my career came when I had the opportunity to  argue a case of medical negligence. It was a case that not only tested my legal acumen  but also my dedication to seeking justice for my client. The District Forum passed a  judgment in our favor, holding the doctors and hospital guilty of medical negligence  and unfair trade practice. It was a significant victory, but the journey was far from over. 

The case was subsequently challenged before the State Commission, where we  faced a setback. The appeal was allowed, based on an erroneous finding by the State  Commission. It was a moment of adversity, but it only fuelled my determination. I  decided to challenge the State Commission’s order and sought revision before the  National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission. 

This was a critical juncture in my career, and it required unwavering  perseverance. After a rigorous legal battle, the National Consumer Dispute Redressal  Commission ultimately passed judgment in favor of my client. It was a sweet victory  that reaffirmed my belief in the legal system’s ability to right wrongs. 

Another significant milestone in my journey was when I successfully had an  award passed by a Sole Arbitrator set aside under Section 34 of the Arbitration and  Conciliation Act, 1996. The circumstances surrounding this case were unique and  challenging. The award had erroneously granted rent to the landlord for a commercial  property during the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The legal battle that followed was intense, but it led to a groundbreaking  decision by the Hon’ble High Court. The court ruled that COVID-19 constituted a force  majeure event, and invoking the force majeure clause during such times was both valid  and legal. It was a significant precedent that not only benefited my client but also had  broader implications for legal interpretations during unprecedented events. 

In another instance, I managed to halt the initiation of the Corporate Insolvency  Resolution Process (CIRP) after the first meeting of the Committee of Creditors (CoC).  This achievement was the result of a strategic settlement between the Corporate Debtor  and the Creditor. It was a testament to the power of negotiation and finding common  ground in the often-complex world of insolvency proceedings.

These milestones and experiences have played a crucial role in shaping my legal  career. They have instilled in me a deep sense of commitment to delivering excellence  in the legal profession. They have also equipped me with the skills and determination  needed to navigate the intricate and challenging legal landscapes that continue to unfold  before me. 

As the Managing Partner at Sinha & Partners, you’ve navigated complex legal  landscapes. Could you share an example of a particularly challenging case or  situation you’ve encountered and how you successfully handled it? 

There are several challenging situations which I encountered during my tenure as  the Managing Partner at Sinha & Partners. It is a complex legal landscape, and the  stakes are extremely high. 

Let me share one of such many cases. The case involved a multinational corporation  embroiled in a protracted contractual dispute with a key business partner. The dispute  was multi-faceted, spanning several jurisdictions and involving significant financial  interests. Our client was facing the risk of substantial financial losses and damage to its  reputation if the dispute wasn’t resolved favorably. 

Navigating this complex situation required a multi-pronged approach. Here’s how we  tackled it: 

Thorough Analysis: The first step was an in-depth analysis of the contractual  agreements, relevant laws, and the nuances of the dispute. This involved a meticulous  review of documents and a deep understanding of the client’s business operations. 

Strategy Development: Based on our analysis, we crafted a comprehensive legal  strategy. This included identifying potential weaknesses in the opposing party’s  arguments and formulating strong counterarguments. 

Multi-Jurisdictional Coordination: Given the international aspects of the dispute, we  coordinated with legal experts and partners in various jurisdictions to ensure a cohesive  approach. Clear communication and strategic alignment were paramount. 

Negotiation and Mediation: Recognizing the potential benefits of an amicable  resolution, we engaged in extensive negotiation and mediation efforts. This required  maintaining a delicate balance between asserting our client’s rights and exploring  settlement options. 

Litigation Preparedness: Simultaneously, we prepared for potential litigation. This  involved gathering evidence, identifying key witnesses, and ensuring our legal team  was ready for courtroom proceedings. 

Client Communication: Throughout the process, we maintained open and transparent  communication with our client. We provided regular updates on the progress of the case  and discussed potential scenarios and their implications.

After months of intense negotiations and legal manoeuvring, we achieved a  favorable settlement for our client. The agreement not only safeguarded their financial  interests but also included provisions to protect their reputation and ongoing business  relationships. 

This case taught me several valuable lessons. It emphasized the importance of  meticulous preparation, strategic thinking, and effective communication. It also  underscored the significance of flexibility and adaptability in the face of evolving  circumstances. 

Ultimately, successfully handling this complex case was a team effort, and it  showcased the dedication and expertise of our legal team at Sinha & Partners. It  reinforced our commitment to delivering exceptional results for our clients, even in the  most challenging legal landscapes. 

During your time as an External Member of the Internal Complaint  Committee under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, what have  been some of the most important lessons you’ve learned about workplace  compliance and gender equality? 

Certainly, let me share my experiences during my time as an External Member of  the Internal Complaint Committee under the Sexual Harassment of Women at  Workplace Act. It’s been a journey filled with valuable lessons about workplace  compliance and gender equality. 

Picture this – I found myself in a unique position, serving as an External  Member on the Committee. From the very beginning, it was evident that empathy plays  a pivotal role in addressing workplace harassment cases. Hearing the survivors’ stories  and understanding their experiences first hand made me realize the profound impact  empathy can have. It’s not just a professional duty; it’s about creating a safe and  supportive space where survivors can find solace and trust the process. 

One of the standout lessons was the importance of proactive prevention. It’s not  enough to have policies in place; it’s about fostering a culture of respect and equality  within the workplace. When employees feel genuinely valued and respected, issues are  less likely to surface in the first place. Prevention truly is worth its weight in gold. 

Then came the realization that fair procedures are the bedrock of any effective  complaint resolution process. The investigations must be thorough, impartial, and swift.  This ensures justice for all parties involved and maintains trust in the system. 

Education emerged as a key component. Many employees, I discovered, weren’t  fully aware of their rights or what constituted harassment. Educating the workforce  about these critical matters proved to be pivotal. Knowledge empowers individuals to  recognize and report inappropriate behaviour, fostering a safer working environment. 

Perhaps one of the most resounding lessons was the unequivocal stance against  retaliation. It was abundantly clear that employees should feel safe and secure when 

coming forward with complaints. Fear of repercussions should have no place in such a  scenario. 

And then there was the understanding that gender equality isn’t the sole  responsibility of one gender. It’s a collective effort that requires both men and women  to champion equality in the workplace. Everyone must play their part. 

Lastly, the journey underscored that workplace compliance and gender equality  are not one-time achievements. They demand continuous improvement. Regularly  revisiting and enhancing policies and practices is the key to creating a better work  environment. 

In summary, serving as an External Member of an Internal Complaint Committee  of an organisation is a profound experience that reinforced the significance of active  commitment, empathy, and an unceasing pursuit of improvement in creating a truly  inclusive and safe workplace for all. It’s a journey we should all embark upon together,  because, in the end, it’s about justice, respect, and equality for everyone. 

Your expertise includes Commercial Litigation and Corporate Compliance.  Could you provide insights into the intersection of these two areas and how they  impact businesses in today’s legal environment? 

Commercial litigation and corporate compliance—it’s like a dynamic dance, and  let me share some insights into how they tango in today’s legal landscape: 

Risk Mitigation: Picture this as your shield in the legal battlefield. Strong  corporate compliance practices are your first line of defense. They’re all about  making sure your business plays by the rules and stays on the right side of the law.  Why? Because when you’re compliant, you’re mitigating the risk of legal disputes.  It’s like having an insurance policy against lawsuits. 

Dispute Resolution: But hey, life’s not always a smooth sail. Disputes happen, and  when they do, your compliance practices and records can be your knight in shining  armor. They’re crucial in defending your actions and minimizing any potential legal  liabilities. It’s like having a well-prepared strategy for a chess match. 

Contractual Compliance: Ever heard the phrase, “It’s all in the fine print”? Well,  in commercial litigation, it often is. Many cases revolve around contractual  disputes. So, if you’ve diligently adhered to your contractual obligations, you’re in  a much better position to steer clear of litigation storms. It’s like ensuring  everyone’s on the same page. 

Regulatory Changes: The legal landscape is like a moving target—regulations  change, and they change fast. Staying updated on these changes and adapting your  compliance practices accordingly is like navigating a constantly shifting maze. It’s  a must to reduce the chances of legal headaches down the road. 

Reputation Management: In today’s hyperconnected world, your reputation is  gold. Effective compliance and litigation management are like your guardians of 

reputation. They not only keep you out of trouble but also safeguard your  company’s image. And in business, that’s priceless. 

So, there you have it—commercial litigation and corporate compliance, two sides of  the same coin in today’s legal arena. Together, they help businesses thrive while  minimizing the legal hiccups that can trip you up along the way. It’s all about keeping  the dance smooth and in harmony. 

You have experience representing clients before different courts and forums  in Delhi NCR. Can you share some valuable tips for young lawyers on effective  courtroom advocacy and client representation? 

Absolutely, I’d be happy to offer some practical advice for young lawyers when  it comes to effective courtroom advocacy and client representation: 

Thorough Preparation: Before stepping into the courtroom, invest ample time in  thoroughly understanding your case, including the legal aspects, relevant  precedents, and the key facts. Anticipate potential arguments from the opposing  side, and be ready with well-researched counterarguments. 

Confidence and Professionalism: Maintain a confident demeanour while always  upholding the highest standards of professionalism. This includes how you interact  with both the court and your clients. Confidence can inspire trust in your clients and  convey competence to the court. 

Effective Communication: When presenting your case, aim for clear and concise  communication. Avoid using legal jargon that might confuse your clients or the  court. Ensure that your client fully comprehends the proceedings, and be ready to  explain legal matters in plain language. 

Active Listening: Actively listen to your client’s concerns and questions. Keeping  your clients well-informed about the progress of their case is vital. Address their  queries promptly and provide updates on the developments in their legal matter. 

Adaptability: Be flexible in your approach. Legal proceedings can take unexpected  turns, so always be prepared to adapt your strategy and arguments if the  circumstances change during the case. This flexibility can be a key asset in  achieving the best possible outcome for your client. 

Ethical Practice: Uphold the highest ethical standards in all your interactions and  actions. Your reputation for integrity is one of your most valuable assets as a lawyer.  Always act in the best interests of your clients while adhering to ethical guidelines  and professional conduct. 

Mentorship: Seek out experienced lawyers who can serve as mentors. Learning  from their insights and experiences can be incredibly valuable as you navigate the  complexities of legal practice. A mentor can provide guidance, share practical  knowledge, and help you grow as a legal professional.

Remember that effective courtroom advocacy and client representation are skills that  develop over time with experience and continuous learning. Stay dedicated to honing  these skills, and you’ll be better equipped to serve your clients and achieve success in  your legal career 

When it comes to dealing with the Companies Act, 2013, I’ve seen firsthand  how it can get pretty complex. Businesses often encounter some common  challenges, and here’s my take on it: 

Regulatory Changes: This act is like a chameleon—it’s always changing its colors.

Frequent amendments and updates keep rolling in, and businesses need to stay on  their

toes to keep up. It’s like trying to catch a moving target. 

Corporate Governance: Proper corporate governance is crucial, but it’s not  always a walk in the park. It involves things like making sure board meetings are  held as required and disclosures are made accurately. Sometimes, it feels like  juggling multiple balls in the air. 

Financial Reporting: Ah, financial reporting! This one’s a classic challenge. It’s  not just about numbers; it’s about getting them right, auditing them thoroughly, and  filing them on time. It’s like a high-stakes game of financial precision. 

Related-Party Transactions: Compliance with regulations on related-party  transactions can be quite a puzzle. It’s a delicate balancing act, and one wrong move  can lead to trouble. Managing these intricacies is key. 

Compliance Documentation: Let’s not forget about the paperwork. Maintaining  meticulous records and documentation is critical. It’s like building a paper trail that  stands up to scrutiny. 

So, how do I lend a hand to businesses dealing with these challenges? Well, I like to be  proactive. I offer compliance solutions that are ahead of the curve, conduct thorough  compliance audits, and provide guidance that helps businesses navigate the Companies  Act, 2013, and all its intricacies. It’s all about making sure they stay on the right side of  the law while they focus on their core operations 

Finally, for fresh graduates aspiring to pursue a career in law, what advice  would you offer based on your own experiences and growth in the legal field? 

To fresh graduates with dreams of embarking on a legal career, I’ve got some  advice based on my own experiences and growth in the legal field: 

First and foremost, nurture a true passion for the law and a steadfast dedication  to the pursuit of justice. Trust me, it’s this passion that will be your unwavering ally  when you face the inevitable challenges along the way. 

Secondly, you have to be in the process of continuous learning as the legal world  is like a dynamic river; it never stops moving. So, make a pact with yourself to be a  lifelong learner. Stay curious, stay hungry for knowledge, and keep an eagle eye on 

legal developments, including the latest case law and legislative changes. This  knowledge is your secret weapon for excelling in your practice and serving your clients  with excellence. 

Finally, I could not stress more on the power of connections. Take the time to  build relationships within the legal community. It’s not just about collecting business  cards; it’s about forging genuine connections with fellow lawyers, mentors, and  seasoned practitioners. These connections can work wonders, opening doors to exciting  opportunities and valuable mentorship that can fast-track your journey in the legal  profession. 

Remember, the path you’re embarking on is both challenging and incredibly rewarding.  With passion, continuous learning, and a well-nurtured network, you’ll not only  navigate this path but also thrive in the world of law. Best of luck on your exciting  journey ahead!

Get in touch with Shivee Pandey Sinha-

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