I ended up joining a young law school in India, with little or no infrastructure back in the day, which was a life changing event for me. And when I say young — you literally have to compare it to old universities in the UK which have been here for over 100 years, I was the fourth batch of my law school. So although we did not have the infrastructure, I think somewhere I did have the resolve to do well — and that got me to where I am today.
When I started at the firm, I had a few challenging months, but then I eased into the firm and started enjoying what I liked the most: high profile Corporate M&A transactions. These give me a great opportunity to work with some of the smartest lawyers in the world and sophisticated clients from varied cultures and regions.
I help clients on a wide range of corporate transactions, including public and private mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures and other aspects of corporate law, across the UK, Europe, India, Africa and the US.
As an integral member of the firm's India practice, I advise clients on outbound, as well as inbound, India related transactions, and also head various initiatives in India as part of the firm's wider commitment to the country. I am also a member of the firm's Africa practice and have experience of assisting on inbound transactions into a number of African jurisdictions.
In addition to my day-to-day work, I lecture at various renowned universities in the UK and India (including Oxford and NLUs), and I am also the Co-Chair of NOTICED (UK's first inter-law firm diversity network focussing on multiculturalism, which comprises 12 top London city based law firms).
I have always been a big fan of mentoring. One thing that kept me going in my initial challenging phase was the people in the firm! I was very lucky to find some great mentors in the firm in that period — and this was extremely crucial.
Mentoring does not mean being assigned a mentoring partner by the HR team, as it happens most of the time making the mentoring programme meaningless more often than not. It is more about trying to find and establish relationships with people around you, not just with partners or associates but also with more experienced trainees, who might be interested in you or your work.
One might ask, why would anyone be interested in one? The answer is simple, it is always a two-way stream, you offer your help and assistance and be ready to take on more work and share someone’s workload and in return you get their experience and guidance.
Herbert Smith Freehills
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