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Impact of Covid-19 on the Practice of Law in India

April 15, 2020

The key points that will be discussed are listed below:  
(i)    Are law firms and in-house departments likely to bring in key policy changes in view of covid-19 and global recession?
(ii)    Will work from home become the new normal?
(iii)    Are firms and companies likely to adopt innovative technology solutions which could see a rise of legal-tech in India? 
(iv)    Will clients expect innovative fee structures in view of possible cuts in legal budgets?
(v)    Will new practice areas evolve for both, law firms and in-house lawyers?
(vi)    Will there be a change in approach towards business development initiatives?
(vii)    What are in-house lawyers expecting from their external counsels in this covid-19 world and perhaps even after the storm ends? 


Charanya Lakshmikumaran, Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan, India, Moderator
Charanya started her legal career with Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan (L&S) in the year 2007. She started her practice in intellectual property but soon moved to Tax to pursue a career in litigation. At the firm’s tax practice, she gained expertise in handling complex tax litigations in Customs, Excise, Service Tax, Anti-dumping, VAT and Income Tax.  After spending nearly 9 years at the firm, Charanya joined the Chamber of K.K. Venugopal, the Ld. Attorney General for India with whom she worked for about three years. At the chamber, she assisted the Ld. AG in a variety of Constitutional as well as Commercial matters, gaining experience in Arbitration, Competition as well as Insolvency laws. In 2019, Charanya returned to the firm where she currently handles general disputes and heads the Competition Law practice. She also works closely with the firm’s data protection team, a subject she is deeply passionate about.




Dhruv Suri, PSA, India
Dhruv Suri is a partner at PSA. He has a wealth of experience in his areas of expertise having represented Fortune 100 and 500 companies, financial investors as well as early to growth stage startups. Apart from day-to-day general corporate advisory, he specializes in transactions involving new-age technologies and businesses, and works closely with founders/promoters of Indian as well as foreign companies. He has significant experience in advising clients on corporate/commercial, M&A, compliance and regulatory, business structuring, data protection and GDPR, foreign exchange laws, intellectual property, stock options, labour and employment, etc. He also advises foreign companies on their entry options in India and has significant experience in setting up joint ventures as well as in interacting with government regulators across multiple disciplines. Dhruv has also acted as lead counsel for multiple Indian companies during their fundraise and has also advised venture capitalists, angels investors and family offices in structuring their operations as well as investments (equity and debt) across sectors. Additionally, Dhruv is also involved with some high-profile commercial and shareholder litigation and arbitrations and has successfully argued multiple cases before arbitral tribunals, high courts and district courts.  Dhruv regularly speaks and conducts legal trainings and workshops at incubators and co-working spaces across India. He has also given “expert lectures” at leading law schools on subjects such as “cross-border transactions” and “negotiations”. In March 2018, Dhruv was also invited by Invest India, an initiative by the Indian government, to mentor 250+ startups at the Rashtrapati Bhawan (President’s house). Additionally, Dhruv regularly writes on YourStory and contributes to the firm’s newsletters and bulletins. In 2019, his practice was awarded the “Best Legal Advisor to Start-up Businesses in India- Runners Up” by Idex Legal.


Aditi Chopra, Microsoft, India
Aditi has worked with some of the finest law firms in the country and further enhanced her experience working in-house with various national and international blue chip organizations. Her over 15 years of experience include working with Dua Associates, Amarchand Mangaldas and internationally respected brands such as IBM, Naspers and TV 18 (a Reliance Group Company). She currently pursues her endeavors with Microsoft, and she leads many of the industry verticals and also works with the Partner network, in the Corporate External and Legal Affairs team.  At Amarchand she worked on diverse issues of law such as foreign investment, venture capitalist, private equity, strategic structuring, general corporate advisory, capital markets etc across varied sectors. After a short stint at ibibo (Naspers entity in India), she moved onto to IBM India where she was leading the largest business line, global technology services (US$8billion revenue for India). She was responsible for the legal and regulatory issues as well as negotiating large outsourcing contracts (US$ 100mn to 1 bn). From IBM, Aditi moved into TV 18, a listed media conglomerate part of the Reliance Group, where she was responsible for the overall affairs of the company with a special focus on emerging Fintech. 



Sumit Ghoshal, AZB & Partners, India
Sumit Ghoshal is a Partner at AZB & Partners having more than 11 years of experience in the field of corporate advisory.  He has significantly dealt with the practical issues faced by domestic and MNC clients while dealing with issues pertaining to privacy, e-commerce, retail & wholesale trading, complex issues pertaining to information technology, exchange control restrictions. He has also extensively advised on various HR, employment law, compliance and other day to day legal cum commercial issues matters.  Prior to AZB, he has worked in the Corporate Legal Team of ICICI Bank in Mumbai as a Legal Manager and thereby has immense experience and understanding of the needs of in-house legal counsels and clients."