Opinions and Legal Insights

Abir Lal Dey, Partner at L&L Partners on his career and importance of certain skill-sets

This interview was taken by Rohit Pradhan

Abir Lal Dey is a Partner at L&L Partners (formerly Luthra & Luthra Law Offices). has rich experience in banking, projects & infrastructure, project financing, structured financing, insolvency and debt restructuring across various sectors including Solar, Wind, Road, Thermal, Oil & Gas, Transmission, Real Estate, Ports, Hydro, Warehousing, Aviation, Automobile. Abir is involved in advisory work related to various infrastructure sectors, including energy, transportation and mining. Abir is also actively advising on Startup and Fintech.

Would you like to tell something about your pre-college life? What was the driving factor to pursue law? What do you most enjoy about the law?

Prior to law school I was a science student and completed my studies at Kolkata. I got admission in law colleges both at Kolkata and Pune. My father persuaded me to   explore and study in Pune. This was the turning point of my life, as life outside Kolkata gave me huge exposure and honed me into the person that I am today, all thanks to foresight of my father.

I have been raised in a family of lawyers– my great grandfather, my father and uncle practised the law. Therefore, pursuing law was always one of my primary options. However, I never thought that I would work in a law firm at Mumbai and not be a part of my family practice.

Law as a profession not only helps you to undertake challenges faced by the people and corporates, but also gives you satisfaction when they get the desired reliefs.

I love reading about the development of constitutional jurisprudence and the evolving nature of law.

What were the activities, academic or otherwise, that you undertook in your law school days which in your opinion have shaped you and your career?

Symbiosis Law School provided me a platform for great learning and experience. My alma mater gave me the insight, confidence and exposed me to whole a new world. It provided me the support as a family. I have etched beautiful memories of my college and hostel days and made some friends for life. If I ever were to write an autobiography, my college phase would be one of the most pivotal chapters.

You are a Partner at L&L Partners which has grown to be one of the best international law firms. Please share with our readers about the challenges you faced initially and what is yet to be achieved?

The law firm life is very challenging but satisfying. You deal with issues, client expectations and a host of other things. It is a very dynamic platform and in many ways different from in-house and litigation practice. There are numerous challenges in this journey but once you endure them, the journey is truly enriching. There is a lot to be achieved, the law is ever changing and a lifetime is not enough to enjoy its vagaries.

What is the average workday experience of a Partner at a law firm like?

Typically, 10-12 hours a day but sometimes it can stretch even more. As you go up the ladder, responsibilities keep adding.

Who was your mentor, or main source of inspiration who motivated you all along the way? Any importance of having a mentor in this field?

My first mentor is my father who pushed me outside my comfort zone to make me resilient and self-sufficient. In college my immediate senior Sabyasachi Chatterjee (Senior Legal Counsel – Crescent Enterprises), just treated me just like his own brother and provided me the support and guidance that I needed.

My first job was at Wockhardt, where Mr. Shivaji Rao (now Regional General Counsel -John Deere) gave me a PPO and helped me in kick-starting my career. Mr. A G Karkhanis of India Law Services (now Link Legal) took me under his wing and gave me several opportunities to learn and grow. During my long stint at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Mr. Amey Pathak guided me to deal with high-stake and complex matters. Presently at L&L Partners my mentor is Mr. Bikash Jawar whose constant support and advice has helped me grow professionally.

A good mentor plays a significant role in not only motivating you to work harder but also interpret law from a diverse perspective, in turn addinghues of colour to your legal palette.

What are the qualities you and your firm look for in an intern?

Analytical, diligent, focused and team player.

What are the parameters your firm looks upon for the job of an Associate?

At the time of recruitment law firms typically do not expect candidates to be experts in law, most of the recruiters look for

(a) sincerity in an individual;

(b) strong fundamentals on things learnt at law school;

(c) strong inter-personal skills including communications skills;

(d) honesty;

(e) sound research skills;

(f) drafting skills; (for some recruiters as drafting is something one learns on the job) and

(g) right attitude towards learning.

In my view, if a candidate is able to demonstrate the aforesaid skill-set the recruiters would be bound to consider his/her application.

What would be your word of advice to young lawyers and law students? What qualities do you think one should develop in order to become a lawyer?

Studying law and practising law, in my view, are completely different ball games and therefore require different skillsets. Having said that, I do acknowledge that skills learnt at law school definitely compliment the practice and a strong foundation will help build a strong structure. Please remember that sometime s opportunities may not come so easily. You have to be persistent and create the opportunity for yourself.

The post Abir Lal Dey, Partner at L&L Partners on his career and importance of certain skill-sets appeared first on LexForti Legal News & Journal.