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Interview Series

Neeraj Kumar

Dua Associates, India

13 Jan 2022

(…) the network’s initiatives and endeavour to connect with and regularly engage with its members have been robust.

What is new with your firm?

Dua Associates was quick to respond and put in place a number of measures to help the firm cruise comfortably through the pandemic, with the primary objective of providing stability and insulation for all members against any financial disruptions. IT systems were updated and new AI and digital collaborative work tools introduced to help the legal professionals work seamlessly and efficiently in the work-from-home scenario. The new support systems not only sustained our practice, but also empowered and enabled young professionals to quickly adapt, seize new opportunities and enhance their client base. By quickly and safely transitioning back to work from physical offices and strengthening practice areas that were gaining significance in a covid and post covid scenario, the firm ensured that it maintained its growth trajectory. 

Which practice areas are the most in demand in your firm?

Underscoring our resilience and future-readiness, Dua Associates remains at the forefront of helping organisations navigate fresh Indian investment opportunities. With the advantage of experienced and highly skilled legal practitioners, the firm has seen an increasing demand uptick for the following practice areas    ●Corporate & M&A; PE/VC Investments   ●Dispute Resolution particularly Alternate Dispute Resolution ●White Collar Crime ●International Trade – Anti-dumping ●Restructuring & Insolvency.

Also I would like to add that certain industry sectors within these practice groups which are gaining traction are – pharma & healthcare, energy including renewable energy, infrastructure and TMT.

Can you share an example of cross-border work with another Legalink member?

We have often undertaken cross-border work with Legalink members. A recent example is when the Firm was engaged by an Indian company to advise and assist in its acquisition of various entities all across the globe. As some of the entities were based out of Russia and Turkey, we further engaged the services of Legal Link partner firms Intellect Law Firm, Russia and Gun + Partners, Turkey to assist in the transaction in their jurisdiction including conducting due diligence on the target entities in Russia and Turkey respectively. 

What are your views on Legalink expansion?

I am very appreciative of Legalink committee’s constant efforts to expand the network so that members are increasingly benefited by its reach and access.  I on behalf of Dua Associates have been actively trying to support the network in this drive particularly in the South Asia /APAC region. In this context, I think the formation of region-specific committees and regular  virtual meet-and-greet calls are welcome moves.

As regards to Legalink, are you happy about your firm’s membership? What can we do better?

Having been closely associated with Legalink for the past several years, I believe the network’s initiatives and endeavour to connect with and regularly engage with its members have been robust. We have had several opportunities to collaborate with other members and also refer matters to members in other geographies.  The pandemic briefly created a hiatus but the ball never dropped as meetings were scheduled and managed efficiently online throughout and further, to Legalink’s credit, even pulled off the recent annual summit in Madrid, which was quite commendable though unfortunately I was unable to attend due to work commitments.

Legalink could perhaps look at widening its footprint in South Asia/APAC as some of these smaller countries are poised to emerge as promising markets holding out great potential for law firms.  

What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?

As a workaholic legal professional, taking time out from work though difficult, provides a much needed breather and when that activity is centred on community engagement and social causes it is even more rewarding. My spare time activity involves spending time with the elderly in old age homes in the city, talking, reading or playing board games with the inmates. This perks up their spirits as they look forward to visitors and yearn for company and it gives me immense satisfaction to see the difference I make to their humdrum lives with just few hours of quality time spent in their midst.