Aditya Ganju is a Partner in the Disputes Resolution Practice Group in the New Delhi office. His main area of practice is commercial litigation and dispute resolution.

He has advised and represented numerous clients before the Supreme Court, High Courts, Arbitral Tribunals constituted under Rules of ICC, LCIA & SIAC, National Company Law Tribunal and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal. 

He has been interviewed by Vedika Kakar, EBC/SCC Online Student Ambassador who is currently pursuing law from JGLS. 

 

  1. Would you please tell us about your law school life and what inspired you to pursue law?

I opted for an integrated BA, LLB course at the Amity Law School, affiliated with Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. The contribution of a law school to a lawyer’s life is immeasurable.  Apart from the law degree, the knowledge one gains, friends which one cherishes for a lifetime and ethos which one cultivates are all rooted in these formative years at the law school.

While initially growing up, I was keen on shooting for the stars, quite literally, as I desired to pursue astrophysics, I gradually pivoted towards the legal profession. I would largely, if not entirely associate this change of heart to my father, who happens to be a lawyer and a senior counsel. Noticing him every day, wading through his briefs, and sometimes discussing court hearings at the dinner table, made me develop interest in the profession. Unsurprisingly, my sibling also decided to take up law, for almost the same reasons.

From the beginning of my law school journey, I was clear that I wanted to pursue litigation/dispute resolution. This made me intern with some of the top litigation law firms in India and abroad, along with an internship with the then learned Additional Solicitor General. The importance of these internships and their contribution to my development cannot be overemphasised. In fact, eventually, I was absorbed and placed in one of the firms I was interning at, in my final year.

That apart, I also cut my teeth by participating regularly in moot courts and other related competitions, even having the pleasure of winning a few trophies along the way. Overall, I was quite gratified with my experience at the law school.

 

  1. What would your advice be to students who want to make a career in disputes resolution?

There is a chasm between the theoretical knowledge of law taught in law schools and the practice of law in courts. There are arcane practices and procedures, sometimes unique to each court which one must familiarise themselves with, in case he or she is desirous of practising in that court. Hence, my first advice to any aspiring litigation lawyer would be to attend court even if to merely observe the different facets of litigation be it arguing or even filings with the Registry. Secondly, intern as much as possible and by final year focus should be on drafting skills, apart from the regular research work. Thirdly, participating in moot courts would give a taste of litigation and thrill that is associated with it.

 

  1. What are your primary day-to-day tasks and objectives as a partner?

As a partner, you are entrusted by the firm to advise clients and handle firm matters. That apart, you are also expected to ensure that you run the team effectively and profitably. Being a partner requires an amalgamation of legal knowledge, experience and managerial skills.

A break-up of activities on a regular day would reflect a lot of e-mail exchanges, phone calls, advisories, meetings and reviewing of drafts.

 

  1. With increasing conversation around mental health in the legal domain, what would you suggest students and young practitioners should do to strike a work-life balance?

A litigation lawyer’s life comes with professional hazards. Court matters and deliverables can clash, one may receive an urgent brief late night or a client may give you steep deadlines, to name a few. On many days, you will find that your plate is not only full, but overflowing. But this is the joy and bane of litigation – your days would ordinarily be jam-packed, and the rare days your schedule is lighter, you may actually end up missing the rush of a litigator’s life.

 

However, the key is to prioritise your work and importantly, know when to call it a day as you can be rest assured that the work never ends. It is up to one’s own self to take care of their well-being. Ensuring full quota of sleep, regular exercise and social engagements, will help destress and prevent burning out.

 

  1. What is your view on the hybrid mode of functioning in the Supreme Court? Do you think the impact is different for firms versus litigating lawyers?

With COVID cases receding, and life gradually returning to normalcy, a lot of lawyers are also breathing a heavy sigh of relief with the reopening of physical courts. The lockdowns were particularly harsh for litigating lawyers. Apart from a select few the top senior counsels, most of the individual counsels had to bear the brunt of restricted filings and hearings, and adjournment of matters en bloc. Contrastingly, all major firms offering diversified scope of services were able to sail with the tide, escaping largely unscathed from this phase.

 

A silver lining which emerged from this experience was the advent of virtual hearings. It proved to be an innovative solution, which may be exercised for all times to come. This could save huge logistical costs and provide effective legal access to litigants from even the remotest parts of the country. As such, while virtual hearing may never substitute physical hearing, but it can surely complement it.

 

  1. How important is doing proper legal research and how should law students equip themselves with legal research skills. And could you please throw some light on “exhaustion of research” and its importance in law.

Whether a law student or a lawyer, the importance of proper legal research cannot be overemphasised. Unlike statutes, precedents by courts are dynamic, and the interpretation of statutes by courts (and effectively the law) undergoes constant evolution.

For this reason, it is always advisable to search for the latest case laws on the proposition. In the event the research throws up a slightly older case law, one should ensure that such case law’s ratio has been upheld or followed in more recent cases.

 

“Exhaustion of research” should be achieved by bringing a proposition of research to its logical conclusion. This is achievable by reviewing all relevant search results and leads, with respect to the proposition and by not prematurely terminating the research endeavour after finding one or two case laws. It is quite possible to find diametrically opposite case laws on the same proposition.

 

Further, before citing or relying on High Court rulings, always research whether such ruling was appealed against, and if so, what transpired in the appellate proceedings. Last but not the least, never rely on a particular line or passage of a judgment, without reviewing the facts and the context in which it was rendered.

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