Mr Gauhar Mirza is currently a partner at one of the renowned law firms in India, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. He has a lot of experience in the legal industry. He is skilled in arbitration, information technology, and criminal law. Previously, he has had the chance to work at other prestigious Tier-1 law firms too. A true believer of the quote, “hard work is the key to success”, he has handled many disputes matters with utmost dedication and advised various tech giants in several matters. He has also represented various private and public corporations before various judicial fora and in ad hoc and institutional arbitrations in matters pertaining to the real estate industry, partnership deeds and shareholder agreements, etc. Having a great sense of critical thinking, he is the epitome of wisdom and a true inspiration for every law student and legal professional.
1. To begin with, please share something about yourself, your experience in the legal field and the early years.
After completing my schooling from Bhopal, I came to Delhi to study law from Faculty of Law, Jamia Millia Islamia. Post completion of the course, I started my journey with working at a law chamber having diverse litigation portfolio and covering all courts across Delhi. Gaining experience there, I later joined Luthra & Luthra, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Co, and presently I am a Partner with Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.
2. What made you choose law as a profession? When did you realise that law was the right profession for you?
At the time when we were in 10th standard and had to choose our stream, engineering was booming, and other options were medical or commerce. But I always had an inclination towards law, despite no one from my family or friends being in the profession. It was around that time when I realised that law is the most suitable profession for me. The combination of law and that too in Delhi worked well for me since I always wanted to practice in Delhi and had to gain all the experience firsthand.
3. As we know that you have graduated from one of the most prestigious law schools, Jamia Millia Islamia, what is the one thing you learnt during those years that helped you today in your growing career?
I think discipline and some seriousness towards academics on the basic subjects was something that law school gave me.
4. Please share about your journey since the initial years to being a partner at one of the most renowned law firms, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.
As I mentioned earlier, I started off practising with a chamber which had a wide variety of cases and covered all courts in Delhi. I gained enough exposure by running around and doing everything myself with the help of my seniors and court clerks. My first firm offer came to me since I was spotted by one of the partners in a matter, which later landed me with a great opening at a Tier-1 law firm. I started there as an associate and did all heavy duty highly contentious matters including Aircel-Maxis trial. Later, I moved to another Tier-1 law firm and with hard work and patience, got promoted to partnership at an early age, dealing with all kinds of important matters, arguing and getting successful results for clients. That also provided me with the platform that helped me to get associated with the most renowned law firm, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, as a partner.
5. As many budding lawyers have the zeal to learn about the corporate life and pursue career in the same, what in your opinion is the key to reach there, and what qualities are of utmost importance while giving interviews for jobs/internships in Tier-1 law firms?
There is no alternative to hard work, hence, everyone should note that when facing an interview, you have to show your dedication and knowledge. Once you start, concentrate on your area of interest and take maximum exposure. You will need immense patience in this profession, so be ready for that. Good things take time.
6. Moot court competitions require students to apply their critical thinking skills to the problem at hand. What are some tips to hone those skills?
Be a master of your facts, be it a moot court competition, or the profession itself. If you master each and every fact, you are most equipped to answer to an assessor or to a court.
7. What is your stance on the IT law in India? What are the changes needed to be done to adequately regulate Artificial Intelligence?
IT law is in its developmental phase, and we all have to see how it plays out in the future. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the future, and we are still learning its challenges and how to regulate it, from industry perspective.
8. You have had the experience of handling a myriad of different cases. Which stage of a case: the court proceedings, handling clients, or drafting submissions, is the most challenging in your opinion?
Most of the things lawyers do are challenging. But if we have to pick one, handling clients and their expectations is something that today’s market demands.
9. Arbitration is becoming an important part of the legal field. How do you see arbitration around 10 years from now? Will it take over from the traditional court procedures and be a dominant subject?
It is an ever-developing field, and we will be seeing more and more changes in the years to come. Although it is difficult to take over the traditional court procedure, but for effective solution to commercially viable litigants who want to expedite their dispute resolution, arbitration will always be the preferred choice.
10. Lastly, please share about the importance of mastering one’s research skills. Also, would you like to give any message to our readers?
Research and having adequate knowledge of law is the most important aspects. Today, there are so many tools to expedite any research or find cases that you wish to rely on, and one must be an expert in dealing with all those tools.
The message that I would like to give to the readers is that they should select their area of interest in law at the very initial stage, and work on that. Keep working hard on small goals and never be hell bent on achieving a particular milestone. Take small steps and you will reach your destination. Be patient and humble, and you will achieve great heights.