Interviews

Mr Tushar Agarwal completed his LLB from the Amity Law School, Amity University, Noida in the year 2015, and enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi. Mr Agarwal also successfully completed a diploma course in “criminal justice” from Harvard University, United States.

His practice primarily focuses on criminal law, constitutional law and commercial arbitration. His chamber caters to all the needs of the litigants starting from legal opinion and legal drafting to presenting arguments before the court of law.

Mr Agarwal was one of the assisting counsels representing Dr Shashi Tharoor in a famous State v. Shashi Tharoor, Sessions Case (SC) No. 5/2019. He has also appeared in few pro bono cases with Senior Counsels representing Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy, Association of Victims of Meerut Fire Tragedy, etc. Mr Agarwal is currently handling few important matters relating to corruption, corporate frauds, moneylaundering and goods and services tax (GST) evasion being investigated by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Directorate General GST Intelligence (DGGI) respectively.

He has been interviewed by Khushbu Sood, EBC/SCC Online Student Ambassador who is currently pursuing law from HPNLU.

 

1. To begin with, if I may request you to please share with our readers something about yourself, your journey in the profession and your early years.

I am a first generation lawyer from a small town of U.P. i.e. Meerut and shifted to Delhi in 2009 to chase and fulfil my dreams. I completed my LLB from the Amity Law School, Amity University, Noida in the year 2015, and enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi. I have also successfully completed a diploma course in “criminal justice” from Harvard University, United States.

During my law education, I explored about my deep interest in criminal law and with God’s grace, I was fortunate enough to start my professional journey with one of the stalwarts of criminal law in India Mr Vikas Pahwa, Senior Advocate. I joined his chamber as Legal Associate which provided me a great exposure as I got an opportunity to assist him in variety of high profile cases across various legal forums in Delhi as well as outside Delhi. One case which I would like to mention is State v. Shashi Tharoor, Sessions Case (SC) No. 5/2019 wherein Mr Pahwa was representing Dr Shashi Tharoor and I assisted him at the initial stage of the case. So the right guidance and mentoring in early years helped me in laying down a strong foundation of my professional career.

 

2.  What inclined you towards the field of legal education? Do you reckon any specific incident that made you choose law as a career?

Law is considered to be one of the noblest profession. A lawyer is the only professional who is addressed as learned. So, with the knowledge of law, it is expected from a lawyer that he/she will use that knowledge in making people aware about their legal rights and also fight on their behalf before a court of law for protecting those rights. So, being a participant in fight for protection of legal rights of the people of your country, was the biggest motivation for me to practise this profession.

There is no specific incident that made me choose law as a career. I was curious since my school days to learn about the genesis of various laws implemented in India because I feel that having deep knowledge of law makes you more socially empowered.

 

3.  How did you shape at the law school? Please also share your interests and motivations. How did you navigate through your career path?

At law school, apart from academic sessions and classes, the participation in moot courts, mock trials and other extracurricular activities also helped me a lot in pursuing my studies with utmost dedication and interest. Such activities used to act as a refresher/stressbuster in the hectic college schedule. I had also been in the leadership teams of various college associations like moot court society, legal entrepreneurship cell, media society, etc. Such roles helped me in developing good quality leadership skills.

I had interest in taking up challenging leadership roles since my school days. Such leadership roles not only refine your personality but also provide an opportunity to polish your communication and interaction skills. The motivation behind pursuing law as a career and taking these leadership roles was the direct opportunity of interaction with the legends and renowned Judges and senior advocates who used to visit the college on various occasions.

Further a combination of right guidance from college teachers, mentoring by fraternity seniors, support from family and strong self-belief and hard work and blessings of God and elders, together helped me in pursing my career path in an effective and efficient manner.

4. How has your experience shaped you into the professional? How has your primary interests in criminal law, constitutional law and commercial arbitration, helped you set up your chambers?

The internships across my entire law degree with various advocates, senior advocates, law firms and Judges, helped me in exploring my interest into litigation and that too especially in criminal, arbitration and constitutional law. So pursuing my internships sincerely made my journey easy to formally start practising as an advocate.

  1. Starting your own chambers is a hardworking and tiresome task, do you think it is important to have some specialisation or should there be generalist approach?

 

In the initial days of independent practice through your own chamber, the biggest challenge is to build your face value in the fraternity and to convince the clients about your quality of services in order to retain them. It is very hard to get the relief from the court of law for your clients. So in these initial times, your work experience during trainings and internships plays a major role.

I religiously follow all the ethical and professional practices learnt from my seniors and continue to do hard work with utmost dedication. I spend good amount of time in reading judgments and doing legal research to update my knowledge. My updated legal knowledge and awareness helped me a lot in retaining the clients.

In my opinion, in initial few years of independent practice, one should be open to take up all sort of cases like civil, criminal, arbitration, etc. Once you start building your image in one sort of matters and start gaining a good command over that particular field of law, then a chamber can think of narrowing down its practice to only that matter which falls within its area of specialisation. The specialist approach in initial days limits a lawyer within a periphery which he becomes unable to cross in future.

 

  1. Since your recent achievement, please share your experience of being awarded with “Top 100 Lex-Falcon Award” in LexTalk World Global Conference in Dubai for his contributions in legal industry.

This award indeed was a milestone in my professional journey. These kind of awards and recognition not only enhances your visibility in the fraternity but also motivates you to continue to contribute towards your industry. This award gave me an opportunity to take my practice at global level by making good relations with advocates and counsels across the world.

 

     7.   What, according to you, has changed/modified in law, both in statutes and in the society.

In my opinion, the law with passage of time has become more dynamic. With more frequent and new technological, political and global developments, the requirement of repealing old and obsolete statutes has increased and enactment of new statutes keeping in view the current situation, has become necessary. Further with the passage of time, the awareness about law and status has increased in the society. The people have become more aware about legal rights and the ways to enforce them. But in my view, this increased awareness has also resulted into increased filing of cases before courts. Therefore the onus is on lawyers to guide their clients in a correct manner in order to avoid frivolous and baseless litigations.

     8.  Not many people are familiar with the concept “exhaustion of a search”. What are your views on it?

I guess, the concept of “exhaustion of a search” is a very subjective matter and it differs from individual to individual. The stage of exhaustion of a search for a researcher will never arise until and unless his/her purpose of research is not completed and all questions are not answered.

For example: while doing a research on a law point, finding a case law is not sufficient. One should also research about any executive ordinance or government notification or any report of Law Commission or any report of Parliamentary Committees, etc. in order to have a holistic view regarding that particular law point.

  9.   What advice would you like to give students of law in a post-COVID era where students are anxious about choosing career paths?

In my opinion, this pandemic is a temporary phase which has now almost come to its end. The legal work in courts and corporates has started gaining its original pace which was there before pre-COVID era. Therefore my sincere advice to all aspiring lawyers is that instead of getting disappointed and anxious, they should use their time to enhance their legal knowledge either by reading legal books, judgments or writing articles or pursuing online internships, etc. They should focus on exploring new areas like artificial intelligence in law, etc. They can also plan to go for higher studies.

There are endless opportunities floating in this legal ocean, one just has to look and wait for it with patience and grab the same once it knocks your door. I might be sounding very bookish and non-realistic, but after spending so many years in this profession I have learnt that patience, persistence and hard work are the only ways to climb the stairs of success.

   10.  Any advice you would like to give to the readers of SCC blog? Apart from this is there anything else that you would like to share with the readers of SCC Online?

To all the aspiring lawyers which are readers of SCC blog, my sincere advice would be that whenever you join any chamber as an associate, you should spend good amount of time in that office without making any haste to start independent practice. You should focus on learning art of legal drafting, courtcraft, style of arguments, case management, etc. from your senior because none of these arts can be learnt by reading books. I still remember the exact words of my senior-cum-mentor, who trained me, that “you cannot become Ram Jethmalani in 2 or 3 years of practice. You have to be patient and give adequate time to this profession if you want to achieve success”.