The Law Desk: On Mark of Excellence
A firm believer of professionalism, THE LAW DESK delivers its best of services in matter of trust, efficiency, and satisfaction, to its clients of various sectors. “Ours is a full-service law firm with practice areas ranging across various sectors and fronts of law. We are involved in Litigation as well as Non-Litigation/Corporate practice, & we offer services pertaining to various aspects of law, while primarily specializing in the areas of Arbitration, Intellectual Property Rights, IT and Media, Consumer Protection, Insolvency and Bankruptcy, Banking & Finance, and Real Estate,” says the founder Prateek Kasliwal.
Hiccups while sailing the boat
“Being a first generation lawyer, my journey was not short of obstacles, since I did not have the privilege of having resources like a pre-existing clientele, network etc., achieving all of which was the biggest obstacle for me. Nevertheless, I have always believed that if one looks closely, one will realize that every obstacle is an opportunity for growth,” exclaims Kasliwal. Thus, with consistent perseverance, hard work, determination, and patience, Kasliwal made his way with the obstacles he faced during the initial years. However, as a lawyer he believes that a lawyer deals with certain obstacles on a daily basis, since the legal profession depends not only on the mettle and competence of the lawyer, but also on other factors like judiciary, administration etc.“To come out clean on the other side, a lawyer must learn to overcome such obstacles on a daily basis, and the only way to do so is to acknowledge and embrace the fact that every obstacle is in fact, a teacher,” asserts the founder.
Social Responsibility Initiatives
“Even though I am not legally bound to compulsorily contribute on the CSR front, being a lawyer, I still make sure that I make my part of contribution towards fulfilling social responsibility by taking up ample of pro-bono work through the means of things like Public Interest Litigations and other such routes,” asserts Kasliwal. So far, he had obtained favorable orders from the Courts, pertaining to various issues concerning public interest at large such as framing of guidelines/rules in regard to cell phone radiations, making better the condition of juvenile homes, shelter homes etc., improving the conditions of roads including state and national highways, framing rules for enlarging people on parole, managing issues pertaining to water conservation, removing religious establishments which have no legal sanction and are a public obstruction, and regulating student elections in order to curb anti-social activities from taking place during the same.
As a result of the same, the courts have often been pleased to appoint him as ‘amicus curiae’ in few cases pertaining to certain other issues concerning public interest, such as cases concerning improvement of deplorable and inhuman conditions prevalent in prisons/jails, filling up the vacancies in tribunals/commissions, etc. He expresses his concern over the skyrocketing rates of availing legal aid. ‘Legal profession is getting more and more expensive with every passing day. While maintaining financial progression and financial security holds utmost importance, we must carve a balance so as to make sure that we play our part in doing ample pro-bono work so as to make our contribution towards ensuring that no person ends up being remediless;,’ he exclaims. He also mentions about having an interest in academics and in staying updated through the means of being in touch with teaching.
‘I have always had an interest in Academics and therefore, I believe in regularly participating in initiatives pertaining to the same, such as regular lectures in Rajasthan Police Academy, Central Detective Training Institute- Bureau of Police Research and Development etc. “In order to remain energetic and updated while contributing to the aforesaid cause, I also believe in staying in touch with the young and energetic students by personally addressing them, time and again, through the means of lectures on IP Rights, Human Rights, Cyber Laws, Arbitration etc. in various colleges/universities across the nation”, he says.
Breaking away from the ‘Gender Stereotypes’
“As a lawyer, I am well-versed with the ambit and scope of the Right to equality and consequently, I am a firm believer of women empowerment. Moreover, my personal experiences have taught me that not only are the women at par with men in most of the industries already, but in certain cases, they are also way ahead of their male counterparts,” believes the founder. Kasliwal believes that the idea of women entrepreneurs is the need of the hour, but the same is yet to be discovered and implemented in full swing, in the Indian society/judiciary. They have an abundance of live examples which are a testimony to the fact that women are no less than men, when it comes to making way with business setups. Unfortunately, some parts of the Indian society, especially in the rural areas, are still not aware of the vigor and endless potential of women, and hence, the women are still looked down at in such parts.
As an advocate of the idea of women empowerment, he tends to make sure to extend ample opportunities to the female workforce under him, just like other male counterparts. At the same time, he also makes sure that there is no discrimination of any kind which is faced by any of the females associated with his firm. However, as a lawyer, he is a firm believer of gender equality, hence; he supports both the genders equally instead of preferring one over the other. Therefore, he seems absolutely objective in his approach when it comes to assigning tasks to the members of his workforce.
“During my initial years as a lawyer, I handled a case which is widely recognized as the Andy Pagnacco (Andy Pag) case. Mr. Pagnacco was a British and an Italian citizen, who was travelling around the world in a bio bus, and came to India via Wagha border after crossing Iran, Turkey and Pakistan. On 10th January, 2010, he was arrested in Pushkar (near Jaipur) for illegally carrying a satellite phone. On receiving a call from the office of the Italian Consulate, I took up his case, and argued that since the satellite phone wasn’t considered a security threat at the Wagha border, and since Mr. Pagnacco was only an eco-tourist, he had the right to be given bail. After that, I was able to free him and we won the case later.
In this entire episode, I, as his lawyer, was the only ray of hope for Mr. Pagnacco, in a foreign land, and therefore, I had a duty to try my best towards delivering the task at hand and further to supply necessary clothing to him while he was in jail, on humanitarian grounds. I also remember that during a visit to a Central Jail (Jaipur) once, I came across a Bangladeshi prisoner called Habibulla, who had helplessly been in jail for 5 years by then, for a very petty reason. Being a young foreign national who was unfamiliar with the procedures in India, he could not understand as to what he could possibly do so as to gain back his freedom. The meeting had a great impact on me and I decided to help him towards earning back his freedom. I subsequently moved a Habeas Corpus (writ) before the Rajasthan High Court, and got him freed and sent to his homeland Bangladesh.
As a consequence of both these episodes, for the first time I felt the presence of an element of sheer optimism and hope, which all the legal professionals carry with them. This experience taught me that we lawyers are the torch-bearers of justice and the ones responsible for maintaining order amongst the society. Because of the same reason, my respect for the legal profession touched brim after this episode, and I would like to welcome the young aspirants looking up towards entering this profession by telling them not to get scared of the little inhibitions and uncertainties of this profession, and rather embrace the same with open arms so as to experience the feeling of endless gratification this profession has to offer.” says the practitioner himself.
Building blocks of the brand
Apart from various Advocates and Consultants, each specializing in one or more industries, the law desk’s staff consists of workers, such as accountants, court clerk, HR manager, receptionist, drivers etc. According to the founder Kasliwal, the best way to keep the staff efficient and positive towards work in challenging times is by keeping them motivated at all times. This can be ensured by not only offering them constructive feedback whenever required, but also by complimenting them for their efforts every time they overcome a professional challenge. Moreover, he believes in the old saying ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, and therefore, every once in a while, the office staff enjoys an outing or a brief vacation, so as to offer a short yet relaxing retreat amidst otherwise very busy schedules.
Also, the main reason for the efficiency of the company’s staff is the spirit of teamwork and mutual support prevalent amongst them, which keeps them going. Kasliwal tends make sure to ensure that this spirit is maintained by being a leader who leads, instead of being a boss who dictates. It is widely known that what made the Emperor Akbar such an efficient and highly regarded administrator was the presence and support of 9 jewels in his court. Similarly, the firm’s staff members constitute a vibrant team, which takes due care of the business front. Therefore, he takes pride in saying that his team completes him.
“To keep the employees energized, I encourage them to take short breaks after every few hours of working, and share a snack or two, or small-talks with one another, so as to de-stress their minds before getting back to work. Also, every now and then, I myself participate with my colleagues/employees in recreational activities such as volleyball, swimming, trekking etc., apart from viewing Movies, IPL matches etc. Our firm believes in the motto ‘all for one, and one for all’, and therefore, we make sure to support and be there for one another in tough times,” believes the man himself.
Ensuring Unbreakable faith
The firm’s commitment to clients for communicative, responsive, value-added, dedicated and focused attitude in their matters along with cost consciousness and commercially pragmatic in our advice and assistance makes us a different and unique law firm in North Western part of India. To maintain this excellence of service to our clients, the Firm strives to recruit, train and retain lawyers and staff of the highest caliber and professionalism. Given that the Law Desk has been practicing across diverse practice areas, their clientele consists of various names which sometimes belong to such industries which are very different from one another.
To mention a few names, their clientele includes the following- Cathay Pacific Airways, ICICI Prudential Life, HDFC Life, Steel Authority of India (SAIL), LUPIN Pharma, AirAsia Aditya Birla Sunlife Insurance, MAX Life, FLIPKART, BGR Energy, CRISIL, HCL, Yatra.com, CIBIL, Future Generalli, Kotak Life, Reliance Nippon Life, Exide Life, Bharti AXA Life, BITS Pilani, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, John Deere, PNB Metlife, IDBI Federal, Unique Builders, RRVPNL, Zari, Rajasthan Patrika, CIPLA Pharma, Vantage Organic, Religare Health, MAX Bupa, etc.
Seeking timely and adequate feedback helps them narrow down and ascertain their clients’ preferences, needs, and expectations, all of which keep on evolving and changing from time to time. “Subsequently, we are able to ensure that our clients maintain full faith in us across all times. I also make sure to be well-versed and thorough with the legal provisions pertaining to our clients’ queries before meeting the clients, which helps me exhibit ample amount of confidence during client-meetings and specifically address the queries. Consequently, my clients go home satisfied at the end of the day, and simultaneously carry good word of mouth about the services offered by my firm, which later proves to be an efficient way of drawing clients to the firm; especially when we lawyers are not permitted to market or solicit our services.,” says Kasliwal.
However, it is important for all the lawyers to realize that gone are the days when carrying a casual attitude and being complacent towards clientele could suffice for thriving in the profession. In current times, the legal industry, being a service industry, needs every lawyer to pay attention to every minute detail of a client’s case, which is essential to maintain pace in the industry. Hence, for a lawyer in current times, achieving and maintaining clients’ faith is not simply optional anymore.
Believing in the ideology that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body and only healthy body can deliver good result, the brand has been flourishing all this while. Moreover, the firm believes that work can only be efficient if their firm is efficient and healthy. “My biggest learning since struggling days is that in order to succeed in a profession like law, one must learn to embrace the uncertain and one must not fear the unforeseen. Instead, one must focus on taking one step at a time, and giving one’s best shot to the task at hand, without worrying about the outcome,” says Kasliwal
He is also planning to expand the Firm, which is likely to happen in time. After starting from a Tier-II city i.e. Jaipur, the firm already has an office in Delhi as well, in less than a decade. “
As far as a long term plan is concerned, I’d say that while nothing is guaranteed in life, but still, to grow and plan as a lawyer or a law firm, it is essential to know where you’ve been, where you’re going and how you will keep growing whether you’re a solo practitioner or a large firm. Also, with the ever expanding legal market, never ending technological advancements, everyday developments pertaining to worldly affairs and subjects like politics, bureaucracy, laws etc. and amidst all of these the utterly complex yet interesting client-needs, a law firm must essentially have plans in place to see what’s going on in the marketplace and to see whether one’s firm needs to make some changes or not in order to cope with the same; more so, when one aspires to get bigger and better.
That being said, few years down the line, I plan to explore and introduce to my firm the concept of Artificial Intelligence, which, in the current times, has started to transform the legal profession in many ways, given the involvement of elements such as algorithms so as to enable the machines to share the workload of the human mind. Subsequently, the same will simplify and enable to expand the scope of multiple tasks such as legal documentation, research, due diligence, contract review/management etc.
Also, in today’s Digital Age, E-Discovery is another area which has a huge scope for being explored by the legal professionals, which is the electronic aspect of identifying, collecting and producing electronically stored information in response to a request for production in a law suit. The same can involve emails, documents, presentations, databases, voicemails etc. and hence, could turn out to be a cumbersome, yet interesting task. Given that the digitalization is coming into play greatly, I have plans of taking up the practice pertaining to E-Discovery as well, eventually.” plans Kasliwal.