Changing the Landscape of Boutique Law Firms.
Author: Ms. kumkum chandak
“If there were no bad people there would be no good lawyers.” – Charles Dickens
In India, the sign of a Good Lawyer has always been white hair, old age and a hunched back with the perception of the mighty weight of experience and knowledge on the shoulders. Irrespective of the field or the forum of Law, the initial five to ten years of every lawyer’s life is full of struggle, hardship, and competition. Whether in a Company or in a Tier one Law firm, the scope of a young lawyer is always limited to Drafting, preparing of briefs and researching case law.
The Legal Landscape bursting with new lawyers. With 500 law schools (Government and Private) and more than 1 lakh lawyers being enrolled annually, it is becoming very hard to hold dear to the dreamy ideals of fighting for justice vis-à-vis to establishing a career.
It is in this mix, Vidhan Vyas, a young lawyer based in Delhi has taken a successful approach in blending his firm’s pro-bono and commercial litigation practice with perfect synergy.
Vidhan began his career in 2013 after obtaining his Masters in Law from London with a cushy job as Legal Manager in Tata Steel Ltd. and thereafter in Novartis. In both the Companies, he realized that there is a huge demand for quality Legal Services on a budget and there is a huge vacuum of the same in India. Also while working in such corporate behemoths, he saw that most of the Firm never gave importance to pro-bono work in spite of marketing the same to Clients.
This hypocrisy made him take the step of starting his independent litigation career and he founded Deneb Law with the intent of achieving perfect synergy among all stakeholders for working on both pro-bono and commercial matters.
Within one year of founding the Firm, he appeared and argued in various Public Interest Litigation and Writs including, regularisation and modernization of education provided in Madarsas and Gurukuls, Protection of Media groups from the arbitrary/draconian power of Government Advertisement Body, Stopping the menace of Religion in Politics and maintenance of structural integrity of major infrastructure project used by public at large.
However, he made sure that his firm grows in its Corporate Practise as well and since its inception in 2016, the firm has grown from two lawyers to ten along with support staff having satellite offices in Noida, Jaipur, Ranchi and Bhopal and he is presently representing various Media Groups, Builders, Bollywood Celebrity, Big EPCs, and BOT Contractors, Premier League Franchise, Ferro Alloy Manufacturers, Start-ups and is involved in arbitrations against NHAI, State PWDs, Railways, and PSUs. His approach has made the revenue generating work ratio to pro-bono at 75:25, thereby allowing not only sustainability but also double-digit growth on a yearly basis.
On his Pro-Bono work, Vidhan says “Every Lawyer thinks of doing something for the Society but such thoughts wither away due to the hard reality of life and others who do, are unable to generate impact because they lack resources. Idealistic people usually ignore questions on funding, revenue stream, and cost but ultimately these problems bogs down the Lawyer and the interest vains on the issues. That’s why when I founded my own firm, I made it a point to routinely synergized whether being employees, vendors, paralegals, knowledge partners, and of course, the most valuable stakeholder being the Client”.
At present, he is working on a class action suit for various Air Passenger Associations against the Airline’s bigwigs of India for the compensation owed to passengers with respect to flight delays and cancellation. He states “ It is a fact that to increase air travel, the government has handed over the aviation sector fully to the Airlines and have bent over backward to facilitate all their whims and fancies. However, they forget the most important stakeholders are the air passengers. Every day we listen to the horrid stories and experience of Passengers about their flight delays and cancellation but DGCA always acts as a silent spectator to their pleas. It is high time that these Airlines are put to dock and are made answerable”.
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