Internship Experience @ Apeejay Surrendra Group, Kolkata: Corporate Legal Work

Name, College, Year of Study, Email ID

Sayan Ghose, D.E.S. Law College, Pune, Vth. BA. LL.B., [email protected]

Name of Organisation, Location, Team Strength

Apeejay Surrendra Group, Kolkata.

Application Process

I received the opportunity to intern with Apeejay Group (hereinafter referred to as “Company”) as an internship with a law firm got cancelled at the very last minute.

The Company does not have any intern selection/induction process, hence interns get an opportunity to work with the Company through their contacts.

I, too, secured this internship through a contact which I had made during one of my previous internships.

However one can get in touch with them through the e-mail addresses provided on the website.

Duration of internship and timings

9th-24th July, 2014. (9.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.)

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

Having previously interned with law firms only, I wanted to try my hand at pure corporate work.

I was expecting an ultra-posh office as the Company had its headquarters at Kolkata.

The infrastructure lived up to its the expectation, but at the same time had a humble touch to it.

On the first day, after two levels of security clearances, I was allowed to enter the legal department of the building.

Thereafter, I was asked to sit in the library along with the other interns and wait till I was called.

Surprisingly, the head of the legal department came inside and introduced himself.

His demeanour was warm, friendly and he seemed very approachable.

He acquainted me with the office and the Manager of the legal department under whom I was supposed to work.

Main tasks

With the enactment of the new Companies Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act of 2013”) and the rules incidental to it, the entire corporate sector throughout the country has to deal with new provisions, rules, compliance, duties, etc.

The same was the case with this Company.

My work in the company can be divided into two parts-

1. Thorough research work relating to interpretations of the provisions of the Act of 2013.

2. Compliance to be fulfilled by directors and other officers of the company.

The compliance and rules regarding directors have changed radically.

I was interning at a time when the first quarterly meeting of the company was due. Hence before such meetings, certain compliance standards had to be met.

Apeejay Group comprising of 60+ companies had to conduct the meetings for all such companies.

Every director of every company had to comply with the new standards under the Act. My job was to figure out what had to be included and what to be excluded in meeting these standards.

The first part of my work, however, was more challenging. With no comprehensive commentaries under the Act of 2013 available till date, research work for the interpretations of these provisions had to be thorough.

The research also included risk assessments in incurring certain liabilities by the company. In order to achieve the above a comparative study between the Act of 2013 and 1956 was required.

Work environment and people

The work environment was very formal.

Apart from certain warm gestures by the head of the department, every person was very professional with their dealings with clients, colleagues and interns.

This also proved to be a drawback for interns as many a times, we would be left with unanswered clarifications relating to the work that had been provided to us.

Hence, there would be moments wherein we would be sitting idle as a very nominal doubt of ours would take a long time to be clarified.

Doubts include certain information which would only be available to the company, eg. shares held by one of the companies could only be found after having a look at ROC or by providing the CIN number when the company name was not clearly provided.

Clarifications like these took a long time to be provided to us.

Best things

The best thing would be the challenge of research to unanswered questions of the legislation I had dealt with.

Also, the canteen on the top floor had an amazing view of Kolkata!

Bad things

This being my first core corporate legal internship, I did not find the excitement and the vigour that I, personally, would enjoy.

However, the amount I learnt from this internship will always be useful in my career as a practicing lawyer.

Stipend

None

Biggest Lessons

Though I always knew that litigation is the way ahead for me, this internship solidified my conviction towards the same.

In all my previous internships, even with the top law firms of the country, I had always preferred litigation work and urged my seniors in the respective firms to provide me with the same.

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