INTERVIEW: Prof. Prateek Bhattacharya, Academic Head, JGLS on the Importance of Corporate and Financial Law

Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), India’s no. 1 law school and upGrad, India’s largest online higher education company are launching a first-of-its-kind program – LL.M. in Corporate and Financial Law (Blended Learning Program). This is a massive milestone in the history of JGLS and also upGrad; one that we are glad you can be a part of.

On this occasion, we have invited Prof. Prateek Bhattacharya to share with you his journey so far in the legal profession and to help you understand about the program through the lens of an expert.

Interview

1. Request you to introduce yourself to our readers.

I graduated with a B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) degree from National Law University, Jodhpur with a specialization in Trade and Investment Law. I subsequently received the prestigious DAAD scholarship to pursue further studies in European Law. As a DAAD scholar, I received my LL.M. degree from Europa Institut, Saarland University with specializations in European Law, International Dispute Resolution, and Trade Law and also studied subjects such as Law of the Internal Market of the European Union, European Competition Law, and Law of the Economic and Monetary Union.

Thereafter, I joined the competition law practice of the Delhi office of the erstwhile law firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co. which subsequently changed to Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. – I left in the capacity of Senior Associate, to make the change to academia. While in private practice, I often dealt with matters concerning mergers and acquisitions, as well as the interplay between competition law and the laws of other regulators such as the SEBI, TRAI, and IRDAI. I have represented both domestic and international clients involved in Indian and global mergers.

2. What interested you to take up Law as a profession?

I was always interested in how things work, be it the mechanics of household items to how government policy and rules were made. When I was in the 11th standard, a classmate from school mentioned that there were law entrance classes for exams that I could take after completing my 12th.

I enrolled in these classes, and the more I read about tort law and contract law, the more interested I became in the different kinds of problems and disputes a person can find themselves in, and what kinds of legal solutions are available to fix such problems. In law school, I was exposed to more technical areas of law such as company law, trade and investment law, IPR, and commercial transactions, and I realized the implications that companies have on the global economy, employment, policy, and even human rights.

Since the world of companies has so many intricate details to be aware of, I personally believe that there is no better way of knowing such details than practical experience – with that in mind, I started my first job at Amarchand Mangaldas, which gave me tremendous insight into the internal workings of companies and innovative application of corporate and commercial laws. I try to impart these practical learnings in my classes at Jindal Global Law School, where I teach company law and competition law.

3. As an Academic Head of the LL.M. in Corporate & Financial Law (Online Mode and Blended Learning) program in association with upGrad, what do you think is unique about the program?

upGrad’s online learning platform combined with the expertise of JGLS Faculty Members serves as a unique amalgam of technology and legal curriculum, suited for candidates aspiring to work at top law firms and companies in India and abroad. This program offers an opportunity which I find to be lacking in India, and which I myself would have been grateful to have in my education, i.e., hands-on industry experience.

When I was pursuing my LL.M. at Europa Institut, Saarland University, a majority of my faculty were legal professionals working in Belgium or Germany and Luxembourg who used to take a few days off per week to teach their courses. I quickly realized that a practitioner’s perspective and approach to law is very different and can be very useful when you need to find a practical legal solution to a commercial problem, whether in a simulated or a real-life scenario.

This program bridges this gap, and provides this perspective through internationally qualified faculty members with substantial industry experience. It is this what makes the program unique and engaging. We aim to equip learners with the knowledge and skills required to prepare legal briefs and memos, negotiate transaction documents and undertake due diligence, provide commercially sound legal advice to clients, and argue before specialized regulators and courts of law.

4. Why should a lawyer specialize in corporate or financial law?

The global economy runs on the backs of multinational companies and banks. In order to have a holistic understanding of how the economy works and how businesses are run, or in order to criticize India’s socio-economic system and corporate governance standards, one must first know how the system works. It is only once this is done, that it becomes possible for one to identify the failings in the system, suggest modifications, and advise on how to navigate through the multitude of laws, regulations, and policies which comprise India’s corporate and financial legal regime.

In comparison to other areas of law, the corporate and financial legal regime is more efficient and rewarding, as it allows legal professionals the satisfaction of breathing a sigh of relief when a judges passes a favourable order in a company law petition, a feeling of fulfillment when you are able to help unsecured creditors protect their investments in insolvency matters, and a sense of achievement when a deal is signed after months of due diligence and tough negotiations. Specializing in corporate and financial law provides a lawyer with an edge in the legal profession, and comes with the monetary perks and benefits that a dream corporate job has to offer.

5. What skills do you think are required for a career in corporate or financial law?

In my experience, the best kind of lawyers are those who leave no stone unturned. Whether it is ensuring that you have read all the relevant case laws on a topic, researched on all possible permutations and combinations applicable to a legal issue, or triple checked that there are no typos in your legal drafts, there is no substitute for hard-work, diligence, and focus. These are the hallmarks of great legal professionals, and should never be forgotten.

Even senior advocates appearing before the Supreme Court of India or senior partners of India’s largest law firms exhibit these skills, despite the challenge of age creeping up on them.

One other skill which is unique to a career in corporate and financial law is attention to detail – when reviewing thousands of pages of data and documents, or when proofreading the same draft for the 10th time, it is crucial for a lawyer to never lose focus and persevere to pay attention to every detail of the case and of the information. It is often said that the devil is in the details, because such details are game changers and can make or break a case.

Professor’s Background

Prof. Prateek Bhattacharya, Assistant Dean (Scholarships & International Collaborations),
Academic Head, LL.M. in Corporate and Financial Law (Blended Learning Program), JGLS

Education Qualifications:

LL.B. (NLU, Jodhpur) DAAD Scholar, LL.M. (Europa Institut, Saarland University, Germany)

To know more about the programme, click here.

Note: This is a sponsored post.

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