Ms. Gunita Pahwa, Joint Managing Partner, S&A Law Offices, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

1. How has it been for S&A Law Offices for the last year? Please elaborate on the growth journey.
Ans: Undoubtedly, it was a fantastic year for us. The singular philosophy that drives us as a firm is to deliver high-quality, efficient, and ground-breaking legal representation, service, and solutions to our clients and businesses in a timely manner. Investing in the right people and adopting technology early on has led us to stay at the top. Also, we have transitioned into a new brand identity marked by a new name and logo.

We are now a family of 300+ professionals, including seasoned advocates, chartered accountants, company secretaries, patent agents, trademark agents, specialised paralegals, and support professionals. We have added some young and dynamic talents to our various practice groups, out of which more than 50% are women, thus depicting the core mantra of diversity in the workplace. We have added many new renowned clients to our kitty and continue serving the old longstanding clients.

2. How has the legal profession evolved post-pandemic?
Post-pandemic, a new era of working ethos has emerged, and the legal profession, too, has evolved. Initially, it had its own share of challenges, but now, if we see, everything has emerged new and much more robust than it was before. Technology has brought a positive change in the legal ecosystem and has improved engagement with our clients, teams, and overall interaction. The clients are now used to the increased pace, ease, and constant access virtually. Immense learning is happening digitally, and a new flux of information sharing and gathering has never emerged so much more than before.

3. What improved strategic direction do clients see from S&A Law offices now vis a-vis earlier?
Ans: As a Firm, we are able to provide our clients with more holistic consulting and collaboration across various departments. Many times, even if an engagement with a client is for particular expertise, because of our specialisation (as a full-service law firm), we combine all our energies and abilities to look at their problem holistically and advise them better. All our efforts, when looking at a client problem, are to see how to mitigate our clients’ risks in the best possible way and find practical solutions. This has led our client partners to believe in us more as a strategic partner in their growth journey than just a legal service provider.

4. What differentiates S&A Law Offices from its competitors?
Ans: The Firm has garnered an industry-wide standing for its unique ability and in-depth knowledge of the legal, regulatory, and commercial environment in India and outside India. Besides the highly skilled & knowledgeable teams and robust technological tools, what truly differentiates our Firm from others is our unbiased dedication towards all the cases we handle. We at S&A ensure that our clients are satisfied with our service. Being transparent and honest is something we strongly believe in. Our Firm value adds to every transaction or matter by delivering practical, goal-driven solutions by subject and industry matter experts.

5. What are the main challenges that law firms and their lawyers will have to navigate/adapt to in the future?
Ans: Since everything is digital now,there are ongoing radical changes in the existing working pattern. Everything has become much more agile and accessible than before. For instance, post-pandemic, many Arbitral tribunals have conducted entire arbitration matters virtually with the required protocols in place. Lawyers and Law firms are investing in technology and legal tech more than earlier, and I am confident there will continue to be a massive demand for legal tech in the coming years.

6. What new capabilities can clients foresee with the type of work conducted at the Firm?
Ans: We have expanded our charter of services far & wide. We added our indirect tax & customs capabilities under the leadership of Ms Smita Singh, Indirect Tax Partner, in 2020, and the practice has grown manifold since then. We now represent many large clients in this sector. Similarly, our IP practice has grown rapidly in numbers and clientele across boundaries. Further, leading publications consistently recognise our Dispute Resolution and IP practice as top practices.

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