“In a changing world, it pays to be a generalist, not a specialist.”
Becoming a law professional, that too a successful one, requires mastering a vast array of skills and competencies which include, but not limited to, analytical skills, reasoning ability, good communication skills, sound judgement, writing skills, leadership skills, listening, logical thinking, research proficiency, and decision making with gravitas. Undeniably, being a good lawyer is nothing short of being a polymath.
Law is the foundation on which the constitution of the democratic society was constructed on. The professionals of this trade – lawyers, have the important responsibility of being the custodians of justice. Law is one of the oldest professions. This unrivalled profession has only grown in demand over the millennium and necessitates more skills and proficiency than ever before.
Successful law firms must cultivate focus or raison d’etre, and each lawyer should develop specialized expertise consistent with the firm’s mission. Successful law firms recognise that ‘quality work” has a dual meaning: technical quality (how good the work is) and service quality (the client’s experience dealing with the firm). To be able to live up to such high standards and conduct is sure to be a tough job for any organisation, but those who are able to ride that wave are considered the masters of their game.
Perhaps this is why the esteemed law firm – Nanavati Associates – has risen to the eminent position of respect and admiration of its clientele and the country at large. This firm was established in 1996 when the Founder of the firm K. S. Nanavati was given the status of ‘Senior Advocate’ and consequently he decided to make the firm into a partnership in the name of Nanavati Associates.
Nanavati Associates began with its founder, Mr. K. S. Nanavati, a senior advocate, who founded in 1977 – K. S. Nanavati & Associates – a proprietorship firm. With Mr. K. S. Nanavati getting designated as a senior advocate by the honourable High Court of Gujarat, his proprietorship firm was transformed into a partnership firm and thus, Nanavati Associates was born in 1996. Nanavati Associates has been founded on the values of the erstwhile proprietorship, that was K. S. Nanavati & Associates, and has inherited, maintained, and successfully managed to derive strength from those values by adhering to strict standards of legal practice and quality.
The Partners and Associates of Nanavati Associates attend to matters listed before other Honourable High Courts and the Honourable Supreme Court of India. In order to provide litigation and non-litigation services for other courts and tribunals, they formed a separate partnership firm in 2002 and thus, K. Nanavati & Gandhi Associates came into existence as a Sister Concern. Since 2003, Nanavati Associates has been providing IPR (intellectual
property rights) legal services and networks with firms in US, Europe, Japan, and some other countries.
Nanavati Associates claims to handle almost all cases encompassing all laws within the country and also on issues that arise out of International disputes. This enables persons working within each such vertical to achieve the level of expertise that comes with such practice. Each partner of the firm has his own vertical comprising associates working closely within such vertical, so as to ensure predictability, seamlessness and continuity of work. Each such vertical handles specific areas of laws that are decided and distributed amongst such verticals; including different forums, courts, tribunals, etc for such resolution of disputes; whether they be inter party or with the government.
Nanavati Associates focuses more on quality than on quantity. The Nanavati Associates team emphasises: “Our ethos of providing legal service is to focus on what we can do differently to achieve the objective of the clientele in an effort to fortify the end result and hence we qualitatively appreciate ‘out of the box’ thinking and remedies.”
This has always been the key to achieving lasting results when challenged in various levels of the appellate structure enshrined in various laws. The team of Nanavati cultivates everyone at the firm to think beyond what is presented and try and dig out facts that most would take for granted. ‘Devil is in the details’ is the firm’s motto. A ‘comma’ mistakenly put at a different place changes the entire context is their belief and hence they continuously try and challenge the narrative to arrive at the true picture.
Grooming Future Lawyers
When it comes to training aspiring lawyers, the firm believes that hands on training is a better bet than having them follow predetermined courses. “Each person has a different approach that they bring to the table. Harnessing those differences helps us help them achieve their potential and, in turn, allows us to address client issues optimally,” commented the team. Lawyers are independent thinkers. Pigeonholing them would leave them worse off. Therefore, the team believes that grooming takes finesse and direct interaction with the partners, which allows them guidance on their tasks; that is the best way to boost their confidence from the early stages.
At Nanavati Associates, the selection of cases is determined based on complexity, conflict, but also on the basis of compensation, and cases that pertain to ‘hard core’ crime are generally not preferred. Although the firm does not have any specific and quantified provisions for pro-bono cases, everyone is encouraged to go by their conscience in charging or while deciding whether to charge fees or not for a particular matter.
Dynamic Leadership at its Best
As stated before, K S Nanavati, Senior Advocate, established K. S. Nanavati & Associates – a proprietorship firm when he started his practice as an advocate. In 1995 he was amongst the first to be granted the designation of a Senior Advocate. On being so designated, he converted the firm into a partnership firm; now led by Dharmishtha Nanavati, Keyur Gandhi, Pranit Nanavati, and Kunal Nanavati.
Leveraging Technology to Guide Autodidacts
Each of the employees and the students at Nanavati Associates are cultivated to grasp at every piece of ‘learning’ that they want to learn. No person is given a task that they are unable to handle. At the firm, it is an accepted belief that each person has a passion that they would excel at. The team encourages flaming such passions and then teach them to try and be competent at other areas which the team feels they are lacking.
This methodology in turn polishes them for the future in the legal sector. Technology has already made research easier, drafting is already aided by technology, and owing to the hardships of 2020, the firm like many others has learned that client conferences and proceedings also can take place by augmenting and/or utilising current technologies.
The Nanavati team added: “We feel that the seeds of change are sowed, and each person would need to accept the coming change. Hence, we encourage everyone to try and become familiar to the change in the present so that they are proficient in the future.”
During the peak of the pandemic, the team and employees were operating with ‘work-from-home’ procedures, by augmenting, implementing, and utilizing their infrastructure to allow everyone to be able to work remotely. Tools which are now akin to second nature, were implemented early on and everyone was encouraged and enabled to be adept in recognition of the fast arriving ‘digital future’. In that sense, Nanavati Associates has successfully bridged the gap between an obstacle and a competitive edge. Students with the firm are also encouraged to recognise this change and guided to benefit from it optimally.
A Future to Behold
The firm recognises that digital working maybe here to stay, as it offers multiple timesaving and workflow-enhancement advantages. The team hopes that in the face of this certainty, it will successfully employ many other efficient modules and optimally capitalise on this norm of working while overcoming the geographical limitations that preclude them from being able to offer their legal services beyond their physical reach.
All the while keeping in mind the transparency, trust, and commitment to providing quality service to the clients, Nanavati Associates has earned the title of being a tour de force in the law game.