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A Young and Hungry Law Firm

Samvãd Partners is a full-service multidisciplinary Indian law firm with offices in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. Vineetha MG tells us more about the versatile law firm which is going place.

Established in 2013, Samvad was formed from a merger of smaller regional practices, and ever since then, the firm has grown steadily in size over the years to its present headcount of 100 (lawyers and staff).

Possessing a huge amount of skill, Samvad has experience in advising clients on a diverse array of subjects, ranging across private equity investments, cross-border and domestic M&A, insolvency and restructuring, banking and financing, general corporate and commercial matters, dispute resolution, technology, media and intellectual property.

Typically, the firm’s clients vary in sector and scale, ranging from foreign PE funds to public sector banks, multinational companies to upcoming start-ups, government bodies to non-profit organisations.

Starting off, Vineetha describes the firm’s overall mission, alluding to what steps each member of staff takes in order to reach their targets, and explaining how the team are able to integrate innovation into every aspect of its work.

“In Sanskrit, ‘Samvad’ connotes ‘dialogue’, and this forms the core philosophy for how we interact and engage at Samvad. We are committed to providing innovative legal advice to our clients, maintaining the highest levels of professional integrity, but also nurturing our lawyers in a work environment that motivates them to achieve and maintain the highest standards.

“None of this can be achieved without a regular and upbeat flow of dialogue among the partners, associates and clients to ensure a healthy and dynamic professional environment. We encourage our lawyers to examine problems from multiple stakeholder perspectives, ensuring that our clients have comprehended all the potential advantages and risks of doing business through honest and meaningful conversation. It is our belief that innovation can be integrated into our work only by sustained dialogue, where all parties are encouraged to express their views, ask probing questions, and suggest holistic solutions.”

Valuing their people is a crucial aspect of the company’s success, something Vineetha is keen to emphasise. Vineetha is keen to highlight that the impressive team cohesion within the firm is key to the team producing outstanding results on a constant basis.

“Here at Samvad, our people are our strength, and we dearly prize our lawyers. Lawyers get a lot of bad press for being poor team-players, but that’s not the case at Samvad. At Samvad, our associates know that only through dialogue, collaboration and cooperation can you achieve the kind of rigorous excellence that is rapidly becoming Samvad’s hallmark. Our twin-focus on teamplay and dialogue is the primary reason why clients trust us so much with their assignments.”

Within Samvad, staff are filled with unlimited potential, and the young and hungry lawyers work exceptionally hard to put the client first. Exceeding client expectations is a priority within the firm, and Vineetha explains what techniques she employs in order to provide the best possible service to clients. 

“Throughout the law firm, staff are predominantly young and hungry, and we value that. The ratio of associates to partners at our firm is significantly below that of other Indian law firms, and we prefer it that way. Our young lawyers are also distinctly ‘digital’ and bring a certain ‘real-time’ perspicacity to the table which we appreciate. Also, I feel that they are more open to constructive dialogue, both inside and outside the firm, and their enthusiasm is infectious.

“To quote a very small example, we encourage our lawyers to explore new regulatory regimes and global events, but also to conduct and attend internal legal education sessions for the firm on a weekly basis. Also, we involve our lawyers whenever we are discussing the growth plans of the firm, so that everyone gets an equal platform to suggest improvements. The only constant is change, and only dialogue can help us acclimatise well to such changes – but also to constantly innovate and evolve.

“The role of the more senior lawyers, in turn, is to mentor our younger lawyers, ensuring that they receive the necessary training and supervision to match the firm’s reputation for meticulous attention to detail, high quality and excellence in client responsiveness. Many of our senior lawyers are experts in their respective fields, bringing a rich mix of domestic and international experience – having worked in several international financial centres outside India, including Hong Kong, London, New York and Singapore. You can imagine how diverse and inclusive our firm is, and that is the primary foundation of our growth story.”

Within the legal industry, there are changes which are arising every single day, and Samvad must adapt to these changes in order to stay at the top of the legal industry. Regarding the global corporate landscape, there are many developments which Vineetha foresees, and she predicts how these advances will impact on the company.

“Looking ahead, the geo-political centres are shifting, and India is among the largest hubs for offshore Private Equity and Venture Capital investments. India also anticipates generous capital through regional allocations from global and Asia-Pacificfocused funds and international development banks, and has ambitious plans for building and amplifying its sovereign wealth funds, including the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund). To match the growing needs and plans for capital growth in India, existing regulatory regimes are being extensively revamped and liberalised, including the norms for foreign exchange controls, corporate governance, digitisation and financial services. Technological advancements are also changing the shape of the industry, be it self-driven cars or prepaid wallet systems or artificial intelligence. As an active enabler of such businesses, we welcome all these changes that promise to drive growth in India.

“There is also much more international harmonisation now than in the recent past. International authorities are now more vigilant in tracking down tax evasion, corruption, market manipulation and cross-border insolvency. In view of these developments, we have been developing core competencies from an antitrust/anti-corruption law perspective and from a dispute resolution/ enforcement directorate perspective. Our insolvency and white-collar crime practice is already quite robust. We aim to continue providing 360-degree cutting-edge advice and support in all these spheres.”

Ultimately, the primary goal for Samvad is to grow steadily in the right direction. Being selected as the Most Influential Woman in Private Equity Investments 2018 within India in AI’s Global Excellence Awards, is a nudge in the right direction for the firm’s future growth.

“Moving forward is certainly our primary goal – growing steadily but surely in scope and proficiency. Private Equity, Venture Capital and M&A are always sectors that are underserved in a rapidly growing economy like India, and we would certainly be focusing on that. However, the sectors attracting PE/ M&A – such as social infrastructure, clean energy, agricultural innovation and electronic marketplaces – are always expanding, and we take a keen interest in foreseeing and supporting these trends. Our banking and financing practice along with our more recently established insolvency/ bankruptcy practice is also going strong.”

Company: Samvad Partners

Contact: Ms. Vineetha MG

Address: Free Press House, 4th Floor, Office No 41 & 43, Free Press Journal Marg, 215 Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 India

Phone: 91 22 6104 4000

Web Address: www.samvadpartners.com