During the COVID-19 pandemic, as the courts were shut, people needed a law firm that would understand their problems and help them traverse their legal issues without relying entirely on the courts. These firms have really done an incredible job during the pandemic by advising and assisting clients in the best possible way and caring for the taskforce whilst upholding the credibility of the firm. A display of altruism when it mattered the most, these firms have, even under normal circumstances, consistently been committed and devoted to the field of law, and continually aspire to contribute to the country’s expanding legal landscape.
These law firms have a team of the best lawyers under one roof, who deliver specialized offerings to their clients. Veritas Legal is one such firm that has a team of extremely knowledgeable and passionate lawyers, and that makes it one of the most trusted corporate and commercial law firms. The firm was founded by the dynamic Mr. Abhijit Joshi.
A Firm with a Self-Perpetuating Culture
Veritas Legal is a boutique business law firm with a team size of over 50 lawyers, including twelve partners, enriched with the requisite expertise and specialized skill sets from having previously worked at India’s top law firms.
Within a short span of six years, the firm has displayed its commitment to professional excellence by not only carving a niche for itself with the marquee deals and impressive list of clients that the firm has been landing right from its nascence, but also with its exponential growth in size and reputation.
The firm and its members have been consistently recognized by global publications like Chambers, Legal500, IFLR1000, Asialaw, and ranked in noteworthy league tables year after year. A firm that was set up not so long ago, today, has emerged as one of the top 15 business law firms in India, having been recognized by ‘RSG in partnership with Financial Times’ as the ‘Fastest Rising Law Firm’ and ranked highest for client satisfaction within just few years of inception.
Historically, Veritas Legal was the only Indian law firm to have been the subject of a case study by IIM Ahmedabad.
Admittedly, it is the ceaseless effort of the team coupled with the firm’s appetite for excellence that has brought this once adolescent firm to where it is today, and fortunately for the firm, its work speaks for itself. And none of this would have been possible without the distinct self-perpetuating culture of the firm, which has formed the skeletal framework needed to boost its growth from the beginning.
Veritas Legal has its sole office in Mumbai, thereby strategically placing itself in the epicentre of all the commercial activities. The firm also has a unique pro-bono program. Pro bono service has always been an intrinsic part of the firm’s culture and is the backbone of its value system.
Lastly, and most importantly, as a firm, Veritas Legal has always endeavored to maintain a balanced male to female ratio in the associates’ pool. The diversity is evident in the top layer as well, with the recent promotion of four women associates to partnership. In fact, the firm has a very diverse pool even in terms of race and ethnicity spanning across various cross-sections and communities of India. For a young firm like ours, the conscious attempt and success at ensuring diversity across the board is no simple achievement.
Abhijit Joshi is the Founder and Managing Partner of Veritas Legal. Being a first-generation lawyer, Abhijit embraced his entrepreneurial instincts and founded Veritas Legal at the age of 46, after sacrificing his corner office as the coveted CEO of AZB and Partners, one of India’s leading law firms.
Abhijit has not only worked on several landmark deals and cases, but over the course of his legal career spanning almost 3 decades, he has successfully carved a niche for himself, and is highly regarded globally as a leading corporate and commercial lawyer.
Abhijit is enrolled in India with the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, and as a Solicitor with the Bombay Incorporated Law Society.
Internationally, he is enrolled as a Solicitor with the Law Society (England and Wales) and is a member of two reputed worldwide communities viz. the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Young Presidents’ Organization. He serves on the current Steering Committee of Cambridge Forums and the Advisory Board of the Oberoi International School in Mumbai. Additionally, Abhijit is also involved with numerous philanthropic organizations with a global outreach.
An Inspiring Journey
Abhijit started his career in the early 90s. At the time when India was just beginning its journey with liberalizations, there were hardly any specializations in the field of law.
Corporate and commercial law was a sector, which was likely to grow with the liberalization of the economy, and as such impressed Abhijit. He started his career with Amarchand Mangaldas, which had a fair amount of work from the commercial sector of India, and that made it easy for Abhijit to get experience in the field.
In 2015, Veritas Legal started as a boutique firm providing quality services in corporate/ mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and dispute resolution.
Over the years, the firm has not only deepened the scope of its core practice areas mentioned above but has also expanded its full-service operations to further include real estate, competition, white-collar crime, private client practice, labour and employment, data protection and privacy, and restructuring and insolvency. And luckily, there is an immense amount of work pouring in for each of these niche practice areas, despite the pandemic situation.
The firm has marked its niche presence in each of the above-mentioned practice areas, across numerous sectors, specifically including pharmaceuticals, healthcare and life-sciences, e-commerce, retail and franchise, and hotels and hospitality, where the firm has been able to distinguish itself and emerge as top-class.
The management believes that challenges cannot be characterized based on any specific practice area. One must be thorough with the law and fundamentals, and then go on to build a great work ethic through perseverance and hard work. Once these core issues are at bay, challenges will automatically recede and allow one to enjoy the practice of law.
The biggest challenge faced in recent times was the fact that the world had plunged into the unknown. The challenges were unknown. The path forward was unknown. In such times, to keep one’s logic absolutely sharp, and morale up, is and was the greatest challenge. This was not in relation to one person at Veritas Legal, but to the firm in totality, and as such, it is even harder to keep the collective morale high in times of extreme uncertainty.
Having said that, the management navigated through these trying times to the best of their abilities and marched forward. Some of the initiatives taken by the management during the pandemic are:
Veritas Legal was one of the first firms of its size to have fully adopted the remote working model along with a business continuity plan in place.
Mental health of the firm’s team members, which has anyways been a priority, took precedence above all else, and counselling services were made available gratis to members of the firm and their families.
The firm introduced a robust virtual internship model, that heightened the internship experience enabling it to effectively assess and offer Pre-Placement Offers (PPOs) to few graduating students.
The firm has successfully arranged, at the firm’s expense, first and second doses of vaccines for everybody who is working with them and at times, for their extended family.
Veritas Legal also followed contact tracing norms and regular testing of its members throughout the bleak period. The cost of all the above was borne by the firm.
- Recognized as ‘India Firms to Watch’ by Asian Legal Business 2021
- Awarded ‘Boutique Law Firm of the Year’ by Asian Legal Business India Law Awards 2021
- Awarded ‘Rising Star Firm of the Year’ by IFLR1000 India Awards 2020
- Awarded ‘Pharma & Life Science Law Firm of the Year’ in the Business World Legal Leaders Awards 2019
- Recognized as ‘Employer of Choice’ (India) in 2019 by Asian Legal Business
- Awarded ‘Most Promising Law Firm of the Year (Three years and above)’ by LegalEra Indian Legal Awards 2019-2020
Know from the Best
When we asked Abhijit, what advice he would give to the young generation of legal enthusiasts, he answered, “The advice is actually quite basic and simple. Keep your level of inquisitiveness high. Keep your work ethic high. Don’t learn the tricks of the trade, but learn the trade, and last but not least, continue working at a place for at least few years in order to get the benefit. If you try and do all of the above, then there are good chances that you start enjoying what you are doing, and as a result excel at your job.”
The Celebrated Visionary
The management has always maintained that they would like to go deep as opposed to wide in their relationships with clients and will do the job that they are doing better than yesterday. They are quite proud of their culture within the firm. It is a culture of togetherness and transparency, and it will continue building up on that. Management also thinks that if they are able to achieve the above, the rest will follow.
It is said that doctors and lawyers are necessary evils! Nobody wants them, but people can’t do without them. Therefore, the outlook for the practice of law will always hold good, and that coupled with a buoyant economy, can have a multiplier effect. Veritas has been moving steadily and progressively through the 6 years and aspires to continue its journey upwards on the growth curve year after year. Veritas Legal’s team is optimistic about its future and is excited about its measured growth and transition to a medium-sized firm from a small-sized firm.