Anand and Anand
What led you to establish your own firm and what tips would you offer to others considering the same?
Anand and Anand was established as a family firm in 1923 – 96 years ago. In 1979 we incorporated another firm in order to widen the focus of the business, making it more professional and able to accept overseas clients.
In order to establish a firm, you need a good, talented team, a passion to achieve creative results and, above all, humility.
What does leadership in the IP field look like to you?
In the IP field, leadership involves more than simply looking after your own clients’ business. It involves making sure that the law grows in a balanced, healthy and transparent way. IP lawyers often end up educating policy makers, Customs, the police and, of course, the courts; therefore, it is a position of great responsibility as you must balance your clients’ interests with the correct development of the law.
What challenges are being raised by clients most frequently at the moment and how can these be tackled?
In addition to quality, clients expect quick responses and have become extremely price sensitive. Thus, great lawyers must establish credibility due to their consistently ethical and good behaviour, but at the same time they must be competitive in order to produce quick and timely results.
How has the Indian IP environment changed over the past decade, and how should practitioners ensure that they stay at the forefront of practice?
The Commercial Courts Act has rapidly accelerated litigation proceedings. Lawsuits are disposed of within one or two years. The courts have become e-courts with real-time Internet and a changed mindset towards the digital environment. Service can be conducted via Whatsapp or email. Witnesses can give evidence through video conferencing. Evidence can be recorded by retired judges outside the court premises and at odd hours. To stick to stringent time schedules, the courts are fashioning unique remedies to try and meet the requirements of the judiciary. For example, by penalising a defendant by ordering them to plant 140,000 trees or by granting aggravated damages to a habitual offender.
Finally, if you were to give one piece of advice to practitioners starting their career in intellectual property, what would it be?
To be sincere and avoid conflict. One of the worst feelings is to be looking over your shoulders. Success comes with time and young lawyers need to progress patiently through what might appear to be a slow process.