Hammurabi & Solomon isa multi specialty Law Firm, specialising in niche areas of law like Public Policy and general corporate commercial laws. As a Law Firm set up in the year 2001, they have come a long way. Presently they have more than 1000 Clientele, 100 Associates and 5 Offices across the country with aggressive expansion plans over this year. From a modest beginning to becoming one of the most preferred Law Firms, they have covered a long journey with consistency in Quality, following stringent time lines with every assignment being mapped by a Partner. The firm is structured to respond to the ever-expanding needs of its clientele. While anticipating the future needs of these clients, the firm has focused on the developing areas of law. The attorneys and support staffs have all been carefully selected to provide clients with the highest degree of professionalism as a team responsive to the client’s legal problems and needs.
Over a period of almost 2 decades, they have tirelessly strived to attain the highest standards of “Excellence, Perfection & Commitment”.
In a candid talk with Ms Shweta Bharti, Partner at the firm, Lets discover her journey towards the success and the firm’s offerings in the law landscape.
- What were the initial challenges you faced?
The initial challenges are common to all entrepreneurs including us. The limitation of contacts and resources as well as the limited number of manpower pushed us to work extra hours in order to meet deadlines, the challenges of doing it right the first time in order to avoid multiple drafts being exchanged, handling the filings before the registry ourselves through the borrowed resources like other colleagues Court Clerks etc.Being the 1st generation Lawyers we had no back up to fall upon, no ready-made Clientele to pursue further and thus everything was to be initiated from the scratch. There were days when we were not sure if we shall have sufficient work to handle the next day and there were days when 24 hours wasn’t enough to complete the assignments with our limited resources.
Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.Winston Churchill
- Which was that point that triggered the growth of the Firm?
The Firm’s growth was almost instant and few Clients supported us whole heartedly. It was sometime in late 2001 that we handled one major litigation assignment which required us to engage the likes of Mr. Kapil Sibal and Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi. The matter was very high stakes and it almost instantly brought us to the limelight. There were various high stake matters that we handled thereafter and briefed all the top line Senior Counsels in the process. We had already peaked by 2004 when we felt the need for a bigger office and a bigger team, which was an indication of our fast growing success.
- What is the reason behind your firm’s long-standing success?
The one key reason for the Firm’s long standing success is the quality and timely delivery. We never compromised on either till date irrespective of the other challenges being faced by us. Further we have constantly worked towards building up a growth strategy along with identification of core-competency. In today’s highly competitive environment, it was very significant for us as a Law Firm to identify the USPs (Unique Selling Propositions). Thus, with a clearly defined strategy established and communicated, our USPs enabledus to differentiate us in the marketplace amidst others. We also kept a hawks eye on pooling in some of the best talents in the industry who are engaged, motivated and committed.
- What are the services the firm focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
The Firm being multidisciplinary focuses on various areas of practice, i.e., Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Insolvency, Real Estate, M&A, Contracts, Public Policy & Regulatory services, Indirect Tax, Anti-Trust and Competition Law and Data Protection. We also have a separate compliance division called HSSL Compliance Services which is rendering Compliance services through software tool.
The services provided by us are unique in the manner of delivery through impetus on strategy at all stages of the transaction. Our Policy and Regulatory Practice has been acclaimed both in the domestic as well as the global market and we are winners of various awards as well for being the best Law Firm providing Policy & Regulatory Support in India (have been consistently recognised by IBLJ for the past 8 consecutive years).
- How do you decide to take the firm a step further in terms of your services?
We have a young and committed team which drives and motivates us to improve upon our services. Our team is gearing upto the newer technological challenges being faced by the Law Firms in this fast changing environment globally. The increased reliance on technology is the need of the hour, when the world is shrinking into a global village. Various automated processes are making certain areas of practice redundant and the ways of doing businesses are changing fast for our Clients. Thus Law Firms like ours are also moving at the speed of our Clients requirements and we are no longer working on 8 hours shift since the Clients have started demanding our availability 24*7 and thus unless we are technologically upgraded, it shall not be possible for us to keep pace with the changing times. We are also constantly working towards improving on our skill sets and also updating our systems and processes in order to consistently provide quality delivery to our Clients.
Patience, Passion and Perseverance are the three keys which stand in between success and failure. Imbibe them in your lives and you are bound to be successful.Ms. Shweta Bharti
- Is there any new addition to the list of services? Anything exciting you would like to share?
We are constantly evolving and adding the niche practice areas into our service offerings viz. Data Protection Advisory and Indirect Tax Advisory which are a recent addition. We are soon going to spread our wings at few other locations within our Country and are looking forward to our widespread reach and ability to cater to Clients at all those jurisdictions as well.
- How have you seen diversity change over the years in the legal sector?
Legal sector has always been a male bastion from time immemorial. Women had to struggle their way into this profession. Women have always been considered as the softer sex and thus never found to fit into the rough, coarse and brutal legal profession. It is inspiring to read the stories of the women who fought their way into the profession like Cornelia Sorabji who became the first woman to practice law in India way back in the 19th century. It took almost 2 decades for her to be able to practice law in India. However, over a period of time the legal sector has witnessed a paradigm shift and thus there are many more women entering the Profession now. Though the rigours of the profession have kept the leaky pipeline on and many women lawyers do succumb to the needs of attending to their maternal responsibilities, but there are many others who have bravely been balancing the work and home needs. We have seen many women also opting for in-house roles and handling these roles with aplomb. There is increasing number of women Judges now in courts and the time is not too far when there shall be an equal number of men and women Judges both at higher and lower judiciary. In fact at our office we have more number of women lawyers than men lawyers since gender is never a criteria for recruitment and we have witnessed women lawyers to be equally (and in some instances more) dedicated and committed to the profession.
- Can you please brief us about your professional experience?
I started my career in the late 20th century by which time there was already much more acceptability of women Lawyers in the Metro Cities. Thus even though the discrimination existed, it was subtle. The Clients would politely enquire if the case can be argued by my Husband (my Husband is an accomplished Lawyer, but was never into Litigation), the Judges would prefer to look at the male Lawyer arguing from the Opposite Side even during my arguments and so on and so forth. Thus the change in the mindset and acceptance of women Lawyers completely will take a few more decades, when the Client/Judge/Co-Lawyers shall look beyond the gender.
- What are the key achievements of your journey in law and litigation sector?
The key achievement’s in my journey in law and litigation has been aplenty, but the most encouraging of them is to be a role model for my children who unabashedly wish to follow my path to be a Lawyer. I have been mentoring young women lawyers entering the profession in order to enable them be prepared to handle all challenges that they may face in future.
In terms of professional achievements, every time a judge or a Client appreciates my work, I feel more motivated and encouraged. On one such occasion, after conclusion of an argument, the Ld. Judge stated that irrespective of the outcome of the matter, he was very impressed by the arguments put forth by me and the tact with which I handled his queries. Similarly, after the conclusion of argument in another matter before Court, the Client came to me and said that you fought well!! As a Litigator there are many such incidents which make the journey as a Litigator worth all the sweat, blood and tears that go into becoming one.
- One person who you admire the most?
One person that I admire the most is Late Justice P.N.Bhagwati. His life and his journey is truly inspiring. The very thought of allowing law reach the doorstep of a common man is heartening. The way Public Interest Litigation’s were permitted even by way of sending letters was a pioneer thought.