AK Mylsamy& Associates LLP has been rendering professional legal services for over 55 years now. Mr. A.K. Mylsamy started his independent practice in 1974 as a sole proprietary firm after being associates with Mr. T.Raghavan, a pioneer in Corporate Law practice in Chennai for over 2 decades as his junior. He converted the proprietary firm into a partnership firm with the joining of Subathra Mylsamy. In 2010, the Firm formally became a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) with Mr.P.S.Suman coming onboard. The firm is headquartered in Chennai and has offices in Bengaluru, Coimbatore and New Delhi.
In a talk with Ms Subathra Mylsamy, partner at AK Mylsamy& Associates LLP, let’s discover more about the firm and her thoughts about the law and litigation landscape.
- What were the initial challenges you faced?
While litigating in courts of law, the challenge was to prove and establish myself as a credible professional and be taken seriously in a male-dominated legal scenario. It was an all-out effort to break the glass ceiling.
While not litigating in courts, the challenge (like for any woman) is to multitask, whether it is at home or work. More importantly, the challenge is to run the organization professionally.
- Which was that point that triggered the growth of the Firm?
The joining of Mr.Suman and myself was the running point. After our joining, the firm became a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and thus paving the way for corporate culture to be brought in to run and manage of the firm in more professional and efficient manner to improve client satisfaction.
- What is the reason behind your firm’s long-standing success?
The firm has been fortunate to enjoy long standing success due to strict adherence to its core values of operational excellence, integrity, adaptation of technology and constant updating of knowledge and skillsets. Its reputation is guided by its ability to build and sustain long term relationships with clients, made possible through a large team of professional and highly committed resources with access to an exhaustive range of knowledge sources. We have gained the ability to evaluate the implications of an ever-changing legal framework and help organizations re-cast strategies to stay relevant and maintain a competitive advantage. Innovation has been the backbone of AKM. Constant updating of knowledge and practices of law through creative means such as our “one of a kind” online monthly Newsletter “The Law Tree” and our creative and innovative knowledge portal “ibccases.com”
- What are the services the firm focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
We are a professionally managed Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) specializing in all aspects of Corporate and Commercial Law including but not limited to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Mergers and Acquisitions, Foreign Exchange, Intellectual Property Rights, Contracts, Real Estate, Arbitration and Mediation and Civil Litigation.
We believe that we are unique. Over the 5 decades we have been in Corporate Law practice, we have built an outstanding reputation in various facets of Corporate law. We deal with clients whose relationship with the firm goes back to generations. Along the way, our reputations for excellence and handling of our clients have enabled us to acquire a wide range of clients from a cross section of industries.
The innovative spirit of the firm is showcased through “The Law Tree”, where legal knowledge is shared with the public in a simple yet interesting manner, once again reinforcing our positioning. We have been the first to launch the knowledge portal “ibccases.com”which covers through brief and incisive summaries of Insolvency and Bankruptcy judgments, the progress of IBC case law. Both Law Tree and ibccases.com are in-house efforts developed by a dedicated team.
Our ability to provide well thought out and clear opinions on the most complicated legal matters are vastly enhanced through the presence of our advisory board consisting of luminaries from legal and corporate world. The advisory board consisting former judge(s) of the Madras High Court, Company Law Board and Tax and Finance Experts.
A brief profile of the Advisory Boardmembers given below will highlight this cross section of excellence.
- Justice M. Jaichandren, Former Judge of the Madras High Court with stellar experience in a range of cases – Civil, Criminal, Labour, Administrative and Debt Recovery. He is currently the Chairman of Human Rights Commission, Pondicherry.
- Mr.S.Balasubramanian, Former Chairman of Company Law Board, a luminary in the field of corporate law and arbitration besides writing and editing books on corporate law.
- Mr.K.K.Balu, former Vice Chairman of the Company Law Board, a storehouse of experience and our think tank on corporate laws, arbitration, conciliation and mediation.
- Mr.S.Ramanujam, senior tax expert, an authority on mergers, de-mergers, and restructuring. He was the Executive Vice President, Group Taxation of UB Group, Bengaluru.
- Mr.R.S.Mani, former group CEO of M.R.Kodandaram group (a member of MS Ramaiah group), an expert in banking, finance and insolvency matters.
- Mr.AshokAnantram, former Vice President of Sales and Marketing, ITC Hotels, who brings his experience in the hospitality sector to help us provide sound legal advice to our niche hospitality fraternity.
- How do you decide to take the firm a step further in terms of your services?
As a first step in taking our legal services to the next level, we have constitutedthe Senior Advisory Board. The Board and team bringtheir extensive legal and judicial experience to resolve the complex problemsthat the clients face in their day to day operation of their businesses.
With pride we can say that we have one of the strongest Advisory team to give our clients bothpotential solutions to all their legal issues. Our advisory team with rich and varied experience in mediation and arbitration provide excellent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) solutions to resolve vexatious commercial and legal disputes our clients are faced with.
Understanding the importance of Insolvency and Bankruptcy in the context of Corporate Law practice, we have established a strong vertical of Insolvency and Bankruptcy practice for litigation and Advisory.
All these new initiatives are made without compromising our fundamental strengths in our core areas of practice viz., Mergers and Acquisitions, Competition Law, Contracts, Intellectual Property Rights and other areas of Civil Law.
Professionals working or associated with our firm are constantly collaborating as a team to maximize the synergy of their combined contribution in achieving success for the client as well as the Firm.
We firmly believe that the ability to build and sustain long term relationships with clients is through constantly adding value to their operations. An integral component of “value addition” is the ability to positively scan the environment and evaluate the implications of an ever-changing legal framework and legislation. Some of these can profoundly impact corporate performance requiring a recast of strategies to stay relevant and maintain a competitive advantage. It is our endeavor to stay consistent with rendering quality legal services.
- How have you seen diversity change over the years in the legal sector?
There is a sea change in the legal scenario especially in the last decade or so. There is a paradigm shift in the perception of the law. It has moved away from litigation and moved towards conciliation, arbitration and settlement. The intention being to reduce real-time issues in courtrooms and provide more amicable solutions and the utilization of developments in technology to achieve the same.
Technology has, in a positive way, changed the entire landscape.Legal research that previously took days can be accomplished in hours now. The increased use of technology is also providing a more level playing ground between the largest and smallest firms. Even the smallest legal firm is able to access the resources which were available earlier only to large firms. In short, technology has raised the quality of legal services to all clients.
- Can you please brief us about your professional experience?
It has been a roller coaster ride. Having graduated in fine arts and completing masters in mass communication, I had planned to pursue my passion in mass communication as my profession. However, owing to the health concerns of my father, it was up to me to take his legacy forward. Hence, I qualified professionally as a lawyer. After doing my bachelor’s at Dr.Ambedkar University, Madras, I was firm on completing my master’s abroad and thus did by LLM in the University ofManchester, UK. While the education and training abroad widened my horizon and exposure to working in the west, it was a culture shock for me to practice in courts of law back home. The initial challenge was to establish my identity and individuality in a male-dominated Profession. I was determined to take up the challenge head-on. In living up to the rich legacy of my father, I took one step at a time. With patience and perseverance, I took the sole proprietorship to the next level – a partnership firm. With the on boarding of Mr.Suman, we then became a corporate LLP law firm in a span of a few years. As a woman, mother and entrepreneur besides being a lawyer, thinking out of the box and multi-tasking come naturally. Constantly working out of the comfort zone and willing to take risks, I am happy to have come this far in my journey as a woman and as a legal professional.
- The key achievements of your journey in the law and litigation sector?
I have strived, and continue to strive, to adhere to a high standard of professionalism, professional ethics, and quality in services that I render to my clients.
I believe that women are natural multi-taskers and try my best to leverage this capability in managing and running the Firm as a professional corporate organization while retaining the ethics and credibility.For example, I handle all issues related to human resources, recruitment, training and motivation, fiancé and system and also Business Development.
- According to you what next-generation women advocate and litigators should focus on?
Gen-next should be open to continuous learning. The ability to be on the learning curve forms the core of any professional career, especially a career in law. The rise to the top should be steady and consistent and not be determined only by money and fame. Knowledge should be the core. All of us should embrace technology like AI which will take this industry to a new level and turn around the landscape of India.
- One person who you admire the most
At the risk of sounding clichéd, it is my father Mr.A.K.Mylsamy. Be it as a parent or as a lawyer with humble beginnings and unblemished track record, he continues to inspire me to put my best foot forward. He is a role model amongst the legal fraternity for 5 decades now.
- It is a rat-race out there. How do you cope with that?
By not stressing out too much about it! By focusing solely on improvement, innovation and value addition to see how best we can take forward our Firm. Self-evaluating and competing with ourselves is the best way to deal with the rat race.