GnS Legal: ‘Legal’ Knowledge Without Boundaries
This Time, I Want To Do It The Right Way And On My Terms – Abhay Pratap Singh
The Firm has its offices in Delhi, including in the Supreme Court of India, with a network of experienced associates in other cities, enabling it to provide seamless services across sectors, cities and jurisdictions. The attorneys at the firm continue to maintain enduring relationship with their mentors at other firms and the bar, which includes two senior advocates-on-record on the panel of advisors. We talked to Abhay Pratap Singh, Partner, GnS Legal, about how has been his journey.
We asked him about his goal for the company. He says, “The mission is to consolidate on the areas of law we already specialize in and the vision is to expand the firm to cater to all types of clients and their requirements. We want to be a one stop shop for all the Clients’ needs for legal and ancillary work.”
GnS Legal LLP is a full-service law firm with a focus on commercial law, advising on transactions, disputes, and projects. Founded by a group of graduates from National Law Schools, who have earlier worked with top-tier law firms and senior advocates, the firm aims to provide cost-effective yet quality legal services, devoid of legal jargon and time consuming hierarchy. The partners, associates and co-counsels at the firm have a hands-on approach with all clients, matters and transactions, ensuring direct and focused communication at all times. The firm maintains a non-hierarchical team, which enables it to provide services to a range of clients from individuals and start-ups, to large corporations and MNCs.
As the pandemic lingers, law firm business development largely remains in a wait-andsee mode. Firms that decided to wait the quarantine out, touching base with their clients over the phone, shifting to virtual events, and hoping to retain relationships remotely, are missing an opportunity. We asked him about the one thing that he would like to change about the company. He says, ”We are still a young firm who are striving towards perfection. It is still early for us to reflect on the past and analyze. We are confident of our growth as the same is founded on strong principles.”
GnS Legal offers legal services of the kind that ensures long-standing relationship with its clients, and the privilege of continued services to a variety of clients including large corporations, government and public sector undertakings, departments and ministries.
The firm’s major clients include Uniqlo in the retail sector; Amazon in the e-commerce sector; L&T, STRABAG, EFKON and National High Speed Railway Company Limited, in the public infrastructure and projects sector; AU Small Finance Bank, IIFL and Burlington Finance in the Banking sector; Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC), Kut Energy, Rishi Ganga Power Corporation and Rajpur Hydro Power in the energy sector; Kundan Group and Vasundhara Jewellers in the Precious Metals/Gold Sector; and GRM Group in the agriculture sector.
- Law and Technology are the two sides of the same coin: Startup attorneys need to recognize the changing and dynamic nature of the post-COVID-19 market and develop a broader vision of our world, which is often limited only to law.
“We need to step out of the boundaries we have created for ourselves and adviseentrepreneurs on areas like blockchain and crypto, Artificial Intelligence etc, in the light of the existing law of the land. Our goal should be to ease the legal limitations, by smart interpretation of the law,” Abhay Says.
Likewise he says, ”Law and technology is an area which not many lawyers in India are exposed to. Every attorney advising the new age, post-COVID-19, technology-driven entrepreneurs and innovators, should ensure that they have an in-depth understanding of the law and technology.”
- Lawyers As mentors: While most Attorneys are trained to advise, we do not engage much with the entrepreneur in order to mentor them. However, a seasoned startup lawyer, who has dealt with multiple business scenarios and challenges, can be a very effective mentor. Their experience can be of great advantage to an entrepreneur who is particularly new to the ecosystem. We asked Abhay Pratap Singh about the path he took to get where he stands today.
He says, “Being a first-generation lawyer, I had limited idea where the legal field would take me as there was no definitive path. I just followed my instincts and tried to learn as many things as possible. My practice areas have been molded by a great extent by the requirements of my Clients. I believe practicing litigation in my initial years gave me a lot of clarity e.g. once you three different interpretations of a contractual clause being argued vehemently and passionately, you realize the ways in which you should have/ should not have drafted a clause. This cannot be learnt sitting in an office.”
- Lawyers Can Help With Their Network: Startup lawyers have a rich network of people and companies in the ecosystem. We work with and are associated with entrepreneurs, investors, incubation centers, accelerators, co-working spaces etc. Entrepreneurs find it difficult to get access to these networks. It takes a lot of time to build a network. When we asked Abhay about his biggest challenges he had to overcome, he says, “The biggest challenge has been to make a name for yourself when you don’t have any support from inside the legal field. Legal field specially litigation is hugely run on references and contacts and for a new comer, who has no backing, it is the single most challenging job to make a name for yourself and being identified for your work.”
- Golden Words: He wants to share what he has acquired from his exciting journey. He says, “Law is a jealous mistress is often quoted by fellow lawyers and judges and the reason it is so often quoted that these 5 words actually summarize the practice of law in appropriate way. Practicing law is not for everyone, it requires dedication and commitment and most important the will not to give up.”