The most reliable law firms leave no stone unturned to provide justice to the ones in need. They uphold the law and aim at providing excellent client services. These law firms put their clients front and center and provide opportunity to every employee to learn and grow.
Established in 2012, Athena Legal is a leading law firm based in New Delhi with both pan India and global presence through its network and associations with lawyers and law firms. The firm provides a comprehensive range of corporate, intellectual property, and dispute resolution services. It has established itself as one of India’s fastest growing legal firms with a wide and eminent client base which includes both domestic and international clients.
The firm has constantly worked at addressing the clients’ needs by providing specialized resolution mechanisms while upholding the highest level of integrity and commitment. The diverse and dynamic team of Athena Legal focuses and strives for constant improvement with a goal to provide the best services to the ever-increasing clientele.
Each member of the firm strongly believes that justice should be accessible to all. In an endeavor to give back to the society, it undertakes significant number of pro-bono cases each year.
Delivering a Plethora of Excellent Services
Over the years, Athena Legal has provided comprehensive services ranging from corporate and transactional advisory to litigation and intellectual property laws. The firm has significant experience and presence in the Supreme Court of India, High Courts of various states of India, NCLT, NCLAT, National Consumer Forum, and various state and district forums.
Athena Legal has assisted and facilitated an Indian conglomerate to be a successful resolution applicant with respect to a Section 7 application, filed by a creditor whereby seeking declaration of insolvency against a debtor, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 having the resolution plan for an amount of Rs. 4,300 crores. Further, in regard to a very significant judgment with respect to injunctions against a certain published book, the firm succeeded in obtaining a post-publication injunction ordered by the court in favor of a client with portions of the said book being held to be prima facie defamatory and as a result were struck off by the court from being published further as a part of the book.
Athena Legal also broke new ground in the field of social media and intermediary liabilities by way of succeeding in obtaining a judgment for taking down of certain content off social media portals on a global level.
The firm takes pride in taking up pro bono cases. The firm has successfully represented many under trial convicts in Tihar jail, who, either were not being represented in the most appropriate manner or did not have the means to hire a lawyer. “It always is a moment of pride for us when we are able to get an innocent person, the justice they deserved”, states team Athena Legal.
The person taking Athena Legal to greater heights is none other than Rajat Prakash, the Managing Partner. He is equipped with international experience from his time with leading firms like, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Washington), Mayer Brown (Brussels), Amarchand & Mangaldas, and Suresh A Shroff & Co. (India). Mr. Rajat has been decorated with multiple awards including, the Rising Star in recognition of Achievement & Excellence by Legal Era 2015-2016, Mahatma Gandhi Samman by The NRI Welfare Society of India, House of Lords, London, U.K. in September 2016, and the ‘Visionaries of Uttar Pradesh’ award.
Adopting Technology in the Legal Space
Mr. Rajat is of the opinion that technology has stirringly revolutionized the work culture of hitherto conventional law offices. He is particularly impressed with solutions like Citrix, which allow the workforce to access their office systems from home- without compromising on data security. “Leading the way, our firm has a dedicated IT team, which has played a pivotal role in ensuring that physical accessibility does not come the way of smooth execution of day-to-day operations of the firm”, states Mr. Rajat. This has not only enabled the firm to work efficiently, but has also minimized rote tasks, thereby enhancing overall productivity.
Facing the Pandemic Efficiently
Team Athena Legal believes that the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact has affected every industry adversely, with some businesses going completely under and others bringing new working styles and patterns to better adapt to a new way of living. In this scenario, law firms have also had their business negatively affected with closure/limited functioning of courts, clients facing loss of business, insolvency or bankruptcy, thereby failing to make payments, etc.
Due to delay in clearance of payments to the firm for its legal services, Athena Legal ensured that salaries were released regularly to the employees and to further ensure that all necessary essentials as well as medical assistance was provided to the employees and their families. It further changed its working regime to a work-from-home model thereby adopting the new virtual concept to ensure legal services are provided to its clients even during lockdown as it is the best mode to ensure the safety and well-being of the employees and their family members.
Current Scenario of the Indian Legal Space
Mr. Rajat states, “In my opinion, any assessment of contemporary Indian legal services market would be incomplete without an obligatory reference to words such as: transformation, innovation, wide spread adoption of technology, adaption, and automation. These words not only reflect the current legal market mood but also accentuate how deeply the legal world, as we knew it; has been transformed”.
In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation, businesses in some sectors have suffered sharp declines in volume and revenue, and the current circumstances have become more conducive for mid and small-sized law firms, as larger firms during these times have had to resort to cost-cutting, and in general have higher legal fees, and therefore many clients have gravitated towards mid-sized and small-sized law firms.
He further adds, “In just over a year’s time, the COVID-19 crisis has brought about decades of change. The industry which had long been accused of being averse to change- is today seeing widespread adoption of so-called ‘internet systems. This has virtually transformed every single aspect of the India legal landscape, be it the client market; the law offices; the court-rooms; our existing models of knowledge management, information management; legal procedures etc. In fact, with anticipated advancement in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), legal landscape is bound to witness further transformation”.
Words of Inspiration
Mr. Rajat states that entrepreneurs or start-ups aspiring to venture into the legal-service sector must focus on having a specialized business structure and must gain considerable knowledge in the field while keeping a close eye on the needs of their clientele and developments happening therein. Once an enterprise has been set up, its intellectual properties such as trademark, design, patent, trade secret and likewise must be protected so as to give a competitive edge over other market players.
He further states that it is pertinent to be noted that law is no longer only about litigators. The demand for legal services is on a continual rise even after the market for legal firms became stagnant and thus, it must be exploited to its full potential.