Atlas Law Partners: A Rising Star in the Legal Firmament

Niti Paul, Harry Chawla, Co-founders, Atlas Law Partners | Insight Success | Business Magazine in India

In a dynamic economy such as India, one needs more than just business acumen to run a business successfully. Apart from financial and human resource experts, it is important to have the right legal experts. Unlike the common thought-process of ‘one needs a lawyer only when there’s a major legal issue’, it is good to have legal advice right from the start.
Liaising with corporate firms to provide them with timely corporate and transactional advisory are Harry Chawla and Niti Paul, Founders of Atlas Law Partners (ALP). The boutique corporate and transactional advisory firm specializes in corporate commercial laws, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, banking & finance, private client practice matters, regulatory matters, antitrust / competition laws and dispute resolution. It started as a two-member team in 2016 and is now represented by sixteen lawyers and four partners.
Experienced Founders
Harry joined the law practice in 1990 and has been a part of several leading Indian law firms, including the erstwhile Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co., Cyril Amarchand & Mangaladas (CAM), Luthra & Luthra Law Offices. He started his independent firm Chawla & Co. in 2001 which later merged with the erstwhile Amarchand & Mangaldas in 2007.
Niti was admitted to the bar in 1999 and has worked with leading Indian law firms such as erstwhile Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff &Co. She has also worked in the in-house legal department of various leading multinational corporations.
Both the Founding Partners regard the practice of Law as not just a noble profession, but also a way to give back to the society. The practice is also intellectually stimulating and challenging, which makes work every day all more interesting.
Areas of Practice
Atlas Law Partners has expertise in

  • Corporate commercial laws
  • mergers & acquisitions
  • real estate
  • banking & finance
  • private client practice matters
  • regulatory matters
  • antitrust / competition laws and
  • dispute resolution.

The Founders are well-renowned in the Indian corporate commercial legal market and have often received accolades that boost their presence in the market like the “Banking & Finance Law Firm of The Year – India by ACQ5 Global Awards 2019”.
The Legal System and its Challenges
Like any other profession, the legal one is also hounded by many issues. Some of the key challenges faced by Indian law firms as per the ALS team are:

  1. a) Reigning in costs by moving from a traditional hourly billable format to fixed fee matters, achieving super specialization to face intense competition heads on.
  2. b) Threat from accounting / consulting firms who have been investing heavily in their legal services arm.
  3. c) Retention of correct talent with thousands of lawyers entering the legal market on a regular basis.

Apart from these what also bothers the Legal Fraternity is the gap between Law Formulation and Law Enforcement. The founders believe that laws exist to fill in the various gaps created by society and the actions of men. However, the enforcement of these laws is far from satisfactory. To explain their view, they give the example of the recently formulated Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. They feel, “It is a comprehensive statute that seeks to cover all plausible situations involved in the insolvency resolution of a company. However, in terms of implementation, the road to success is slow and ever-changing. The fine-tuning of the law continues to date.”
But the founders are also positive about the future as they see the young take up law more seriously. They feel that start-ups and entrepreneurs in the law firm space need to identify their niche practice areas and work with a focus towards developing these. In this day and age of super specialization, it is important, especially for start-up law firms to identify their practice areas and hire the right talent for these practice areas and industry sectors.
Looking Ahead
As its future prospect, Atlas Law Partners endeavours to grow from strength to strength. The founders say, “We see our prospects increasing in leaps and bounds in our areas of specializations including banking & finance, mergers and acquisitions and real estate. We also see ourselves growing in the startup space, representing investors and startups alike from an early stage seed investment to a 6th / 7th round of funding. Our competition law practice, in so far as a merger control filing are concerned, is recent and has received successful approvals one after another.” ALP team is a small but effective one, and it hopes to grow in numbers and transactions size and volume year on year.

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