“What we have done for ourselves remains with us; what we have done for others and the world remains immortal”, as mentioned by the American writer, Albert Pike, speaks volumes about the purpose of one’s life. Manjula Chawla, Founding Partner at Phoenix Legal is one such lawyer who was inspired by many greats while studying for law. It was the result of this inspiration that enthused with energy within her to change the world by ensuring justice for the less privileged. A woman of substance, Manjula is breaking all the stereotypes.
The Voyage of Triumph
The unmatched reputation that Manjula enjoys today is the result of constant hard work and the undying dedication. As we say, “Nothing worth having comes easily”, the celebrated journey of success began on a rough patch. She asserts, “The profession of law is demanding and requires hard work and dedication. There is no substitute for hard work.”
Alike any law graduate at her time, Manjula started her career as a litigator after which she started practicing in Delhi High Court. Later, the economic liberalisation of 1991 paved the way for Manjula to pursue an entirely new practice of law. Recalling those days, she says that the transition from court practice to a corporate law practice in 1993 changed her not only her professional journey but also her life. The change was however not smooth. There were very few lawyers who had ventured into this area. There was lack of conventional briefs or cases and working with foreign companies investing in to India necessitated an entirely new way of working. Learning all the essentials by herself, Manjula’s knack for corporate law has placed her on the top and paved for many others to follow.
Stepping into corporate law, Manjula had started advising large multinational corporations (including many Fortune 500 companies) from the USA, Europe and Japan on cross border transactions and helping them set up their presence in India. She recalls saying that the demands of the foreign companies were new to her. While she was excited about being a part of the new changing economic climate and working for the world famous companies, entering the Indian market for the first time, she also says that it was challenging and required an entirely new approach towards work. Along with legal advisory, the clients also needed business oriented solutions; Manjula had to keep up with different time zones over fax and telephone calls. Every day was a new experience.
She further adds, even though this profession is dominated by male, she had not felt any particular discrimination as a woman. She feels that maintaining a balance between work and personal life is equally difficult for both men and women. Manjula too had her share of ups and downs. Yet, her determination and also the solid support from her parents helped her to overcome all difficulties.
Passion and Determination: Catalysts of Success
Unlike many, the success story of Manjula is authored by herself. The zeal that she has towards this profession has helped her to soar higher. Transferring from court practise to corporate law was a difficult choice at that time but Manjula says that she found her right place in the transition.
A passionate lawyer with a felicity to justice, Manjula is also an astute mentor. As corporate law practise is not individual centric, she had to build up teams of young lawyers and ensure that they are also able to provide quality advice and communicate it with clarity. Even though Manjula finds a great sense of satisfaction in being appreciated by clients, she feels great pride when juniors whom she has trained achieve great heights and acknowledge her as their mentor.
About Phoenix Legal
One of the leading and finest full-service law firms, Phoenix Legal offers an extensive range of transactional, regulatory, advisory, dispute resolution, and tax services. The firm advises a diverse clientele including domestic and international companies, banks and financial institutions, funds, promoter groups, and Public Sector Undertakings.
Established in the year 2008, this firm enjoys an unmatched client satisfaction. The RSG consulting had ranked this firm amongst the Top 20th Law Firms in 2013 Indian Law Firm Ranking. Under Manjula’s guidance, the firm has been able to maintain its position amongst the Top 20 until today. Having its presence in major cities like; New Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai, the firm today has 15 Partners and 70 lawyers.
Being one of the fastest growing law firms, Phoenix Legal boasts about its high degree of partner involvement and availability and the top quality commercially oriented legal advice. Attention to detail and the responsive and flexible billing are the other attributes that differentiates this firm from others.
Wise Words for the New Entrants
Aiding Phoenix Legal towards the walkway of success and maintaining a celebrated reputation, Manjula clearly shows that, nothing but only hard work can bring success. Her advice to the aspiring law students is, “Imbibe principles of honesty, ethics and good values if you want to be admired and respected. Be willing to learn each day”.