Sahiba Ahluwalia: Benchmarking Legal Excellence

Sahiba Ahluwalia
Sahiba Ahluwalia | Singh & Associates Founder 

Women have played vital roles in the growth of practice of law. Whether it be defending clients in court, representing companies, or making consequential rulings, female lawyers continue to fight for justice and pave the way for women in the field. Certain female attorneys have left remarkable imprints in the field of law.

Their willpower and perseverance in the face of adversity have led to new legislations and more equitable policies and have continued the fight against injustice in distinct aspects of life. Their contributions to the field are worthy of emulation and celebration. This is where Adv. Sahiba Ahluwalia excels in the legal industry.

Sahiba Ahluwalia is a Litigating Counsel, currently practising in New Delhi, as a Senior Associate in the Dispute Resolution team. She has previously worked with L&L Partners and MSA Partners as an Associate in the Dispute Resolution team.

Sahiba’s work experience spans a broad range of commercial arbitrations, particularly arbitrations arising out of EPC (infrastructure) contracts. She has had the opportunity to explore various dispute resolution mechanisms thoroughly.

As far as her educational qualifications are concerned, Sahiba holds a degree in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law (LL.B.) from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. Subsequently, she has also completed her Masters in International Commercial Laws with Distinction (AY 2017-2018) from University College, London.

An Alluring Cruise

While growing up, Sahiba was always inclined towards understanding human logic and analysing life situations, which was the main driving force behind her pursuit of law as a career option. With time, there came a slow realization that being involved in the legal field would suit her aptitude.

Sahiba believes that one of the enticing factors was also that, unlike other professions, the profession of law involves complex and diverse legislation, vast body of case laws and varying legal systems, which create an intellectually stimulating environment as opposed to the dull and drab routine followed in other professional fields.

The whole thought of single-handedly being able to bring a positive change in society instilled the zeal to work hard and attempt to bring about the changes that she wants to see in our society. The staggering growth experienced by the legal industry, be it in terms of prestige or prosperity, was another primary motivator for her to tread on this path.

This field allows one to be involved with all parts of society, be it the merger of two multi-national companies or the release of the salary due to an engineer or the release of a new film or even common issues affecting society at large. Thus, there is immense potential and no dearth of opportunities.

Overcoming the Challenges

Sharing the facts on the challenges in the legal industry, Sahiba said,

“Life in law school is like always running on a treadmill. One is expected to maintain a fine balance between academics, internships, extra-curricular activities, and other allied interests that one wishes to pursue.”

“However, things are different when you enter the legal fraternity as a law practitioner. You are constantly faced with various challenges, be it professional or personal and most importantly, the law being dynamic in nature, the learning never ends. Therefore, it is important to understand and embrace the situation at hand and be a quick learner who can grasp legal as well as non-legal concepts with ease.”

“Having said so, in my opinion, the biggest challenge in our profession these days is to maintain a work-life balance,” she added.

An advocate of the Comprehensive Legal Environment

Sahiba’s work starts by providing legal advice to clients concerning the assorted options available to them prior to the onset of litigation and providing a composite legal strategy for achieving the desired result. Her work experience spans a broad range of commercial arbitrations and related litigation, particularly in EPC (Infrastructure) disputes.

She has had an opportunity to advise and assist leading construction companies involved in constructing Roads, Airports, Railways, etc., concerning disputes arising out of multi-million contracts between private parties, conglomerates, and statutory authorities. She has represented clients at various stages of arbitration, from entering reference to the execution of the Award and other related litigation.

Adding to this scenario, Sahiba shared, “while the center of my work has mostly been commercial arbitration, I have also been fortunate enough to get a multitude of opportunities to appear and represent clients before various other legal forums as well, which has greatly shaped my career as a law practitioner.”

Evolving around the Technology

There is no doubt that technological advancement has deeply impacted every industry and practice area, the legal industry being no exception to the same. Technology has definitely increased efficiency, ensured business continuity during the global pandemic and improved the quality of services, including enabling the flow of real-time information for early action. At present, e-filing, video conferencing, e-courts, virtual hearings etc., are all possible due to the adoption of technology in the legal industry.

It has significantly reduced the time required to process and share data, streamlined communications and most importantly, has enabled lawyers to find relevant information, statutes, and case laws using online legal databases. These advancements have helped lawyers focus more on their clients and give them more of their time and efforts.

Revolutionizing the Legal Industry

Sahiba believes that the next generation of young lawyers bring a fresh perspective, a more client-centric approach, and a higher standard of professional service with the help of technology.

She also believes that having had the opportunity to work in pioneering law firms of India, specializing largely in commercial arbitrations, including, in particular, the field of EPC (Infrastructure) disputes, has allowed her  the opportunity to obtain an in-depth knowledge within the field of arbitration.

Sahiba is privileged to say that she has assisted and been allowed the opportunity to play an instrumental role in landmark judgements in the field of arbitration.

She believes that working under a high-pressure environment and high-value cases for eminent companies has enabled her to hone her skills, become proficient with her specialization, and ensure efficiency over the course of years.

It wouldn’t be out of place to say that having worked under stalwarts of the legal industry has greatly shaped her approach to handling subject matters and obtaining a client-driven approach for ensuring desired results within the desired time.

Pearls of Wisdom

As a piece of advice for aspiring legal enthusiasts who are willing to step into the legal space, Sahiba shared that the youth of this generation have a lot to offer, and she believes that the legal industry can often seem overwhelming.

“I believe that we should not forget that the next generation of lawyers will pave the way for the legal industry with their technological prowess, fresh perspective, and zeal for learning the law.

I think, since every day in the legal fraternity is a learning opportunity, I would like to impart what I have always followed in my professional career and observed in my mentors i.e. leaders in the legal fraternity are keen learners and life-long students of law. So long as the young aspirants make consistent efforts towards enhancing their knowledge, their toil will come to fruition.”

“For me, consistency is the key, and a holistic development of both physical and mental health is a necessity. Therefore, one must try to achieve a balance in their life between life goals and career goals so that at the end of the day, you are satisfied with your work and not burnt out due to the demands of the profession,” she added.

Industry Sagacity

In Sahiba’s opinion, the last two years have certainly reshaped the Indian legal landscape. With social distancing obligations and frequent lockdowns, the legal fraternity has faced multiple challenges in the practice of law.

However, rising to the challenges, the legal industry has adopted technology to ensure continuity of legal proceedings and a fluid work model to ensure that clients do not face hindrances.

It is commendable and noteworthy that the Indian courts, despite the staggering volume of cases, successfully and smoothly brought the transition in court proceedings and introduced virtual courtrooms to ensure that the administration of justice is uninterrupted. The situation is unpredictable; however, the past has been a testament that even the legal industry can adapt to radical changes and bring a complete transformation by introducing digital era.

Related Posts