Ashima Ohri

A business economist, lawyer, and writer. Editorial Consultant for BW Legal World.

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In Conversation with Kritika Krishnamurthy, Partner, AK & Partners

GNLU alumnus Kritika Krishnamurthy shines a light on the greater role of Policy Think Tanks and the growing menace of incorrect reporting of legal and policy interpretations by even the most reputed newspapers. In this interview with Ashima Ohri, she also speaks about how Rich Dad, Poor Dad changed her entire perspective and approach to life.

 Kritika, would you please tell us where did this illustrious journey begin and at what age did you decide to study law. Please walk us through your early years of education and the decision of becoming a lawyer.

I am a compulsive reader. I read whatever comes my way and I generally cannot sleep without reading. In my childhood, I did not have access to libraries or a constant supply of new books. This was much before Flipkart and Amazon. So, I ended up finishing literature books including a bulk of Shakespeare from the secondhand book market meant for graduate-level students. Similarly, I ended up reading the textbook for Secretarial Practice and Organization of Commerce of my elder sister when I was around 15 years old. I was intrigued and hooked instantly. I asked her where I could read more about company law and business structures. She told me I should become a corporate lawyer. Unlike many teenagers of my generation, I actually went to the internet café to do real research. I read up and found out about national law universities. Applied to around 4 of them in the pre-CLAT era and got through Gujarat National Law University (GNLU).

Who have been your guiding mentors and the biggest inspiration in this journey?

I have learnt a lot from the other Founding Partner of my law firm- Anuroop Omkar. His grit, resilience and fire-fighting skills especially in high-pressure transactions always inspire me to emulate him.

Would you please tell us more about the array of work you handle at your firm?

I am one of the Founding Partners at AK and Partners. We are a full-service law firm which is heavily into regulatory practice like Banking and Finance, Insurance as well as related technological offshoots like Fintech and Insurance-tech. We also regularly undertake other work like private equity, mergers and acquisitions, foreign investment and general corporate. We pride ourselves in providing niche commercial negotiation services. We have a sizable dispute resolution practice including litigation up to Supreme Court of India, arbitration and mediation advocacy. We also undertake

litigation and advisory related to direct tax, indirect tax and international taxation especially related to transaction structuring. Around 85% of our clients are foreign investors in India including those who have set up subsidiaries and joint ventures in India. The remaining are purely start-ups and MSMEs. This allows us a wide array of work.

I am also an honorary director with Bridge Policy Think Tank. It is a new age think tank which is probably the only think tank in India which aims at a holistic approach to legal policy through research, advocacy, capacity building, stakeholder outreach and government advisory. Policy is going through some exciting times. There is active work in the banking and finance space, data protection, artificial intelligence, healthcare and education. New fields like agri-tech are emerging. The work here is very dynamic. People expect mundane research from policy think tanks but it involves so much more hands-on the organization of events, creating talking points which reflect the commercial, on-ground perspective of stakeholders at the same time making relevant policy recommendations which are suitable for adoption by the government. I hope more young lawyers show interest in this space.

Please hold tight for BW Legal World's inaugural issue of the print magazine that will feature Kritika Krishnamurthy's full interview and much more from the world of law. Stay tuned...

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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