We Need To Take a Deep Look At How Technology Can Help Improve the Practice of Law—Aastha, Partner, Argus Partners
In this interview with Ashima Ohri our Managing Editor, Aastha shares her journey in law, her thoughts on joining the BW Legal World Elite 40 Under 40 Club of Achievers 2021 with the prestigious BW Legal World 40 Under 40 Best Lawyers and Legal Influencers Award, and DEI at law firms in this day and age.
Aastha, Partner, Argus Partners
How and when did you know becoming a lawyer was your life’s calling?
I am a first-generation lawyer and took up law without knowing if I would like it. I got lucky since as I went through the paces of law school, I really enjoyed studying law and it was very soon clear to me that this was what I wanted to do.
Please tell us about your specialization and the array of work you handle at your firm?
My practice at the Firm is focused on financing as well as corporate insolvency and restructuring matters. I advise banks, NBFCs, credit funds and corporate houses on financing transactions including, structured finance, syndicated lending, real estate financing and corporate bond issuances.
I also advise various stakeholders including investors and lenders on corporate insolvency and restructuring matters. This involves providing strategic inputs and solutions on a range of contentious as well as non-contentious distressed situations. I regularly appear before the NCLT as well for various matters under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
What are your predictions for the year going forward?
I think with the economic rebound expected in 2022, we will see increased investor participation in the Indian corporate bond market as well as an increase in external borrowings.
As a new age lawyer, what to your mind is the one thing in the current legal ecosystem at the Bar, Bench, or Law Firms that needs our attention.
We need to take a deep look at how technology can help improve the practice of law.
I firmly believe that technology and artificial intelligence are about to fundamentally revolutionise the legal ecosystem. Most of the tools we currently use are essentially the same as they were about a decade ago. We need to take a deep look at how technology can help improve the practice of law.
Many Congratulations on joining the BW Legal World Elite 40 Under 40 Club of Achievers 2021. What to your mind has helped you get to where you are and what advice would you have for others who want to set off in a similar direction?
One can never get good at something they do not enjoy.
I feel it is extremely important to truly enjoy the work you do, especially in a profession as demanding as ours. One can never get good at something they do not enjoy. I am really passionate about the subject of law and the thing I love most about our profession is that one continues to remain a student for life and constantly learn.
As a final note, would you please recommend to our readers your favourite book that left a lasting impression on you.
I have learnt a great deal from Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers. Whilst the book is ostensibly about tech entrepreneurship, it has some very hard-hitting lessons on managing teams, becoming a leader, and fostering a positive work culture.
While it is encouraging to see the increase in statistics of women in law and in leadership roles, would you say things have become easier, or does the way to the top continue to be a journey through labyrinths and mazes for women?
I feel there is still some disparity in the number of women lawyers, especially at the mid-level.
I feel there is still some disparity in the number of women lawyers, especially at the mid-level. Whilst it is very heartening to see organizations becoming more and more gender-inclusive, there is a long way to go to ensure that women do not drop out and that needs supportive organizations, families, and peers.
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