In Talk with
Mr. BHUMESH VERMA
on HIS SUCCESS JOURNEY
About Mr. Bhumesh Verma:
Mr. Bhumesh Verma is the Managing Partner of Corp Comm Legal, an independent Indian law firm headquartered in New Delhi.
Sir started his career at Ajay Bahl & Co. (now part of AZB & Partners). He received the coveted Chevening Scholarship by the UK Government in 2000 whereunder he studied in College of Law, York, and was a visiting lawyer with Ashurst's’ London office. Later on, he became a partner at some of the leading Indian law firms including Khaitan & Co., Paras Kuhad & Associates, and Link Legal.
His primary expertise areas are advising domestic and foreign clients on inbound and outbound Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) transactions, Foreign Investments, Joint Ventures, Technology Transfers, External Commercial Borrowings, and related legal fields.
Mr. Bhumesh has more than 400 published articles to his credit and has authored 2 books on Commercial Contracts Drafting and edited one on Mergers & Acquisitions.
Q1. How do you look back and do you feel satisfied with the present state of your career after spending more than 25 years as an international corporate lawyer?
Well, it is a very tough question. One could always yearn for more, isn’t it? I feel very happy
with the current state, yet I feel there is so much more to be done. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best global professionals and corporates during this time and learned a lot from them. We, as a firm, try to implement the best global practices in our day to day work. All in all, it has been an excellent drive through these years.
Throughout, I have tried to do my bit as a lawyer, an academic, and a mentor to the best of my abilities. At times, I get overwhelmed by the respect showered upon me making me wonder if I deserve all the accolades.
Q2. What is your current state of mind?
I consider myself as a work in progress still because I am very young as an entrepreneur – started Corp Comm Legal just 3 years back. Since then, we have made significant progress as a law firm, an academic collaborator with premier legal education institutions, an excellent platform for Indian students to pursue research and writing skills. I am also getting an opportunity to pursue some of my passions (writing, teaching, etc.) along with legal practice.
Since then, we have floated a global network for boutique law firms consisting – Global Business Lawyers’ League as well as The Indian Lawyers League, an interesting platform for law students, academics, and professionals. The idea being networking between like-minded professionals and sharing information, knowledge, opportunities, and leads.
Therefore, the road ahead seems to be full of excitement and uptick.
Q3. You have mentioned many times that you were a first-generation lawyer despite the obstacles. How did you manage to stay motivated for your ambition and the ways you relied on to avoid demoralization?
Since childhood, I have always been very determined to pursue whatever I want to, with dedication and commitment. The same was the commitment to legal education. Today, it has become a fashion to flaunt one’s underprivileged background to gain sympathy, secure scholarships/crowdsourcing, educational loans, and so on. This wasn’t the case 3 decades back. I belonged to a middle-class family and even had to support my higher education. It was a very tough ride but prepared me for bigger battles ahead.
After getting out of law college, the situations were no better. Litigation lawyers were not in the habit of paying any stipend/remuneration to fresh law graduates and there were so less opportunities in corporate law firms. It was really tough for a first-generation lawyer without any background or contacts in the legal fraternity. However, with hard work and encouragement of great people I got to work with, I never had to look back.
Q4. What do you think is the real state of the legal profession today?
The profession is much more open and democratic today. We have some of the best private and government law colleges in the world. Education has moved a lot better. The opportunities and avenues available to young lawyers today have grown manifold. Liberalization of the Indian economy, rationalization/repeal of outdated laws, adoption of technology, all this has made the legal profession one of the most happening and exciting today. No wonder we see so many CLAT aspirants!
Q5. Could you kindly tell us something about your firm and how it works?
Corp Comm Legal is a global firm with good friends spread across this networked world. Besides in-house capacity as a full-service firm, we have a strong network of highly qualified professionals within and outside India. We work a lot of inbound and outbound corporate M&A transactions in association with these global firms. The clients are assured of very professional, practical, solution-centric advice with an emphasis on timing, quality and pricing. Most of the professionals in our network are ex-big 5 firm partners – hence the clients can expect top-notch service at a fraction of the Big 5 fee.
We are also engaged with leading Indian legal institutions, even the National Productivity Council, Government of India as a knowledge partner for imparting practical education skills to students and professionals. A lot of institutions have tied up with us nominating their students as researchers with us and we have published more than 400 articles.
Q6. Tell us something about your bestselling book on Contract Drafting skills.
Most of the books available in the Indian market were on Contract law and infested with outdated templates.
Sensing the need, the book has been written keeping an average Indian student/lawyer / professional as a reader in mind. It talks of skillset required to write, review, and negotiate contracts. Less law, more practical aspects.
The language of the book is very simple, free of legal jargon. Endorsed by students, academics and professionals in India and outside, This is the reason behind an updated new edition every year, due to it selling out so well. It is prescribed in multiple Indian institutes now. It is available in physical and e-versions.
Q7. What are the traits of a good lawyer?
" An eye for details, sincerity, dedication, patience, good drafting and oratory skills, interpersonal skills, sound temperament are some of the traits which have an everlasting impact on a legal practitioner’s success and goodwill. "
Q8. Is there any considerable difference between a student pursuing law from an NLU, whereas another pursuing from a private college, besides the exposure factor?
These differences are gradually losing the grounds. The education and exposure have become technology-driven, there is so much potential on social media for students not only to access knowledge and information but to demonstrate their research, writing and other skills. Online internships are available if a student cannot get an internship in a good law firm through one’s college. So much knowledge can be accessed through online courses besides one’s college curriculum.
Corp Comm Legal was probably the first Indian law firm to introduce online internships to students across all law schools without any discrimination 3 years back. The results have been very encouraging in terms of our academic engagement with law students and institutions. We may be right after the Big 5 in terms of attracting internship applications, despite our small size.
Therefore, I feel there is not much difference between NLU and non-NLU students in terms of exposure and opportunities.
Q9. What effect do you foresee after the corona pandemic on the legal field? What could be the possible emerging legal trends?
Covid-19 has had its effect on the legal profession as much as other professions. However, with the adoption of technology, the situation has not been as bad as was anticipated. Legal professionals adopted very well to Work from the Home mechanism. Even, the courts were functional, something unfathomable a couple of years back.
The situation should normalize in the next couple of months. Given the potential of the Indian economy despite the Covid-19 tragedy, the future of the legal profession seems to be very good.
I guess going forward, we will have to imbibe more technology in our functioning, thereby reducing the need for personal meetings and travel. The corporate practice has been using a judicious mix of technology already, it is time the litigation and other practice verticals adopt it too.