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Dr. Abhimanyu Chopra Shares Innovative Strategies in Intellectual Property Protection with ObserveNow

Innovative Strategies

In an increasingly dynamic legal landscape, achieving balance is paramount for legal practitioners navigating the diverse needs of their clientele. From serving High Net worth Individuals (HNIs) to advising banks, private equity funds, and multinational corporations, the scope of representation demands adaptability and foresight. Concurrently, the evolution of legal and regulatory frameworks presents a multifaceted challenge, requiring a nuanced understanding of emerging trends and compliance obligations.

Amidst this complexity, the intersection of Cyber and constitutional law emerges as a pivotal arena, where legal professionals must navigate the intricacies of digital governance and individual rights. In this intricate ecosystem, maintaining equilibrium between the varied interests of clients and the evolving legal landscape is both a strategic imperative and a hallmark of legal excellence. In this regard ObserveNow interacted with Dr Abhimanyu Chopra, Partner – Litigation and Disputes at AZB & Partners.Abhimanyu

Dr. Chopra has achieved recognition in the Asian Legal Business “Asia Super 50 TMT Lawyers 2024.” The Selection of lawyers was determined through feedback submitted by clients directly to Asian Legal Business between December 2023 and January 2024. The assessment considered the performance of nominated lawyers and the business reputation of the recommending clients. The compilation of the list was based on input from more than 400 in-house counsels spanning 11 jurisdictions in Asia and abroad.

Here are some edited excerpts from the interview:

As a Partner, how do you balance representing diverse clients, such as HNIs, banks, private equity funds, and multinational companies? Can you share a scenario where this diversity played a crucial role?

Each client brings unique needs, challenges and objectives to the table and essentially to manage this, I prioritize understanding the specific goals and concerns of each client, regardless of their background or industry before advising/ representing the client. For instance, representing high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) often involves a focus on personal wealth preservation and succession planning while banks may require assistance with advisory matters, representation in courts, regulatory compliance and/or risk management. This also helps me cater to their unique needs and requirements.

At our firm, we prioritize collaboration across teams, ensuring that specific expertise is readily available to serve clients efficiently. Additionally, staying abreast of evolving laws is crucial in providing proactive and tailored legal solutions owing to changing landscapes.

One scenario where this diversity played a crucial role was during a complex dispute matter, where insights into an unrelated matter helped shape a successful legal strategy before the court since that debate had provided us with enough ammunition to put forth a great case before the Court.

In your role at AZB & Partners, how do you stay abreast of evolving legal and regulatory frameworks, and how do you contribute to shaping them, as mentioned in the firm’s approach?

Staying abreast of evolving legal and regulatory frameworks is a non-negotiable work requirement and is a fundamental part of our practice. I won’t say that I read case commentaries every night, but I do find time to read judgments related to my areas of interest and practice. Social Media handles and LinkedIn is particularly helpful in providing the transfer of information instantaneously and sometimes you find new or pointed cases which impact your case in some manner.

We also have a dedicated team focused on monitoring changes in laws and regulations across various sectors and jurisdictions. This team provides regular updates and analysis to all partners, ensuring that we remain informed of any developments that may impact our clients. Additionally, I personally and actively engage in continuous education programs, industry conferences and contribute to legal publications to stay informed and contribute to shaping legal and regulatory frameworks.

With your background in both Cyber and constitutional law, how do you navigate the delicate balance between individual privacy rights and the legal obligations related to cybersecurity, particularly with the introduction of the new DPDP Act?

Navigating the delicate balance between individual privacy rights and cybersecurity obligations is a complex challenge, particularly with the introduction of the new Data Protection and Digital Privacy (DPDP) Act. With my background, I approach this issue by prioritizing a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape, including relevant statutes, regulations, and case law. I work closely with clients to assess their specific cybersecurity risks and compliance requirements, taking into account their industry, business model, and data processing activities.

In addressing this balance, I advocate for proactive measures to protect individual privacy rights while also ensuring compliance with cybersecurity obligations. This may involve implementing robust data protection policies and procedures, conducting privacy impact assessments, and providing ongoing training and awareness programs for employees. Additionally, I stay updated on developments in cybersecurity best practices and emerging technologies to provide strategic guidance to clients on mitigating cyber risks while safeguarding individual privacy rights.

This area will start getting traction in the coming days possibly when the rules are notified and will impact a lot of businesses.

In the realm of Intellectual Property, what innovative strategies have you implemented to safeguard the rights of your clients, especially those in the technology and telecommunications sectors?

This area is very dynamic and requires attention while tailoring to the unique challenges of these industries. I work closely with clients to develop comprehensive IP protection strategies that align with their business objectives and market dynamics. These vary from discussions and plans for securing patents for innovative technologies, registering copyrights/ trademarks to protect brand identity and implementing trade secret protection measures to safeguard valuable proprietary information.

We like taking a proactive and holistic approach to IP management by which we help clients maximize the value of their intellectual property assets while minimizing risks and potential infringement issues and of course also do effective enforcement of our client’s rights when infringers do crop up. Additionally, we also develop strategies through industry conferences and work groups e.g. In the past through such work groups, we were able to remove certain issues pertaining to patents as a category from The Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007.

With your extensive experience in Restructuring & Insolvency, can you elaborate on a challenging case, addressing legal complexities and ensuring a favorable outcome?

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is a very niche area of practice where the law is constantly being formulated, getting amended, discussed and settled by Courts. We have been part of some of the very first matters which have been adjudicated in our favour. While it would be difficult to name one purely on the above parameter.

However, I would like to discuss a matter which got us a lot of teaching about the Code. It pertained to the restructuring of a company facing financial distress due to declining market conditions and mounting debt obligations. The company’s operations were spread across multiple jurisdictions, complicating the restructuring process further. In this case, my team and I worked closely with the company’s management, creditors, and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive restructuring plan that addressed the company’s financial challenges while preserving value for creditors and other stakeholders. This involved negotiating debt restructuring agreements and implementing operational efficiency measures to improve profitability.

Throughout the process, we remained focused on achieving a consensual resolution that minimized disruption to the company’s operations and preserved value for all parties involved. By leveraging our expertise in restructuring law and our understanding of the industry dynamics, we were able to navigate the legal complexities effectively and achieve a favourable outcome for our client.

Given your focus on strategic advisory, can you provide an example where your in-depth understanding of a client’s business and industry played a pivotal role in providing effective legal guidance?

In a strategic advisory, understanding a client’s business and industry is essential for providing effective as well as sound legal guidance. Again providing one example is difficult but I will talk about one of the most interesting ones where my in-depth understanding of a client’s business played a pivotal role in advising a technology start-up in the gaming sector on its expansion into new markets. By conducting a thorough analysis of the client’s business model, market positioning, and growth objectives, we were able to identify potential legal risks and opportunities associated with the expansion strategy.

Based on this analysis, we developed a tailored legal roadmap that addressed key areas such as regulatory compliance, intellectual property protection and contract negotiations. Additionally, we provided ongoing strategic advice to help the client navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities as they arose.

By leveraging our deep understanding of the client’s business and industry, we were able to provide proactive legal guidance that supported their growth objectives and mitigated potential risks which would otherwise have shut them down at the get-go. This enabled the client to successfully expand into new markets while minimizing legal exposure and maximizing value creation and in turn flourish to be one of the market leaders in India.



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