Interview with Vinayak Srivastava, Partner at Srivastava and Associates

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Vinayak Srivastava is the Partner of Srivastava and Associates. He has expertise in Corporate Laws, Commercial Litigation and Direct Tax and has acted on behalf of both national and multinational company.

He has advised clients on complex transactions such as the establishment of coal mines in Indonesia, manufacturing plant of aerospace engines in India and several other transactions having an income tax, company law implications and other regulations, drafting & vetting of contracts, agreements, and contract negotiations between the parties.

Besides working for Srivastava & Associates, he has work experience with some of the top law firms of India.

He has completed his Bachelors in Law, Corporate Law and Taxation from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and his masters in LLM in Energy Law from UPES, Dehradun. He has also been an Executive Committee member of Indian Federation of UN Association Human Rights.

Libertatem Magazine had a wonderful opportunity to interview Mr. Vinayank and the excerpt can be read below.

Priyanshi: Has Law always been the career you wanted to pursue? What inspired you to take Law as a career option? How was your experience in Law school?

Vinayak Srivastava: When you see all the great people who have shaped our present world, you will notice one thing in common. Almost all are law-trained. The ideas of human rights, democracy, freedom of expression, cannot come into practice without lawyers. Lawyers are upholders of conscience of our society. No other profession can have such a distinction.

Law Schools in India are important, however, its only practical experience which makes one good at law practice.

Priyanshi: You are one of the partners of the Srivastava and Associates, could you please elaborate your journey of success, and what were the challenges you faced while doing so?

Vinayak Srivastava: One of the reasons I joined law, is that in the legal profession one can go independent at any time of your career. After working with a law firm for a period of six years, I decided to go independent and start my own firm. In my first week, I got my first case and after that its only upward trajectory.

When I started my practice, I didn’t restrict myself to one practice area and I did as many cases as I can. This really gave me a lot of insight into law practice. It’s like throwing yourself into the river to learn swimming.

Priyanshi: You’ve been part and had associations with various law firms previously like Amarchand and Mangaldas, Khaitan and Co, Vaish & Associates, PriceWater house Coopers. What inspired you to think out of the box and start a firm of your own?

Vinayak Srivastava: I graduated from law school in the year 2008. I went on to join one of the top law firms in India, Khaitan & Co. Subsequently, I worked for PWC & then Amarchand.

I always wanted to go independent, working for a law firm was meant to know “nuances of business”.  In law firms, I was mainly practising in Direct Taxation. I never had my heart in tax practice and wanted to explore other areas of law such as commercial litigation. With my own firm practice, I have diversified my practise area work experience.

After six years of setting up my firm, I have represented several national, multinational companies such as Schneider Electric, Dalmia Group, SABIC, Saudi Oil Company & several other companies and diversified our firm practice both national & international.

Priyanshi: You have great experience in advising clients with relation to company law, taxation, and also contract negotiations with parties. What is your view over the e-contracts that are on-trend, have they complicated the situation more or less?

Vinayak Srivastava: In the times of Pandemic, when social distancing norms should be followed, it will be prudent for parties to enter into E-contracts. Use of technology will be on the rise in Post-COVID world. Further Indian Information Technology Act, 2000 also do recognize the sanctity of e-contracts. Government has already introduced this concept through E-Tendering process.

Priyanshi: You have acted on behalf of both national and multinational companies. How was your experience different working in both the companies and how did you find the work culture different? Also, what all did you endure and learn new?

Vinayak Srivastava: From a lawyer’s practice point of view, working with multinational companies are more structured then national companies. Multinational Companies usually hires lawyer keeping in view of international acceptable norms & practices. Indian Companies are usually reluctant to invest much in legal services due to some old mindset. It will take time for Indian Companies to understand the importance of legal services in their business.

Priyanshi: You have pursued LLM from UPES. There is a common ideology in India that only people who want to step in the teaching field should pursue LLM in the future.  Do you agree with that? Also, in your view does LLM help in updating the CV by adding more value to it and the chances of getting a better high paid job increases?

Vinayak Srivastava: LLB Course, I believe is too general and brief. LLM would help you understand more deeply on an area of law, you are interested to pursue. Whether you want to go for academic or practice, its one own choice.

Priyanshi: Amidst the COVID-19, there have been many unprecedented situations that occurred over time and due to lockdown, there are various restrictions too in the society, how does your firm strive to reach its full potential amidst this condition?

Vinayak Srivastava: Due to COVID-19, the courts are temporarily suspended. This has affected our Dispute Resolution process. Moreover, the courts are going for e-hearing which is good but has its own limitation & challenges.

There will be a negative effect on business due to COVID. Legal Profession too will face ripple effect. We must be prepared for that.

Priyanshi: Do you think that the scope for building a career in the Energy Law sector is huge? Also, what would your advice to the young law graduates who are yet to step in this sector for a prospective career?

Vinayak Srivastava: With many Saudi & other Gulf countries energy company investing in India, there are bright prospects for energy law sector in India mainly in Energy Contracts & Disputes.

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