Aditya Chopra, a law graduate of the Institute of Law, Nirma University is the Founder and Managing Partner of Victoriam Legalis, a Mumbai based full-service law firm. The law firm, established in 2020, operates with a strong focus on providing solutions to its clients, and adopts the approach of providing an in-depth assistance and advisory service, on all nice areas of practice. Previously, Mr. Chopra, had also co-founded and established PSL Advocates & Solicitors.
In this interview to Bar and Bench, Mr. Chopra, talks about his journey as a lawyer, the reasons behind establishing a law-firm, the challenges that he faced in the initial days of setting up his law firm and ways in which he overcame those challenges. He ends the interview with a motivating advice to graduating students of the current year.
Why did you choose law and what made you decide to set Victoriam Legalis?
When I was young, I wasn’t really aspiring to be a lawyer, but I instinctively always supported logical reasoning. Subsequently, I became inclined towards the legal profession and gradually decided to follow the path that was beautifully paving out for me and be a lawyer. Although I had missed out on a few application deadlines, as I was sure of my path, I was determined to give it my all.
The key reason for starting the firm was to be disruptive and ground-breaking as well as provide practical, creative and cost-effective advice. I am a firm believer of the ideology that one must infuse the law with the same passion and persistence that one brings to his business. Hence, the thought behind starting the firm was to provide clear, concise and practical advice to clients.
We follow the above, while defining our work culture and business strategies and that is the reason why at Victoriam Legalis, we do everything differently. Whilst we do have full regard for the old rule book, we question every aspect before following it and see whether we can change it for the better. In short, at the firm we always lay emphasis on a commercio-legal, modern and progressive manner of providing client solutions.
How has Victoriam Legalis been coping to do business during COVID times especially given that the firm was set up in 2020? Please tell us about Victoriam Legalis' journey so far, including any key or interesting matters.
We started Victoriam Legalis in January 2020 i.e., two months before the nation-wide lock-down induced by the pandemic. I wouldn’t say that it was a bed of roses all the way and we had all the teething troubles of any new venture.
Throughout this period, I was totally focused in enhancing our business performance and growth of our colleagues as well as our clients by engaging with them and explaining them the basic nuances of law which were applicable to their cases. In the initial few days I did not think that the firm will be able to survive the challenges posed by the pandemic. However with the support of our clients and colleagues, we were able to successfully overcome all challenges.
At the work front, I continued to be in the forefront of some high-end litigation and cross border transactions. In 2020, I was recognised as the “India Rising Stars 2020” by Asian Legal Business and “40 under 40 Rising Stars 2020” by Legal Era. I have also been enlisted in the Legal Powerlist as one of the Top Managing Partners under ten years by Forbes India 2021.
In your experience, how is the litigation scene in Mumbai different from ways in which litigation is practiced in other smaller Indian cities?
Mumbai is not only the commercial capital of India, it is also a state with diverse cultures and a wide population, coming from all walks of life. With such diversity, comes a variety of disputes and challenges. The practice here differs mainly due to its significant awareness of the subject and with that the passion of every individual to strive hard to sustain in such a fast pacing environment. Hence most of litigations coming out of Mumbai bring forth perspectives and precedents which are evolved and balanced. The smaller Indian courts too have a wide variety of litigations and in my opinion they play a significant role when it comes to bringing forth justice to people. In fact, the pressure on such small courts is also high and often times they provide significant orders. Over all, you will notice that while the vastness and scale of the cases changes, the law interestingly remains the same. In fact, in my experience, Mumbai has seen some of the most complex litigations and that is one of the most important reasons why our country has witnessed some of the sharpest legal minds from this city.
What advice would you give students who graduated in 2020 or will soon be graduating in 2021 and are facing’ difficulties in securing jobs?
These have been difficult times for everyone indeed and I believe it has been most difficult for the law students who graduated during the ongoing pandemic. I would just like to tell them that there isn’t a sure shot way to success in the legal profession. Everyone has his/her own unique story of success. Believe in yourself – something will surely come to you. No point in comparison and ultimately losing your heart. All you need is patience and hard work.
This interview was conducted by Campus Ambassador, Rohit Kumar.