November 24, 2020

Interview: Md Piyal Shaikh (Associate, Equilex)

Md Piyal Shaikh is currently working as an associate at a law firm called Equilex. He has completed his B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) from Department of Laws, University of Calcutta and has also been an associate at Economic Laws Practice.

We managed to ask him following questions:

How would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, I am Md Piyal Shaikh, and I am currently working as an associate at a law firm called Equilex. I primarily work with matters relating to Banking, Finance, and Insolvency, chiefly focussing on a solution-based approach to debt market problems associated with documentation, structuring, analysis and dispute resolution.

Please tell us something about your pre-college life.

Well, before college while I was in high school, I didn’t really feel like I fit in. As a school student, I was fairly motivated by the idea of being successful in the field of science. I had a special fascination for black holes for some reason, which created my liking for physics. In the 11th and 12th grade, I realized that while I loved studying about black holes, I didn’t really like writing about them in answer scripts, so I bombed my science papers in ISC, but got a decent marking overall (saved by the best four concept). After that, well my Father (love him for this) suggested that I sit for the Calcutta University law entrance exam, which I cracked and lived happily ever after (sort of).

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What inspired you to pursue law?

Well, there was no lack of inspiration in this department, my father and all his brothers had pursued law, and the same applied to almost all my cousins. However, the strongest influence came from my elder brother, who I look up to and try to trace his steps up the success ladder.

How has been your working experience with Equilex?

In a short phrase – absolutely lovely. I have been with the firm since its genesis in May, 2019. The managing partner – Mr. Deep Roy has been my mentor and guide ever since I have started working. Everyone at the firm is very motivated and the concept of taking responsibility is heavily promoted among all. Over and above that, the attention to detail and the guidance each and every person receives is amazing. However, I feel like the stand out feature is the care which we all have for each other as a team, treating the firm as more of a family than a workplace.

Please tell us something about the law firm in which you have worked earlier.

Prior to working with Equilex, I was engaged with Economic Laws Practice, Mumbai. They are an amazing group of lawyers in a law firm with some of the best names in the industry. I value my time there, and the connections that I have created there are profound, It was there that the foundation of my legal knowledge was built.

What prompted you to choose this job?

Our field of work brings us across many vital aspects of the economy, such as, debt financing, structuring, insolvency, etc. It is a very dynamic portion of the economy, especially insolvency, which under the ambit of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, has become an ever evolving and solution oriented law. As I have mentioned earlier, Equilex is already a dream workspace to be a part of, which is further enhanced with my liking for the field of law, thereby, making it a no-brainer in my decision to be a part of an amazing organisation.

What is your advice to students who are confused in deciding their career option?

It’s always a question of the variables that confuse us about the job we want. For me personally the variable that I focus on is ‘happiness’. If you go by my advice, ask yourself what would make you the ‘happiest’, and then make the choice. Just remember, while success has a high chance of leading one to happiness, doing what you love and what makes you happy, will always lead to ‘happiness’. So, if you really are fascinated by an idea, do your research, do your prep, make sure you fulfil all conditions precedent, and then go for it.

Please tell us something about the current trends – IBC.

Well, IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016) is the codified law for managing insolvency of institutions in India. The law was originated in 2016 and since its inception, it has been a focal point of debt resolution throughout the country. However, on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, institution of insolvency proceedings for defaults occurring after March 25, 2020 for a period of 6 months, has been excluded, so presently there is an anticipation of a reduction in volume of proceedings.

What would be your parting message to our readers who are primarily law students and young lawyers?

The legal market is a place of both importance and responsibility, the people you work with will depend on your analytical reasoning of the law. I would strongly advise against having a bookish approach towards the subject of la. It is imperative to reason out every line you read. Try to focus on the aspect of jurisprudence, the law itself is not as important as the intent it is trying to accomplish, and knowing that intent and how to achieve, is the mark of a good legal analyst. Remember everyone can see the problem, finding the solution is what counts.

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