Interview: Arjit Benjamin | Lawyer
Arjit is an experienced professional in the field of commercial disputes and Intellectual Property Rights. With over eight years of experience in the legal industry, he has established himself as a sought-after legal expert.
Arjit is well-versed in advocating before various fora, including high courts, the Supreme Court, and tribunals. He offers clients a tailored litigation strategy, taking into consideration their legal rights, interests, and commercial objectives while keeping a keen eye on jurisdictional nuances. Arjit’s 360-degree exposure to all elements of litigation has led him to devise effective litigation strategies for clients.
Arjit has also handled a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters related to Intellectual Property and representing entities in IP infringement litigation cases.
He is a trusted advisor to a diverse range of clientele that includes leading real estate giants, technology companies, renewable energy companies, pharmaceutical companies, aviation services providers, sports governing bodies, automotive companies, start-ups, and several well-recognized business houses, a chain of companies, and conglomerates.
He has been recognized for his expertise by leading legal publications such as Forbes (India) and Asian Legal Business (a unit of Thomson Reuters).
Before joining Prosoll Law to diversify their commercial disputes and IP practice, Arjit worked with leading law firms such as Karanjawala & Co. and Law of Panag & Babu. His prior experience has given him a solid foundation and a wealth of knowledge in the industry.
Interview: Arjit Benjamin
We recently got a chance to interview Arjit Benjamin; here’s the transcript of the interview with Arjit Benjamin.
Legal Bites: Sir, you completed a BBA degree followed by a three-year LLB course. Did you plan to pursue LLB after completing your BBA, or did you consider this option during your undergraduate studies?
Arjit Benjamin: By the time I was finishing school, I had started to develop a strong inclination towards two subjects – law and business studies, and I knew pursuing one of the two would be a natural progression for me. After much deliberation, I decided to pursue business administration as it kept the option to pursue law at a later stage as well open. While the course immensely helped me in understanding and learning business fundamentals (including the core concepts of business, management, and entrepreneurship), I noticed that my affinity towards law did not fade. In fact, I was increasingly drawn to subjects that had nuances of the law, and once I had successfully completed my BBA, I finally decided to pursue law full-fledged.
The same can be attributed towards the dinner table discussion I used to have with my dad. The combination of these two degrees has helped me develop a solid understanding of business, entrepreneurship and legal concepts, especially in the areas of commercial disputes and intellectual property law.
I would also like to add that academics are the foundation of a professional’s journey. This strong foundation further paves the way for building experience and expertise through good work. I have been fortunate in my journey to have represented a diverse range of clients, including MNCs, Pharmaceutical Giants, Construction & Real Estate Conglomerates, Digital/Geospatial Software Companies, Ayurvedic Brands, Luxury & Retail Chains, Hotels & Lifestyle Companies, Hospitals, Global Music Icons/Celebrities and TV Personalities.
The phenomenal body of work, perhaps, helped me get recognized as India’s Rising Stars 2022 by Asian Legal Business (ALB), a unit of Thomson Reuters. I have also been recognized by Forbes India’s Legal Powerlist 2021 among Top Individual Lawyers (under 10 Years’ experience) in Litigation and Intellectual Property Rights. With an endeavour to contribute to the growth of the legal profession, I regularly support Law School Events and initiatives. I have conducted workshops and webinars for law students on topics concerning the field of IP and litigation. I also try to write regularly about emerging trends pertaining to my practice areas. I have regularly been attending domestic and international events, including the Annual Conferences of the International Trademarks Association (INTA), the Global IP Convention (GIPC) and Delhi Arbitration Weekend (DAW).
Legal Bites: Sir, can you share your experience in law school, like your academics, extra-curricular activities or the environment in Law School?
Arjit Benjamin: As a law student, I knew that academic studies are essential to acquire the necessary legal knowledge, critical thinking skills, and analytical reasoning abilities. These skills are fundamental to the practice of law, and I had to develop a grip on them if I aspired to excel in the profession. Academics were the focal point of my attention.
Further, throughout my LL.B. journey, we as students were given good exposure to public speaking, presentations, group discussions, etc., and I felt that participating in extra-curricular activities provided me with practical experience, helped me develop my research and writing skills, and gave me a glimpse as to how the outside world functions. Therefore, at the law school also, I was amongst the first few to volunteer for moot courts, group activities like legal debates clubs, etc. My first-ever moot was with respect to an intellectual property proposition for which I had travelled to Dehradun. We were able to reach the semi-finals. I also participated in the mock trial competition in which my team won the competition.
These experiences helped me develop leadership, teamwork, communication, and networking skills, which are essential for success in the legal profession. Most of these skills are not typically taught in the classroom and can be honed only through participation in extracurricular activities.
Legal Bites: Sir, an internship plays an essential role in any Law student’s life because it provides exposure to experience different areas of law and explore their interest where they want to make a career. So, can you share your internship experiences and guide our students regarding the importance of internships in a Law student’s life?
Arjit Benjamin: Internships are an excellent way for law students to gain practical experience, develop professional skills, network with legal professionals, and explore different areas of the law. Law students who take advantage of internships are likely to be better prepared for the legal profession and have a leg up when it comes to finding their feet after graduation.
No amount of classroom teaching or textbooks can replace hands-on experience. As a step penultimate to a law student entering their role as a full-fledged professional, internships give students the opportunity to work on real cases and projects, helping them develop practical skills that they will need as lawyers.
Internships also allow law students to work closely with legal professionals. These connections can be incredibly valuable when it comes to finding a job after graduation because they observe you at work and tangibly assess the skill set you bring to the table rather than just evaluating fresh law graduates’ applications through their CVs. In fact, I had consciously interned with organizations that gave me exposure to all areas – litigation, corporate and IPR – which helped me determine my true calling. Interestingly, out of the five places I interned at (Prathibha M. Singh Chambers, K&S Partners, Karanjawala & Company, Prosoll Law and Tatva Legal), I ended up working at two!
Legal Bites: Sir, you have worked with reputable law firms in our country, namely Inde Legal Services, Karanjawala & Company, and Panag & Babu. Could you please share with our readers the details of your work and the specific area of law in which you practiced?
Arjit Benjamin: During the period of my working at Karanjawala & Co., the primary area of my work related to Civil, Commercial and Intellectual Property Litigation. During the period of my association with the Firm, I was fortunate to have 360-degree exposure to all elements of litigation, including appearing, arguing, drafting, briefing external counsels and providing inputs to my seniors regarding devising litigation strategy (both at Appellate and Original side).
I was at the forefront of handling Intellectual Property matters comprising of all contentious and non-contentious work, both at the pre and post-registration stages. During my brief stint at Panag & Babu, I applied my learnings to optimize litigation and dispute resolution strategies with the Partners, formulated legal opinions and carried out a lot of advisory work. At Inde Legal Services, my profile constituted handling litigation primarily at Delhi High Court and Trial Court practice (on Civil Side).
Legal Bites: Congratulations on your recent appointment as an Associate Partner at Prosoll Law, Sir. Could you please provide us with some information about the firm and your experience working there?
Arjit Benjamin: Prosoll Law is firmly established by Advocate Harsh K. Sharma, with three and a half decades of legacy as a niche criminal and litigation practice. Over a period, the firm has diversified to add specialized areas of practice to its portfolio, including bribery, anti-corruption, economic offences, white-collar crime, property laws, family laws, succession planning and environment law, among others.
The firm has further plans to diversify into commercial and civil law matters owing to a significant requirement from clients who have seen a successful track record of handling white-collar crime cases and now require assistance in commercial and civil legal matters. I have taken charge of growing the civil-commercial side of the firm.
At Prosoll Law, the primary area of my work pertains to civil-commercial disputes. I represent companies and organizations in legal matters related to business operations, transactions, and disputes. I also advise clients on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters related to Intellectual Property and representing entities in IP infringement litigation cases. I guide my clients on the feasibility of ADR mechanisms as means of resolving their disputes and have been representing them in a wide range of mediation and multi-layered arbitration proceedings.
Legal Bites: Finally, through Legal Bites, what message would you like to convey to those readers who aspire to pursue a career in Civil or Commercial Litigation and have a strong interest in working with Intellectual Property Rights?
Arjit Benjamin: Civil-commercial litigation and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) have a symbiotic relationship in which the effective protection and enforcement of IPR requires litigation. Many disputes involving IPR often end up being litigated in civil court. The resolution of many IPR disputes depends on skilled advocacy in the courtroom. Anyone who aspires to pursue a career in Civil-Commercial Litigation with a bent towards IPR must have a deep understanding of the relevant laws and regulations, as well as the technical aspects of the underlying technology or creative work at issue.
Lawyers who practice in IPR (contentious and non-contentious) often have advanced degrees in science, engineering, or other technical fields. Taking my own example, I draw upon my litigation and dispute resolution experience while advising clients in contentious IP matters, including oppositions, cancellation actions and domain name disputes. The development and protection of IPR are crucial for businesses to thrive and innovate, making litigation a necessary component of commercial activity.