career in regulatory litigation

In this blog post, Shreedutta Das, pursuing a Diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws from NUJS, Kolkata, describes the career opportunities in regulatory litigation in India.

From a recent survey report, it was found that India has the world’s largest legal profession with more than 600,000 lawyers and the predominant service providers are individual lawyers.

This survey report shows that more professionals are into the litigation sector and the opportunities in this sector are increasing.

Why the Fresh Graduates Opt for Litigation

There are several reasons for this and some of these are:

  • The first is that the independence and thrill it offers and gives opportunities to one to show off one’s caliber and talent.
  • Secondly, building a solid case for a client and convincing the judge of one’s point of view using logic, research, reason, gives one a high that few other professions can offer.
  •  Thirdly, a career in litigation, even in a specialized field, offers variety.

No case is like another. Finding these dissimilarities means work does not get monotonous.

  •  Fourthly, with the increasing population, the cases are also increasing, so, there is a lot of scope to get success in this field.

 What are the Emerging Fields for Litigation?

  • Lawyers Appointed for Corporate Firms

In this field, lawyers represent the corporate firm in the courts. They fight the case for the firms in which the dispute arose as well as they also do consultation work regarding the firm’s legal aspect.

  • Lawyers Representing in Arbitration Process

Now-a-days, arbitration has become very popular, less time consuming and an effective method to resolve disputes. In this field, lawyers are hired by different organizations to represent them.

  • Lawyers at Regulatory Litigation

In this field, litigation is based in the certain particular area of law and are limited to regulatory bodies like SEBI, TDSAT, ITAT, CCI, NCLT and etc.

What is Regulatory Litigation?

Above all, in the present arena, the most emerging field which is providing better opportunities to the young litigators is Regulatory litigation.

Regulatory litigation includes the regulatory bodies or administrative bodies like SEBI (Securities and exchange board of India), TDSAT (Telecom dispute settlement and appellate tribunal) and ITAT (Income tax appellate tribunal) CCI (Competition commission of India) NCLT (National company law tribunal) and etc.  Here the litigator has to deal with the certain particular sector of law.

How Opportunities are Created in this Field?

  •  If we see according to SEBI’s annual report for 2015-16, there were a total of 1,205 adjudication proceedings pending on March 2016, from the number of cases it is easy to guess that as many numbers of cases are filed, it creates enormous opportunity to take it up as a career.

As SEBI has the function to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of and to regulate the securities market, so, it has a lot many cases filed, with it many lawyers are needed to take up the cases.

  • In the recent time, with the emergence of tele-communication sector and rapid growth in it, brought many disputes to the forefront.

TDSAT has the responsibilities to adjudicate disputes arising between consumer and a service provider, a licensee and a licensor, and also between two or more than the service providers. Except this, also due to the emergence of different telecom companies, competition became intense and that created the main reason for dispute.

With the increasing number of cases need for litigators is also increasing.

  •  ITAT deals with the matter of direct taxes. All the disputes relating to income tax are filed here. Due to its complex technicalities, it has not been a part of a layman, so, people who are well versed with the taxation laws are hired to solve the issues.

As Income tax return is filed by all employed citizen it creates a huge amount of opportunities for the litigators to deal with the Income tax issues.

  • Competition is the best means of ensuring that the common man has access to the broadest range of goods and services at the most competitive prices. With increased competition, producers will have maximum incentive to innovate and specialize. This would result in reduced costs and wider choice to consumers.A fair competition in the market is essential to achieve this objective. It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having the adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.

So, the commission has enormous cases to deal with and create opportunities for the litigators.

  • NCLT adjudicates issues relating to companies in India. The NCLT has the power under the Companies Act to adjudicate proceedings pertaining to claims of oppression and mismanagement of a company, winding up of companies and all other powers prescribed under the Companies Act.

All the companies in India having disputes come under the purview of NCLT so the tribunal gets lots of cases to deal with and provide a wide range of career opportunities to litigators.

Above are some examples but there were many such tribunals present in India. There were plenty of cases found in these tribunals to deal with so, a fresher who want to take up litigation as profession has lots of opportunities in this sector, they can either fight from the side of tribunals or from the client’s side.

How One Can Explore these Opportunities?

All the tribunals have special laws to deal with, so, one should be expertise with those laws to grab these opportunities. One should have clear knowledge on the technicalities of the laws relating to that tribunal like SEBI deals with investment laws, NCLT deals with Companies Act, CCI deals with Competition Act, TDSAT deals with the Telecom laws and ITAT deals with Tax laws.

The recent update on that particular area should be in the knowledge of the litigator and he/she must be aware of the fact how the changes affect his client.

To take up regulatory litigation as the profession one needs a sustained effort and enormous patience to get success.

How Much One Can Earn From this Sector?

Every company has some kind of dispute related to it in the above-said tribunals, so, they have to resolve the disputes by hiring litigators. These companies spend crores on their legal bills. Bigger the company more the money spent in legal bills and the larger numbers of litigators are hired.

Some Examples are:

  • Sahara India Pariwar investor fraud case is the case of the failure of Subrata Roy, led Sahara India Pariwar to return Rs 24,000 crore plus interests to its investors as directed by the Supreme Court of India, after a prolonged legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
  • Kingfisher Case- A group of 17 Indian banks is trying to collect approximately Rs.9,000 crore (US$1.3 billion) in loans which Mallya has allegedly routed to gain 100% or a partial stake in about 40 companies across the world.
  •  Vodafone tax case- The Bombay high court directed the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) to hear a Rs.8,500 crore transfer-pricing tax dispute relating to the Vodafone Group Plc from 21 February on a daily basis till a final order is passed.
  •  Nokia tax case- The company had got the notice to pay bout Rs. 2400 crore ($396 million) as tax dues.
  • TATA Sons tax case- The Supreme Court has issued a stay order on the Maharashtra government’s demand for Rs 300 crore in sales tax payment from Tata Sons.
  • DLF case- The Competition Commission of India (CCI) Though the order imposing a penalty of Rs 630 crore on DLF  for exploiting its dominant position to the disadvantage of its customers in three projects in Gurgaon.

From the above examples, it could be assumed that if one litigator fights from either side, that is either from govt or from the side of the company, he/she can earn plenty of money.

Big companies like TATA groups, Adani group, Ambani group, DLF, Nokia, Vodafone, Microsoft, Samsung and etc hire a large number of litigators for various type of cases. They spend crores in their legal bills and pay the litigators a handsome sum of money.

How a Fresher Should Start?

Young litigators should start with taking small cases like small tax issues, competition between marketed product, consumer and service dispute in TDSAT and etc. in the field of regulatory litigation.

It will help them to understand the technicalities of laws and make them a pro in that field, which leads them to earn good some of the money. It will also help them to build a strong network which is an important factor of litigation.

Conclusion

The possibilities in the field of regulatory litigation are just about endless and are limited only to the ambition of the person. One needs to figure out what they enjoy and keep at it. The pecuniary rewards in litigation are huge. One with sincere efforts & dedication and commitment, in today’s terms, can earn anything up to 50 Lakh Rupees per day or more.

So, what are you waiting for? Brace up & transition into Regulatory Litigation, if that’s what you want to do.

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