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Legal Eagle

Friday, May 11, 2018

Manoj K. Singh, is the Founding Partner of Singh & Associates, which specialises in Litigation and ADR practices and has more than 15 years of experience in helping  clients with legal issues. Singh is described as “an excellent solution-oriented lawyer” by the renowned Legal 500. He was also one of the recommended 'Notable 40 under 40 lawyers' for dispute resolution by Indian Lawyers 250 in 2013. He has won arbitration matters for his clients in SIAC, LCIA, LMAA, and ICC. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Manoj talks about how the recently amended law, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code will take another year or so to take a concrete shape

Tell us a few words about Singh & Associates
I founded Singh & Associates, an Advocates and Solicitors full service leading law firm. The firm has a pan India presence with its strategic offices situated at New Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, and Bangalore. The firm has a fleet of professionals associated with it ranging from Lawyers, Company Secretary, Chartered Accountants, Patent Attorney’s, Trademark attorney’s, Engineers, specialized Para legal staff.
Which are the core practice areas the firm deals with?
The Firm has four major Practice Groups viz., Litigation and ADR, Contracts and Transactions, Corporate and Tax, and Intellectual Property.

Litigation and ADR
This Practice Group assists clients with pragmatic and strategic decision-making in Litigation and ADR matters. The Practice Group focuses on all types of litigation instituted and prosecuted within India and abroad.

Contracts and Transactions
This Practice Group of dedicated and experienced lawyers excels in commercial advisory services, drafting, negotiating, structuring and closing all kinds of commercial transactions for both domestic and international clients and the Group has extensive experience in domestic and international arbitration.

Corporate and Tax Practice Group
This Practice Group comprising experienced lawyers, Company Secretaries, and Chartered Accountants advises clients for Corporate, Insolvency and Bankruptcy and Tax related matters. This Group renders services such as corporate advisory, company formations and tax structuring, mergers and acquisitions etc.

Intellectual Property Rights Practice Group
The Practice Group is a strong team which takes care of complete spectrum of services in patents, trademarks, domain names, copyrights, geographical indications (appellations of origin), designs, and other related rights.

How much time do you think it will take for Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to take a concrete shape as other corporate laws?
This is correct that Insolvency and Bankruptcy been at the teething stage is seeing many new interpretations every day and amendments almost in every two or three months. But been at evolving stage it will be difficult to predict the time by when it will be attaining maturity. Be that as may be, at least after more than one year of enactment India has accepted its existence, especially the corporate world. The Courts are also trying to interpret the various issues being brought in front of them. In overall it will take another year or so that the Code will take a concrete shape.

Will IBC prove to be a game changer in the long run for the Indian economy’s health?
IBC is at a very nascent stage and it is difficult to say that it will be a game changer for Economy especially looking at those Companies which are already facing Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process. Many of these Companies fate are heading towards liquidation because of no resolution plan or where the resolution plan has been presented not approved by Committee of Creditors. In companies where the resolution plan has been approved, they are been approved by big hair-cuts. In other words situation of the debt-ridden economy is still the same. The only difference is that earlier it used to take years to reach liquidation and now this can be achieved in one year. Similarly, earlier Companies have to run pillar to post to reach out at a one-time settlement with any financial creditor but now same is done with the help of a resolution plan having a good hair-cut.

What is your vision for the company?
Our firm has been dealing with I&B Code matter and is among the few law firms having the expertise under IBC. The firm has in its credit the landmark order passed in the case of Era Infra Engineering Ltd V/s Prideco Commercial Projects Pvt Ltd. of Hon’ble National Company Law Appellate Tribunal wherein the Hon’ble Appellate Tribunal had held that the serving of demand notice under Section 8 of I&B Code 2016 is a pre-condition before initiating an application under Section 9 of the Code by any Operational Creditor. The firm is representing many Corporate Debtors as well as Operational Creditors before various Adjudicating Authority.

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