Arush Khanna

Arush, great to speak with you – how are you feeling after the IBA? Fully recovered? What fantastic weather we had in Rome!

“Pleasantly exhausting!” should be an apt description for the week I had at the IBA, 2018. Rome is a great city and we couldn’t have asked for a better location to host the IBA (barring the odd transport strike). The weather was great and the company was even better.

Unfortunately, my schedule affords me with little opportunity to recover. I’ve been on the move since the conclusion of the IBA for work related domestic visits. It’s good to finally be back to my desk, notwithstanding the pending assignments that are staring at me.

Can you give us a synopsis of your legal career to date? A little birdy told us that the law runs in your family…

Well, this “little birdy” surely has his/her facts right. I am a fifth generation lawyer and the extended family consists of many lawyers.

My career as a lawyer began in 2012 when I joined M/s Karanjawala & Co., New Delhi straight after law school. The firm is one of the leading dispute resolution firms in India and I gained immensely during my time there. This stint was followed by three years of rigorous training with Mr. Sanjeev Anand, a well-known barrister in New Delhi. I treasure and cherish the years I spent with him as I learnt so much just by observing the way he operated, right from strategizing his cases to thinking on his feet whilst arguing in Court. It was three years of learning through osmosis, which, according to me, is the best way one can grow in this profession.

It was in 2017 that I co-founded Trinaya Legal with two other partners. Trinaya Legal is a multi-service law firm with a competent team comprising of 15 lawyers with a Pan-India presence. The firm also has an Asia-Pacific Practice Desk that currently operates out of Shanghai.

Apart from my core practice, I have served on the Governing Council of the Bar Association of India (2016-2018) and I am currently India’s National Representative at the Young Lawyers Committee of the IBA. I have given special importance to legal academia and regularly author articles/papers involving my areas of practice. I am also a frequent visitor at some of India’s top law schools where I am invited to address the students on topical issues, primarily in the commercial law space.

Most recently, I was appointed to the core-committee of the Young Members Group (YMG) of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (India Branch). I look forward to making meaningful strides with the CIArb in promoting the culture of arbitration (both in academia and practice) amongst the enthusiastic young lawyer community of India.

Your achievements at such a young age are nothing short of remarkable. Tell us, what kind of aspirations does Arush Khanna have for the next few years?

You are being very generous. The journey has only begun!

I really enjoy my work and take a lot of pride in what I do. As a lawyer, it is really important to love what you do or else it can take a toll on the quality of your deliverables as a professional.

The aspiration is to continue to do good work where trust, competence, and attention to detail are reflected. I have been fortunate to have collaborated with like-minded people who share the same ethos and the desire is to continue growing in a consolidated and cultured manner.

Let’s talk CIArb and, notably, your most recent appointment. What are your priorities in the role?

I am grateful to CIArb India and the YMG Global Steering Committee for appointing me to the core-committee.

Despite its recent launch, the YMG is garnering a lot of interest from the young practioners in India who intend to specialize in arbitration. There is palpable excitement amongst the student community as well.

For the time being, we have commenced the membership registration process for the YMG India.

In what was our first official event, the YMG India collaborated with the Young ICCA (International Council for Commercial Arbitration) and successfully conducted a “Skills Training Workshop on Cross-Examination in International Arbitration” at New Delhi.

We have already established good relations with the reputed organisations such as the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) and the Bar Association of India and shall be planning more such workshops/conferences in the near future. Interactions with the students at law schools are also high on the agenda.

Watch this space, as there is lots more to come!

Finally, what does your downtime on weekend involve? How do you relax in preparation for the week ahead and all the responsibilities that accompany it.

As a dispute resolution lawyer practising in India, I hardly have the privilege of downtime during weekends. However, I love playing cricket and spending time with my sisters whenever the opportunity arises. I am not a very social person, I’d rather call my friends over to watch some cricket, the premier league or even play FIFA at times.

As regards planning for the week ahead is concerned, I conduct a preview meeting with my team every Friday wherein the agenda for the coming week is discussed and finalised. Since we are heavily into litigation, a regular compliance check is indispensible.

Any parting message to our readers, especially those who are young like yourself and intend to pursue a career in arbitration.

I don’t considering myself worthy of preaching. Notwithstanding the field of law you chose, in the end its about loving what you do with and all that comes with it. Make every day count (in your own way). Be better than you were yesterday even if it’s by 0.1 %. Think of yourself as if you are not born to compete but to rule. A wise friend once said to me, “Be your own hero”.

Arush Khanna

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