Conversation Series

In Conversation with Adv. Bhumesh Verma, Managing Partner at Corp Comm Legal

We, at KnowLaw, got into a conversation with Advocate Bhumesh Verma, the Managing Partner of Corp Comm Legal. Mr. Verma is associated with many triumphant firms, acclaimed both nationally and internationally. He has also been felicitated with the coveted Chevening Scholarship during his educational tenure. He is a renowned speaker and is known for being a wordsmith.

Shreya Gupta, KnowLaw – Is there any word or sentence that you would like to describe yourself as?

Adv. Bhumesh Verma – I would describe myself as a law student with some experience. I always introduce myself as a senior law student and I have been learning law since 1991 and have had 30 years of learning three years in law school and 27 years of practice.

Shambhavi Mishra, KnowLaw – What made you pursue your career in Corporate Law?

Adv. Bhumesh Verma – Being a Commerce student in my school, I developed an interest in  Corporate Laws and in the Interplay between governance and laws. At the same time, the Indian economy was opened up for foreign investment,  industrial policies were liberalized in 1991 which further piqued my interest to pursue law and be a part of the industrial revolution that was taking place. Hence this also answers your question’s second part as to why corporate law? I thought my expertise and interests lied in writing, drafting, negotiating, interpersonal skills, and so on and somehow I thought this would be useful to implement in the corporate side of the practice. Although in those days 99% of students of my age at that time were taking law so that they could pursue litigation. My line of thinking was very clear that I wanted to become a corporate lawyer.

Shreya Gupta, KnowLaw – What kind of a student were you in your law school? Were you obedient, notorious, or adventurous? How was your overall experience?

Adv. Bhumesh Verma – My student life was a mix of all the traits that you stated right now. I was a very serious student, and I was very studious. I was also very dedicated, methodical, had an eye for detail,  but that does not mean that I was a boring student.  I had varied interests. I was a keen reader, I used to play, sing, watch sports, and I was amongst the naughtiest students. I can recall one particular incident in my school in class 11 or 12.

Although we were a serious batch of students, one day we suddenly got bored of maths class. So all of us thought to bunk the class and go play. So all of us had a mass bunk and we started playing in the playground. The maths teachers got furious as otherwise, our class was very particular about attending the classes. So in a fit of rage, he went to the principal and asked him to accompany him to the playground where he expected us to be playing. He and the Principal started marching towards the playground. Some students sitting between the wall of the playground and the school building informed us that our maths teacher and the principal are running towards the playground.

So, we all started scaling the wall from the backside of the school. Imagine 30+ students, scaling the wall behind the school, entering the school again, and sitting in the class. So the maths teacher found no one in the playground hence they decided to come to the class. All of us were very seriously immersed in our books. Now you can imagine the plight of our maths teacher. This is what you call friendship and bonding. So I always keep saying that being a law student does not mean you have to be boring. Enjoy everything. I’m not advocating bunking classes but I’m saying that whatever part of your life you are living, that moment is never going to come back. So enjoy whatever part you can. It is said that we are all puppets in the hands of god right, so if all of us are actors shouldn’t we all act well all the time.

Shambhavi Mishra, KnowLaw – What do you think is the difference between law school in the present times and the law schools in your times?

Adv. Bhumesh Verma – The difference is huge and vast. The immersion of technology and new teaching methods is very beneficial for the students. The online tools that are available to students these days are of great help. So many good practitioners, even luminaries, are interacting with students in a robust way what it used to be three decades back when I was in my law school. So that has helped the students and they must leverage tools that are available such as online videos, lectures, interactions with legal professionals, and so on and so forth to the best of their abilities and try to become more confident, knowledgeable, and precise with their research, writing, analysis and so on. I think technology has made it much better for today’s students. There is greater professionalism in today’s legal profession.

Shreya Gupta, KnowLaw – Could you tell us about the Chevening Scholarship you received? How can one get such a scholarship?

Adv. Bhumesh Verma – The United Kingdom Government, around half a decade back, used to award the Chevening scholarship for young Indian lawyers which the UK Government thought were bright enough and would become prominent lawyers 10-15 years later and would be among decision-makers, policymakers, trendsetters, and so on.

They used to seek applications for the scholarship and interview them and grant them scholarships to study in the college of law at Yorkshire and gain first-hand working experience with an international firm in London. It was a very rigorous process. In the year that I had applied in 1999, there were about 500 applications from all over India, and from that 16 of us were selected. We went to the UK in the year 2000 and had the best of times. We got to learn the basics of English Law, got to compare what was prevailing in India at that time, got a lot of insight into what could become better in education as well as law.

I got a good perspective from both these counts and most of us had never seen a foreign law firm at work. So we got exposure to  International law firms, their working style, their ethics,  their professionalism, their technology, their processes. It was a wonderful learning experience as far as Legal education was concerned and professional education was concerned. So we had the best of both worlds.

The scholarship might not be available in that format but scholarships must be available for different professionals from different industry sectors. Some of them would be available to law students as well for pursuing their masters. Students should keep checking with the British Council.

Shambhavi Mishra, KnowLaw – Everyone shares their success stories, but only a few dare to share their failures. Have you ever faced a failure in your life that made you strive better?

Adv. Bhumesh Verma – Everyone wants to boast about their success. That is very natural, isn’t it? Success has many parents but failure is always an orphan as no one wants to talk about it.  Hence people have a habit of boasting about it on various platforms even to the extent that they fake it till you make it. Not necessarily actual success but pretended success. We also see in terms of awards that are secured or procured by so many professionals. Everyone shows off their success.  In some way, I think it is good also to profess your success to inspire others. As far as failures are concerned I do not think in our profession there are any failures if the professional involved is putting in his or her best efforts.

Shambhavi Mishra, KnowLaw – Is there any message or advice that you would like to give to the budding lawyers?

Adv. Bhumesh Verma – Well, you have to be confident about yourself, Most of the students that are not in an NLU, have self-doubt and apprehensions that they do not belong to this college, I have not studied good English, that I can’t speak good English, I do not belong to a metro-city, I am not this, not that, I am a first-generation lawyer and so on and so forth. So because they are undergoing this self-doubt all the time they do not concentrate as much on what they could do much better.

Never doubt yourself, be confident, that will keep you in good stead. If you do not value yourself, if you do not respect yourself, trust me no one else will. In today’s world particularly, the legal ecosystem is very democratic. Everyone stands a fair chance of doing very well in the profession. It is not the brand name or the city you are in, it is actually what you do with your education. If you have had your learnings well if you can implement those learning in your profession well, time is the equalizer. If you do not get a lift go by a staircase but definitely you will reach there.

Disclaimer – The views expressed in the articles, reviews, comments, and all other such contributions are solely of the individual interviewees and not of the Publisher or the Editorial Board of KnowLaw.