Ipsita Mazumdar Is a Dr. RML National Law University graduate, working with Morris Garages India (MG Motor) as in-house counsel, handling IPR, consumer, general litigation and contractual matters. Previously, she worked with Indian law firms Lall, Lahiri & Salhotra (now Rahul Chaudhry & Partners) and Anand and Anand, Noida. In this interview with Asia Law Portal, Ipsita details her practice, what led her to a career as an in-house lawyer, and how technology is impacting her work.
What inspired you to pursue a career in law?
Keeping in mind my personality, I always wanted to explore careers where there is an active involvement of my leadership skills, interest in arguments, negotiations and problem-solving approach. Also, I have always been an avid reader with a thirst for knowledge passed from generations in my family; the legal profession was aptly fitting into all these fulfillment boxes. However, I did keep it as one of options initially, since joining a top college was a priority. I gave myself a year to prepare for the Common Law Admission Test which is an all-India aptitude test for admissions into law college. Fortunately, my efforts did not go in vain, and I got qualified for a National Law University. That re-assured me that I might indeed be good in the field and at least have a basic legal acumen to start with.
What is your legal practice focus?
Initially my focus was intellectual property laws, focusing on trademarks, copyright, brand protection strategies and transactions. I was specializing in this during my practice in law firms. I was working for a long time with a top law firm of India and Asia, and it gave me immense exposure in the field. Subsequently, I moved in-house to MG Motor India and spearheaded their legal team. Since it has newly come to India, I look over the entire legal portfolio including litigation, corporate and IPR.
What led you to an in-house career?
I always wanted to eventually move in-house, knowing that it will give me more scope and varieties of matters along with opportunities to strategize and take the decisions. It in a way goes beyond just law to understanding the business needs and the commercial viabilities. I got the right opportunity for me with the MG Motor offer. The auto sector is very interesting, and MG is a great MNC to work with, so I took the leap.
What types of challenges and opportunities do you enjoy working with?
The challenges and opportunities are the same here and it depends on the outlook. The nature of work here, sometimes involving an in-depth understanding of technologies, is what keeps me interested and keen every day. Adding to this, since it is a newly incorporated in India, we get to lay the basis of every legal aspect from scratch here. This gives a sense of ownership as also good exposure.
Does technology have an impact on your practice? If so, how?
Technology forms the basis of our products, involving integration and assimilation of different technologies. As a matter of practice everywhere, vehicles are imported either semi/fully as knocked-down parts and assembled in a country, or there is a license to use the technology and know-how of the parent or group/ related company and thereafter the manufacturing process is started. Besides this, there are various mid-year technical advances, product improvements and changes as per Government Rules. All these involve underlying contracts, licenses, approvals, royalties. Thus, technology has a high impact in my industry of automobiles and my practice.