-CR Dua, Chairman, Dua Associates

1. Self and Company Introduction

  • Having founded Dua Associates thirty-six years ago, I am currently the Chairman of the Firm which has full-service offices across eight metropolitan cities of India. My responsibilities include providing guidance to the 250 professionals of the firm for its further growth and development, including providing long term vision.
  • Played a lead role in representing overseas businesses and negotiating and structuring their inbound investments and have advised major US corporations’ foray into India like General Electric, General Motors, AT&T, McDonald’s, 3M Corporation, The Boeing Company, Rolls Royce Plc., Rio Tinto, Estee Lauder, Gilead, Whirlpool, Becton Dickinson, Gillette, Dow Chemical Corporation and DuPont amongst others. 
  • Currently the Chairman of the Board of Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Limited and an Independent Director on the same board. A founding member of the American Chamber of Commerce in India, and an invitee to its national Executive Board, also a member of the National Committee on Legal Services of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and one of the Senior Vice Presidents of the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) and a Chairperson of the Legal Reforms Committee.
  • An avid tennis player Iam a member of the Executive Committee of the International Lawn Tennis Club of India and a Senior Vice President of the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association.

Company introduction

Dua Associates is a leading law firm in India with an over thirty-five-year-old track record of delivering critical legal solutions for its clients including Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, governments and SMEs. With offices in eight key metropolitan cities of India, Dua Associates is widely recognized and respected for the depth of knowledge and experience of its 250 professionals including 75 partners and counsels, which enables it to consistently provide solutions supported by comprehensive legal advice and strategy.

2. What are the business and investment opportunities you see between India and France?

  • The year 2023 marks 25 years of the Indo-French Strategic Partnership and given India’s attractiveness as a investment and business destination, I think there is reason for optimism regarding increased business and investment opportunities between India and France
  • From a legal perspective, with the recent Bar Council of India (BCI) notification that opens the doors for foreign law firms and lawyers to set up offices and practice in India, will in due course lead to some of the large French law firms coming in independently or in partnership.
  • India being a large democratic country and having a huge market with its population offers manufacturing business, commercial and trading opportunities in almost all sectors extending from FMCG to defence, aviation and space.  We at Dua Associates have a robust practice in this area and we are fairly upbeat about the prospects of increased business and investment ties between the two countries, given France’s traditional strengths in this sector.

3. What are some of the key challenges faced by your industry in the Indian market as well as by your company specifically? Can you describe some of the strategies you’ve implemented to overcome these challenges?

  • One of the key challenges for a law firm in a post-Covid scenario and the prevailing uncertainty in the global economy is sustaining the growth momentum. The other big task is being in a state of preparedness for the entry of large foreign law firms and devising appropriate strategies for retaining our competitive edge.
  • To address these challenges and future-proof Dua Associates, the firm  stands empowered through several committee members to make prudent business decisions that stand  it in good stead. It has followed calibrated strategy based on  close monitoring of trends and also ensured that the firm remains agile and responsive to the significant changes wrought by the digital era.

4. What have been the biggest accomplishments of your company in the last few years?

  • During the recent global health emergency, Dua Associates was quick to respond and put in place a number of measures to help the firm cruise comfortably through the pandemic, with the primary objective of providing stability and insulation for all members. IT systems were updated and new  AI and digital collaborative work tools introduced to help the legal professionals work seamlessly and efficiently in the work-from-home scenario. The new support systems not only sustained practices but also empowered and enabled young professionals to quickly adapt, seize new opportunities and enhance their client base. With adroit and prudent management , the Firm was able to safeguard remuneration of all without resorting to layoffs or cut-backs. 
  • Further, in keeping with new and emerging opportunities, the practice has experienced the strengthening of practice areas like Cybersecurity & Data Privacy, Space, Insolvency & Bankruptcy  and Healthcare & Lifesciences.  As a firm it has  focused on strategy that is grounded in the competitive, customer, and cultural realities, but equally on execution, which is the primary reason for the firm’s impeccable reputation for the quality of its legal service.

5. How has IFCCI added value to your organization in India? 

  • Dua Associates has been a long-standing member of IFCCI. Several professionals of the Firm have been active participants in your events, webinars and conclaves. These forums have served as a good ideas-exchange platforms, while also providing us as a Sponsor-Member opportunities to contribute to French businesses in India our know-how and expertise on topics that are relevant and useful for navigating the Indian business and legal landscape.
  • We also value that IFCCI has a multi-city focus in driving the business agenda that is not restricted to Delhi and Mumbai. This is relevant for us as we have offices across 8 cities which enables professionals in offices like Hyderabad to leverage the opportunities that IFCCI provides.
  • Apart from the business focus, we also appreciate and value of social events that IFCCI  organizes periodically that help members  develop friendly ties with French company representatives.
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