INTERVIEW WITH ASHISH KAMTHANIA, A SENIOR ADVOCATE, PRACTICING IN THE FIELD OF TAXATION SINCE 2006
How would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
I am senior advocate, practicing in the field of Taxation since 2006 and running my own law firm TAX AND LEGAL PROFFESIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED. I have working experience with Aditya Birla Group, Bajaj Allianz, Life Insurance Company of India and National Polio Surveillance Project (WHO). I also have experience in providing opinion & advisory services to setup a new business, licensing, carrying out diagnostic review of business operations, process review, structuring of business model, undertaking litigation services for various matters concerning to trade, industry and commerce. I am Elected Member of Executive Body, The UP Tax Bar Association (UPTBA) since 2018 and Nominated General Secretary (Income Tax and GST committee) of Moradabad Mandal of Udhyog Vyappar Pratinidhi Mandal of India.
I was Co-Chairman Information Committee of Uttar Pradesh Kar Adhivakta Sanghatan (UPKAS), Former Joint Secretary of Zonal Tax Bar Association, Moradabad and Former Secretary, Tax Advocate Bar Association, Rampur. And my firm, TAX AND LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED is a full-service law firm. I am also associated with various NGOs.
What interested you in taking up law as a profession?
Law is a traditional profession. In the legal profession, you will get the opportunity to work closely with a range of clients on interesting and important work. Law manages to affect everything and choosing it as a profession gives you the opportunity to develop your interest in almost everything from sociology to economics. A career in Law is intellectually challenging, financially rewarding & personally fulfilling. For me personal fulfilment is most important. Law is also about rights, justice & understanding of human behaviour & society. I choose Law as a profession because it helps me in improving my standard of thoughts, skills & knowledge.
How was your law school life?
I studied in K.G.K. College, Moradabad, 30KM far away from my Home, I went to school by train and return back by Bus. I studied in my class 4-5 hours daily, I was an average student, I never participated in any activity. Law Classes were so boring, but I like criminology class very much. I participated in various moot courts competition held by different colleges which helped to increase my lawyer skills. Being a law student, I did not restrict my life to studying and learning bare provisions. Even the common belief that law is about mugging up things does not hold right. Along with cramming, there are other attributes like understanding it and analysing its application as, in actual practice, it is all about application of law and not mere knowledge of law.
What were the activities and internships you pursued in college?
Like I said earlier, I was an average student, I never participated in any activity. Although I always participated in moot court competitions. Neither I did any internships, my teachers were my books and my laptop, I gained all the knowledge from my books and laptop.
Please walk us through your professional life.
I started my professional life after passing Law, in year 2006, from the very first day I start my office in the field of taxation, after enrolling with Bar Counsel of Uttar Pradesh, and has more than 14 years of experience in Taxation and specializes in all aspects of Goods and Services tax (GST), Service Tax, Value Added Tax (VAT)/ Central Sales Tax (CST), Central Excise, Customs, Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Export Oriented Unit (EOU), Export-Import Laws. I have working experience with Aditya Birla Group, Bajaj Allianz, Life Insurance Company of India and National Polio Surveillance Project (WHO). I am the founder member of Tax Advocate Bar Association (TABA) Rampur and elected as Secretary of Association, Rampur, and elected Joint Secretary of Zonal Tax Bar Association, Moradabad (in Moradabad Zone), and elected as Co-Chairman Information Committee of Uttar Pradesh Kar Adhivakta Sanghatan (UPKAS), at present I am Member of Executive Body, The UP Tax Bar Association (UPTBA) since 2018 and Nominated General Secretary (Income Tax and GST committee) of Moradabad Mandal of Udhyog Vyappar Pratinidhi Mandal of India.
How is your experience working with TAX AND LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED?
I have more than 14 years of experience in Taxation. And I started my professional life after passing Law, in year 2006, from the very first day I started my office in the field of taxation, after enrolling with Bar Counsel of Uttar Pradesh. Since the first day of my life I learned allot. And from that day I never looked back I grow myself by learning new things I never restrict myself to one thing.
What are the challenges of working with TAX AND LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED?
I have started working with my own firm, I am my own boss, so there is no difficulties working with my own law firm.
What do you seek in an applicant when she/he applies to your law firm for an internships and jobs?
First thing that I look in applications of applicants is there skills, and in there interview the way they talk and most importantly there knowledge not marks. In last 14 year, so many law students join my firm for internship, they work and learned taxation, many of them are alone owner of their own law firm and they all are practicing as Advocate taxation.
What are your views on the unemployment and low salaries of fresher’s in law?
Now a days, salary package offered to fresh law graduates are good in comparative to older days, the starting average salary package is approx. 4 lakhs per annum and with around five years of experience, lawyers are offered a package from 9-12 lakh rupees on an average in the field of taxation. One way of gaining experience and making a name for oneself in the field of law is to join a law firm.
What are your views on career choices after law?
In my view, Judiciary is one of the best career options after law. And Taxation is also one of the best options in the field of law. Because the starting average salary package is approximately 3-4 lakhs per annum and with around five years of experience, lawyers are offered a package from 9-12 lakh rupees on an average in the field of taxation. So, the taxation is the best option in the field of law.
What advice or suggestion would you like to give to our readers, who are predominantly law students and young lawyers?
Being a guide and Guru, my advice for the law aspirant is that for a Learned lawyer you should first learn how to read cases efficiently. Case briefing won’t help you if you’re not reading cases to pull out the right stuff and learn how to synthesize. Most of law is about working out rules and then applying them to fact patterns. Being able to derive rules from different sources, such as cases, statutes, and secondary materials is critical. Being able to analyse facts by running them through the rules is also critical. and most importantly, don’t panic. Your first year is going to be hard. Good luck in law school! And you are always welcome to my law firm “Tax and Legal Professional Private Limited”, we are always ready to help business houses and law students.
IIMT College of Law, Greater Noida