Managing Partner: 1
Number of Partners: 2 Number of Lawyers: 18
Languages: English, Hindi
Ikigai Law’s TMT practice has been involved with many first-of-their-kind matters – the World’s first private lunar mission (now abandoned), first p2p cryptocurrency exchange in India, the first ICO in India, WhatsApp’s setup of a fact-checking platform in India; and an unprecedented court order permitting delivery of court summons through WhatsApp. The firm works with some of the largest global technology companies and has a strong focus on digital platforms, data governance, fintech, online gaming, blockchain, cloud services, ecommerce and health-tech. The firm’s blog on technology law and policy is well-regarded by the industry. The firm was named among Asia’s best law firms to work for by Asian Legal Business, which is a testimony to its ability to attract the best and brightest talent and the firm’s belief in nurturing teams with the requisite skills, in particular cultivating sector-specific expertise. The firm has also been awarded Boutique Law Firm of the Year 2019 by Asian Legal Business, and Law Firm of the Year (Mid-size) 2019 by Idex Legal.
Main Areas of Practice:
Public Policy – TMT
Ikigai Law provides strategic public policy advisory to global technology companies operating in South Asia – India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It has expertise in issues pertaining to data governance; online content regulation; emerging technologies (fin-tech, blockchain, drone-tech, health-tech, artificial intelligence); cloud computing and telecommunications; anti-trust; and cyber-security. The firm is at the forefront of policy developments in the technology space. The Economic Times (India’s leading financial daily) credited the firm with playing a pioneering role in the introduction of a policy for unmanned aviation overturning a five-year de-facto ban on drone operations in India.
Data Privacy and Protection
Ikigai Law undertook extensive privacy law compliance checks for one of India’s largest social media network and advised them on their data collection, storage and processing practices in line with the GDPR and those proposed under the draft Indian law. The firm is advising a global cloud services provider on the evolving data localisation and privacy requirements, that stand to fundamentally change the way the cloud business is run. It advised an eminent think tank in developing a Draft Data Protection Bill for India that was presented to the Justice Srikrishna Committee constituted by India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and provided inputs on data protection to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
Digital Platforms and Ecommerce
In the run-up to the 2019 general elections in India, Ikigai Law advised a leading social media client on its internal policies for dealing with fake news. Given its political ramifications during the elections, this issue was attracting significant regulatory scrutiny and was critical for the client. The firm advised Protograph Studios on the deployment of Whatsapp’s much-publicised factchecking program for studying the misinformation phenomena during the Indian elections in 2019. It also advised a b2c e-commerce company that retails ayurvedic products to a global audience, on intermediary liability issues across jurisdictions.
Ikigai Law works with some of India’s leading fintech businesses on issues relating to e-wallets, payment gateways and aggregators, online lending, white-label operations and data. The team regularly assists with new product development and regulatory risk assessments.
Blockchain and Digital Assets Industry
Ikigai Law advises a very sizeable portion of the blockchain industry amidst absolute regulatory uncertainty. The firm is the lead counsel to four of India’s leading digital assets exchanges in their writ petition before the Supreme Court challenging an adverse directive of the Reserve Bank. This is one of the most important litigation concerning cryptocurrencies globally, given that the said directive has resulted in an almost immediate closure of the entire industry.
Online Gaming and Esports
Ikigai Law advised a blockchain-based electronic games developer developing skill and chance based games for a global market. The mandate involved study of law pertaining to electronic gaming and digital assets offering across several jurisdictions including Singapore, Australia, Cayman Islands, Malta, Estonia, United States, United Kingdom and India. The eventual structure suggested by Ikigai Law is unique because it allows for a digital assets offering from India which is unprecedented. The firm advises one of India’s largest gaming platform MPL on legal and policy issues.
Health and Health-technology
Ikigai Law advised the developers of an advanced tele-medicine system for providing remote intensive care (remote-ICUs) on complex issues of intermediary liability and collection and processing of patient health data. The firm advised an electronic health records company enter into tripartite contracts with hospitals, doctors and patients. It also advised a consumer-health focussed investment fund in its investments in to a health digitisation company, and a strategic investment firm invest into an e-pharmacy venture.
Venture Capital and Corporate Transactions
The firm advised the AIM Smart City Accelerator, set up by Ashoka University, Indian School of Business and Microsoft Ventures on investments in sectors ranging from agro-tech to mobility to IoT. It advised Zebi, a blockchain company, in its acquisition of another blockchain startup by way of share swap and token exchange.
Ikigai advises several unmanned aviation (drone) companies on regulatory issues around operations, design, prototyping and manufacture of drones. The Economic Times (India’s leading financial daily) credited the firm with playing a pioneering role in the introduction of a policy for unmanned aviation overturning a five-year de-facto ban on all drone operations in India.
■ Currently advising on the merger of a United States’ crypto-currency exchange with a blockchain development company with the objective of providing exchange services in Asia
■ Advising a global technology company on Sri Lanka’s forthcoming data protection and cyber security laws and its national digital policy, Bangladesh’s digital security legislation and Nepal’s privacy and information technology laws. In addition to legal implications, the firm is also helping client s devise strategies to engage with key stakeholders ■ Advised the developers of a mobile application on data privacy compliance in over ten jurisdictions
■ Advised an Indian satellite manufacturer negotiate a spacecraft launch contract with Russia’s GK Launch Services for a launch next year in Kazakhistan
■ Advised a blockchain-based electronic games developer developing skill and chance based games for a global market. This mandate was complex because it involved study of law pertaining to a. electronic gaming, and b. digital assets offering across several jurisdictions including Singapore, Australia, Cayman Islands, Malta, Estonia, United States, United Kingdom and India