Managing Partner: Essenese Obhan
Number of partners: 4
Number of lawyers: 31
Obhan & Associates (O&A) was conceived in 2007 to meet the growing demand from Indian and international clients for a dedicated, responsive and strategic approach in securing and enforcing intellectual property in India. In particular, the firm was established to address the critical requirement of a specialised patent team that intimately understands the working of the Indian legal system and is technically qualified and competent in understanding and appreciating our clients’ inventions. O&A has since then expanded and now offers end-to-end services in IP and corporate law with the goal of aiding and assisting its clients at every stage and is recognised as one of India’s leading law firms. The firm prides itself on the diversity in its workplace and is committed to building a happy, balanced and supportive work environment. The firm has been ranked as the Best Law firm for Women in India (Vahura Best Law Firms to Work Rankings, 2018).
O&A has regularly been recognised as a leading practice in India by a number of international legal publications, including Chambers Asia Pacific, Managing Intellectual Property, Asialaw Profiles and Legal 500. O&A’s Managing Partner, Essenese Obhan, has been ranked by Chambers Asia as Asia’s Leading Lawyer for Business, 2018. The India Business Law Journal in its definitive list of the country’s top 100 private practice lawyers for the year 2018 has ranked Ashima Obhan, the head of the firm’s corporate law and M&A practice, as one of the top 100 lawyers in India. The firm’s Corporate M&A and Private Equity practices have been ranked as a ‘Recognised Firm for India’ by IFLR 1000 2020. The firm has a well-balanced domestic and international clientele and represents a cross-section of industries, including fast-moving consumer goods, mechanical engineering, hardware and electronics, pharmaceuticals, software, apparel, packaging and retail, process engineering, fashion brands, automobiles and parts, paints and chemicals, magazines and publications and textiles. O&A’s varied client base includes individual inventors, universities and national and international corporations. A represents some of India’s leading business houses.
Main Areas of Practice:
O&A comprises of professionals from diverse backgrounds, all of whom combine excellence in their areas of specialisation with a strong understanding of the Indian IP system. O&A’s IP team has skilled professionals experienced in prosecution and contentious proceedings before the various registries under the Intellectual Property Office, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board and courts all across the country. The IP team is qualified and has experience in the following technologies: mechanical, industrial, chemical, nanotechnology, biotech, electrical, electronics, software, telecoms and packaging. The IP team represents both domestic and international clients before the Trademark Office, the registrar of copyrights, the controller of designs, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board and the various courts in India. Members of the firm periodically dedicate time and resources on pro bono matters. For example, the firm has instituted a patent infringement suit [CS (COM) 1173/2016] before the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi on a pro bono basis as the Plaintiff is a retired school teacher having meager resources of income. The matter is presently sub judice. The firm is a lead sponsor for a patent drafting course (SEAD) and encourages knowledge building and training exercises. O&A has been investing and conducting industry specific workshops and sessions for individual inventors and start-ups, apprising them of the various nuances of gaining IP rights, etc. The firm has also been working with students from IIT, Delhi and drafting and filing their trademark and patent applications as well as drafting and negotiating the commercial agreements that they propose to enter with third parties. The firm has also taken an initiative in promoting local art/artists.
Corporate Law & M&A Practice:
O&A’s highly experienced corporate team provides a broad range of transactional and advisory services and prides itself on building personal relationships with its clients and providing a responsive, tailored service that will meet the specific needs of each of its clients. The firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions team has experience and expertise in acting on complex, high-value, cross-border work as well as a range of smaller transactions. The firm advises on the full range of deal structures from public takeovers/ offers through to divestments, private transactions and demergers. O&A advises on structuring of investments, formation of Indian entities, joint ventures, asset purchases, acquisitions and divestments, due diligence and related regulatory approvals. The firm has been actively advising its clients in the publishing industry on various aspects of Indian law such as author contracts, contracts granting options to buy film rights to certain books, licensing arrangements and more. We have been advising publishing houses on entry into the Indian market, the legal structure that best suits them as well as the periodic regulatory compliances that need to be undertaken. Our team has been undertaking legal reviews of nonfiction manuscripts prior to their publication, and advising clients on the issues that may arise from the same such as defamation, sedition, hate speech, infringement of personality rights etc. The firm represents its clients before various regulatory authorities such as the Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal (FIFP), National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Registrar of Companies (ROC), Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and other regulatory bodies.