As this is month end of international women’s day we got the opportunity to discuss the journey of the expert lawyer of Mumbai. As the founder and lead partner of M/s Kshitija Wadatkar & Associates, Dr, Kshitija has handled numerous high-profile matters and has represented the top corporate houses of the Country. Her client list includes Nikhil Kamath COO Zerodha, Raymond, and a big list with big names. She is a well-known name for her pro bono cases fought for underprivileged women and her contribution to women’s empowerment in society.
She is a common name in elite corporate circles in India. She also represents high-profile cases including the ED, CBI, anti-corruption, and banking fraud as Additional Public Prosecutor of Bombay Court whereby she opposed the legends in the country. Recently Dr. Kshitijaa and the Team opposed Deepak Kocher’s corporate banking matter. But because of her Nobel Prize- winning work on behalf of socially marginalised women, her name soars in the skies like a dazzling Nightingale of the legal community.
When it was asked to her how could she manage to wear all hats at once? Dr. Kshitija Wadatkar is extraordinarily successful at being a leader, a lawyer, and an entrepreneur. She has received two of the most prestigious accolades, namely Entrepreneur of the Year from the MSME Indian Business Awards and “Women Change-makers for Socio-Legal Contribution.”
She spilled the beans about her professional life as a fresher. With just one bag and the desire to work at the Principal Bench of the Bombay High Court, she arrived in Mumbai 15 years ago as a first-generation female lawyer. She was chosen as an Outstanding Student of Nagpur University out of 8 lakh applicants and won competitions on the national and international levels. However, because of having no references, she had to work for the criminal defense attorney of the Bombay High Court who had chosen her based on her achievements and gold medals.
“If your roots are not from the city and in that, you are first generation lawyer then this city will make you slog, squeeze you to the last remaining ounce of mental and physical strength this city
is ruthlessly professional. Either you pass its desired test and then Mumbai becomes your Mumbai meri Jaan or you fail it to return to your native. One thing is sure Mumbai gives you hands-on experience of real life in its own safest way.” she asserts
She began her career in Mumbai with a meager salary of 5000 rupees. She had to wait, struggle, and toil for two years to be chosen for a prestigious law firm irrespective of her extraordinary academic credentials. she gained vast experience working for illustrious corporations throughout the nation. She gained knowledge of the subtleties of corporate law.
After nearly 7 years of working for others, she took the risk of establishing her own law business in 2015 with all her entrepreneurial zeal, and she can humbly claim that she hasn’t looked back since. She was devoted to offering an opportunity to every single female attorney who had the bravery to come from a small town. And as of right now, they are a Msme—a female-led and female-run organization—in the nation.
Despite being well-known for her work in the criminal justice system and economic crime, she entered the corporate world for a reason. Because she was assisting her corporate clients in their routine corporate and civil affairs, they wanted her to also manage the profile of their criminal complaints. Her corporate clients deal with these aspects of fraud and cheating. Criminal law has the advantage of giving you a name as soon as your attorney begins producing results. As a result of their level of saturation, corporate and civil results are not immediately apparent or favorably received. In the nation, white-collar crime cases are resolved by Kshitija’s firm at the highest and fastest rates her clients humbly confessed. In both economic offense litigation and practice, they have developed a strong brand in the 9 years as a firm.
Both Dr. Kshitija’s fight for women’s rights and the fact that most women are empowered in her environment have solid reasoning.
When she was a first-year law student, she stood firmly during the constitutional law lecture and objected to the 33% reservation for women, arguing that she can compete on an equal footing. When her former professor enlightened her with the national truth, explaining her decision reflects a non-discriminatory upbringing. However, not all females in the nation experience this. The big picture must be considered while creating policies. The significance of empowering the country’s disadvantaged sisters became clear to her at that point and she has always wished to help the cause ever since.
“I studied constitutional law and human rights for my doctoral work for this same reason. Even my law practice, where women predominate, provides a lot of free legal services to women who are in actual need. We struggle every day in lower courts just to see the women who came to us as victims’ faces with that lone grin of hope” says Kshitija.