Nov 22,2018 | 15 min read

Face to Face with Dr Gubbi Subba Rao

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers?

I, Dr Gubbi Subba Rao, have an experience of 25+ years of professional baggage and have served many organizations- both Indian and MNCs. I have held senior positions as CLO, CEO and CoSec.

I am a Ph.D. from UK and also have Fellowship of NCER.

I am now practicing as an Attorney. My practice areas include both Indian Laws and International Laws. In the latter, I take up legal matters of trade, commerce & industry AND family, property laws that come under Private International Laws covering cross borders.

  • I am also a specialist in handling international arbitration and mediation.
  • I am a specialist in international commercial and criminal matters before applicable jurisdictional courts of law in various countries. I assist in litigation matters in various countries, like, India & neighboring countries, ASEAN Countries, Arab Countries, UAE, Africa, Australia, UK, USA, Canada, and Germany.
  • I am also an author and have written books on private international law and Indian laws.

2. Who or what inspired you to choose a career in Law?

Law of any country is a fascinating subject.  Law originates from Philosophy and Psychology of human beings. To set control mechanisms to impede the wrongs of any person is not a joke. It needs an understanding of ethics and human behavior. Law, infact, depicts the philosophy of a country.

3. What is the most satisfying and enjoyable aspect of your job?

I come across different types of people, personalities and institutions. Understanding the challenges faced by them, the background, contexts, and the result they are expecting from this depicts the events/vicissitudes they have undergone. It in here’s the fabrics of society and nation.

4. What challenges have you faced in the course of your career and how did you overcome them?

Challenges bombard by way of competition:

  • Competing with our generation colleagues in profession is one dimension. 
  • Competing with the present generation colleagues is another dimension by itself.

To overcome these challenges the only way is to keep on updating our knowledge in various laws and related subjects in epistemology. It also requires in understanding the contexts from which changes in law by way of amendments are made and new laws enacted. It further needs an understanding of the changes in culture and its inherent shocks.

5. In your experience, what skills or characteristics makes someone well suited for a profession in Law?

  • We should have the following traits to be most successful in the profession:
  • Listening skills.
  • Proper communication to make the client understand the situation in which he is inn.
  • Time management by attending to clients’ needs and requirements of Courts. “On Time” execution of work.
  • Proper strategies and its application.
  • Properly understanding the law i.e., applicable to the case/situation on hand.
  • An emphatic ‘NO’ to take adjournment in courts.
  • Updating oneself with current social and economic scenarios, the new ways by which rights of a person are violated.
  • To be current with changes in law.

6. Can you recall a time when you acted over and above the expectations of your role?

While executing the requirements of a client before a court of law or before arbitration proceedings many-a-time situations pop up which are favorable to the client. Sometimes, they pop up to reduce the time span of the litigation. The case on hand may demand, require us to discuss/mediate with the opponent which may be favoring both the parties. In such situations, taking into confidence the client, it is better to resolve the issue by involving the attention of the opponent in the interest of both the parties.

If I find, whether at the beginning or in the middle of litigation, there is scope for consultation/mediation to resolve the matter between or among parties, I prefer to do so with the consent of the parties involved instead of being avaricious.

 I have done this in litigation matters across India as well as abroad on case basis.

7. According to you, what are some problems that plague today’s Indian Legal Education?

Education is not just transferring the statutes prescribed in the syllabus to the student. This is not the purpose for which a professional is called for on the platform of educational institutions as faculty. The present generation is intelligent enough to read and understand this to answer in their examination.

Having said this, the current situation requires transfer of knowledge on Jurisprudence and constitutional law; and the philosophy behind these. Time has come to orient the syllabus towards “Action Research”.  The lecturers have to provide practical side of the scenario to the situation under each subject matter to complete the loop of transfer of knowledge atleast to some extent. Needless to so that students who have a bent of mind to study law should be encouraged to take up the profession instead of  those who opt the profession as a last resort having not been successful in getting a seat another professions.

8. What is the difference between an average professional in Law and an excellent one?

  • A Professional will have the ability to apply properly the law suiting to the requirements of the case on hand instead of beating around the fence thereby committing injustice to the client.
  • The professional will not turn every matter that comes to him into a court case and instead tries to find avenues to resolve the difference or dispute by conciliation/mediation as far as possible.
  • A professional will have the sections and applicable case laws in his fingertips.
  • A professional will have the traits of art of listening, knitting the background of the matter with the events, communication skills attending on time and not after time to the case on end.
  • A professional will not be an “adjournment lawyer”.

On the other hand, an average profession, in a scale of 1 to 10 in the aforesaid qualities will be at 5 or below 5 in the traits.

9. Tell us about how you handle crises at work?

Crisis management can be of many folds. One is related to evidences and witnesses. The other is related to the case matter which may not turn out to be real during the course of litigation. Both will put the attorney in embarrassment and sometimes in awkward position.

In criminal matters it may jeopardize the case to reach its justifiable end. Sometimes, when the clients hide realities the entire effort made by the attorney may have a damping effect without any turn around to the case.

10. In a profession such as law has there ever been a time when you changed your priorities to meet others’ expectations?

It is the crisis management that takes over to the priorities on hand.

Demand of time to attend to a sudden case matter may change the listed priorities.

Do or die situation of the client may make an attorney to change his priorities.

11. Tell us about a time when you had to change your point of view or your plans to take into account new information or changing priorities?

There are instances when a new information which surfaces related to the case on hand may act as a catalyst favoring the client or sometimes favoring the opponent (at the same time not affecting the client) may allow me to change my point of view or even my plans which I have placed on the road map to achieve the end objective. It can arise from notifications/circulars from Government bodies and/or from evidences or witnesses who surface suddenly to change the whole scenario. In such instances even the priorities made needs to be altered to suit the present new situation.

12. Tell us about a time when you were able to change someone’s point of view significantly through your work?

Changing someone’s point of view may arise out of making that someone to understand the whole subject matter from various applicable perspectives. It so happens that the person may be viewing the situation from his available resources and knowledge.

In certain contexts, the case on hand may require the person to see

The matter from a different lens. Under such circumstances, there is room for changing the point of view of the person.

 It can happen at any stage of proceedings related to litigation. It can even happen before the judge/arbitrator before whom the matter is subjudice. There are instances when there is room for changing the view of judges/Jury/Ombudsman/arbitrator both in the context of Indian laws as well as in private international law.

13. Have you ever faced a time when you were asked to do something that you disagreed with?

Among the types of cases I receive, sometimes a client may ask us to do something that is not in sync with law or for that matter, not ethical.  In such instances, even though the client is ready to pay a heavy fee, I disagree to take up such cases.

14. What advice or suggestion would you give to our readers, who are predominantly law students and young lawyers?

I advise them to thoroughly understand the law and not just skim through the subject.

They should develop the ability to turn the table against the opponent. To do this, they should prune their skills in understanding both the facts of the situation and the applicable laws. Having said this, I understand it is not the habit of many students/young practitioners to go deep in studying law. Practice of delving deep into the legal subject and also into the case laws related to this is a must to be cultivated by students as well as young professionals. I further recommend them to start with study of history followed by their professional subjects.

15. Would you recommend Lawyered to budding startups to get their legal queries resolved relating to incorporating their business?


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