Mr. Hormaz Daruwalla (Partner, Khaitan & Co.) addresses students

In a lecture delivered on October 8, 2015, Mr. Hormaz Daruwalla, Equity Partner at Khaitan & Co. talked about his journey thus far and the importance of luck.


A commerce graduate, Mr. Hormaz Daruwalla studied law at the Government Law College, Mumbai and in 1987 he graduated in law from the University of Bombay. He started his career as an Advocate with Crawford Bayley & Company, handling cases pertaining to indirect tax under Mr Dadi Engineer. In the year 1992, Mr. H. Daruwalla started his practice as a Counsel at the Bombay High Court and joined the Chambers of Senior Advocate Mr Atul Setalvad, before going independent. Mr. H. Daruwalla has over 27 years of experience practicing in the Bombay high court and tax tribunals.

He was inducted as a partner in the indirect tax practice at the Mumbai office of Khaitan & Co. last year.

Mr. Daruwalla’s opening words were, “Standing here is a totally different experience for me” and on that note he went on to describe his own journey as a law student.

He shared with the gathering a few of his own experiences at the chambers of Mr. Setalvad and what he had learned out of them. He emphasized on the fact that young lawyers must never say no to any kind of work and encouraged them to “just do it”, supporting it with the rationale that if even if today nobody paid for it, someday, somebody else will.

He also talked about the boons and banes of having field of specialization and the challenges one might face owing to the fact that the client begins to recognize you with the field you specialize in and the influx of cases may go down.

When asked about his opinion about the work culture in the corporate sector, he advised the students to be diligent and to manage their time wisely, to make the corporate life more manageable. Another one of his personal fundas that he shared with the gathering was that one must always intern at a place other than the one he/she is fond of. He stressed upon the fact that it is very important to know why one does not prefer a particular field (which can only happen when you intern there) and then take a decision. His exact words were, “if you don’t like the idea of litigation, join the practice and get it out of your system”.

He expressed his happiness over the fact that students today are very lucky to have the opportunity to gain experiences through internships.

Mr. Daruwalla also talked about the importance of character building, citing the story of the Great Wall of China, where the mighty wall couldn’t fulfill its purpose because of the poor character of its guards. He, taking the support of this story, shed some light upon the ethics every lawyer must follow.

He defined “luck” as the state of being prepared to take opportunities head-on and then talked about its undeniable importance in one’s life.


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