Rohit says his “practice has been built brick by brick, file by file and client by client.” Of the 119 habeas corps cases he filed, he won 118 of them. Like some of his ilk, with change in the government policy in 1991, Rohit too decided to make a detour into the field of corporate law. At the time, India did not have many law firms that had experience in representing large Fortune 500 companies.
“Success and failure are part of the cycle of human life and one should not get carried away by the few milestones that we achieve during our professional journey,” says Rohit Kochhar. Not one to be fooled by the success that he has achieved, he adds, “Success and failure are dictated by the doctrine of fatalism. One should fulfill ones duties with honesty, integrity, commitment and single-minded focus and not be anxious about the outcome or reward.”
His faith in destiny stems from the fact that without any godfather in the highly competitive profession of law, Rohit established himself early in life. Brought up in home with doting parents, his schooling years were spent at Modern School, Delhi, followed by graduation at Sriram College off Commerce, Delhi University, and then law from Mumbai. As he was a voracious reader during his formative years, his father always indulged him with all the books and encyclopedias of his choice.
And destiny appears to have had things planned rather well for him. Unlike most newcomers, Rohit, by the age of 26, had established himself within three years of his joining criminal practice. He stared with preventive detention cases in the field of economic offences and became a specialist in the COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities) Act. Soon clients started coming to him directly. “My clients were incarcerated in different jails across the country. I continued specializing in preventive detention cases for the next 6-7 years till about 1993 to 1994,” says Rohit remembering his early days off practice.
While Kochhar may give credence to fate for his success, hard work and dedication combined with a spirit to reach the top can make the insurmountable also easy.
Rohit’s foresight and acumen saw him rapidly climbing the ladder of success. He won many accolades such as the Rashtriya Gaurav Award (Pride of India), the Rajiv Gandhi Award and the International Council of Jurists Award. In addition to this, Kochhar & Co. was conferred the ‘National Bar Award’ by the All India Bar Association. With all such awards to his credit it is only natural for people to seek him out. Rohit speaks regularly at various international conferences and has made presentations at various fora in North America, Europe and Japan. Presently, he is also the Honorary Secretary of the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF).
Kochhar & Co. was the first Indian law firm to open an office in Japan and one of three firms to have established an office in Singapore. The firm enjoys the distinction of being the only law firm from the country (and in fact from the continent of Asia) to have established an office in Dubai and have obtained a licence to practice local law in the UAE.
Rohit is married to the very charming Sonali who he met at work. They have a son named Armaan and two daughters, Sahira and Ramira. Armaan studied business management from the Singapore Institute of Management. “My dad is very fair, straight forward, kind and gentle, and of course passionate about the things he likes,” says the doting son.
It was this very same passion and interest in European classical buildings and his “spiritual connection” to these structures that led him to build his Renaissance Mansion in New Delhi. Spread over 3 acres, this magnificent edifice was planned and designed by Rohit, who often chose to spend half the day at the site while it was being built. He even took the pain of getting the chandeliers from Prague, toilet seats from Japan and styled his bathrooms like those of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Singapore.
For someone who has achieved so many milestones, you would feel he has little left to achieve. But Rohit has a surprise. “I continue to try and embrace the religion of excellence in all walks of professional life. I also like to keep the child inside me alive which helps me continue to dream like one, “ says this seeker.
We acknowledge “100 Legal Luminaries of India” by Lalit Bhasin (Lexis). The multicolour coffee table book printed on art paper in Hardbound is priced at ` 5995/- and is available at Universal Book Traders, C-27, Connaught Place, New Delhi – 110001. firstname.lastname@example.org