Ikigai Law is an award-winning law firm. We have a market-leading regulatory, policy and commercial-law practice for technology and innovation-led businesses. We provide legal and strategic advice to a wide variety of clients, from high impact startups to mature market-leading companies and are often at the forefront of policy and regulatory debates for emerging business models.
The firm is privileged to represent some of the most exciting entrepreneurial and innovative ventures in the country, that include satellite manufacturers, virtual reality hardware and content developers; (r)e-commerce companies; social media platforms, cloud services providers, blockchain and other fin-tech ventures.
Our clients have been quoted in Legal500 complementing us for our ‘good grasp of the industry, domestic and international, and the policy and legal landscape’ and ‘a committed thought leader.’
Chambers & Partners quotes that our clients are extremely impressed with the firm’s performance, as one source reports: “They grasp things very fast and give us the right perspective. That’s always been amazing”.
They also go on to mention that – “They demonstrate a steep commitment to the work at hand, understand and orient themselves on the goals of our business. They are top of their game – approachable and self-driven to find viable solutions to business problems.”
Social Media and Digital Platforms
In the run-up to the 2019 general elections in India, Ikigai Law advised a leading social media client on its internal policies for dealing with fake news. Given its political ramifications during the elections, this issue was attracting significant regulatory scrutiny and was critical for the client. We also advised the client in managing its intermediary liability risk around offensive content, data protection and privacy and implementing take-down procedures.
The firm advised Protograph Studios on the deployment of Whatsapp’s much-publicised fact-checking program for studying the misinformation phenomena during the Indian elections in 2019. It also advised a b2c e-commerce company that retails ayurvedic products to a global audience, on intermediary liability issues across jurisdictions.
Undertook extensive privacy law compliance checks for one of India’s largest social media network and advised them on their data collection, storage and processing practices in line with the GDPR and those proposed under the draft Indian law.
Advised Dvara Research (previously IFMR Foundation), an eminent think tank, on their submission to the Justice Srikrishna Committee on a framework for India’s forthcoming data protection law. Also, assisted Dvara Research in developing a Draft Data Protection Bill, 2018 for India, which got circulated to the Justice Srikrishna Committee and other key stakeholders.
Our team was onboarded by Hyperloop One India, a student team prototyping a hyperloop transportation system in India as part of a global competition conducted by US company Hyperloop One Inc. The hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and freight transportation that would propel a pod-like vehicle through a near-vacuum tube at more than airline speed.
Our team advised on the set up of Koinex, India’s first multi-cryptocurrency exchange. Also provide ongoing advice to the company on its operations in a rapidly evolving and complex technology sector amidst absolute regulatory uncertainty. We laid the foundation for self-regulatory structures adopted by several Indian exchanges.
The firm represents four of India’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges in their petition before the Supreme Court challenging the Indian Central Bank directive to terminate the exchanges’ access to banking services. Amongst other things, the biggest challenge in this matter was to complex technology to the court.
Advised an aviation startup operationalise its business model of aggregating chartered and non-scheduled flights. Selling unused seats on chartered flights increases the number of passengers on routes multi-fold. This is a crucial commercial development for the industry.
Our team advised an airport ground-handling company in the development of a mobile-based software application integrating the entire airport eco-system across the country. The application provided on-demand travel information including detailed flight status, baggage tracking information, airport, and in-flight entertainment, among others. The mandate involved advising the client on strategic collaboration contracts with various stakeholders in the eco-system, including airport authorities, airlines, and related service providers.
Our team advised Team Indus on their spacecraft launch contract for a planned moon mission with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The contract was challenging for several reasons: a. Unclear regulations; b. A private lunar mission was globally unprecedented at the time; c. A high-value contract for a dedicated launch – the entire spacecraft was on the lease and not a portion of the payload capacity.
Ikigai Law advises India’s only private sector space-tech training and capacity building institution (Specific Impulse and Rocketeers Research Institute) on issues relating to regulation of manufacture, distribution and sale of scaled-down training rockets. We advised a remote-sensing satellite manufacturing enterprise on contractual and corporate law matters and its satellite launch contract for a launch with Russia’s GK Launch Services.
Ikigai advises several unmanned aviation (drone) companies on regulatory issues around operations, design, prototyping and manufacture of drones. The Economic Times (India’s leading financial daily) credited the firm with playing a pioneering role in the introduction of a policy for unmanned aviation overturning a five-year de-facto ban on all drone operations in India.
Ikigai Law advised an automotive e-commerce platform in a corporate restructuring of its operations to ensure compliance with the amended policy and ensuring minimum disruption in operations on account of restrictions in India’s foreign direct investment policy.
Co-work and co-living
Advised co-living major Stanza Living in its US$50 million fundraise from Falcoln Edge, Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners and Accel. The firm also advised The Uncube in its acquisition by CoWrks, both co-working space operators.
Our team advised an international movie production house in its IP infringement suit and police complaints filed against the producers of an infringing movie. As part of the lawsuit, the team secured an unprecedented court order allowing court summons to be issued on the defendant by WhatsApp.
Our team advised its client in an auction-style acquisition by one of India’s largest e-commerce companies at the time. The client had developed a visual analytics engine for e-commerce, that allowed users to search using pictures and descriptive text like “blue long-sleeved shirt” and generate more relevant search results. The technology incorporated advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that allowed better search results than anything available in the market. The client team arguably consisted of the best image analytics scientists in the country.
The client received offers from two of the largest e-commerce players in India. Our team closely advised the client on its communication strategy with the two bidders and negotiations.
We advised a mid-size fund in its equity investment transactions. The fund’s mandate is to take strategic, often operating positions in its investee companies and to do so the fund often restructures these businesses pre- or post investment.
We advised the fund on an investment round and associated business restructuring in an e-commerce business that presented complex issues such as an on-going dispute between the co-founders of the business and intellectual property claims against the company that needed to be addressed during the investment round.
Represent a major cloud services provider on legal and regulatory issues, including data localisation and privacy requirements. Such advice is critical as data localisation and privacy requirements are fundamentally changing the way the cloud business runs in India.
Food and beverages
Advised a client on the applicable regulatory framework for operation of vending machines to distribute certain food products that otherwise get sold in packaged form, in scoops or as shakes. The team evaluated the legality of selling a third-party packaged product in loose form and a smaller volume. It included advising on means through which labeling requirements and disclaimers mandated under law could be satisfied, for example, through digital display on the vending machines without compromising the aesthetic appeal and functionality of the machines.
Electronic health records. Our client uses extensive machine learning and mathematical modelling to collect, structure and maintain individual health records of patients with a focus on school-going children. Ikigai Law advised the client in structuring its multi-party contracts with various stakeholders its interacts with including health service providers like doctors and hospitals and educational institutions, with a key focus on protection of sensitive patient data.
Tele-medicine. Our team advised a manufacturer and operator of remote-intensive care units (ICUs). Such tele-ICUs are valuable given the shortage of intensivists in many regions of the country. The operation of such units, however, raises significant liability issues for the manufacturer and operators. As an example, there is a fatality owing to downtime in the system, loss of network or power. Our team assisted on contractual arrangements between the manufacturer, intensivists and hospitals and advised on containing liability risks for the client.
Gaming and esports
Ikigai Law advised a blockchain-based electronic games developer developing skill and chance-based games for a global market. The mandate involved the study of law on electronic gaming and digital assets offering across several jurisdictions, including Singapore, Australia, Cayman Islands, Malta, Estonia, United States, United Kingdom and India. We suggest a unique structure as it allows for a digital assets offering from India, which is unprecedented.
Ikigai Law advises a cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) company that makes VR applications for training, skilling and education. The client recreates actual industry environment in VR and gamifies it for skilling and training. The firm advised the client on its agreements with a large manufacturing business for the development of VR-based gamified Standard Operating Procedures training modules for its workmen.