IndiGo, the largest low-cost passenger airline in India, has appointed Abeer Kumar as its head of litigation. Previously, he headed the legal team at bike taxi app Rapido.
He began practicing in 2007 as an associate at Chambers of Indu Malhotra, focusing on lower court and consumer disputes. A year later, he joined Karanjawala & Co as an associate focusing on appellate courts and tribunals. In 2012, he became the senior associate at Economic Laws Practice. Thereafter he moved to PDS Legal (now Lumiere Partners) as a principal associate from mid- 2013 and remained for almost seven years, before joining Rapido in 2020 as the head of legal.
“IndiGo as a brand and organisation has distinguished itself from all other players in the aviation industry. It has earned itself as one of the best airlines in the country and is steadily gaining international recognition as well. Besides being the largest bird in the sky, it has an excellent in-house legal team. Over the years, the team has earned itself a reputation of not just being competent and highly skilled but also as thorough professionals,” Kumar told India Business Law Journal.
Kumar’s team comprises five lawyers, while the entire legal team tally is at 21.
As a litigation head, he feels a need to take part in all aspects of the aviation business and not just manage litigation. “It is also about averting damage without resorting to litigation with effective counsel on all issues. This is gained by being a part of all aspects ranging from compliance, licensing, tariff determination, the purchase and leasing of aircraft, consumer issues, co-ordination with aviation authorities on various issues related to operations to internal management,” Kumar said.
While gaining expertise in aviation laws takes time, one must be strong with their basics on procedure and other general laws such as consumer, antitrust, labour and commercial laws, he added.
“I have previously worked for an organisation in the mobility sector and a shift to aviation felt like a natural progression. Aviation is highly specialised and there are not many firms or individual practitioners in this field. Therefore, you become part of an exclusive club of lawyers specialising in this field,” said Kumar when asked about his decision to join the aviation sector.