Rica Bhattacharyya, The Economic Times

Amid tightening rules, fintechs step up hiring of legal experts


Preference is strong for professionals from law firms due to diversified exposure and fungibility across legal intricacies, she said.“Momentum gaining around public policy, litigation, regulatory affairs and ESG (environmental, social and governance standards) are stimulating hiring a full-time senior resource,” Vikamshi added.


The central government's increased focus on digital payments and the Reserve Bank of India’s new digital lending guidelines are among some of the reasons many of these startups are looking to ramp up their legal teams, said experts.Nilasha Mukherjee, managing consultant at search and advisory firm Vahura, said fintech startups are trying to reduce reliance on external counsels and depend more on internal legal talent to tackle the continuing regulatory overhang.


“The demand for litigators with criminal law expertise is rising, and in-house legal advice is critical for the development of innovative products,” she added.Amit Nawka, partner deals & startups at PwC, said: “Most of these companies have by and large tech brains, but now with strengthening regulations, companies are looking for senior legal and regulatory experts to help them out.”


“Quite a few fintech startups have become reasonably large in the last 2-3 years. All this time there was a lot of emphasis on the tech aspect and there was a thin line between whether these are tech companies or regulated financial services entities. While these companies were maturing, regulatory bodies were also trying to understand the business models and their implications. In the initial years, regulators let these businesses play out and now they are coming up with regulations,” Nawka added.


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