Profiling Diverse Experiences: A Profile on Namrata Bhagia's NCA Experience

  • January 30, 2021
  • Namrata Bhagia, LSO Licensing Candidate

Much Ado About Everything – My NCA Student Experience

It has been 18 months since I first arrived in Canada and yet, it feels like I only just landed at Toronto Pearson Airport. One moment I was nervously waiting to hear from Canadian universities about my LLM applications. Before I knew it, I was waving goodbye to my teary-eyed parents and traveling 10,000 kilometres to the land of the Raptors with a heavy parka wrapped around me in the middle of July for comfort and support (and also to avoid paying excess baggage fee).

On the flight, I spent 20+ hours snacking and deliberating over the consequences of leaving my dream job as an in-house counsel in the financial industry. Ever since I was 14, I envisioned myself working in a swanky office with a corner desk overlooking a concrete jungle. I ended up manifesting that very vision when I was hired by a financial institution based in Mumbai during the law school placement season. The year was 2016 and India’s distressed credit market had just started thriving. I was less than two months into the job and entrusted with some of the biggest accounts. It was intimidating at first but I had helpful colleagues on the business side who taught me the ropes of structuring financial transactions. My boss, who headed the legal team, always took out time to chisel my drafting skills and pushed me to negotiate better. While I started out with non-disclosure agreements, my last major transaction document was a successful resolution plan (akin to a Plan of Arrangement under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, but filed by a bidder) for one of the country’s biggest bankruptcies. Safe to say, after three years, I thought I had seen it all in the word of distressed assets. I felt, and everyone at my organization supportively agreed, that it was the right time to move on to my dream of being an international lawyer.