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Phoenix Legal

Work +91 11 4983 0000
Fax +91 11 4983 0099
Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi

Manjula Chawla

Work +91 11 4983 0000
Phoenix Legal

Work Department

Corporate and commercial (M&As and foreign investment), Antitrust/Competition, Employment, Energy & Infrastructure, IP, IT & Outsourcing, Litigation and Arbitration, Private Equity, Telecommunications.


Manjula Chawla is a senior partner at Phoenix Legal and one of the founding partner of the Phoenix Legal. Manjula’s practice concentrates in the areas of strategic corporate investments, corporate finance and restructuring, mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, and general corporate and commercial matters.  She has also been involved in certain complex litigation and dispute resolution matters.

She has assisted many multinational corporations (including Fortune 500 companies) in establishing their presence in India in a variety of sectors including automobiles, biotechnology, chemicals, energy, financial services, food & beverage, healthcare and pharma, information technology, oil & gas, power and telecommunications. She has structured, negotiated and drafted a wide range of business transactions for foreign investors and multinational corporations over the years.

She advises her clients on a wide range of issues faced by them in India involving anti‐corruption laws, competition law, corporate governance, exchange control laws, data privacy and protection, outsourcing, intellectual property protection, labour & employment and real estate. She also has experience in handling litigation and arbitration matters arising out of commercial contracts on behalf of her international clients.

She has also represented several foreign and international non-profit organizations in relation to their activities in the country such as American Red Cross Society, International Federation of Red Cross Societies and Grameen Foundation. She is currently advising Project Hope, USA in relation to its activities in India.  Project HOPE is contributing to India's national goal of reducing mortality from NCDs (diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease) through several programs, including the India Project UDAAN: United Dialogue & Action against NCDs.


Founded Phoenix Legal in 2008. Before setting up Phoenix Legal, Manjula spent over 12 years as a senior partner in a leading commercial law firm in India. 

 Awards and Citiations

She was awarded the National Law Day Award - 2000 by the Union Law Minister for "Excellence in Corporate Law and for unique contribution in bringing foreign exchange into India".  She recently featured in the recently published book “100 Legal Luminaries of India” which throws light on some of the most illustrious legal minds in India. She was recognised in the 2017 Edition of Indian Corporate Counsel Association’s  “The Vanguards - Trusted Corporate Lawyers and was listed in the A-List published by India Business Law Journal as amongst India’s Top 100 Lawyers. She received the “Woman of Distinction” - Leadership Excellence Awards 2017 from Legal League Consulting. She was identified in the Leading Lawyer 100 global list of Lawyer Monthly 2011 Guide in the category of Cross Border Law. She was selected as “Woman of the Year India 2011-12” by International Who’s Who Executives & Professionals. She was recently nominated as the Women Lawyer of the Year for India’s Legal Era Awards’ 2012.

Clients praise her ability to "identify the issue that is causing a problem and to come up with commercial solutions."- Chambers and Partners 2018.

“The partners and directors provide practical solutions,” notes a client, “and clear decision making in resolving queries.”Asialaw 2018.


Publications of note:

  • She also contributed to the India chapter in “Automotive 2017” published by Getting The Deal Through, a well-known publication of Law Business Research Limited, UK.
  • She co-authored the Indian chapter in the first edition of the Lexis Nexis Foreign Investment Guide 2017-2018.
  • She also co-authored the article “CCI discusses factors that led to record high penalty” in the Indian Business Law Journal.
  • She has been contributing for several years to the World Bank’s Doing Business in India project and was recently involved in discussions with the Indian Government in order to improve India’s ranking.


English, Hindi, Punjabi.


 Member – North India Council (NIC) of the Indo- American Chamber of Commerce (IACC)
Treasurer – Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF)
Member – Corporate Affairs Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Member – DWEN (Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network) India Community, an initiative by Dell
Member – International Bar Association
Member – International Pacific Bar Association


Miranda House, Delhi University: BA (Hons), Political Science
Campus Law Centre, Delhi University- LLB(1988)


Travelling, Music, Swimming, Social work


Antitrust and competition

Within: Antitrust and competition

Phoenix Legal successfully acted for Sundaram Finance in a delayed filing for merger approval investigation by the CCI. The team is active in merger control, compliance and advisory, and behavioural matters, and counts Sandvik and A.O. Smith India Water Products among its clients. Saket Shukla, Manjula Chawla, and Trinath Tadakamalla are the key contacts.

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Labour and employment

Within: Labour and employment

Phoenix Legal has strengths advising on the employment issues of M&A, including assisting with business transfers and reorganisations. The team advised Monster Energy on the Indian law aspects of an employee stock option plan adopted by its US-based holding company, and handled Sanctum Wealth Management’s buy-out of RBS’ Indian wealth management business. Abhishek Saxena, Sawant Singh and Manjula Chawla are the key names.

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Within: TMT

Phoenix Legal advises on regulatory and transactional aspects in the telecoms sector, and has particular strengths in the media and entertainment industry. The team assisted Reliance Broadcast Network and its associate companies with the sale of a 49% stake in its radio broadcasting business and 100% divestment of its general entertainment television broadcasting business to Essel Group. Corporate lawyer Saket Shukla has a particular focus on TMT, and Manjula Chawla and Siddharth Hariani are other key names.

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Legal Developments in India

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

  • Post Marketing Surveillance of Drugs

    Post marketing surveillance is performed after market approval/clinical trials of drugs in India. The regulatory framework for conducting clinical trials of drugs is provided under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (“ Act ”) and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 (“ Rules ”). Further, Part X-A and Schedule Y of the Rules specifically deal with the statutory provisions applicable for clinical trial of drugs in India. Schedule Y divides Clinical trial of drugs into 4 Phases, namely, Human Pharmacology (Phase-I), Therapeutic exploratory trials (Phase-II), Therapeutic confirmatory trials (Phase III) and Post Marketing Trials (Phase-IV).
  • Protection of Biotechnology under Indian Laws

    According to the eighth annual survey conducted by the Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises (ABLE) and Bio Spectrum, the Indian biotech industry grew threefold in just five years to report revenues of US$ 3 billion in 2009-10, a rise of 17 per cent over the previous year. Maintaining the momentum of the previous years, the Indian biotech industry grew 16.28 per cent in FY2014; the total industry size was US$ 5 billion at the end of the financial year and it reached US$ 7 billion in FY2015. Fast-paced growth is likely to continue; the industry is expected to increase in size to USD11.6 billion by 2017, driven by a range   of factors such as growing demand, intensive R & D activities and strong government initiatives ( )
  • Cabinet Approves India’s IPR Policy - “Creative India; Innovative India: रचनात्म??

    The Union Cabinet on 13 May 2016 approved the National Intellectual Property Right (IPR) policy roadmap ( ) to foster creativity and innovation, promote entrepreneurship and enhance socio development, enhance access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection. The Policy recognizes the abundance of creative and innovative energies that flow in India, and the need to tap into and channelize these energies towards a better and brighter future for all.
  • Real Estate - India

    Real Estate - India
  • SEBI’s Jurisdiction | Analysis of the Supreme Court judgment in the Sahara case

    The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is responsible for investor protection and development and regulation of the securities market in India. The scope of SEBI’s jurisdiction over the issue of securities by public companies is an important issue. This issue was recently considered by the Supreme Court in Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd. and Ors. v. Securities and Exchange Board of India and Anr., MANU/SC/0702/2012; (2012) 8 SCALE 101. This article analyses this judgment and its implications.
  • Mainstreaming the Alternative: Issuance of NCDs

    Debt financing is a significant means for corporates to raise capital. Indian regulators have taken a number of steps to deepen the Indian debt market. Permission has been granted to foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and qualified foreign investors (QFIs) to invest in non-convertible debentures (NCDs) issued by Indian companies. This article summarises the legal and regulatory requirements for Indian companies to issue NCDs to FIIs and QFIs.
  • Options – Not a Part of History Yet

    At the time when India is completing two decades of the economic liberalization there are several laurels which the policymakers can boast of.   The path-breaking shift from the license-raj to a regime focusing on regulation introduced by the Government of India in the landmark year 1991 have been continued through further economic reforms and the same has also found support from the regulators and the market players.
  • Liberalization Back on Track with the Relaxation of Share Transfer Norms

    Soon after the rollback of the much criticized aspect of the Consolidated Foreign Direct Investment policy dated October 1, 2011 which treated foreign investments in Indian securities as external commercial borrowings in case such investments conferred options on the foreign investors, the policy makers have brought more good news for the investor community.
  • Franchising in India

    In the last two decades, India has witnessed a sea change in its foreign investment policy resulting in it being one of the most preferred investment destinations. With growing globalisation and liberalisation, brand awareness has been created in the Indian masses and today India is the one of the biggest and fastest emerging markets for various businesses across the world. Being geographically vast and culturally diverse, India offers the most favorable franchising environment with a huge consumer market. Franchising in this respect has managed to pick up as a successful business module for local companies in India.