India 2018 – GC Powerlist
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India 2018

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  • Powerlist

Abhijit Mukhopadhyay

President (legal) and general counsel (Europe) | Hinduja Group

Industrials and real estate

A leading light among Indian general counsel, Abhijit Mukhopadhyay has racked up an impressive succession of career highlights and personal accolades, and is involved in a number of international organisations...

Ajay D’Cruz

Head – legal and secretarial | ISS Facility Services India

Commercial and professional services

One of the world’s leading facility services companies with global revenues in 2017 amounting to Kr.79.9bn, Danish firm ISS Facility Services employs over 55,000 employees in India alone. Being dedicated...

Ajay Vaidya

Chief legal and compliance officer | Kotak Mahindra Bank


Since being launched in 1985, Kotak Mahindra Bank has experienced exponential growth earning over US$3bn in revenue in 2017 and ranking as among the top 50 companies in the Fortune...

Amar Sundram

National director (legal) and general counsel – India and Bangladesh | EY India

Commercial and professional services

As the general counsel of multinational consultancy firm EY’s Indian and Bangladeshi operations, since September 2012 Amar Sundram is involved in all major and critical decision making which can have...

Amit Deshpande

Company secretary and corporate general counsel | Sterlite Technologies

Telecommunication services

Amit Deshpande is the company secretary and the corporate general counsel of Sterlite Technologies, a Vedanta Group company. Sterlite is India’s only integrated optical fibre producer and one of the...

Anand Srivastava

Associate general counsel and company secretary | PwC

Commercial and professional services

Anand Srivastava started his career as a management trainee with India Aluminium Company (or Indal, the then subsidiary of Alcan) in 1997. After working for about a year and half...

Anand Vardhan

President – legal | Piramal Capital & Housing Finance

Industrials and real estate

Anand Vardhan joined Piramal Group in 2013 taking care of the legal function of its private equity, NBFC and realty business arm which in last 5 years have been consolidated...

Anoop Pillai

General manager – legal and company secretary | Volkswagen India

Consumer products

In 2013, Anoop Pillai joined Volkswagen India, the local subsidiary of the multinational German automotive giant which manufactures passenger cars in the Pune region, as general manager of legal and...

Anubhuti Agrawal

Senior counsel, development and operations – India | Hilton


Anubhuti Agrawal joined Hilton in 2015 as counsel, development and operations (India), and was promoted to the senior counsel role in 2018. She is now part of the larger Asia...

Anurag Sharma

General counsel | RIVIGO

Transport and infrastructure

With over 17 years of experience, Anurag Sharma has worked with litigators, law firms, Indian and multinational companies throughout his career. Having handled strategic litigation, several key M&As and joint...

Anuranjan Prasad

Director – legal, emerging Asia | Baxter (India)


Anuranjan Prasad has been director – legal, emerging Asia at Baxter since 2014 and brings almost 20 years of experience as an in-house counsel to the role. He has previously...

Ashok Gupta

General counsel | Aditya Birla Group

Industrials and real estate

Aditya Birla is a US$44.3bn multinational Indian corporation operating in 35 countries with over 120,000 employees worldwide. Amongst its workforce is the highly respected general counsel Ashok Gupta. Having led...

Ashok Kumar Maheshwary

Vice president and group head – legal | KCT Management Services

Materials and mining

Ashok Kumar Maheshwary has worked at various large companies over the course an in-house career that spans over 30 years. The ‘real game changer’ according to Maheshwary came after joining...

Atul Gopalkrishna Juvle

General counsel, compliance officer and company secretary – India and South Asia | Schindler India

Industrials and real estate

Atul Gopalkrishna Juvle joined Schindler India in July 2014 with over 30 years of experience including 18 years as a general counsel, and has achieved great successes during his time...

Avnindra Mohan

President legal and regulatory affairs | Zee Entertainment Enterprises

Sports and media

Avnindra Mohan has served as president of legal and regulatory affairs at Zee Entertainment Enterprises since 2003 and has expertly led its legal affairs into its dominant market position as...

Bharat Singh

Associate general counsel | Jacobs Engineering

Industrials and real estate

Jacobs Engineering is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional and construction services including all aspects of architecture, engineering and construction, operations and maintenance as...

Bhargesh Ojha

Senior executive vice president and general counsel | Kotak Mahindra Bank


Kotak Mahindra Bank was converted as a Bank from an existing non-banking financial company (NBFC). The existing businesses of the NBFC continued in the bank and new businesses like branch...

Chakradhar Varadarajan

Head – corporate legal | Godrej Industries

Industrials and real estate

Chakradhar Varadarajan, has served as head of corporate legal at Godrej Industries since March 2013. The path leading up to his current position is a 27 year journey as in-house...

Chandan Garg

Manager – legal | Petronet LNG

Energy and utilities

Chandan Garg started his career in 2003 as an independent advocate in the district courts of Sangrur (Punjab) involved in civil, criminal and consumer litigation. Then he joined Jindal Steel...

Chetan Chopra

Director – legal | OLA (ANI Technologies)

Transport and infrastructure

Following the departure of the previous general counsel, Chetan Chopra has co-led the legal function at OLA (ANI Technologies), one of the world’s largest ride-sharing companies, since April 2018. He...

Debolina Partap

General counsel | Wockhardt


Debolina Partap has been at Wockhardt since 2006 and continues to excel at India’s largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. Wockhardt operates three research centres and 12 manufacturing centres across India...

Deepak Acharya

General counsel and global head – legal | Wipro

Information technology

Since its founding in 1945, Indian company Wipro has developed into a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company. Amongst the company’s 160,000 employees is general counsel...

Dev Bajpai

Executive director, legal and corporate affairs and company secretary | Hindustan Unilever

Consumer products

Having a presence in India for over 80 years, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is currently India’s largest fast moving consumer goods company selling over 35 brands and employing around 18,000 individuals....

Dipali Talwar

Group general counsel | Tata Steel

Materials and mining

Part of the Tata Group, Tata Steel is one of the world’s largest steel producers with operations in 26 countries and a commercial presence in over 50 countries. As the...

Dr. Akhil Prasad

Country counsel India and company secretary | Boeing International Corporation

Industrials and real estate

Akhil Prasad is among the best-known figures in the global in-house community. ‘Truly a member of India’s legal elite’, he received multiple citations from both in-house and private practice nominators....

Dr. Subir Bikas Mitra

Executive director (law and HR) | GAIL (India)

Industrials and real estate

Over the years GAIL has grown by leaps and bounds and has achieved the coveted status of being a Maharatna company. At the direction of Dr. Subir Bikas Mitra, executive...

G.R. Srikkanth

Vice president – legal | RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group

Consumer products

G.R. Srikkanth, joined RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group after 9 years of experience within the public sector at the Housing and Urban Development Corporation. He has 13 years of in-house experience with...

Girish Gadgil

Senior general manager – group legal (head – auto sector) | Mahindra & Mahindra

Consumer products

After completing his graduation in law from the University of Pune in 1989, Girish Gadgil practiced law for about four years in civil and labour industrial courts before moving into...

Gopal Menghani

President, legalin | Lodha Developers

Industrials and real estate

With more than 30 years of experience providing expert legal advice in-house and in private practice Gopal Menghani, is president of legal at Lodha Developers, a multibillion-pound property developer with...

Inderpreet Sawhney

Group general counsel and chief compliance officer | Infosys

Information technology

A global leader in technology services and consulting, Infosys provides a range of digital solutions to clients in more than 50 countries. At the helm of the legal function of...

Ipsita Dutta

Executive director, head of legal – India | Morgan Stanley


Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in November 2016, Ipsita Dutta spent over eleven years in private practice having worked at Amarchand & Mangaldas Suresh A. Shroff & Co and thereafter...

Joydeep Banerjee

Head – contracts and legal | Sterling and Wilson

Industrials and real estate

Joydeep Banerjee is an astute legal professional as well as a proactive, positive and proficient in-house counsel with expertise in contracts and legal affairs. Banerjee is not one to shy...

K Satish Kumar

Global head legal and chief data protection officer | Ramco Systems

Information technology

K Satish Kumar, an attorney by profession, has over 25 years of rich work experience in various leading corporates. He had worked as senior counsel in HCL Technologies and head...

Kumar Das

Chief legal officer | Vodafone Idea

Telecommunication services

When Vodafone completed the merger of its Indian mobile business in August 2018 with Idea Cellular, the biggest telecommunications operator in the country was created with more than 400 million...

Lokanath P. Kar

Chief legal and principal compliance officer | ICICI Lombard General Insurance Limited


In 2006, Lokanath P. Kar joined ICICI Lombard General Insurance, the largest private sector non-life insurance companies of India, as chief of legal and principle compliance officer after over 20...

Lopamundra Rao

Director – legal | OLA (ANI Technologies)

Transport and infrastructure

Following the departure of the previous general counsel, Lopamudra Rao has co-led the legal function at OLA (ANI Technologies), one of the world’s largest ride-sharing companies. She joined the organisation...

Lubinisha Saha

General counsel, India Geo market (India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka) | Baker Hughes – a GE company

Energy and utilities

Lubinisha Saha is the general counsel for Baker Hughes, a full stream oil and gas company in India and part of the US conglomerate GE. She has more than 14...

Madhav Rao Uppulur

Group head – legal | CK Birla Group

Industrials and real estate

Already present across five continents, employing over 20,000 individuals, with 41 manufacturing facilities and 21 service delivery locations, the CK Birla Group is a growing US$1.8bn Indian conglomerate. Overseeing legal...

Madhu Sivaram Muttathil

Chief legal officer, India and SAARC | Avaya India

Telecommunication services

Madhu Sivaram Muttathil started off as a litigator back in 1997 before switching to an in-house corporate career a couple of years later. He debuted in-house with IBS Software Services,...

Mani Kant Mehta

Assistant vice president – legal | Varun Beverages

Food, beverages and tobacco

Being a practising lawyer in the initial years of his career, Mani Kant Mehta is able to appreciate the position of an outside counsel and able to put-in senior management’s...

Mohit Shukla

Managing director, India legal and compliance | Barclays


Mohit Shukla first took a leadership position in a legal function in 2001, and with 11 years of in-house experience he rose to his current position as managing director India...

Mrinal Sinha

Head of legal | Shell India Markets

Energy and utilities

Mrinal Sinha has been head of legal for Shell companies in India since 2006, and leads the legal country-wide function. He leads his team with the philosophy of understanding the...

Navdeep Choudhary

General counsel, head of legal | Yum! Restaurants India

Food, beverages and tobacco

Navdeep Choudhary has served as general counsel and head of the legal department at Yum! since 2016 and has in that time modernised and brought many changes to the department....

Naveen Raju

Group general counsel and senior vice president | Mahindra & Mahindra

Consumer products

Naveen Raju continues to excel as the group general counsel and senior vice president of Mahindra & Mahindra, one of the largest conglomerate companies in India, having been in the...

Nilanjan Sinha

Head of legal, India and Southeast Asia | ICICI Bank


In May 2018 Nilanjan Sinha re-joined ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank with total consolidated assets of US$172.5bn. He originally left the Bank in 2005 after five successful years...

Nitin Banerjee

General Counsel – Cairn Oil & Gas | Vedanta Group

Energy and utilities

Nitin Banerjee, general counsel of Cairn, a major oil and gas company affiliate of Vedanta Group, has been in the role since November 2017 and is responsible for the legal...

Nitin Mittal

Market head of legal, compliance and company secretary – Indian subcontinent | Philips Lighting India

Industrials and real estate

Nitin Mittal currently heads the legal and compliance team for Philips Lighting India in the Indian subcontinent with responsibilities including corporate legal advisory, litigation, corporate governance and compliance. Prior to...

P M Devaiah

Partner and group general counsel | Everstone Capital Advisors


In addition to being a Partner of Everstone Capital Advisors, P M Devaiah is primarily responsible at a group level for legal, secretarial and compliance functions at the firm as...

P. S. N. Prasad (Patibandla Satya Narayana Prasad)

Legal advisor | Reserve Bank of India


P.S.N. Prasad occupies a unique and prominent position in India’s in-house market as legal advisor in the rank of chief general manager to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s...

Padmaja Chakravarty

General counsel (India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) | Citi


Citi has a long and established history in India having first begun its financial operations in the country in 1902 and today organises its products and services under two major...

Parvesh Kheterpal

Head legal – EPC and Solar | Lanco Group (EPC and Solar Verticals)

Industrials and real estate

Parvesh Kheterpal continues to impress peers by excelling in his role as head legal for EPC and solar at Lanco Group, a large private power provider in India. Kheterpal is...

Pooja Sehgal Mehtani

Head – legal and secretarial | Sun Life India Service Centre


In May, 2017, Pooja Sehgal Mehtani joined Sun Life Financial, Asia Services Centre, bringing with her around 20 years of experience in corporate governance, commercial law, regulatory matters and in-house...

Pramod Rao

Group general counsel | ICICI


Pramod Rao returned to the bank where he launched his career, ICICI, as group general counsel in August 2018 after spending five years at Citibank India. While at Citi, Rao...

Prarabdha R. Jaipuriar

General counsel – Indian subcontinent | Suez India

Energy and utilities

Prarabdha R. Jaipuriar joined the legal profession in the year 2007. After working with several law firms, he joined the erstwhile SUEZ Environment India in November 2013 as an in-house...

Preeti Balwani

General counsel, India | Heinz India (Affiliate of The Kraft Heinz Company)

Food, beverages and tobacco

After around a decade in private practice in corporate M&A, private equity and other financial law, Preeti Balwani moved in-house in 2016 and has been in her current role at...

Priya Mehra Dewan

General counsel | InterGlobe Aviation (IndiGo)

Transport and infrastructure

Priya Mehra Dewan started her career as a corporate lawyer with Ajay Bahl & Co. (now, AZB & Partners) in 2002 focusing on M&A, private equity and related transactions. In...

Pujarini Guha Maulik

Vice president legal | InMobi

Commercial and professional services

Since its founding in 2007, InMobi has grown into a world-leading mobile marketing and advertising platform provider present in around 16 countries. Pujarini Guha Maulik joined the firm in 2012...

Pulin Kumar

Senior legal and compliance director | adidas india

Consumer products

Pulin Kumar has almost three decades of in-house legal experience with the large corporations engaged in manufacturing cement, heavy earth movers, life science and electronics, and sporting goods. In his...

Rajagopal Venkatakrishnan

Senior vice president – legal | Reliance Industries Limited

Industrials and real estate

With over 27 years of in-house experience, out of which five years were in an international regional role for Asia Pacific and Middle East covering over 14 countries, Rajagopal Venkatakrishnan...

Rajat Kalra

Head legal, company secretary and compliance officer | Dr Lal PathLabs


Rajat Kalra, is the head legal, company secretary and compliance officer at Dr Lal PathLabs, one of India’s largest pathology laboratories as well as one of its top diagnostics chains....

Rajeev Chopra

Managing director – legal and senior legal business partner | accenture

Commercial and professional services

Rajeev Chopra has continued to impress a number of peers since being featured in the inaugural GC Powerlist: India in 2016. As managing director – legal and senior legal business...

Rajeev Kumar

Senior vice president – legal | HDFC Property Ventures

Industrials and real estate

Rajeev Kumar joined HDFC Property Ventures, a leading Indian the venture capital and private equity company, as senior vice president legal in 2008. He is responsible for managing the complexities...

Rajeev Nair

Associate general counsel – India, Asia Pacific and Japan (Personal Systems) | HP Inc.

Information technology

Rajeev Nair joined HP in January 2012 as director of legal for India, supporting HP’s business and global delivery centres in India. Rajeev has an experience of over 22 years...

Rajeev Uberoi

Chief general counsel | IDFC (Infrastructure Development Finance Company)


As chief general counsel at IDFC, Rajeev Uberoi has an important responsibility of serving the company as general counsel and group head of legal and compliance. He joined IDFC in...

Rajendra Misra

Executive vice president and general counsel | The Indian Hotels Company


Rajendra Misra commenced his legal career as a counsel at the Calcutta High Court in 1991 but soon moved in-house. Ever since, he has worked for some of the leading...

Rajesh Mukhija

Director of legal affairs – India operations | Ford India

Consumer products

Since entering the Indian market in 1995, US automobile manufacturer Ford has invested over US$2bn to grow its business by expanding its manufacturing facilities and sales and service footprint in...

Rajiv Bakshi

Senior vice president of legal and group counsel | JSW Steel Limited

Materials and mining

Rajiv Bakshi continues to serve as the senior vice president of legal and group counsel at JSW Steel Limited, part of the JSW conglomerate worth close to US$9bn. JSW Steel...

Rajiv Wani

Country group head – law, patents and compliance (South Asia) | Bayer CropScience

Food, beverages and tobacco

Bayer CropScience is a global agricultural input provider with a range of environmental solutions to the farming and agricultural demands drawing on the scientific prowess of the Bayer global company....

Raju Dodti

Chief executive – special situations group and group general counsel | L&T Finance Holdings


Raju Dodti is chief executive – Special Situations Group and group general counsel at L&T Finance Holdings, one of India’s largest non-bank financial services companies. L&T Finance Holdings focuses on...

Rakesh Chandra Sinha

Associate vice president – legal and compliance (head legal and compliance) | Sun Pharmaceutical Industries


Rakesh Chandra Sinha joined Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, a major Indian multinational pharmaceutical company, in March 2016 to head its legal and compliance functions in the capacity of associate vice president...

Rashmi Kathpalia

Senior vice president (country head – legal) | TechnipFMC Group

Energy and utilities

After a career in litigation at the highest level in India and the UK and in-house roles at firms such as at Bechtel Group, Rashmi Kathpalia joined Technip India (now...

Sabira Amjad Kadri

Vice president legal | The Phoenix Mills


Sabira Amjad Kadri joined The Phoenix Mills in 2012 and assumed her current position of vice president legal in 2016. Prior to joining she worked at Mahindra & Mahindra and...

Sameer Chugh

General counsel and director – legal and regulatory | Bharti Airtel

Telecommunication services

After a successful career in law firms and working on various large transactions, Sameer Chugh moved in-house in 2001 joining NCR as their India counsel. He then enjoyed roles at...

Sameer Guha

India legal counsel | Mars International India

Food, beverages and tobacco

Sameer Guha joined Mars in August 2014 as general counsel responsible for the chocolate and petcare segments after previous stints in private practice at Trilegal focusing on litigation and commercial...

Sandeep Kapoor

Director of legal | Sequoia Capital India Advisors


Sandeep Kapoor has over 20 years of legal experience including in-house counsel and general counsel positions with companies such as Intel, Intel Capital and Sequoia Capital India. He has been...

Sanjay Nambiar

| Yes Bank


One of India’s largest private sector banks, Yes Bank was founded in 2004. Since December 2010, the company’s legal affairs have been managed by the well respected and highly experienced...

Sanjit Kaur Batra

Legal head (South Asia) | E.I. DuPont India

Industrials and real estate

Sanjit Kaur Batra started her career as a litigating attorney working at law firms and international agencies for several years before joining DuPont in 2012 as an in-house counsel. She...

Saswata Dhar

Country counsel and executive vice presient legal | Vodafone India

Telecommunication services

Having experience of 24 years in leadership positions in two of the largest multinational companies in their respective sectors, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) and Vodafone India Limited (VIL), Saswata Dhar...

Shahana Basu

Director – legal and regulatory | Max India

Industrials and real estate

Aditya Birla is a US$44.3bn multinational Indian corporation operating in 35 countries with over 120,000 employees worldwide. Amongst its workforce is the highly respected general counsel Ashok Gupta. Having led...

Shelly Kohli

Assistant general counsel (legal head), South Asia, Middle East and North Africa | Levi Strauss

Consumer products

Shelly Kohli is a legal and compliance professional with over 16 years of rich and well-rounded experience spanning across the industrial and consumer goods sectors, and covering a broad spectrum...

Shujath Bin Ali

Senior director- legal and risk management and company secretary, India compliance officer | PAREXEL International – India


Shujath Bin Ali joined PAREXEL International – India in 2016 as senior director of legal and risk management and company secretary before adding the India compliance officer role the following...

Shuva Mandal

Group general counsel | TATA Sons

Industrials and real estate

Appointed in July 2017, Shuva Mandal is the group general counsel of TATA Sons, one of India’s largest conglomerates. He joined with over 17 years of legal experience, and has...

Smita Priyadarshini

Senior managing legal director | Dell International Services India

Information technology

Smita Priyadarshini was working for Perot Systems in 2009 when it was acquired by Dell and she was elevated soon thereafter to Dell’s senior management team. Presently, she serves as...

Sudhanshu Rai

Head legal – India, Thailand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh | AkzoNobel India

Materials and mining

Bringing over a decade of private practice and telecoms experience, Sudhanshu Rai has served as AkzoNobel’s head legal for India, Thailand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh since May 2016 handling...

Sudheendhra Putty

Company secretary | Cyient

Industrials and real estate

In his current role as company secretary at Cyient, Sudheendhra Putty has assiduously tried to metamorphose, instil and imbibe in his department and thence in the company equity and solidarity...

Suhani Singh

General counsel | Delhivery

Transport and infrastructure

Suhani Singh is the general counsel for Delhivery, one of the largest e-commerce fulfilment companies in India. Founded in 2011, Delhivery provides an end to end logistical support service across...

Sujeet Jain

Group general counsel | Viacom 18 Media

Sports and media

Over the last 20 years, Sujeet Jain has mainly worked with three organisations. From 1998 to 2003 he worked with Hutchison Telecom India (now Vodafone India) as senior manager legal...

Suprio Dasgupta

Group general counsel, chief data privacy officer and senior vice-president | Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories


Since taking over as group general counsel, chief data privacy officer and senior vice president at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Suprio Dasgupta has led a redesign of internal functions to create...

Suraj Singh

Vice president legal | Wells Fargo


Suraj Singh is a lawyer who has climbed every step of the in-house career ladder. He started as an assistant manager and, over the years, rose to become the manager,...

Tejal Patil

General counsel | GE South Asia

Industrials and real estate

Nominated by peers, Tejal Patil is general counsel at GE South Asia and continues to go from strength to strength at the helm of a large multinational conglomerate with a...

Tripti Vini

General counsel | ShopClues

Consumer products

Online Indian marketplace ShopClues has enjoyed exponential success since launching in 2011 with a team of five. Today the company receives 100 million monthly visits, delivering a whole range of...

Tushar Chawla

India general counsel and ethics officer | Jones Lang LaSalle


Tushar Chawla is India general counsel and ethics officer at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), India’s largest professional services firm focused on real estate with locations and businesses across 10 cities...

Ugen Tashi Bhutia

Executive vice president, head legal | SBI Card


With exposure in both litigation and the transactional side of law through his experience in private practice as litigation counsel, Ugen Tashi Bhutia joined SBI Card as head of the...

Vidyut Gulati

Director – legal | Bharti Enterprises (Bharti Airtel Group)

Telecommunication services

Following a highly successful private practice career Vidyut Gulati joined Cairn as the general counsel and a member of its executive committee. She joined her current employers, Bharti, in July...

Vijay Kamath

Company secretary and head of legal and governance for risk and compliance | Volkswagen Group Sales India

Consumer products

In 2008 Vijay Kamath joined Volkswagen Group Sales India, as head of legal and company secretary after previous private practice experience and in-house roles at Fiat, Blue Dark Express (part...

Vinay Bhatia

General counsel | IL&FS Financial Services


Vinay Bhatia is general counsel at IL&FS Financial Services an infrastructure development financial services company in India. Affiliated to the Central Bank of India (CBI) and the Housing Development Finance...

Vinod Joseph

General counsel – legal and compliance | Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) India


As the general counsel – legal and compliance of GIP India since 2016, Vinod Joseph has earned industry credit for his role in overseeing various projects at the company. He...

Yogesh Wadhwa

Alliance general counsel | Renault Nissan India

Consumer products

Since July 2017, Yogesh Wadhwa has served as Alliance General Counsel at Renault Nissan – India, the Indian subsidiaries of the French -Japanese strategic partnership between the two global automobile...

According to the International Monetary Fund, India has emerged as the world’s fastest growing major economy and is even predicted to be one of the top three economies in the world within the next 15 years. This unique position in the global economy means the country continues to be an attractive place for foreign multinationals to invest whilst its own domestic multinational conglomerates and businesses continue to thrive.

India’s prosperity led to a significant spike in M&A activity in 2017, and in-house counsel in the country have played an important role when advising senior management on such matters, in addition to providing a whole range of other legal and business support. Whether it’s by managing financial transactions in multiple jurisdictions, responding to legislative and regulatory changes such as GDPR compliance or devising strategies that enable their business to remain profitable, in-house lawyers in India are key to delivering innovative legal solutions to complex business issues.

In this year’s GC Powerlist: India we are pleased to highlight some of the country’s leading in-house lawyers. To compile this list, we canvassed opinions from both law firm partners and in-house counsel in the country. We identified the most impressive counsel who have utilised their legal knowledge strategically alongside business insight to make a positive impact towards their organisation’s success.

Mudasser Ahmedi,
Senior research analyst
GC Powerlist series


CMS logo

CMS is proud to support the 2018 edition of ‘GC Powerlist: India’, recognising the talent and achievements of in-house legal advisers at India’s top corporates.

As India’s reforms encourage foreign investment, improve the business climate and monetary policy framework, the country’s corporate general counsels are faced with ever more complex challenges.

The IMF has predicted that India’s GDP will grow by 7.3% during the current financial year to March 2019, and by 7.5% the following year. This extraordinary level of growth clearly brings economic benefits – but also presents new demands for GCs.

In an increasingly globalised economy, complicated as always by international political risks and constant technological evolution, companies are exposed to more and more challenges. They are reliant on their in-house lawyers to deliver market-relevant and strategic advice and steer them through the various opportunities and challenges presented by this rapidly evolving world. To make the most of new opportunities, GCs are expected to play a proactive role in corporate decision-making and risk mitigation and management. Compliance issues of course remain part of the staple responsibilities. A consequence of the growing outward focus of Indian corporates is that GCs are having to be mindful of the domestic legal framework and consider the implications and effect of their advice at home and in foreign jurisdictions.

During our more than 20 years of advising on India-related deals and disputes, we have had the pleasure of working and interacting with many of those featured in this year’s powerlist. The characteristics that set them apart include their commercial awareness, legal expertise and forward thinking.

Whether on inbound or outbound investments, regulatory investigations, disputes management and resolution, or capital markets-related work, we have been struck by their adaptability and instinctive flair for business.

We congratulate all the individual GCs and teams included in GC Powerlist: India.

L&L Partners

L&L Partners logo

At the outset, I, along with everyone at L&L Partners, take this opportunity towish each one of you, who has been recognised in the GC Powerlist, my heartiest congratulations. The GC role is one of continuous change and evolution, which has been shifting from purely legal work to more business focused responsibilities.

General counsels (GCs) today are like those acrobats who walk on a thin rope, balancing themselves perfectly, while shouldering the responsibility of the entire organisation’s legal risk, as well as making decisions that could have far reaching impacts on its operations and effectively the bottom line.

From my interactions with head honchos at major corporations in India and overseas, I am led to believe that business leaders are asking their GCs more than ever to assume added responsibility in order to propel business growth and progress. With corporate leaders looking to GCs to assume additional responsibility, their position is becoming increasingly demanding. GCs today are expected to provide strategic advice and unique legal perspective which top management can rely upon.

Whenever a GC makes a decision, they are expected to appropriately weigh the legal risk of their choice, alongside its potential future benefit to the business. Therefore, a GC needs to anticipate that all business decisions contain some degree of underlying risk. Then, the GC must use his or her business knowledge and experience to reach an informed perspective based on both their legal and commercial backgrounds. These expectations of the GC are only part of a more extensive list of responsibilities, which also includes litigation, regulation, compliance, and ethics, among others.

The GC position is becoming one of the most critical roles within an organisation, and its importance and benefit to the company cannot be understated. This trend of increasing authority of the GC will most likely continue into the future, making the GC position one of the most demanding roles in executive management.

I am sure the GC Powerlist team must have had a very difficult time in putting together the final cut, given the accomplishments of my esteemed friends and colleagues who were being assessed to be included in the list. Kudos to the team on conducting diligent independent research and arriving at the result. This is a commendable initiative by The Legal 500 group for acknowledging the precarious position GCs are in and how they navigate through business complexities swiftly and with aplomb.


Vahura logo

Vahura is proud to support the GC Powerlist: India for the third year running. Our heartiest congratulations to the leading general counsel recognised in this Powerlist. It is wonderful to see this appreciation of your important work and innovation.

The role being played by general counsel (GC) in India continues to rapidly evolve. Some of the trends we’ve seen in the last few years include:

GC and the board of directors
Research undertaken by Vahura OnBoard – our board search and consulting practice, reveals the growing demand for lawyers on boards of large corporates. As listed companies look to rejuvenate their board of directors, they often turn to their GC, or bringing in proficient GCs from other companies. The GC searches that Vahura have undertaken have resulted in the GC being brought on to the board, or is an observer or invitee to the board. The GC is seen as an important value addition and advisor to the board of directors.

Shaping future law and policy
The public policy and government relations function is, more often than not, a part of the GC’s portfolio. We observe the increased active role GCs play in industry bodies and chambers, that help shape future law and policy. The law makers are also inducting more GCs into committees that are tasked with moulding future law and policy.
Technology and process innovators
Innovations in professional services are today more client led, thanks to innovative GCs that are looking to add greater value, while reducing cost and time. Our recently launched secondment offering – Counselect – is the result of demand and encouragement from GCs, who require more flexible talent options to proficiently execute short term requirements at a reasonable expense. Innovative GCs are embracing these new models, and also adopting technology and process changes that help the legal department to do more, with less.

GCs as change makers
So many GCs are also playing an important role in furthering the development of the profession by teaching students, recruiting and mentoring young lawyers and supporting underprivileged students. Some GCs are also incorporating social metrics such as diversity and inclusion as factors in selecting external counsel. The GC today is a harbinger of change at the corporation and industry level and on the wider profession and society.

Every professional featured in this Powerlist represents the best of our profession and are an inspiration to others. Kudos to you all for the important role that you play within your organisations and beyond. Congratulations once again and best wishes for the future.

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GC Summit Ankara 2023