India 2022 – GC Powerlist

India 2022

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Aasita Gupta

Associate counsel | Uber

Information technology

#GCPowerlist India 2022

Abhijit Mukhopadhyay

President legal and general counsel | Hinduja Group

Industrials and real estate

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Ajay D’Cruz

Director legal and secretarial | ISS India

Commercial and professional services

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Ajay Vaidya

Chief legal and compliance officer | Kotak Mahindra Bank

Financials

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Akhilesh Nand

Executive leader, global head of legal, compliance, corporate governance, risk and internal audit | Biocon

Healthcare

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Al Rafeeq Moideen

Chief general manager - head of legal | ONGC-MRPL

Energy and utilities

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Amar Kr. Sundram

General counsel - senior vice president legal and chief compliance officer | NEC Corporation India

Commercial and professional services

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Amit Bhasin

Chief legal officer and group general counsel | Marico

Industrials and real estate

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Amit Deshpande

Corporate general counsel and company secretary | Sterlite Technologies

Telecommunication services

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Amit Moghay

General counsel | HSBC

Financials

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Amit Shetye

General counsel | Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP)

Financials

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Anand Srivastava

Company secretary and senior director | PwC

Commercial and professional services

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Anand Vardhan

President – legal | Piramal Capital & Housing Finance

Financials

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Anoop Pillai

General manager legal and company secretary | Volkswagen India

Consumer products

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Anubhuti Agrawal

Senior Counsel, South Asia and Special Projects | Cargill

Food

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Ashok Kumar Maheshwary

Vice president and group legal head | KCT Group

Materials and mining

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Atul Gopalkrishna Juvle

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

Industrials and real estate

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Augustine Quadros

Senior vice president - legal | HDFC Bank

Financials

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Avneesh Chopra

Head of legal and company secretary | Valvoline Cummins

Industrials and real estate

Avneesh Chopra is the head of legal and company secretary at Valvoline Cummins. With over 25 years’ experience as an in-house counsel and company secretary, he has worked across various...

#GCPowerlist India 2022

Bhargesh Ojha

Senior executive vice president and general counsel | Kotak Mahindra Bank

Financials

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Bhaskar Chandran

Group general counsel | GMR Group

Transport and infrastructure

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Chandan Garg

Senior manager – legal | Petronet

Energy and utilities

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Chetan Chopra

Deputy general counsel | Flipkart Group

Information technology

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Chivukala Venkat Raghu

Group general counsel | Motherson Group

Transport and infrastructure

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Christopher Krishnamoorthy

Group general counsel | InterGlobe Enterprises

Transport and infrastructure

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Dalbir Singh Sahrawat

Chief counsel law and compliance - Asia, Australia and India. | Alight Solutions

Commercial and professional services

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Damini Marwah

General counsel | Axis Bank

Financials

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Damini Bhalla

General counsel | Zomato

Information technology

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Debolina Partap

Senior vice president legal and group general counsel | Wockhardt

Healthcare

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Deepak Chauhan

Head of legal | Welspun Corporation

Consumer products

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Deepak Acharya

General counsel, chief risk officer and global head – legal | Wipro

Information technology

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Deepika Hirolli

Advisor, legal counsel | Dell

Consumer products

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Dev Bajpai

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

Consumer products

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Dipali Talwar

Group general counsel | Tata Steel

Materials and mining

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Divya Sridhar

Managing director of legal | FedEx Express

Transport and infrastructure

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Dr Akhil Prasad

Director, country counsel and company secretary | Boeing India

Industrials and real estate

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Fida Hussain

Vice president legal affairs | Qatar Navigation – Milaha

Industrials and real estate

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G.R. Srikkanth

Senior vice president and head of legal | Spencer's Retail

Consumer products

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Girish Gadgil

Vice president group and legal | Mahindra & Mahindra

Consumer products

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Gopi Krishnan

Group general counsel | WNS

Commercial and professional services

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Hanno Kunkel

General counsel | Siemens

Industrials and real estate

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Himanshu Dodeja

Managing director | Blackstone advisors

Industrials and real estate

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Hiranmai Rallabandi

General counsel | WeWork India

Commercial and professional services

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Ipsita Dutta

Executive director, head of legal – India | Morgan Stanley

Financials

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Jagriti Bhattacharyya

General counsel | Pinelabs

Information technology

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Jatin Jalundhwala

Company secretary and senior vice president of legal | Adani Power

Energy and utilities

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Joy Dey

Vice president legal | Société Générale Global Solutions Center

Financials

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Joydeep Banerjee

Head of legal department | Apeejay Surrendra Group

Industrials and real estate

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Kalpana Agarwal

Joint president and co-head legal | Kotak Mahindra Bank

Financials

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Lopamundra Rao

General counsel - vice president | Meesho

Information technology

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Lubinisha Saha

Head of legal and compliance for India and South Asia | Airbus

Industrials and real estate

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Madhav Rao Uppulur

General counsel | Tata Motors

Transport and infrastructure

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Madhuparna Dasgupta

Legal director | Altico Capital India

Financials

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Mamta Sundara

General counsel | Diageo

Food

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Manjaree Chowdhary

Senior executive director and general counsel | Maruti Suzuki

Consumer products

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Meera Singh

General counsel, partner | KPMG Assurance and Consulting Services

Commercial and professional services

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Mohit Kapoor

Head Legal | IIFL Finance

Financials

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Mohit Shukla

Managing director – India legal; Lead - India government and regulatory affairs | Barclays

Financials

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Mrinal Sinha

Head of legal India and managing counsel India and Oman | Shell India

Energy and utilities

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Mukesh Bhavnani

Head of legal, group general counsel | Bharti Enterprises

Telecommunication services

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Namrata Mehta

Vice president legal | The Phoenix Mills

Financials

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Narayanan Thirumalai

Senior vice president and general counsel India and APAC | Cognizant

Information technology

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Navdeep Choudhary

Chief legal officer | Yum

Food

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Naveen Raju

General counsel and executive vice president for group legal services | Mahindra & Mahindra

Consumer products

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Nilanjan Sinha

General counsel | ICICI Bank

Financials

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Nipun Mudaliar

Assistant vice president, legal counsel Legal | Deutsche Bank India

Financials

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Nitin Banerjee

Group general counsel and group M&A head | JM Baxi Group

Transport and infrastructure

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Nitin Mittal

Cluster head of legal India SC and Pacific region - company secretary | Signify

Industrials and real estate

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Padmaja Chakravarty

General counsel | Citigroup - India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh

Financials

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Parag Mathur

Vice president, general counsel | PhonePe

Financials

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Parul Sabharwal

Head of legal | Times Internet

Information technology

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Parvesh Kheterpal

Head of legal and company secretary | Feedback Infra

Commercial and professional services

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Pavan Chullani

Vice president - legal | Lupin

Healthcare

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Pooja Sehgal Mehtani

General counsel and company secretary | Sun Life India Service Centre

Financials

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Poojan Sahny Chhabra

Legal manager, global legal | Oriflame India

Consumer products

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Pradeep Gupta

General counsel, head of legal, chief ethics and compliance officer, company secretary | DBS Bank

Financials

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Prarabdha R. Jaipuriar

Vice president and general counsel - Indian subcontinent | SUEZ India

Industrials and real estate

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Preet Sethi

Deputy general counsel - corporate | Vedanta

Energy and utilities

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Preeti Balwani

General counsel | Hindustan Coca-Cola beverages

Food

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Priyanka Sinha

General counsel | Vodafone India

Telecommunication services

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Pulin Kumar

Senior legal director | Adidas India Marketing

Consumer products

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Puneet Bansal

Group company secretary | Adani Group

Industrials and real estate

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Rajagopal Venkatakrishnan

Senior vice president - legal | Reliance Industries

Industrials and real estate

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Rajeev Chopra

Managing director - legal | Accenture

Commercial and professional services

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Rajeev Kumar

President - legal | HDFC Property Ventures - HPVL

Industrials and real estate

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Rajeev Nair

Associate general counsel, India | HP

Information technology

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Rajeev Uberoi

Group general counsel and group head of legal and compliance | IDFC - Infrastructure Development Finance Company

Financials

#GCPowerlist India 2022

Rajendra Misra

Executive vice president and general counsel | The Indian Hotels Company

Hotels, restaurants and leisure

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Rakesh Chandra Sinha

Head of legal and compliance | Sun Pharmaceutical Industries

Healthcare

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Rakesh Prusti

General counsel | OYO

Hotels, restaurants and leisure

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Ramanuj Gopalan

General counsel | Elevation Capital

Financials

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Ranabir Basu

Legal director | Mondelēz International

Food

#GCPowerlist India 2022

Ridima Bhargava

Chief legal officer and strategy | Fampay Solutions

Financials

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Rohit Kumar

Group general counsel | UPL

Materials and mining

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Rohit Vashisth

Vice president - legal | NatWest Group

Financials

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Sabira Amajd Kadri

Head of legal | The Indian Film Combine

Sports and media

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Sachin Kulkarni

General counsel - India, SE Asia, MEA and Turkey | Danaher Corporation - Diagnostics

Healthcare

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Sameer Guha

Director and assistant general counsel | Mars

Food

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Sameet Gambhir

Vice president and company secretary | DCM Shriram

Materials and mining

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Samir Kazi

Senior director, legal | Pfizer

Healthcare

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Sandeep Chhabda

Head of legal | Tata Housing Development

Industrials and real estate

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Sanjeev Gemawat

Group general counsel | Vendanta

Materials and mining

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Sanjit Kaur Batra

Group vice president legal, and head of legal | Cummins India

Industrials and real estate

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Sankalp Jain

Senior vice president legal | HDFC Life Insurance

Financials

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Sapna V. Bhawnani

Director, head of legal - South Asia and general counsel APAC COO | Credit Suisse

Financials

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Saroj Panigrahi

Senior vice president and group general counsel | Flipkart Group

Information technology

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Saswata Dhar

President of legal and general counsel | Pidilite Industries

Industrials and real estate

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Saugata Chakravarty

Chief legal officer | Grasim Industries

Consumer products

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Shalini Saxena

Head of legal | Neblio Technologies

Information technology

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Shelly Kohli

Chief legal and compliance officer | United Breweries

Food

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Shifali Arora

Company secretary | Discovery Communications India

Sports and media

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Shilpa Bharani Ajmera

Legal manager | ICICI Lombard

Financials

#GCPowerlist India 2022

Shruti Joshi

Company secretary and manager legal | Modern Group

Financials

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Siddharth Manchanda

General counsel | Unacademy

Information technology

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Sonam Mittal

Corporate counsel | Hilton

Hotels, restaurants and leisure

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Subha Chauhan

Head of legal | PayPal

Information technology

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Sudipta Ghosh

General counsel | CLP India

Energy and utilities

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Sujatha Balachander

General counsel - India region | EY India

Commercial and professional services

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Sujeet Jain

Chief legal officer | UltraTech Cement

Consumer products

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Sumit Singh

Company secretary and legal counsel | Anheuser Busch InBev, India - GCC

Food

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Suprio Dasgupta

President and global general counsel | Glenmark Pharma

Healthcare

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Suresh Kumar Sharma

General counsel, partner | Deloitte India

Commercial and professional services

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Tapan Pati

Director legal, South Asia | Johnson & Johnson

Healthcare

#GCPowerlist India 2022

Tapasi Sil

General counsel - South Asia | GE Renewable Energy

Energy and utilities

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Tushnika Dayal

Senior manager legal | Tata Sons

Commercial and professional services

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V R Shankar

President and general counsel | Aditya Birla Group

Industrials and real estate

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Vidyut Gulati

General counsel and director legal | Bharti Airtel Group

Telecommunication services

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Vinay Bhatia

General counsel | Greenko Group

Energy and utilities

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Vinod Kaushal

General counsel | PepsiCo

Food

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Vinod Kumar Menon

General counsel | Accel

Financials

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Vivek Mittal

Global general counsel | Dr Reddy’s

Healthcare

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The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: India 2022 is the first time our Powerlist research team has covered this massive and constantly evolving legal market since the unfortunate halt forced upon us by the Pandemic. We are back with a bang; the roster of general counsel, heads of legal and other in-house legal officers contained in this Powerlist are a truly impressive bunch, representing the cream of the crop of the Indian in-house legal scene.

The interviews within this edition involve diverse topics including the aftermath of the pandemic, climate concerns, the increased usage of legal technology, and the everchanging role of in-house counsel. In spite of the pandemic and recent geopolitical tensions, the in-house counsel in this edition reveal how they have continued to maintain and grow the vitality of their in-house legal functions through clever strategy.

One of the key takeaways from the GC Powerlist: India 2022 while there is increasing environmental consciousness globally, this is especially emphasised in India, with companies taking huge leaps towards carbon neutrality, recycling of all materials, and re-planting forests. Preeti Balwani, general counsel of Hindustan Coca-Cola beverages reported that ‘there has a significant and conscious focus for all businesses to do business in a sustainable way,’ and further went on to report that they ‘replenish 130% of the water used’ in their processes. Fide Husain, vice president of legal affairs at Qatar Navigation, went on to emphasise the environmental consciousness in India, explaining that there has been ‘a colossal shift in priorities relating to decarbonisation and climate change within the industry.’ Such changes are especially important in India, which was ranked fourth among the list of countries most affected by climate change in 2015.

The importance of in-house lawyers is growing across India, along with in the demands and skill sets that these lawyers must possess. ‘We will continue to see increasing complexity in domestic and international statutory and regulatory frameworks as sectoral requirements are addressed and caught up to, and overlapping domains are applied across sectors,’ reported Mohit Shukla, managing director of Barclays Bank. This has led to the role of the general counsel to expand beyond an advisory role, to include leadership and guidance outside of their usual remit.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the need for in-house lawyers to be more technology-driven, and to stay up to date on the plethora of legal technology that is constantly released. This was emphasised by Meera Singh, general counsel and partner of KPMG, who reported that ‘the industry’s most considerable risk is data management, especially considering India’s upcoming data privacy laws.’ In this edition, in-house lawyers strongly emphasise the increasing importance of legal technology, and how this could revolutionise the future of the law profession, while also acknowledging the cyber security threats that come along with its use. Not only has technology aided companies through the pandemic, with its vital role in remote and hybrid working, but the use of artificial intelligence, for example for contract management, is also beginning to allow in-house professionals to use their time more efficiently.

We extend a huge thanks to everyone who spoke to us as part of The Legal 500’s GC Powerlist: India 2022, and to our sponsors CMS, IndusLaw, Vahura and IBG making this all possible. Congratulations to all those who were successful in making this edition of the GC Powerlist: India 2022! You are now part of an elite group of the most trusted, effective, and innovative in-house lawyers globally.

Melissa Yebisi| Research Analyst GC Powerlist Series

Elena Lewis | Research Analyst GC Powerlist Series

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I am delighted that CMS is once again partnering with Legal 500 and the GC Powerlist to recognise and endorse the leading general counsel and heads of legal in India.

We have very much missed our in-person interactions with the Indian legal community over the last two years, and the CMS India Group is looking forward to celebrating the publication of this year’s GC Powerlist with the general counsel and legal teams who have helped their businesses navigate the uncertainties during the global pandemic.

GCs and their teams have been required to deal with a range of new challenges and obstacles, not least the need to migrate to remote and hybrid working and the associated employee health, safety and wellbeing implications of this, as well as adapting to a range of new technologies to support their work.  Managing climate change and the energy transition will also be key issues for the businesses they support, and advising on ESG-related matters a growing part of their role.

The in-house legal community plays an increasingly important role for Indian businesses and has shown strong growth and increased sophistication over the last few years.  Indian businesses are continuing their journey to ever greater internationalisation and need the support of expert and connected legal teams.  The GC role in India continues to evolve and more than ever GCs need to be trusted advisors for senior executive teams.  Inclusion in the GC Powerlist is an endorsement of the key role that GCs have in the fast-moving and ever more complex international legal and business environment.

CMS has a long history of working with Indian businesses and their legal teams, supporting them with international growth and the challenges that they face – be it with the entry into new markets and jurisdictions, acquisitions and joint ventures, compliance with ever evolving legislation and best practice or dealing with commercial disputes.

Our multi-jurisdictional India Group has been visiting India for many years to strengthen and widen our relationships, and is often our first port of call to the wider CMS organisation which now includes over 5,000 legal experts in 77 offices in 43 countries. We are proud to offer deep local understanding with a global perspective.

Congratulations to all the GCs and legal teams who feature in this year’s GC Powerlist publication. We look forward to continuing our association with you, and working with many of you in supporting your businesses, over the coming years.

Dr Duncan Weston
Executive Partner
CMS

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INDUSLAW expresses its heartiest congratulations to those included in The Legal 500 GC Powerlist India 2022. 

In the ever-evolving business ecosystem of today, General Counsels are faced with several challenges which require them to don multiple hats including those of the gatekeeper, compliance champion, strategist, defender and guardian of the conscience. INDUSLAW salutes your accomplishments, and recognizes the kind of rigour, excellence and quality each of you demonstrate in your respective roles. INDUSLAW is also pleased to have this opportunity to honour the distinguished GCs recognised in the coveted The Legal 500 GC Powerlist India 2022. We are proud to promote the ‘Thought Leadership’ and the resilience of the leaders in you.

INDUSLAW is a top-tier full service Indian Law Firm, the 7th Largest* in India, providing legal services to a wide range of International & Domestic clients across a variety of sectors on legal issues relating to their business, strategy, litigation and transactional goals. With over 400 lawyers including more than 60 Partners spread across Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad & Mumbai, INDUSLAW has been fortunate to partner with and contribute significantly to many established businesses and new economy companies. Our multi-disciplinary teams work across offices to provide seamless and focused advice and to assist clients in taking informed decisions and reaching effective outcomes.

The Firm and its lawyers have been consistently recognised across practice areas, by all leading legal and industry specific publications (including the following accolades):

  • Asialaw Profiles – Client Service Excellence Award 2020
  • Chambers & Partners India Awards 2019 – Client Service Firm of the Year
  • IBLJ Indian Law Firm Awards 2021 & 2022 – one of the Best Overall Law Firm 2022 & 2021 (included amongst the top 7 Law firms in India*)

*Per ALB at https://www.legalbusinessonline.com/features/alb-asia-top-50-2021

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Vahura has been a proud supporter of the India GC Powerlist since its inception.  After the enforced hiatus of the pandemic years, we are excited to see the launch of this 5th edition of the India GC Powerlist 2022.  Our heartiest congratulations to all the General Counsel (GC) and teams recognised in this Powerlist. It is wonderful to see your critical work and innovation being highlighted by a reputed international platform such as Legal 500.

Through our market leading executive search and consulting work, we are privileged to have a ring side view on the rapidly evolving role of the GC and corporate legal function. Through our affiliate Counselect, we have a panel of lawyers who are seconded to In-house legal teams for specific projects. We take this opportunity to share some of the recent trends that we have observed from these vantage points.

It is an exciting time to be part of an In-house legal team. As business leaders across industries are increasingly focused on risk management, in-house legal teams are being called upon to play a more proactive role in identifying and mitigating risks, where traditionally the focus was on responding to risk after the fact, rather than proactive prevention.

The writ of the GC has broadened to encompass public policy and government relations, compliance, regulatory and corporate affairs. The GC is increasingly leading a multi-disciplinary team of professionals that includes lawyers, policy and communication specialists, CAs and compliance professionals.

India is playing an increasingly important role in the global legal teams of MNCs. Extended legal teams of high quality lawyers are being built in India to take on frontline roles across multiple jurisdictions.

For Indian conglomerates and growth companies, as their business becomes more international, legal is guiding their expansion into new markets and product lines.

GCs are now more influential in the boardroom and their value is being recognised by the chairman, independent directors, and the CEO. By playing the role of business enablers and making commercially savvy decisions, GCs bring a transformative edge to the business.

The best legal teams are harnessing legal technology and the data flowing through legal to create internal efficiencies and more value added integration across the organisation. The adoption of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is one such example, with India setting the global standard.

The potential for better compensation, more dynamic roles, and the success stories of in-house general counsel are inspiring many bright lawyers at all levels to move in-house. This signals an elevation in the role of the in-house counsel within the corporate structure.

Every person featured in this Powerlist plays a key role in making these positive trends a reality. Kudos to you and your teams for the important role that you play within the organisation and beyond. Congratulations once again and best wishes for the future.

Warm regards,
Ritvik Lukose
Co-Founder and CEO
Vahura

 

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The India Business Group (IBG) is delighted to continue its strategic collaboration with The Legal 500 as Knowledge Partner for the Indian market. We have had the privilege of supporting this globally eminent legal directory since its inception in 2016 and we extend our congratulations to the innovative and dedicated general counsels included in this year’s top 100.

2022 is a special year for India as it celebrates 75 years of Indian independence. As the world’s largest democracy, the second most populous nation in the world and predicted to be in the top three global economies by 2030, India is rapidly becoming a major global economic powerhouse. It has strengthened its position as a global investment destination, providing a spectrum of opportunities for domestic and international businesses across industries and sectors.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, GCs have added significant value in terms of supporting companies and organisations through turbulent times with resilience, innovation and adaptability. As we have witnessed globally, the pandemic has increased the scale and pace of digitalization of public and private sector services, with virtual meetings, online collaborations and working from home has emerged as the new normal.

Similarly, the shifting global dynamics and supply chain diversification sought by Western businesses, has provided exciting opportunities for India to emerge as an alternative global manufacturing destination for raw materials and products, especially for those businesses seeking to de-risk over reliance on existing markets.

As well as managing corporate risk, you have taken onboard a range of new responsibilities and have been more involved in advising on wider strategic areas such as global procurement, adoption of new technologies, employees’ health and well-being, cybersecurity, equality and diversity initiatives. Your inclusion in this very important ranking is recognition of your talent, technical and legal expertise, outreach and impact in a rapidly changing global business environment.

As a leading business advisory consultancy supporting businesses and organisations on market entry and expansion in the UK-India corridor, India Business Group acts as a catalyst for boosting greater flows of business, trade, investment and collaborations between both nations, through the provision of specialist market intelligence, practical frameworks and strategic advisory services.

We remain highly confident that under your inspiring leadership and together with India’s wider legal community, you will help create an even stronger, greener and sustainable economy where equality, diversity and inclusion are championed across businesses and communities.

With very best wishes,
Amarjit Singh
Chief Executive Officer
India Business Group a.singh@theindiabusinessgroup.com

GC Powerlist India 2022

It was wonderful to be back in Delhi on Thursday 17th November to host the 5th edition of GC Powerlist India.

The Oberoi played host to the 2022 edition with around 100 invited guests consisting of the very best general counsel, heads of legal and senior in-house lawyers that India has to offer in attendance to celebrate the launch.

A fantastic evening of networking and celebration was had by all and we thank our guests for the amazing feedback:

Glad to be included in the GC Powerlist India 2022 by The Legal 500. I am humbled and grateful. Such a recognition is not only reinvigorating but is also a gentle reminder to make a meaningful contribution to the in-house community.”Prarabdha R. Jaipurier, VP & general counsel at SUEZ India

“India is a big, emerging and complex market. To feature in India’s GC Powerlist is such an honour. Thank you The Legal 500 for this recognition. Congratulations to all fellow General Counsels!”Fida Husain, general counsel at Milaha

“Absolutely chuffed to be included in the esteemed GC Powerlist India 2022 by The Legal 500. Truly feel honoured and grateful to receive this recognition. Mantra is hard work, dedication and meaningful contribution to one’s organisation. Many congratulations to all the other winners this year!”Tapasi Sil, general counsel (South Asia) at GE Renewable Energy

Joining the celebrations on behalf of The Legal 500 were Gurpartap Basra, Head of GC Powerlist series and Head of Asia Pacific, Chris Cooke.

We were also happy to be joined by our sponsors, CMS, IndusLaw and Vahura, as well as our knowledge partner, India Business Group (IBG).
We look forward to next year!