India 2023 – GC Powerlist
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India 2023

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Abhijit Mukhopadhyay

President (legal) and general counsel | Hinduja Group

Industrials and real estate

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Ajay D’Cruz

Legal director | ISS India

Commercial and professional services

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Akhilesh Nand

General counsel, chief of legal, corporate governance, compliance, risk and internal audit | Biocon Biologics

Healthcare

Al Rafeeq Moideen

Chief general manager, head of legal | Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals

Energy and utilities

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Amar Kr. Sundram

General counsel and chief compliance officer | NEC Corporation India

Commercial and professional services

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Amit Bhasin

Cheif legal officer | Marico

Industrials and real estate

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Amit Deshpande

General counsel and company secretary | STL - Sterlite Technologies

Information technology

Spotlight on…  Amit Deshpande is a senior corporate professional with a proven record of accomplishment in secretarial, corporate legal, mergers and acquisitions, statutory compliances, and business legal, including arbitrations and...

Amit Moghay

General counsel | The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC)

Financials

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Anand Vardhan

President, legal | Piramal Capital and Housing Finance

Industrials and real estate

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Anandita Sharma

Associate legal counsel | Akasa Air

Transport and infrastructure

Rising Star

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Angamuthu Shanmuga Sundaram

General counsel and head of legal | ITC

Materials and mining

Animesh Kabra

Legal counsel | Statkraft India

Energy and utilities

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Rising Star

Ankit Jaiswal

Legal director | Clear

Financials

Spotlight on…  Ankit is a corporate counsel who specialises in strategic partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions, fintech and digital, private equity transactions, joint ventures, capital raising and initial public offerings.   He...

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Ankita Sharma

Senior legal counsel | Acevector

Information technology

Rising Star

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Ankita Swamy

Senior corporate counsel | Infosys

Information technology

Rising Star

Anooshree Chakravorty Sinha

Executive director, head of legal and compliance | EverSource Capital

Energy and utilities

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Arun Mathew

Head of legal and compliance | Kotak Investment Banking

Financials

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Asha Kutty Dang

Regional legal counsel (India and West Asia), Google Cloud | Google

Information technology

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Rising Star

Avneesh Chopra

Head of legal and company secretary | Valvoline

Industrials and real estate

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Bharat Sandhu

Deputy general counsel | Delhivery

Transport and infrastructure

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Rising Star

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Bhaskar Chandran

Group general counsel | GMR Group

Transport and infrastructure

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Biswarup Ghosh

Legal counsel | Cambium Networks

Telecommunication services

Rising Star

C V Raghu

Group general counsel | Samvardhana Motherson Group

Transport and infrastructure

Spotlight on… C V Raghu was the group general counsel of Motherson Group. and drove its legal, secretarial, regulatory, compliance and governance processes across the globe. While he has demitted...

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Chandan Garg

Senior manager - legal | Petronet LNG

Energy and utilities

Christopher Krishnamoorthy

Group general counsel | InterGlobe Enterprises

Transport and infrastructure

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Damini Bhalla

General counsel | Zomato

Information technology

Spotlight on… Damini has extensive experience of over 18 years, specialising in private equity, M&A, joint ventures, and corporate advisory. She also has expertise in advising on corporate commercial arrangements...

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Damini Marwah

General counsel | HDFC Bank

Financials

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Darpan Gupta

Legal counsel | Mastercard

Financials

Rising Star

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Debolina Partap

Senior vice president legal and group general counsel | Wockhardt

Healthcare

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Deepak Chauhan

Director and head of legal | Welspun Group

Consumer products

Deepalakshmi Vadivelan

General counsel and vice president legal | Quess Corp

Commercial and professional services

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Dev Bajpai

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

Consumer products

Devika Chadha

General counsel | Sunsure Energy

Energy and utilities

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Dipali Talwar

Group general counsel | Tata Steel

Materials and mining

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Divya Gahoi

Legal counsel | Wells Fargo

Financials

Rising Star

Divya Sridhar

Managing director of legal | FedEx Express

Transport and infrastructure

Spotlight on… Divya Sridhar currently serves as the managing director of legal for FedEx Express India since April 2017. Based in Mumbai, she leads the legal team in India and...

Dr Akhil Prasad

Board member, group general counsel and company secretary | Boeing India

Industrials and real estate

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Dr Mukul Shastry

General counsel | Cube Highways and Transport Assets Advisors

Transport and infrastructure

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Dr Vivek Mittal

Global general counsel | Dr. Reddy's Laboratories

Healthcare

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Forum Lodaria

Senior legal counsel | Quantiphi

Information technology

Rising Star

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Gitanjli Duggal

Product and litigation counsel | Google India

Information technology

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Gopi Krishnan

Group general counsel | WNS Global Services

Commercial and professional services

Hanno Kunkel

General counsel Seimens India | Siemens

Commercial and professional services

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Harish Suryavanshi

Global legal head | ColorTokens

Information technology

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Himanshu Dodeja

Senior managing director, head of legal | Blackstone

Financials

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Hiranmai Rallabandi

General counsel | WeWork

Industrials and real estate

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Inderpreet Sawhney

Group general counsel | Infosys

Information technology

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Jagriti Bhattacharyya

General counsel | Pine Labs

Financials

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Jatin Jalundhwala

Joint president (legal) and company secretary | Adani Group

Energy and utilities

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K Satish Kumar

Senior vice president and group chief legal officer | Intellect Design Arena

Information technology

Spotlight on… K Satish Kumar, an award-winning seasoned legal professional with over 25 years of legal experience, is currently the senior vice president and group chief legal officer at intellect...

Kanishk S

Director legal, India and South Asia | Uber

Information technology

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Kartik Maheshwari

In-house counsel | Netflix

Information technology

Rising Star

Kiran Gupta Rayapati

General counsel and head of legal | Waycool Foods and Products

Food

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Lopamundra Rao

General counsel, vice president | Meesho

Information technology

Lubinisha Saha

Head of legal and compliance | Airbus

Industrials and real estate

Spotlight on… Lubinisha Saha is a lawyer and a compliance professional. Currently (as of June 2023) she is the head of legal and compliance for Airbus, South Asia and international...

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Madhav Rao Uppuluri

General counsel | Tata Motors

Transport and infrastructure

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Mahima Priyani

Legal counsel | CRED

Financials

Rising Star

Maneesh Salagala

Head of legal | GI Hydro

Transport and infrastructure

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Manhar Kapoor

Group general counsel and company secretary | HT Media Group

Sports and media

Manjaree Chowdhary

Senior executive director and general counsel | Maruti Suzuki India

Consumer products

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Meera Singh

General counsel | KPMG

Commercial and professional services

Mohit Kapoor

Executive vice president and head of legal | SBI Cards & Payment Services

Financials

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Mohit Shukla

Managing director, legal for India and government and regulatory relations lead | Barclays Bank

Financials

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Mrinal Sinha

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

Energy and utilities

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Mukesh Bhavnani

Group general counsel | Bharti Group

Telecommunications

Namrata Sharma

Associate general counsel | McKinsey & Company

Commercial and professional services

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Rising Star

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Narayanan Thirumalai

Senior vice president and general counsel India and APAC | Cognizant

Information technology

Spotlight on…  Narayanan T is the senior vice president and general counsel for Cognizant India and Asia Pacific, and a member of the board of directors, Cognizant India. He joined...

Natasha Samaria

Legal counsel | Jukin Media

Sports and media

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Rising Star

Naveen Raju

General counsel and executive vice president | Mahindra & Mahindra

Consumer products

Spotlight on… Naveen Raju is general counsel and executive vice president at Mahindra & Mahindra and a group executive board member. As general counsel, he leads the in-house legal team...

Nilanjan Sinha

General counsel | ICICI Bank

Financials

Spotlight on… Mr Nilanjan Sinha is the general counsel of ICICI Bank and has around three decades of experience as a corporate lawyer in manufacturing companies and financial services. He...

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Nillohit Dey

Legal counsel | Hindalco Industries Limited

Materials and mining

Rising Star

Nishtha Sharma

Legal counsel | Schrödinger

Information technology

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Rising Star

Nitin Mittal

Cluster head of legal, South Asia and Pacific region, company secretary | Signify

Industrials and real estate

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Padmaja Chakravarty

General counsel, South Asia | Citigroup

Financials

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Palak Pathak

Legal counsel | Paytm

Financials

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Rising Star

Parag Mathur

Group general counsel | PhonePe

Information technology

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Pardeep Gupta

Head of legal and compliance, company secretary | DBS Technology Services India

Information technology

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Parul Sabharwal

Head of legal | Times Internet

Information technology

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Parveen Mahtani

Chief legal officer | Mahindra Lifespace Developers

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Parvesh Kheterpal

General counsel (head legal and regulatory) | AMPYR Energy

Commercial and professional services

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Pooja Sehgal Mehtani

General counsel and company secretary | Sun Life

Financials

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Poojan Sahny Chhabra

Senior legal manager, global legal | Oriflame Cosmetics

Consumer products

Prarabdha R Jaipuriar

Vice president and general counsel | SUEZ India

Industrials and real estate

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Preeti Balwani

Global general counsel | CRISIL

Financials

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Priya Dixit

Senior legal counsel | Unilever

Consumer products

Rising Star

Priya Menon

Executive director and general counsel | 3M India

Information technology

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Priyam Singhvi

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

Industrials and real estate

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Priyanka Sinha

General counsel | _VOIS

Telecommunication services

Spotlight on… As general counsel and head of corporate security for _VOIS at Vodafone, Priyanka handles end-to-end legal, enterprise risk management, compliance management, corporate secretarial and corporate security at _VOIS...

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Pulin Kumar

Group senior legal and compliance director | Adidas India

Consumer products

Puneet Bansal

Group company secretary | Adani Group

Transport and infrastructure

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Rajagopal Venkatakrishnan

Senior vice president - legal | Reliance Industries

Industrials and real estate

Rajeev Chopra

Managing director of legal | Accenture

Commercial and professional services

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Rajendra Misra

Executive vice president and general counsel | The Indian Hotels Company

Hotels

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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

Information technology

Ramanuj Gopalan

Partner and general counsel | Elevation Capital

Financials

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Rashna Mistry

General counsel | Tata Projects

Materials and mining

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Ridima Bhargava

General counsel | Groww, India

Financials

Rohit Kumar

Group general counsel | UPL

Food

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Sabira Amjad Kadri

Head of legal | The Indian Film Combine Private Limited

Sports and media

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Sachin Kulkarni

Vice president and general counsel, India, SEA and MEAT | Danaher Corporation

Healthcare

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Sameet Gambhir

Vice president corporate law and company secretary | DCM Shriram

Materials and mining

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Sandeep Chhabda

Senior vice president, head of legal, secretarial and compliance | Tata Realty and Infrastructure Limited & Tata Housing Development Company

Industrials and real estate

Sanjeev Gemawat

Group general counsel | Vendanta Group

Materials and mining

Spotlight on… Dr. Sanjeev Gemawat is a general counsel and corporate secretary; a thought leader and strategist with a business orientation. He is a chartered secretary from India and the...

Sanjit Kaur Batra

Group vice president - legal and legal head - India | Cummins India

Transport and infrastructure

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Sankalp Jain

Senior vice president - legal | HDFC Life

Insurance

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Sapna Bhawnani

General counsel | UBS

Financials

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Saroj Panigrahi

Senior vice president and group general counsel | Flipkart

Information technology

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Saswata Dhar

President legal | Pidilite Industries

Industrials and real estate

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Saugata Chakravarty

Chief legal officer | Grasim Industries (Additya Birla Group)

Information technology

Spotlight on… Saugata has worked as a corporate transactional lawyer for about 18 years, with extensive experience in legal, corporate affairs, governance, risk, and compliance.   She thinks that a successful...

Shalini Saxena

Head of legal | CoinDCX

Financials

Spotlight on…  Shalini Saxena is the head of legal for CoinDCX a unicorn global company in the crypto space. She has been a Delhi university student, both for her bachelors...

Shelly Kohli

Chief legal and compliance officer | United Breweries

Food

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Shilpa Sachdeva Bhullar     

Head of legal, risk and compliance | PI Industries

Materials and mining

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Siddharth Manchanda

General counsel, Unacademy Group | Sorting Hat Technologies

Education

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Sohrab Balsara

Legal counsel | SUEZ

Industrials and real estate

Rising Star

Somya Agarwal

Vice president, legal, secretarial and compliance | Fractal Analytics

Information technology

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Srikkanth Gopishetty

Executive director legal | RP Sanjiv Goenka Group

Consumer products

Stuti Tandon

Deputy legal counsel | Apraava Energy

Energy and utilities

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Rising Star

Sudipta Ghosh

General counsel | Apraava Energy

Energy and utilities

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Sudipto Mitra

In-house counsel | Zeta

Information technology

Rising Star

Sujatha Balachander

General counsel - India Region | EY

Commercial and professional services

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Sujeet Jain

Chief legal and regulatory officer | NYKAA

Sports and media

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Sumit Kumar Singh

Senior legal manager and company secretary | AB InBev GCC Services India

Food

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Suresh Kumar Sharma

General counsel, partner | Deloitte Shared Services India

Consumer products

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Tapan Pati

Senior vice president and group general counsel | Godrej & Boyce

Materials and mining

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Tapasi Sil

General counsel - South Asia | GE Vernova

Energy and utilities

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Tejal Patil

Senior vice president and general counsel | Wipro

Information technology

Spotlight on… As the general counsel of Wipro, Tejal Patil leads the legal, compliance, data privacy, intellectual property, and government affairs functions and is a member of the Wipro Executive...

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Urvashi Sahai

General counsel and senior vice president legal | PayTM

Financials

Vandana Bhatia

Director - legal and compliance | Ryan India Tax Services Private

Financials

Spotlight on…  Vandana Bhatia has worked in various verticals, ranging from pharma and clinical research to education and finance. She handles multiple responsibilities with unbridled excellence, positioning herself as a...

Vidyut Gulati

General counsel and director legal | Bharti Airtel

Telecommunications

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Vinay Bhatia

General counsel | Greenko Group

Energy and utilities

Vinayak Mishra

General counsel | Lightspeed India Partners

Financials

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Vineet Vij

Global general counsel | Tech Mahindra

Information technology

Vineet Vij is the global general counsel of Tech Mahindra and group companies leading a team of over 100 lawyers spread across the globe with presence in India, US, Mexico,...

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Vinod Kaushal

General counsel, India Region | PepsiCo

Food

Yawar Usmani

Group general counsel and company secretary | Stellapps Technologies

Information technology

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Yogesh Naik

Legal counsel | Volvo

Consumer products

Rising Star

It has been a pleasure to shine a light on the talented, professional and highly innovative in-house lawyers based in India. As lead researcher for The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: India 2023, it was a pleasure and privilege to be able to interview the brightest in-house legal minds in the country, and delve into what makes a great in-house counsel and what is on the forefront of their minds as some of the leading corporate counsel in the region. The publication serves as a tribute to the remarkable contributions made by these incredible professionals to the business landscape in India. It stands as a testament to their unrivalled expertise, outstanding leadership, and unwavering commitment to excellence. 

This year’s edition shines a spotlight, not only on the most distinguished in-house lawyers in India, but also on the rising stars that one day will lead the best in-house legal departments in the country. The publication focuses on the exceptional accomplishments and innovated approaches adopted by chosen individuals, as they navigate the intricacies of the Indian landscape. In-house lawyers in this publication also shared what advice they would give to aspiring in-house lawyers or general counsel; this advice is second-to-none.  

There is a massive focus on innovation surrounding technology within the Indian legal market, with multiple individuals stating how they have implemented and rolled out new technologies in their business and stating the supreme benefit of doing such. For example, Priya Menon, executive director and general counsel of 3M India stated that ‘We created and rolled out an in-house power apps tool for wall-to-wall contract management, which automates the contract request from choosing templates to execution including approval workflow for seamless execution with different business stakeholders. This was built entirely in-house.’ It may be concluded that the Covid-19 pandemic aided the rapid increase of legal technology, as suggested by Sumit Kumar Singh, senior legal manager and company secretary at AB InBev GCC Services India: ‘With the changing world and work culture, technology has played a significant role. Everyone was stunned by the Covid-19 pandemic, after which, we automated most of our processes and brought innovation in all aspects. This has streamlined the processes, brought a lot of accuracy, and helped us in all compliance and reporting requirements. Because of the same, we were able to significantly reduce our costs, risks and brought visibility to the stakeholders.’ 

Despite the continuous economic uncertainty of global and local markets, esteemed counsel in this publication were delighted to share the most significant cases or transactions that themselves and their legal teams have been involved in within the past year. This brought up a massive variety of responses, some of these again focused on legal technology, but also spanning diversity and inclusion and ESG initiatives, significant mergers and acquisitions, and high-stake litigations. For example, Deepalakshmi Vadivelan, general counsel and vice president legal, global DPO at Quess Corp highlighted that her ‘dedicated litigation team is so conscious and confident in tracking, drafting, managing all the litigations, and constantly going beyond their role to identify right opportunities for settlement amicably or successful closure to minimise organisation’s risk and protect interest. We also introduced cloud-based software to track the court records and alert the internal system and external legal counsels to manage our litigations effectively. 

The advice that the in-house lawyers included gave to aspiring general counsel was truly inspiring, highlighting the crucial aspects and tips that guided them to be the best that they could possibly be. A lot of this advice highlighted the ever-evolving role of in-house counsel, and the importance of becoming central to the key stakeholders of the business. For example, Parag Mathur, group general counsel at PhonePe stated that ‘The legal role has evolved over time, from being a reactive function to a proactive function with a seat on the table along with business teams right from the start of a project, product design or service proposition,’ and therefore in-house lawyers should ‘Be business enablers, develop commercial understanding, thoroughly assess the underlying risks of any project or contract well, be hungry to learn, get involved and make mistakes, and challenge the status quo! 

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to every single general counsel who participated in this edition of The GC Powerlist: India, 2023. Included within these pages are the most impressive in-house lawyers within the country, those who have utilised their legal knowledge strategically to provide business insights and contribute to their company’s success.  

I am extremely pleased to present this list of the most agile, innovative, and exceptional in-house lawyers in India. 

 

Elena Lewis | Senior Research Analyst: GC Powerlist India 2023 

Francisco Castro | Senior Research Analyst: GC Powerlist India 2023 

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I am delighted that CMS is again partnering with Legal 500 and the GC Powerlist to recognise and endorse the leading general counsel as well as up-and-coming in-house lawyers in India. The GC Powerlist is now in its eighth year and we are proud to have been involved with the showcasing of legal talent in India from the beginning.

The CMS India Group is looking forward to celebrating the publication of this year’s GC Powerlist with the general counsels and legal talent who provide invaluable support to their businesses in an ever more complex and interlinked business environment.

Alongside their day-to-day business, GCs and their teams advise their commercial colleagues on the new legislation and regulation coming into force, both locally and in key overseas markets. In particular, India has seen the introduction of a very significant data protection law that will have a wide-ranging impact on the processing of data. In addition, GCs also support businesses with key issues such as managing climate change and the energy transition, with advising on ESG-related matters becoming an increasingly critical part of their role. The impact of ESG reporting requirements, both domestically and internationally, is likely to become more and more relevant for Indian businesses.

The in-house legal community plays an increasingly key role for Indian businesses and is becoming more sophisticated. The GC role in India is evolving and, now more than ever, GCs need to be trusted advisors for senior executive teams. Inclusion in the GC Powerlist is a strong endorsement of the key position that GCs have in the local and international legal and business environments that the businesses they support need to navigate.

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. These include entering into new markets and jurisdictions, acquisitions and joint ventures, compliance with ever-changing legislation and best practice or dealing with commercial disputes.

Our multijurisdictional India Group has been visiting India for many years to strengthen and grow our relationship, and is often our first port of call to the wider CMS organisation, which now includes over 5,800 legal experts in 45 countries. We are proud to offer deep local understanding with a global perspective.

Congratulations to all the GCs and in-house lawyers who are included in this year’s GC Powerlist. We look forward to continuing our association and working with many of you in supporting your businesses over the coming years. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Babita.Ambekar@cms-cmno.com and Bill.Carr@cms-cmno.com.

 

Dr Duncan Weston Executive Partner CMS

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INDUSLAW expresses its heartiest congratulations to the winners of the Legal500 GC Powerlist India 2023.

 

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. Your commitment to excellence has not only set a high standard but has also positively impacted those around you. INDUSLAW is also pleased to have this opportunity again this year to honour the distinguished GCs recognised in the coveted Legal500 GC Powerlist of 2023. 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 6th 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 450 lawyers including more than 60 Partners spread across Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi & NCR, 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 2023, 2022 & 2021 – one of the Best Overall Law Firm 2023, 2022 & 2021 (included amongst the top 7 Law firms in India*)

* ALB NOVEMBER 2023 (ASIA EDITION) (legalbusinessonline.com)

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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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GC Summit Vietnam 2024

The Legal 500’s second GC Summit: Vietnam built on the success of the 2023 gathering to provide an even more informative, illuminating and rewarding agenda of sessions for the country’s top in-house legal minds. With almost 200 people in attendance, including general counsel of large MNCs and Vietnamese companies and backed up by the key law firms of the countr,  this was the most significant gathering of the Vietnamese legal community in recent years.

The event commenced with opening remarks by Joe Boswell, followed by Hong Le of GSK, who eloquently outlined the challenges and opportunities awaiting in-house counsel in Vietnam. Le’s insights set the tone for the day’s discussions, highlighting the importance of adaptability and strategic legal counsel in navigating the evolving legal landscape.

Throughout the day, attendees were treated to a series of engaging panels and presentations, covering a wide range of topics vital to legal practitioners in Vietnam. First up was Tilleke & Gibbins’ wide-ranging session ‘Pressing issues facing general counsel in 2024. Moderated by Michelle Ray-Jones and Chuyen Hong Huu Le of Tilleke & Gibbins, the discussionprovided valuable insights into the evolving role of general counsel amidst transformative technological and regulatory changes. Panellists from Novartis and Nestlé Vietnam shared their perspectives on data privacy, managing legal budgets, and harnessing AI for legal efficiency.

Practical guidance on sensitive employee terminations was up next alongside Russin & Vecchi. After an introduction by Nguyen Huu Minh Nhut, Dao Thi Ai then offered practical strategies for managing employee terminations ethically and effectively, safeguarding both company reputation and employee rights in the process.

Mark Fraser and newly announced partner Gwendoline Brooker of Frasers Law firm then moderated a discussion on ESG matters in Vietnam. Noted leading in-house counsel Minh Vu of Haleon and Tran Long Ha of AES fed in to the discussion, which provided thoughtful analysis on ESG principles, emphasising their growing importance in Vietnam’s journey towards sustainable development. The various implications for legal teams of local and international businesses were also analysed.

Pham Duy Khuong and Nguyen Tien Hoa of ASL Law then provided invaluable insights into compliance with new regulations on personal data protection, IP law, and global minimum tax, crucial for businesses engaging in M&A, both from a buy and sell-side perspective.

Minh Duong and fellow panelists Duc Tran of Credit Vietnam and Hao Tran of BW Industrial Development then shed light on the elevated view of risk management for modern general counsel in their discussion, emphasising proactive crisis prevention and effective crisis management strategies as well as liaising effectively with business leaders.

A panel featuring experts from LNT & Partners, including managing partner Hoang Nguyen Ha Quyen, along with in-house counsel Le Anh Tuan of FWD Insurance, explored the intricacies of data protection regulations in Vietnam, offering practical guidance for ensuring compliance and safeguarding sensitive information in the digital era. This session led to an extended Q&A with the audience, who were keen to learn from the experts on-stage.

Dr. Oliver Massmann of Duane Morris Vietnam then took to the stage and, in his own inimitable and highly energetic way, provided insights into conducting business compliantly in Vietnam based on his extensive experience over multiple decades. He outlined the factors that are crucial for companies navigating the local legal landscape when organising deals and getting them over the line.

The conference concluded with a freewheeling session on the banking and finance outlook in 2024, offering predictions and insights from various perspectives, including private practice and corporate viewpoints. Moderated by partner Ho Thuy Ngoc Tram of Frasers Law Company, the panel benefited from the viewpoints of two highly experienced legal counsel. Thuy Ngoc Tram of Cathay United Bank gave a thorough overview of the banking and finance landscape in Vietnam, while Yin Ee Ong of Warisan TC Holdings, who flew in from Kuala Lumpur especially to input to the panel discussion, spoke of her experiences in setting up Hong Leong’s Vietnam branch in her prior career.

The GC Summit Vietnam 2024 was a roaring success, and generated hugely positive feedback from attendees in the post-summit drinks reception. The Legal 500 will be back in Vietnam for our GC Powerlist 2024 edition in Q4 this year. If you are a leading in-house lawyer who would like to be considered for inclusion, or know of one who should be, you can get in touch with joe.boswell@legal500.com to make a nomination.