India Teams 2017 – GC Powerlist

India Teams 2017

Accenture

| Accenture

Commercial and professional services

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions to clients around the world. Representing over a quarter of the company’s global headcount,...

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adidas India

| adidas india

Consumer Products

The Indian subsidiary of German multinational sportswear company adidas contains a top class legal team that has been influential in steering its business through a relatively rocky period. This is...

#GCPowerlist India Teams 2017

Aditya Birla Group

| Aditya Birla Group

Industrials and real estate

A $41bn revenue corporation and a constituent of the Indian Fortune 500, Aditya Birla Group operates in 40 countries with more than 120,000 employees worldwide. The in-house legal department of...

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AkzoNobel India

| AkzoNobel India

Materials and mining

When Dutch multinational chemicals company AkzoNobel bought Imperial Chemical Industries in 2008, AkzoNobel India was formed with a portfolio of decorative paints, performance coatings and speciality chemicals. ‘The legal team...

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Altico Capital

| Altico Capital

Financials

Fresh off the back of successfully supporting a blockbuster Rs500 crore real estate investment in Mumbai in late 2016, non-banking financial institution Altico Capital is moving into an exciting new...

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Editor Message

One of the most populous and culturally diverse places on Earth, India is also a business and financial hub with strong trade links to its Asian neighbours and markets further afield, and recently overtook China as the world’s fastest growing major economy. The dawn of the late 20th century – more specifically the 1991 economic liberalisation program – saw India drive towards becoming more market and service-oriented and expanded the role of private and foreign investment. More recently, the emergence of developing economies as being strategically important within the global business sphere has opened up more avenues for domestic and international companies to operate in India, complimenting the traditionally strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit within the country.

Sectors that the Indian economy is particularly strong in include agriculture, financial services, technology and internet start-up businesses as well as large construction and manufacturing sectors. These many positive indicators – which also include a young population, strong savings and investment rates and increased integration into the global economy – all point to a bright future for Indian business. Challenges will no doubt emerge as a result of this growth and as India’s role within world markets changes, and the variety of legal and business hurdles must be navigated successfully should India strive to fully reach its potential.

The legal teams contained within these pages, and on The Legal 500 website all possess excellent legal knowledge as a matter of course – they are all technically gifted and highly trained but this is not necessarily what sets them apart. Rather, it is their ability to utilise their legal knowledge strategically alongside keen business insight to make a positive impact towards their organisation’s success that place them among the top in-house legal counsel in the region.

I would like to express my personal thanks to our sponsors for supporting this publication: our international law firm partner CMS, India law firm partner Luthra & Luthra, recruitment partner Vahura, knowledge partner India Business Group and our chambers partner, Blackstone. A special mention must also be made for in-house lawyers that took time to speak to us throughout the process, and for the research team that worked on this GC Powerlist publication.

Editor |

Sponsor Message

CMS

CMS logo

CMS is proud to support the GC Powerlist for the India region for the second consecutive year. The in-house legal community continues to make a critically important contribution to India’s remarkable economic story, and has been justly celebrated.

In an increasingly uncertain world where challenges to the working of the global economy are commonplace, India remains one of the fastest growing emerging market economies. According to a recent IMF study, growth is expected at 6.6% in this fiscal year and 7.2% in 2018. Expansion at this rate is partly export-driven, and owes much to the growing internationalism of India’s businesses and the “Make in India” policies. In its turn, this open face to the world brings with it calls for system reforms and an increasing complexity of regulatory compliance.

It is in this environment of confidence and challenge that general counsels and their in-house legal teams are becoming ever more crucial to the success of the modern Indian business.

The in-house legal teams featured in this Powerlist are characterised by the excellence of their legal knowledge. But India’s rapidly expanding business opportunities have meant the role of GC has also evolved. Financial understanding and commercial acumen have become as necessary as managerial flair and legal excellence. The modern Indian business expects its GCs and their teams not only to provide brilliant technical solutions to complex legal issues, but to offer strategic wisdom and streetwise savviness too.

The key quality possessed by the teams showcased in this publication is adaptability. Delivering value to a business and contributing to its growth requires the legal team having a thorough understanding of the firm’s market and strategy. This might typically mean organisational change in the way the team is structured. Centres of excellence in litigation, IP, compliance, tax or employment might be established to widen the knowledge base of the team as a whole and support the business more effectively. A thorough knowledge of the relevant sectors and constant communication with the business’ principals means the right advice is given – and the value added by GC expertise is always apparent.

India, and its thriving businesses, are not of course immune from the impact of new technologies. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the software programmes that drive it forward represent huge opportunities for in-house legal teams. This remains a controversial innovation that some may feel threatens their livelihood. But clear-sighted GCs will see the potential that new technology brings. As always, the essential point is to ensure the legal department has the right composition and is ready to work with the new tools of excellence.

This GC Powerlist: India Teams not only recognises the central place that GCs and their legal teams now have in the ambitions of Indian businesses but also celebrates the speed and efficiency with which in-house legal teams have adapted to this constantly evolving world.

Luthra & Luthra

Luthra & Luthra logo

On behalf of the entire firm, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to all the eminent in-house counsel who have been recognised and awarded in the GC Powerlist: India Teams 2017 by The Legal 500.

The key characteristic for a general counsel today, is their unquestioned integrity. Their role is extremely challenging and is increasingly becoming more important in Indian companies, which are turning more and more to them for providing advice that goes beyond legal compliance.

They are now viewed as partners in the business process.

A GC’s knowledge of how the legal environment is developing becomes a basis on which they can give valuable advice in planning transactions or taking
other business initiatives. They must retain the ability to make clear-eyed professional judgments, and to have the backbone to raise issues with the appropriate decision-makers.

Not many lawyers have all the skills required to play this role, therefore, the “congratulations” are more heartfelt, for you all have perfected this art, whilst being great managers of people too.

Kudos also, to the GC Powerlist team who have worked tirelessly over the last few months, collating the nominations, followed by an extensive independent research to shortlist and reach these results.

My sincere and heartiest congratulations, once again to all the ‘power’ filled GCs.

Vahura

Vahura logo

Vahura is proud to support the GC Powerlist India Teams 2017. Our heartiest congratulations to the GCs and in-house counsel recognised in this Powerlist. It is wonderful to see this appreciation of your important work and innovation.

As the leading legal search and consulting firm in India, we regularly help build legal teams and also engage with GCs on strategic initiatives. Since 2007, we’ve witnessed the rapid evolution of the in-house legal role in India. Some of the recent trends include:

Rise of GCs within the corporate structure

Reporting has changed from CFO to CEO or Founder. The GC is often a member of the Executive Committee. We are also seeing GCs represented on the boards of companies.

Multi-resourcing strategy

Greater movement of in-house talent across sectors and from law firms. 23% of laterals last year were from law firms. Increasing use of flexible talent through secondments, contract roles and remote teams.

Technology and Innovation

Use of technology systems across contract management, compliance and litigation support. Innovation around process, communication and use of collaborative dispute resolution.

Expansion and Internationalisation of Role

The writ of the GC is expanding beyond legal to public policy and government relations, compliance, regulatory and corporate affairs. With MNCs, India is becoming a key hub for the global legal team. For Indian conglomerates, as the business becomes more international, legal guides the expansion of business in new jurisdictions.

Better compensation, more dynamic roles and the success stories of in-house counsel, are inspiring bright lawyers at all levels to move in-house. All of this signals an elevation in the role of the in-house counsel, within the corporate structure.

The corporate counsel is now also recognised as an important member of the legal profession. The government and regulators have sought out the views of the in-house legal community on the recent deliberations on the liberalisation of the Indian legal profession. This is a good sign, and more can be done in this regard. So many of you contribute to 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 is now a powerful influencer, from the corporation, to the legal profession and broader civil society.

Every person featured in this Powerlist represent the best of our profession. 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.

Blackstone Chambers

Blackstone Chambers logo

Blackstone Chambers congratulates all the in-house legal teams recognised by The Legal 500’s GC Powerlist: India Teams.

Blackstone Chambers is a leading set of barristers based in London and is the UK home to one of India’s most renowned advocates, Harish Salve SA. Members of Chambers offers expertise in the international arena across a range of specialist areas, including arbitration, commercial litigation, financial services, public & regulatory law and international law.

IBG

IBG logo

The liberalisation of India’s economy has enabled significant growth in the past century. India is a vibrant, diverse and rapidly expanding nation, predicted to be in the top three global economies by 2030. The government of India has placed a significant focus on the reform agenda and ongoing relaxation of the limits of foreign direct investment to some of India’s core sectors such as defence, banking, railways and construction.

Combined with a deep commitment to enhance the ease of doing business in India, the administraion is encouraging greater opportunities for Indian and international business. In particular, the recently introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) 2017 is recognised as the most significant tax refrom since independence and will help bring transparency and consistency in procedural matters.

The flagship Indian initiatives of Make in India, Digital India and Smart India (amongst others) have been widely promotedto invite foreign investment and innovation. Against this overall positive outlook, the legal industry is vitally important in the development of economic growthand partnerships within India on a domestic and interntional level.

The Indian Business group, headquartered in London, is particularly excited about the tremendous opportunites for boosting bilateral trade and investment between the UK and India. As we celebrate the UK – India Year of Culture 2017, both countries are showcasing collaborations in a range of sectors, such as business, energy, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, infrastructure, arts, sports and further connecting people in this corridor.

On behalf of the team at India Business Group, I am delighted that we have been appointedas Knowledge Partner for The Legal 500’s GC Powerlist: India Teams 2017. The launch of this exciting initiative within the legal profession could not come at a better time. I extend our hearty congratulations to all of the GC Teams included and wish them every success for the future. We look forward to working with you on similar initiatives for the Indian market.