India In-house Legal Market Overview – 2020

India has one of the largest legal profession set-ups in the world, fittingly sitting alongside the world’s largest democracy. Which means disruption, doubts, and delays caused by Covid-19 were exacerbated in this market more than most others. Hiring activity remained busy throughout, however, and it will be fascinating to see whether such activity continues in a more stable economy.

The pandemic is also throwing up new areas of work as companies grapple with supply chain complications, revisit contractual obligations that cannot be met, exercise force majeure clauses and come to grips with derailed deals. Legal advisers and their clients, like others, are adapting to this rapidly changing environment and its accompanying challenges – working from home, pushing transactions across the finish line, and attending virtual court hearings.

India’s central government has announced a series of relaxations and stimulus packages to help vulnerable sections of the population and ease the burden felt by India Inc. However, since May, the government has devolved power to the states and union territories, which are free to impose whatever restrictions they believe are necessary in order to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the virus. Indian and international companies with a presence across India are struggling as a result to decide the way forward, as one state could ease restrictions while another introduces new limitations to tackle the crisis. Indian businesses and their legal advisers are finding ways to cope – familiarizing themselves with new regulations, reducing overheads, reprioritizing business goals, and thinking innovatively about possible strategies to survive the pandemic and all the uncertainty it brings.

Recent Senior Moves in India – 2020 (In-house)

Moved from 
Moved to
Tejal Patil
GE - Group GC South Asia
Oyo - India/ South Asia Legal Head
Parveen Mahtani
Tata Housing - Head Legal & Compliance
Mahindra Lifespaces - Chief Legal Officer
Vinayak Mishra
Algo Legal - Partner
Lightspeed India - SEA Legal Chief
Aditya Bhardwaj
IDFC - Vice President of Legal
Link Legal - Partner
Alice George
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas - Partner
Essar Ports - General Counsel
John Thaliath
GE Research - Senior Counsel
GE - Group GC South Asia
Devdas Baliga
GSK - EVP Legal, India Subcontinent
Bayer - Country Group Head Legal
Varsha Choudhary Jain
GSK - General Manager - Legal
Unilever - Head Legal, Nutrition
Ishita Kapur
Diageo - VP Legal
Roundglass - GC
Shruti Zota
Talwar Thakore & Associates - Partner
GSK Pharma - General Counsel, EVP Legal
Ami Parikh
AZB - Partner
Experian India - Head Legal & Compliance
Sapan Gupta
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas - Partner
ArcelorMittal Group - General Counsel
Vedant Shukla
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas - Partner
Aditya Birla Group - Head Global M&A, Legal
Raju Dodti
L&T Finance - GC
L&T Finance - CEO

Contributor: Mudita Valakati (Senior Researcher, Hughes-Castell)

Published by Hughes Castell

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