Recognizing the Leading Women Stalwarts of the Legal Industry at the 5th Annual Legal Era Women in Law Excellence Awards 2023
Legal Era Celebrates Women Leadership, Innovation & Achievements of Women Lawyers at the “5th Annual Women in Law Excellence Awards 2023”
Legal Era hosted its mega flagship 12th Annual India Conclave & Awards 2023, an unprecedented gathering of legal expertise at Hotel Hyatt Regency, New Delhi. The Conclave saw more than 500 professionals participate from 12+ countries and across cities in India. Stalwarts and seasoned professionals participated and deliberated in the 40+ thought-provoking sessions and discussions at the India Conclave 2023, uniting legal luminaries, advocates, and scholars on a global stage.
On day 1 of this Conclave, 24th August 2023, Legal Era proudly hosted the 5th Annual Women in Law Excellence Awards recognizing Women Leadership, Innovation & Achievements of Women Lawyers.
Conceptualized and organized by Legal Era Women Lawyers Network (LWLN) & the Legal Era - Legal Media Group, the awards celebrated the commitment, expertise, and strong leadership of leading women lawyers who have achieved great strides in an increasingly challenging global market.
As the awardees got on stage to receive the trophies and mementos of recognition, their remarkable success was graced by the presence of Hon’ble Justice Mini Pushkaran, Judge, Delhi High Court, the esteemed Chief Guest for the 5th Annual Women in Law Excellence Awards.
Lawyers have always been leaders in changing times owing to their philosophy and intellect. And Legal Era’s initiative to recognize and honor the leading women lawyers was much appreciated. As one of the awardees mentioned in her acceptance speech, “It's absolutely great to see women being celebrated. What a beautiful event!”
In her Keynote address kickstarting the Awards ceremony, Justice Mini Pushkaran affirmed,
“It is so important to acknowledge the resilience of women – right from women who fought for the right to vote to the women who shattered the glass ceiling in their respective fields. They have always demonstrated that they have the power to overcome any obstacle. But what makes women inherently powerful? I would say it is their empathy and their determination. Women are known for their innate ability to juggle multiple roles and responsibilities. Their empathy helps them understand and form a deeper connection with people - making them great leaders and caretakers. Women have the strength to push through difficult times.”
In that context, Justice Mini Pushkaran spoke about strides in the legal profession and the women who pioneered with their courage and determination.
“To begin with, the legal field was primarily a male-dominated space. But it was for us to recognize that women have been making remarkable strides in the legal field. The legal profession is not an easy one. And despite the fact it is one of the coveted professions, a woman choosing to be a lawyer faces many struggles. Consequently, it is onto us, women who have been fighting at the forefront for gender equality and rights using the law as a tool for change by advocating for laws and policies that protect women’s rights. That led to the creation of laws such as the Domestic Violence Act, the Sexual Harassment Act for Women at Workplace, and the Maternity Benefits Act, among others. We must also not miss the revolutionary efforts of the first women lawyers and judges. These women were the pioneers who broke down barriers. India’s first woman advocate, Cornelia Sorabjee, paved the way for other women to enter the profession. I thank her…if she hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have here nor would you all women lawyers have been here. In 1921, Allahabad High Court accepted her application to register at the Bar making her the first woman lawyer to be enrolled as an advocate in India. Women like her sought out challenges and made a difference in the lives of countless people. Another pioneer was Justice Fatima Biwi, who went on to become the first woman judge in the Supreme Court of India.”
Justice Mini Pushkaran went on to give a reality check on the state of women in India and what that meant for women in law.
“It is a reality that the household responsibilities and childcare fall disproportionately on women. Many women are forced to take a break from their careers to take care of their families which results in loss of opportunities in career advancement. These factors affect women in the legal profession as well.
But we must acknowledge the complexity of their work and appreciate their central role in the profession and society. If you empower a woman, you empower a family. This famous line emphasizes the fact that women lawyers can have in society. Women lawyers have an indispensable role in shaping the legal profession and bringing alternative and necessary perspective to practices of law.”
Justice Pushkaran closed her inspiring speech by quoting Michelle Obama from her book, “Becoming.” “It is not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There is power in allowing yourself to be known and heard. In owning your unique story. In using your authentic voice. And there is grace in being willing to know and hear others. This for me is how we become.”
Three cheers to our women lawyers making a mark wherever they may be!
As one of the awardees quoted the iconic Maya Angelou in her acceptance speech, “When a woman stands up for herself, she unknowingly and without possibly claiming it, stands up for all the women.”
Over cocktails and dinner, the attendees and awardees exchanges ideas and experiences. Many made new friends and shared how proud they were to meet the new generation of entrepreneurial women lawyers who have set up their own law firms.
Legal Era is excited about the future of women in law and so are all the women lawyers who received the Legal Era Women in Law Excellence Awards recognition!
Nothing sums up this thoughtful, power-packed event better than the spirit of one of the awardees…when she said, “Not just the sky, rather - Moon’s the limit for India’s women lawyers.”
This inspiring spirit will stay with the attendees all through 2023-24 until it’s time for the 6th Annual Edition!
Here’s the List of the awardees who claimed their on-stage moments of pride at the coveted 5th Annual Legal Era Women in Law Excellence Awards 2023.
Ambika Pratiyush, Group General Counsel, Spark Minda Group
Vidyut Malhotra Gulati, General Counsel & Director – Legal, Bharti Airtel Group
Ambika Pratiyush Group General Counsel, Spark Minda Group
Ambika is a seasoned lawyer with 11 years of expertise spanning Law firms/ corporations, specializing in significant domains such as Corporate governance, Policy making, Dispute resolution, Arbitration (domestic and international), Commercial disputes, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Law.
As the Group General Counsel at Spark Minda Group, Ambika’s role encompasses legal affairs, strategy, litigation, contract drafting, negotiation, corporate governance and policy making. Additionally, she currently holds the position of Chairman of the POSH Committee at Spark Minda and is a pivotal member of the Diversity, Equity, and Exclusion Committee.
Prior to this, she worked at Luthra & Luthra Law Offices as a Managing Associate for nearly 5 years in dispute resolution, arbitration (domestic and international), commercial disputes, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Law, and more.
Previously, she has also worked at MAP Corporate Legal and Bambha & Nandan where she provided legal representation before the Supreme Court of India, High Court of Delhi, and multiple tribunals, with a particular emphasis on intricate contract drafting, including the preparation of meticulous tender documents. Ambika’s role extended beyond litigation to encompass the creation of various applications, precise legal notices, well- crafted agreements and comprehensive legal petitions.
She has also written various Articles for various publications.
Amita has a varied skill set and a strong track record in Shareholder Disputes, Commercial Litigation and Corporate Governance Conflicts.
Amita is Partner (Head – Disputes, North India) in the dispute resolution practice of the firm and has advised domestic and international clients on a broad range of contractual, regulatory and constitutional disputes. She focusses on shareholders’ disputes, conflicts between founders and private equity investors, business model defense in emerging sectors, securities litigation and family succession disputes. She appears before courts, tribunals, regulators and arbitral tribunals. She has deep expertise in corporate governance matters and has advised on the most high-profile governance conflicts in India.
Amita graduated as university Rank 1 from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (2005) and was the recipient of 6 gold medals including the Best Student for Overall Excellence. She also has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Stanford University. She was seconded with the Securities Group of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York, in 2008-2009.
She was recently appointed on the Board of Studies of the Munjal School of Law as an external member.
Anupamaa Venugopal Managing Partner, AVRC Legal and Dr. Kainth and Associates LLP
Anupamaa is a corporate lawyer and the Managing partner of AVRC Legal and Dr. Kainth and Associates LLP, which specializes in Company law, Contractual law, Compliance's, Labour Law, Intellectual Property Rights, Mediation and Real Estate.
Anupamaa practiced in the High Court of Karnataka, specializing in civil and labour matters from 1998 to 2000. Her areas of expertise in corporate practice for the last two decades include Company Law, Contract Law, Labour Law and Sexual Harassment of Women (Prevention, Prohibition, Redressal) Act, 2013.
Anupamaa sits on the board of Hubner Interface Systems (India), Mach Aero Components, Schmnit Utsch India as a Non-Executive Director responsible for legal compliance.
She holds a post graduate diploma in Industrial Psychology. She is also an ICF certified organizational and emotional Intelligence coach. She has also authored and published a book titled ‘Ready Reckoner on Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplaces in India’.
Esha Chakravarty Group General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer, Ctrls Datacenters Ltd.
Esha Chakravarty is a common law jurisdiction qualified lawyer with over 14 years of post-qualification experience in compliance risk management, corporate legal and litigation domain that entails a mix of law firms as well as in-house roles.
She is currently working as Chief Compliance Officer & Group General Counsel at Cloud4C. Whilst in this position, she is also responsible for looking after the legal matters of the affiliates and group companies of Cloud4C including CtrlS Datacenters Ltd.
Prior to this, Esha has worked in several leading corporates & MNC’s like Nuvoco Vistas Corporation Limited, Datamatics Business Solutions Limited, UPL Limited and Aegis Limited. Her law firm experience includes stints in top tier international law firms like Majmudar & Partner and DPA.
Esha has also advised on issues arising under the European data protection laws, including the general data protection regulation, the UK data protection law so as to ensure that the systems and processes are in compliance with the data protection law regime. Esha has draft various data processing addendum, privacy notice, disclaimers, operational and pre-sales guidance note to ensure data privacy law compliance. Esha has also conducted regular audits of all the manufacturing plants to ascertain compliances under the Environment and labor laws.
Gopi Trivedi Senior Partner & Head of Patent Division, Y. J. Trivedi & Co.
Gopi Trivedi, the Senior Partner and Head of the Patent Division at Y. J. Trivedi & Co. is a Computer Engineer, a Registered Patent Agent and a Bachelor of Law. Adding to this, she also holds CPVA (Certified Patent Valuation Analyst).
Her wide knowledge in various areas of Science such as Engineering, Software, Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals amongst others has led her to handle patent projects nationally and internationally and makes her the perennial favorite of all clients to cater to any Patent Assignment. She is a part of her firm’s IP Valuation & Management team and has been advising clients with her Techno-legal inputs.
Gopi is a member of various international bodies on IPR and has an active participation in their Annual Conferences and Committees. She has spoken at several such seminars and workshops organized at National as well as International platforms.
In the year 2018, her firm Y. J. Trivedi & Co. has made World Record in Filing Maximum Number of Patents in a single day under her able guidance and leadership.
Lakshmi Menon Nair Director and Associate General Counsel | Head of Legal, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Lakshmi is a General Counsel (with global and local experience) with a demonstrated experience of providing practical, outcome oriented advise to technology companies from medium sized to large Fortune 500 companies. She has advised on complex cross border commercial transactions, technology laws, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, employment laws, data protection laws, intellectual property laws, trade laws, insurance laws, antitrust issues, dispute management, facilitated corporate secretarial matters, corporate governance, real estate laws, environmental laws, business code of conduct issues and risk/compliance management.
She has experience managing large and small agile teams with a focus on driving excellence and elevating performance by creating an inclusive environment for team members.
She is a member of several Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ERGs in her present organisation and drives strategic initiatives for these groups.
Leena Tibrewala Founder & CEO, MY-CONTRACTS
Leena helps businesses digtalize their contact management process with the help of technology. At My-Contracts, Leena helps businesses at every stage of contract life cycle, right from Contract Request, Legal Review, Contract Negotiation, Contract Signing, Contract upload, Contract monitoring till Renewals and Amendments etc.
With 11+ years of experience in Legal Industry, she has worked with many esteemed organisations like Bajaj Auto, Deepak Fertilizers, Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, Jet Synthesis, Mercedes-Benz and many more.
Leena started her entrepreneurial journey 8 years ago when she started Leerah ( Parent company for My-Contracts) with an intention to help the legal associates perform their day to day functionalities in a more efficient manner, as against the traditional conservative methods. She was inspired to develop web-based business applications for legal professionals and went ahead and founded Leerah Enterprises. Ever since, Leena has been striving to provide sophisticated end-to-end techno-legal solutions with one focus – our customers’ satisfaction.
Mamta Rani Jha Senior Partner, Inttl Advocare
Mamta Jha is a practicing lawyer with over 20 years of experience in litigation, with expertise in Intellectual Property laws. She currently heads the litigation practice and is a Partner at Inttl Advocare, one of India’s leading full-service IP law firms.
Her expertise lies in advising, strategizing and effective enforcement action with respect to patents, trademarks, designs and copyright. She has also considerable experience in the allied and emerging fields of Information Technology, Telecommunications, Media and Anti-trust laws. Her past experience of over 7 years in both civil and criminal litigation has equipped her with a unique approach towards addressing complex issues and providing holistic solutions.
Apart from litigation, Mamta actively advises clients on IP licensing, auditing, contract drafting and negotiation, business venture evaluation and due diligence, online and offline anti-counterfeiting and border control measures and regulatory compliances.
Mamta has represented leading global pharmaceutical companies, as well as electronic and telecommunication giants in key patent litigation cases. She has also successfully handled trademark and design litigation for Fortune 500 companies across various sectors and advised clients on contentious matters pertaining to copyright law.
Meena Lall Chief - Legal & Compliance, Tata Steel
Meena Lall is the Chief Legal Officer (Industrial & Litigation) at Tata Steel. She has done her Bachelors in Science followed by LLB from Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur. She comes from a family of judges and lawyers. After practicing in Jabalpur High Court, she joined Tata Steel in 1990 in the Legal Department.
In the recent past, she has cleared a specialised course on Cyber Law and Cyber Forensics. In Tata Steel, she has handled complex issues and has gained experience in diverse fields of law, interacted and worked with several counsels in India & abroad. She was a director on a subsidiary of Tata Steel, before coming on the Board of Tata Steel Long Products Limited.
Mrida Lakhmani Senior Legal Counsel, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India
Mrida is currently working as Senior Legal Counsel, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India. She has past work experience of working with Tier 1 Law Firms in India.
She has extensively worked on domestic and cross-border deals involving consortium banking, debt restructuring and insolvency resolutions especially under the new Indian Insolvency Code – IBC.
Mrida possesses strong dispute prevention, management & resolution skills. Significant experience in contract structuring, drafting & negotiation with ability to manage deals holistically keeping in mind commercial and contractual risks.
Ability to communicate effectively across various internal departments and stakeholders as well as external service providers.
Niti Paul Partner, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices India
Niti is a Partner in the Corporate Practice of the Firm. Prior to merging Atlas Law Partners with Luthra and Luthra Law Offices, she was heading the Merger and Acquisition practice at Atlas Law Partners and has extensive experience in representing several domestic and international clients in M&A deals in India.
Niti has advised clients in diverse sectors including retail, hospitality, healthcare, financial services, real estate, T, entertainment, publications, telecom etc. on all aspects pertaining to joint ventures, foreign investments - inbound and outbound, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, regulatory issues and employment laws etc
She has been closely involved in transactional matters including structuring, advising on entry strategies for foreign entities as start-ups, joint ventures, on acquisition, takeover of companies, conducting due diligences, advise on foreign equity restriction and caps, options and vehicles, compliances, regulatory approvals pertaining to investment, environmental, operational and employment etc.
She has also been involved in several lending transactions like ECB Facilities, Export Credits, Clean Facilities, Consortium Lending arrangements, etc. and has also advised several leading Banks and NBFC’s in respect of legal, compliance and regulatory issues.
Apart from the above, she is also routinely advising clients on complex and general corporate commercial issues, regulatory, compliance and corporate governance issues as well as drafting and vetting of contractual documentation.
Pallavi Parmar Managing Partner, Vidhigya, The Advocates
Adv. Pallavi Parmar is the Founding Partner at Vidhigya, where she along with her professional team of Advocates, having more than two decades of experience in the legal domain, provides legal services and advice to startups & MSMEs and shine as niche and trusted law offices in New Delhi.
She had been adept in providing services in investment laws, privacy laws, and compliance as per Indian laws and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law, cyber laws & e-commerce laws, labeling laws, domain name disputes, contracts drafting and negotiation, labor laws, corporate laws, and compliance, etc.
Her practice focuses on IPR mechanisms followed by Special Leave Petitions (Civil and Criminal), transfer Petitions, NCLAT, NCLT, NCDRC, and Delhi High court representing clients in original, Writ, commercial and appellate jurisdiction.
She has a proven track record in Professional legal Management, Media and Technology Laws, Policy Advisory, Regulatory and Compliance Framework in India. Her preferred sectors include the blend of law into education, medical, hospitality & sports.
Puja Tiwari Partner, LexOrbis
Puja Tiwari is a Partner at Lex Orbis. She has a background in economics and 20 years’ experience in the area of legal consulting, corporate law and implementation of legal processes and systems.
Puja has a proven track record towards delivering high quality legal consulting solutions and enforcing processes under strict timelines of a demanding industry consistently. Her area of work includes: Contracts, Compliances, Corporate Law, Corporate Litigation, Commercial Laws, Trademarks and Intellectual Property Rights, Litigation and litigation strategy and Arbitration and Alternate Dispute Resolution.
Ritu Bhalla Senior Partner & Head – Dispute Resolution, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices India
Ritu Bhalla is a Senior Partner at the firm. Prior to merging Atlas Law Partners with Luthra and Luthra Law Offices, she was heading the Disputes Resolution Practice at Atlas Law Partners. In her career spanning over 3 decades, she has gained extensive experience in corporate commercial disputes, arbitration matters and specializes in litigation and dispute resolution in areas such as banking & finance, insolvency, regulatory, infrastructure, administrative, white-collar, etc.
She has represented both Indian and multinational clients in various fora including Supreme Court, High Courts, NCLAT, NCLT, DRAT, DRT, quasi-judicial tribunals, domestic and international commercial arbitrations, and has also led teams in undertaking investigations and legal forensic assignments.
She has handled high stake matters including pioneer cases of & mismanagement. She has represented clients in several commercial arbitration matters and has successfully obtained favourable awards for her clients. Ritu has also advised clients on critical litigation strategies.
Roma Arora General Manager Legal, Havells Group
Roma is a legal professional with around 16 years of work experience. She started my career in 2005, with a boutique law firm as an Associate, wherein she advised global clients on issues including setting up business in India, mergers, acquisitions, JVs, financial collaborations of foreign companies with Indian companies and strategizing their IP in India.
She then joined as an inhouse attorney with Reliance ADA Group where she handled commercial & labour litigations of the group besides commercial contracts and general advisory.
Currently, she is working as Jt. GM Legal with Havells Group leading the global IP team of the Havells group and handles strategic global issues including global IP development & protection.
Rupinder Malik Partner, JSA
Rupinder specializes in General Corporate Commercial; Mergers & Acquisitions; Private Equity; Anti-Corruption and White-Collar Crime investigations practice areas.
Rupinder has extensive expertise in M&A, joint ventures; PE investments, strategic alliances; cross-border investments; restructurings of Indian and international conglomerates. She regularly advises clients on foreign investments and related regulatory issues arising out of their entry in India as well as matters relating to corporate, employment, information technology and foreign exchange control laws in connection with both inbound and outbound investments.
Rupinder also has an extensive cyber laws and data privacy practice, advising clients across various industries on extant and upcoming Indian technology and data laws. She advices and assists on advisory in relation to IT laws, contractual reviews, data privacy diligence, data flow structuring and various other aspects.
Rupinder also leads a team that advises and assists with compliance and internal investigations in connection with white-collar crimes including issues under the (Indian) Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the (Indian) Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, the (US) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, the (UK) Bribery Act, 2010, and other local and international anti-corruption laws and sanctions. She has also extensively handled matters in connection with general employment law and workplace policies, code of conduct, Prevention of Sexual Harassment and related issues.
Being recognized as a solution-oriented lawyer, she has a wealth of experience in advising on legal and contractual matters for the successful outcome of a transaction. She has advised on several diverse corporate transactions, including share acquisitions and business transfers across various sectors such as real estate, healthcare, e-commerce, EV, fintech, technology, infrastructure & energy, services and manufacturing.
Rupinder is a member of Executive Committee of JSA. She is also a Chapter Leader of WWCDA (Women’s White Collar Defense Association), India, which is a coalition of women attorneys and other professionals, globally.
Shagoofa Rashid Khan Group General Counsel & Head Corporate Affairs, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)
Shagoofa has over 23 years of post-qualification experience across structuring funds, managed accounts, fund documentation, private equity, acquisitions / exits / restructuring/ joint ventures and strategic initiatives, international taxation and planning, corporate and commercial laws, business advisory, compliance and ethics advisory, audit and finance.
Shahana Chatterji is a Partner with the Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs team at the Firm.
Shahana has been deeply involved with policy and regulatory issues both in India and in the United States. She has worked with a Representative at the U.S. Congress, Washington D.C., engaging in expansive legislative and policy matters ranging from healthcare and financial reforms. Before working with the U.S. Congress, she worked extensively on capital markets and corporate finance transactions and advised clients on foreign investment and financial regulatory issues here in India.
She currently works on a range of policy matters, with a specialsation in data and technology, healthcare & pharma, food & beverages, agri-business & retail. With an unparalleled understanding of governance and policy infrastructures, she provides cutting edge solutions in this sphere of legal assistance involving law making, regulatory assistance and governmental interface. She has been at the forefront of major regulatory development, setting the agenda for reform, shaping opinion and building consensus and identifying and developing mechanisms to achieve specific results using legal, legislative and policy tools.
Shahana has worked closely with the world’s largest technology, internet and social media companies and has led matters relating to data privacy, online speech and content regulation, intermediary liability, risk profiling for disruptive technologies and solutions including AI solutions in the healthcare sector, ecommerce cloud computing, public procurement of technology, payment technology and fintech solutions.
Sheela Vadavalli Vice President Legal and Compliance Officer, Mylan India
Sheela is a qualified Company Secretary and Senior Legal Professional having over 14 years of experience in areas of corporate & commercial laws, M&A and compliance.
Sheela’s professional legal experience has been built on the strong foundation of premier education in India and abroad, coupled with a sound insight into the dynamics of business and a holistic understanding of the role of the legal function in shaping corporate strategy.
She specializes in Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Restructuring, Financial Restructuring, Corporate Compliance, Commercial Contracts, USFCPA Compliance, Negotiations & Conflict Resolution.
Sheffy Bhatia Vice President & Head - Legal & Compliance, Future Generali India Life Insurance
Sheffy Bhatia is the Vice President – Legal & Compliance at Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Limited. An accomplished versatile legal professional and in-house lawyer with a distinguished career in diverse sectors, excelling in leading legal functions.
She has a proven track record of over 20 years in designing and implementing robust frameworks for complex commercial transactions, legal advisory, enterprise risk, ethics, dispute resolution, compliance, employment, POSH & corporate governance. Her core responsibilities include guiding the senior leadership teams on various complex legal issues and strategic decisions. Sheffy has extensive experience in commercial litigation, crisis management, structuring legal documentation and commercial contracts, real estate and related legal due diligence, business strategy and POSH (wherein she has always ensured fair and transparent proceeding as the Presiding Officer/ Member of the IC).
Sheffy began her legal career in 1999 by practicing in district courts of Delhi followed by India Law Offices as Associate Counsel and then moved in-house to BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd in 2004. She joined Max New York Life Insurance Co. Ltd in 2008 as Manager – Legal and then joined Bourn Hall International India Pvt Ltd as General Manager & Head- Legal & Compliance in 2016 followed by Aviva Life Insurance Company Limited as Associate Vice President & Head Legal in 2017.
Shelly Kohli Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, United Breweries Limited
Shelly Kohli is a corporate lawyer with over 20 years of experience, having worked both in private practice and as an in-house lawyer in senior management roles with large global corporations. A dual qualified lawyer enrolled to practice in India and in the State of New York, USA. Having diverse experience of working both for industrial and retail companies. Expertise in handling complex commercial transactions; litigation & arbitration; employment, real estate, and intellectual property matters; and managing corporate and regulatory compliance. As a member of executive teams, have worked on strategic initiatives to accelerate business growth and drive operational efficiencies in the region.
In her last role, Shelly was Head Legal for the Beauty, Personal care, Home care and Privacy legal teams of Hindustan Unilever Limited. In this role, she partnered brand building and brand development teams managing a portfolio of some of the most iconic brands such as Lifebuoy, Lux, Pepsodent, Sunsilk, Dove, Lakme, Surf Excel, Rin, Vim and Domex.
Shelly currently leads the legal and compliance function of United Breweries Limited and part of the Management Team. In this role, Shelly is responsible for all legal and compliance matters, including all corporate, litigation and intellectual property across geographies. She is also the strategic legal adviser to the Board and Senior Management of the company.
Shivaarti Bajaj Co-Founding Managing Partner, RSD Bajaj Global Law Firm
Shivaarti Bajaj is the Co-founding Managing Partner for RSD Bajaj Global Law Firm. With her area of practice being - intellectual property, data protection, art law, fashion, films, advertising and social media, with a special bent towards emerging technologies like OTT, broadcasting, digital media, internet, convergence and tech-based hybrid areas like FinTech, EdTech, AgriTech and HealthTech. She advised extensively on the Web3 and Data privacy space towards an amalgamation of IPR and business laws. She has also advised on development and scaling of various digital/tech startups successfully. Apart from her law qualifications, she is a certified qualified patent attorney/agent in India and also has successfully completed specialisation in “Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Business” from Harvard Business School.
Sonali Khanna General Counsel - India & South West Asia, Coca-Cola India Private Limited
Sonali Khanna is the Vice President & General Counsel for Coca Cola India and South West Asia. In her current role she is responsible for providing oversight and leadership for legal matters relating to the INSWA Operating Unit (OU), with a focus on strategic legal support and compliance, as well as business advice and solutions. As part of her role, she collaborates with multiple stakeholders, including global network of legal professionals, as well as colleagues throughout the Enterprise.
Sonali brings in 24+ years of experience of working in a variety of roles across diverse industries, including well-known FMCG, Satellite Communications & Technology companies, Auto ancillary like Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, GSK Consumer, and Hughes Network Systems. Most recently, Sonali worked with Goodyear India Limited as Head - Legal, Compliance and Company Secretary.
Sonali is the AMCHAM sectoral lead for Agri, Food Processing, Retail and Manufacturing for the Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Committee.
She has received her Bachelor of Commerce degree from Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi University; Company Secretary from ICSI; and LLB from Delhi University.
Sunila Awasthi Senior Partner, AZB & Partners
Sunila Awasthi is a Senior Partner at AZB & Partners. She qualified as a lawyer from Delhi University in 1992 and took a Masters in Law degree from University of Queensland, Australia in the year 2000.
Sunila started her career in the economic liberalization era, the initial decade of her work profile consisted of advising various multi-national companies investing into India across multiple sectors and which entailed obtaining Government approvals and negotiating joint ventures and collaborations. She also did extensive opinion work on varying topics like contract law, foreign direct investment policy, labour laws, data privacy, non-competition etc. Since past more than a decade, Sunila’s work profile shifted to primarily advising domestic and international clients on general corporate matters with focus on two broad areas of practice, firstly, employment laws and secondly, e-commerce/information technology/ data privacy laws.
Under the employment laws practice, she is advising extensively on dealing with harassment complaints, including when matters have translated into police complaints; conducting gender sensitization trainings for employees and senior management based on her vast experience of investigating complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace.
Sunila has written articles which have been published in national newspapers as well as legal magazines and she has been a regular speaker, panelist or moderator at various conferences primarily on the issue of sexual harassment and gender issues at the workplace.
Vaishali Mittal is a litigation partner and strategist at Anand and Anand. Vaishali has been engaged as a lead in many firsts and also some of the most ground-breaking IP matters including India’s first Anti-AntiSuit injunction, India’s first final judgment on Standard Essential Patents interpretation of Section 8 of the Patents Act to the benefit of patent-holders; first compulsory licensing order for radio broadcasters under Copyright Act; India’s first judgment declaring colour combination (green & yellow) a well-known trademark; landmark judgement on trans-border reputation, landmark judgment on aggravated damages being the highest ever quantum in a copyright, trademark and design infringement case, to name a few.
Vanita Bhargava Partner, Khaitan & Co.
Vanita Bhargava is a partner in the Dispute Resolution practice group in Khaitan & Co. She has expertise in and has advised and represented matters relating to constitutional laws, environment laws and corporate laws. Vanita is a member and associate of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Supreme Court AOR Association, Delhi High Court Bar Association, and Foreign Lawyer in SICC (Singapore International Commercial Court). Her fora of practice include the Supreme Court, High Court, National Green Tribunal, Mining Tribunal, National Company Law Tribunal and Quasi Judicial Tribunals. Vanita is an Advocate on Record in Supreme Court (since 2004).
Vasudha Sharma Legal Counsel, Accenture
Vasudha is a competent professional with nearly 10 years of experience in TCS , with and experience of working with both Indian as well as International clients. She has exposure in successfully structuring and shaping client engagements. She is an experienced performance tester with an experience of 5 years in Testing (Manual / performance / automation).
Veena Sivaramakrishnan is an equity partner in Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas’ banking and finance practice and in the insolvency and bankruptcy practice of the firm with a special focus on restructuring creditor agreements.
As a leading practitioner in banking, financial services, regulatory, financing, derivatives, insolvency, bankruptcy and restructuring. Veena has been a part of many firsts for her practice areas, leading new frontiers in banking. She has done bank mergers/NBFC – bank mergers (DBS – LVB, Capital First – IDFC Bank, Bandhan Bank – Gruh Finance), first successful debt and equity restructuring under the SDR regime of the RBI (sale of Hyatt Hotels Pune to SAMHI group), legal validity to OTC derivatives under Indian laws and the introduction of credit derivatives, successful restructuring of the sale of Leela Hotels to Brookfield, issuance of the first partly paid NCD structure, winding down of regulated entities such as banks and NBFCs in India, setting up of a special liquidity trust under the directions of the government, to cater to covid-19 related defaults, and asset monetisation structures for easing liquidity to NBFCs, an NBFC resolution outside the IBC (Altico Capital), etc.
Vidyut Malhotra Gulati General Counsel & Director – Legal, Bharti Airtel Group
Vidyut Gulati is currently serving as the Director Legal & General Counsel at Bharti Airtel. She joined Bharti, in July 2017, at the group level as Director of Legal. In terms of the legal function at the group level, she focuses her time on strategic transactions and decisions of the Group, with a special emphasis on M&A transactions across various businesses, including in Africa.
Earlier Vidyut was working with Cairn as the General Counsel and a member of its Executive Committee.
Vidyut’s approach to leadership within her legal team is to be in constant proximity to business realities and risks looking beyond the legal issues and acting as a business partner and as a stakeholder by driving critical business decisions. Working on some very high-stake, marque matters both on the corporate and the litigation side, have provided her with tremendous perspective influencing her manner and style of leadership. She links these factors as being intrinsic to an in-house role. Vidyut identifies that, ‘the Indian telecom sector is witnessing a phenomenal phase, where equations are being re-set very quickly.