Women In Law Awards 2020
Women In Law Awards 2020
Legal Era held the 9th Annual Gennext Business & Law Congress (2020) in India's financial capital on March 6 and 7, 2020. The Gennext Business & Law Congress 2020 witnessed legends of the legal profession from India and abroad discussing and exchanging ideas and information and thereby served as a networking platform for the most distinguished minds in business. The two-day Congress was based on the theme: "Geopolitics, Business & Law: Understanding impact, challenges and development across the world" and culminated in the Indian Legal Awards 2019-20 that recognized legal finesse, innovation and accomplishments of individual practitioners, in-house legal teams and law firms in 2019-20. This edition of the Business Law Congress and Awards Ceremony was even more special as it coincided with Legal Era celebrating 10 years of its journey. In attendance were Judges, Lawyers, Partners, GCs, external and in-house Counsel, Policymakers, regulatory heads, Jurists, Industrialists, Directors, CEOs, CFOs, Experts, corporates, academia, and members of the Press.
The conference concluded their day 2 with the Women in Law Awards 2020, Recognising Women Lawyers for their sheer Hard Work Sincerity & Dedication as Women Leaders. The selection process was based on peer voting and submissions.
Justice A.P Shah, Former Chairman, Law Commission of India & Former Justice, Delhi High Court grace the occasion and presented the awards to each winner sharing his experience, he recollects that when he joined the profession, there were very less rather no women lawyers but today we see so many women joining the profession and being brilliant lawyers.
"The Women in Law Awards which, as their name suggests, recognized leading women in the legal profession for their exceptional achievements. The Awards celebrated the accomplishments of women who are today role models for generations of law students and budding lawyers to come"
I am proud to present the Legal Era Women in Law Awards awards today to these women lawyers
Star Women of the Year 2020
Amna A. Usman is both the Founder and Managing Partner of law firm Usman Legal and Associate Counsel at the Chambers of Mahesh Jethmalani (Senior Counsel and Bar-at-law, England and Wales).
Amna was awarded the Mahindra Search for Talent Scholarship for excellence in academics, 2002; Rotary Best Student of the Year, 2001-02; Vaishno Mal Malhotra Endowment Prize for obtaining the highest marks in the University and College Examination, 2002; and Khandelwal Prize for securing the second rank in the Excellence in Arts Program (EXAP), 1999-2002 aimed at building and enhancing analytical and critical skills of meritorious students.
Archana Gupta, Deputy General Counsel and Deputy Ethics and Compliance Officer (India & ME), Capgemini, comes with over 15 years' experience in legal streams such as employment, labor laws, litigation, ethics and compliance.
Archana advises companies on employment issues, policies and processes; manages whistleblower protection mechanisms; and leads critical investigations under whistleblower frameworks. She has also played an active role in contracts, data privacy, competition law and export control, among others. A qualified lawyer and Certified Fraud Examiner, she holds a diploma in journalism and a certificate from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.
Chandrima Mitra is a Partner at the Mumbai office of DSK Legal and focuses on media and entertainment laws; regularly advising and representing leading acting talents with respect to their brand endorsements, acting assignments and stage performances.
Chandrima is involved in commercial-legal roles for advising, structuring and negotiating deals across domestic and international production and distribution of theatrical and non-theatrical content across platforms. She gives advice related to IP rights' management for monetization of IP and documentation and negotiation for the acquisition of content (completed and under-production). She is involved in advising on scripts, content clearances, and due diligence for ascertaining IP ownership. She works closely with the dispute resolution team on all media related litigation.
Prior to joining DSK Legal, Chandrima was an in-house counsel at renowned media companies such as UTV Motion Pictures India and Disney India. She has done both her Bachelor of Socio-Legal Science and LL.B. from ILS Law College, Pune University; and her PG Diploma in Marketing Management from Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai.
Charanya Lakshmikumaran, Partner, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys, currently handles tax as well as non-tax litigation at the High Court and Supreme Court as well as other Tribunals and regulatory forums.
Charanya started her legal journey with Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan (L&S) in 2007. She started her practice in intellectual property and has experience in drafting patent applications, mapping patent claims as well as in Plant Variety Protection laws.
After two years of working in the IP division, she moved to the firm's tax practice and gained expertise in handling complex tax litigations in Customs, Excise, Service Tax, Anti-dumping, VAT and Income Tax.
She has nearly a decade of experience in tax, and several years of experience in competition law, Insolvency and Bankruptcy law, IPR and electricity laws. Charanya is a professional Indian Classical vocalist and performs at select events across India.
Dina Wadia, Partner, JSA Advocates & Solicitors, specializes in Banking & Finance, Investment Funds, Financial Services, and Mergers and Cross-Border Investments and Acquisitions. She has extensive experience advising Indian and Multinational banks and clients in Banking and Finance-related transactions, including all manner of Debt Transactions (secured, limited recourse and syndicated), Project Finance, Acquisition and Leveraged Finance, Structured Finance, Real Estate Financing, Debt Restructuring, Security Creation and General Banking Products.
Dina also advises on the formation and establishment of onshore and offshore funds and pooled investment vehicles, including general or sector-specific Private Equity Funds, Venture Capital Funds, Alternate Investment Funds, and Mutual Funds. In addition, she has extensive experience in Corporate, Commercial, and Finance-related transactions, including Private Equity and Capital Markets, Foreign Investment, and Cross-Border Joint Ventures and Acquisitions across industry sectors. She was Joint Managing Partner from January 2016 to December 2018. Before joining JSA, she was with Little & Co., one of India's oldest law firms, for 20 years, ten out of which, she was a Partner. Dina has been practicing law since 1982.
Harshitha Thammaiah, General Counsel, Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited, comes with 10 years of PQE with expertise in general corporate, M&A, PE&VC, commercial, intellectual property rights, data protection and employment laws.
She regularly advises companies on commercial contracts, employment issues and regulatory. She has significant experience in the PE and M&A space and advises clients on entry strategies, investments and acquisitions in the TMT sector. She also has experience in working with international law firms and clients in the United States and European Union.
Harshitha has advised both domestic and international clients on a host of issues in the technology space including in relation to e-commerce regulatory issues, intellectual property laws, software licensing, information technology laws, content liability, data protection and outsourcing.
Kalindee Mehta is the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for SAP India subcontinent, and oversees both sales and the R&D business of SAP in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
She is part of the SAP APJ legal leadership and SAP India Senior Executive Leadership. In the past, she has worked for organizations such as Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse, Genpact and Pernod Ricard. She has about 17 years of experience working in sectors as diverse as manufacturing, FMCG, investment, banking and IT.
A lawyer and Company Secretary, Kalindee holds a post graduate diploma in Financial Management. She stays in Gurgaon with her husband, who is also a lawyer, and their two sons. In her free time, she loves reading, cooking, listening to music, and above all being with her family.
Lakshika Joshi recently joined the Aricent Group (now acquired by Altran) as their Global IP Head, and is responsible for legal leadership. As the head of IP, she leads the company to manage and monetize its IP for unleashing greater, newer potential.
Earlier, she worked as General Counsel and Head of IP & Licensing at Nucleus Software, which provides lending and transaction banking products to the global financial services industry. At Nucleus Software, she was responsible for overall legal strategy and steering the company towards newer age IP models and licensing practices.
Lakshika has worked across businesses ranging from publishing, music, films, broadcast, entertainment, TV, sports, augmented reality, celebrity rights management, e-commerce, production houses, health and fitness, wellness, medical, IT, ITES and Software.
She is a qualified lawyer with practice experience at the Delhi High Court and The Supreme Court of India. A regular contributor to newspapers and legal journals, she is an international speaker, a member of several distinguished forums and a guest lecturer at various colleges in and around Delhi.
Lakshika counts being awarded the Thompson Reuters ILA WILL (Women in Legal Leadership) Power Award 2017 among several other achievements.
Manisha Singh, Founder and Partner, LexOrbis, is known and respected for her deep expertise in prosecution and enforcement of all forms of IP rights and for strategizing and managing global patents, trademarks and design portfolios of large global and domestic companies. She is also known for her sharp litigation and negotiation skills in both intellectual property and non-intellectual property litigations and dispute resolution and is known for using out-of-the-box strategies. Manisha played a crucial role in advising and apprising Indian policy-makers and law-makers on global standards associated with intellectual property administrative and enforcement systems.
Marylou Bilawala is a senior partner at Wadia Ghandy & Co ( a full-service law firm established in 1883 with head office in Mumbai). She heads the firm's Aviation, Intellectual Property and Succession Planning practices. A Partner at Wadia Ghandy & Co for the past 19 years, she has been practising law for over 28 years.
Marylou has been involved in first of its kind intellectual property transactions involving sales and acquisitions of business where intellectual property constitutes the main assets of such businesses (including splitting of/dual ownership of intellectual property rights). She has also advised many promoter groups of both listed and unlisted companies on succession planning for their personal wealth (which includes succession of their controlling stake in listed and unlisted Companies).
An Advocate of the Bombay High Court, a qualified Solicitor of the Bombay Incorporated Law Society and of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, Marylou has been personally ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific for Aviation, ever since they introduced Aviation rankings for India.
Parveen Mahtani is currently General Counsel, Tata Housing Development Co. Ltd. and Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd.
She was featured in the book "Legal Luminaries" published by the ICCA and the book "Constellations: The Shining Stars in the Legal Fraternity" in 2019. She was honored among the "Top 25 General Counsel in India" in 2018 by the ICCA in London. She was featured among the top in-house legal teams by Legal 500 UK: GC Powerlist: India in 2017. She was featured by the Indian Corporate Counsel Association in their book titled "India's Finest In-House Counsel" published in 2016. She was also acknowledged as one of "Asia's Top 25 In-House Counsel" by the Asian Legal Business.
Parveen was also featured in the Economic Times as part of its feature, "Young Leaders –Women who go above and beyond to distinguish themselves professionally deserve accolades". Parveen has written extensively on various aspects of commercial law. She graduated with a LLB where she won the MC Chagla Gold Medal from the Mumbai University for securing the highest marks across law colleges in Mumbai.
Poornima Hatti, Partner, Samvad Partners, has extensive experience in advising clients across jurisdictions in all aspects of dispute resolution. She has represented clients in both international and domestic commercial arbitrations and in litigation before various fora including the Supreme Court of India, Delhi High Court, Karnataka High Court and various courts in South East Asia.
Prior to joining Samvad Partners, Poornima worked with leading international firm Herbert Smith Freehills at their Singapore office where she assisted clients across various Asian jurisdictions. Her past experience also includes working in Bangalore as a sole practitioner and working with Amarchand Mangaldas as part of their dispute resolution practice in New Delhi. Poornima has been closely involved in mediations across Asia and has been trained by the Singapore Mediation Centre.
She also sits as an independent external chairperson on committees to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace for various Indian and multi-national corporates.
Sana Usman is the Co-Founder & Senior Partner at law firm Usman Legal. Earlier, she worked as an Associate at the Chambers of Mahesh Jethmalani (Senior Counsel and Bar-at-Law, England and Wales).
Sana focuses mainly on criminal matters before the High Court, Sessions Court, and Magistrates' Courts; conducts matters under family laws; Files and appears in Suits for claiming damages under the Indian Contract Act; Executes Letters of Administration and helps settle disputes under the Indian Succession Act; Appears in suits pertaining to infringement of trademark, represents clients in settlement; Drafts and files complaints with the Cyber Cell of Mumbai under the Information Technology Act, 2005.
She enrolled as an Advocate with the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, India, in 2010. She has a L.L.M. from Oxford University, Trinity College (2014-2015) with distinction in International Criminal Law; L.L.B. from Government Law College, Mumbai University (2006-2009), with First Class; and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Xaviers' College, Mumbai University (2004-2006), with First Class (Honors).
Shahnaz Rasul Ahmed is the Legal Counsel-Associate Director at Accenture and is largely responsible for providing Global Delivery Network (GDN) Legal support to India and China comprising key clients such as Accenture's Technology Center, Operations and India Domestic Business (regulatory review of service scope), Corporate Functions that includes Procurement, Finance, Marketing & Communications, Delivery Excellence and Business Resiliency. She also oversees the work of External Counsels and is further responsible for ensuring uniform GDN processes in all delivery centers across the globe and guiding Geo Legal Counsels from the risk mitigation perspective.
As an In-house counsel, Shahnaz strongly believes that in a fast-paced business environment, being flexible and staying relevant are the key attributes for delivering effective support to the business. Her personal mantra is to "Build a strong foundation on fundamentals, help develop robust, motivated and high performing teams and maintain the highest levels of ethics and professional integrity."
A senior partner at Dua Associates, Shiraz Patodia's practice focuses on dispute resolution: litigation and arbitration. She represents domestic and international clients in complex and highly contentious commercial litigation and arbitration matters before various courts and arbitral forums in India, including the Supreme Court of India. She also heads the firm's international trade and customs practice group.
As the Indian antitrust counsel for The Dow Chemical Company, she has made the filing for combination clearance with the Competition Commission of India. The deal is one of the largest cross border combinations/mergers. She has notably created a specialist practice group at the firm on anti-corruption and white collar crimes and has handled advisory as well as litigation assignments and internal corporate investigations in different parts of India. She has also been assisting and representing one of the firm's international clients in a leading, cutting edge case on corporate corruption pending in India.
Shiraz's legal career spans more than three decades during which time she has represented clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to closely held Indian and foreign companies.
A frequent writer on corruption and international trade, Shiraz holds a bachelor's degree in commerce from The Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics and a bachelor of laws degree from the Government Law College, Bombay.
She has been consistently featured and rated as a leading lawyer by several international publications and reference guides including Chambers Global, Chambers Asia-Pacific and Legal 500.
Shweta Girotra, Associate Vice President, Paytm Money, is an in-house counsel with hands-on experience in handling board represented by Independent Directors and Private Equity Firms, regulatory compliances, funding, listing, M&A initiatives, contract management and litigation.
Shweta is a senior legal professional and company secretary with 18 years of experience in overseeing company law and legal matters for multiple entities /group companies with diverse interests in financial services, telecom services, insurance, joint venture and emerging business.
Among other accolades, she was felicitated by the World IP Forum as one of "Top 100 Women General Counsel in India" in 2017.
Smriti Subramanian, as General Counsel, Snapdeal, oversees the legal and secretarial function, and is also an advisor to the promoters on various matters. She has almost two decades of experience in handling complex transactions relating to corporate structuring, fund raising, cross border investments and borrowing, technology partnerships, acquisitions and commercial transactions. She has worked extensively in all these years in industries ranging from oil & gas to e-commerce, hospitality to technology. In between, she has been a partner at a premier law firm where she used her experience to work for clients in highly regulated industries. Smriti has led various advocacy measures with government and other stakeholders to not only resolve disputes but has also advocated for changes required in policy and regulation.
Smriti is an alumnus of NLS Bangalore.