Iqbal Chagla

Iqbal Chagla, Senior Advocate, Bombay High Court, was called to the Bar from Gray’s Inn and returned to Bombay, where began his long romance with the law. Having refused all inducements to move to Delhi, Mr Chagla preferred to be a leading member of the Bombay Bar. He was invited to be a Senior Advocate (the Indian equivalent of a QC) at the relatively young age of 39. From 1990 to 1999, he completed three terms as the President of the Bombay Bar Association (an association of lawyers practicing on the Original side of the Bombay High Court). He also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of India and National Legal Services Authority, Delhi.

Mr Chagla was offered a Judgeship of the Supreme Court directly from the Bar, which is a rare honor, with the added allurement that he would, in a few years, be elevated to the Chief Justice of India. However, for reasons personal, he had to decline the honor. In 1990 he moved resolutions, calling for the resignation of five Judges of the Bombay High Court whose integrity was questioned by the Bar. Five years later in 1995, he moved a resolution calling for the resignation of the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. The Chief Justice resigned and the other Judges either resigned or were transferred or denied judicial work.

Mr Chagla has appeared in international arbitrations and advised on proceedings in foreign courts. He has given expert evidence on Indian law in the Southern District Court of New York and Isle of Man Court. He has attended and participated in various law conferences and been invited to speak at various seminars.

Mr Chagla obtained a MA in History and Law from King’s College, Cambridge University. In 2012, he was conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the Behrampur University in Odisha “for attaining eminence in public affairs”. He is a trustee of the Chief Justice Chagla Memorial Trust, H.M. Seervai Memorial Trust, and Mehli Mehta Music Foundation. He plays golf with a passion and has photography as an abiding hobby. Besides, reading and music are his constant companions.

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