The initiatives taken and decisions rendered by the Courts have helped India to reinforce the rule of law

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M. R. Prasanna

M. R. Prasanna (Pras), a native of Mysore, holds a masters degree in Law from the University of Mysore and is a gold medalist. After being an independent Counsel for about 7 years he worked as Head of the Legal function for over 28 years with different organizations like Alfa Laval, Brooke Bond India Limited (now part of Hindustan Unilever) and Larsen & Toubro Limited before spending around 12 years as General Counsel of the Aditya Birla Group, spearheading mergers and acquisitions...

Since May 2010, Prasanna has relocated to Bangalore as an Independent Consultant. Prasanna was conferred: The “Outstanding Leader Award” by Kumara Mangalam Birla, the Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, in 2002., The “Best In House Counsel” award by Asia Law, Hong Kong in 2005 and 2007., The “National Law Day” award by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in November 2006., The Outstanding Achievement” award by IFLR - Law Asia in July 2011., In 2010, he was recognized in the Hall of Fame as India’s top 50 lawyers.

Legal Era talks about Law with Mysore Prasanna, Independent Consultant.

Legal Era (LE) : Tell us how was it like being an independent counsel right at the beginning of your career?

M. R. Prasanna (Pras) : That was the least exciting phase of my professional life though it was a great learning phase.
In a small town like Mysore, Karnataka litigants were mostly from rural areas and their ability to pay was rather limited. But their cases were challenging and provided the chance to hone the skills of advocacy. The experience that I gained then still stands in good stead.

LE : You worked as Legal Head for nearly three decades with different organizations? Any experiences (good and bad) you’d like to share with us?

Pras : Mercifully, I have nothing bad to report.

The three jobs, Brooke Bond India, L&T and Aditya Birla, marked my evolution as a business lawyer (or the practical lawyer, as a business head referred to me).

The job at Brooke Bond had a significant interface with consumers and though we did not have the Consumer Protection Act then, Brooke Bond fiercely guarded its reputation as a caring concern, and addressed consumer isues.

L&T is a great organization. The entrepreneurial spirit pervaded the legal department as well and we were expected to innovate and provide business solutions after factoring in the legalities. It is an engineers dominated company and we were expected us to engineer a solution founded on solid basics.

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