The Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) presented the Corporate Legal Awards through a virtual conference held on 2nd July 2021. Welcoming the guests, Dr. Lalit Bhasin, President, Society of Indian Law Firms said the awards function was SILF’s way of paying tribute to India’s finest legal minds i.e., the General Counsel and the In-House Counsel.
SILF works very closely with the General Counsel/In-house counsel in the corporate sector. At the award ceremony, SILF honoured 28 topmost General Counsel/In-house Counsel of renowned multinational and domestic companies. The awardees were announced in alphabetical order.
Mr. Bhasin highlighted, “This is the culmination of a two-month-long research process that began with the nomination of the law firms from the Federation of Indian Corporate Lawyers and Legal Era. Everyone is a winner, as they represent the Creme de la Creme of the General Counsel for their respective corporates. While they have received many awards and accolades in the past, this recognition by the peers will, I am sure, have a special significance for them.”
With that, Mr. Bhasin welcomed everyone to the unique event, which was being held for the first time, and that too in presence of Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon’ble Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs, Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Commerce & Industry.
Addressing the audience, as the chief guest of the awards event, Mr. Puri said, “This event is extremely important, as the people who are being honoured perform a vital function in the entire legal edifice of the country, which underpins our democracy.”
Besides drawing attention to the critical role of the general counsel, Mr. Puri drew parallels between the growth of the segment and the expansion of the economy. After 1991, when India became a nation with an outward-oriented posture, globalization, and with foreign economic entities coming to India to invest, he spoke of how law firms and general counsels acquired both a personality, a gravitas, and their roles became critical.
Mr. Puri also referred to the council of ministers holding long meetings. He shared that the Honorable Prime Minister held high on his agenda, compliance, both in terms of what this government must do to make it easy for people to fill up all manner of forms and how to create a general atmosphere that is benign, and generate ease of doing business. He reinforced, “In all of this the role counsel play a crucial role by framing and addressing such matters daily.”
Out of his personal experiences and observations, Mr. Puri inspired everyone to make a global mark. He fervently opined, “The value of business between India and US on the direst route is 7 billion USD and Indian share of the business was only 17%. My message to the law firms is – get that business! Else someone else will take it way. Don’t be India-centric only. If you have the resources, open offices in Geneva, New York, everywhere!”
In response, Mr. Bhasin confirmed that SILF was in tune with the government’s favourable position on the entry of foreign law firms in India, and SILF’s stand was in sync with the Ministry of Commerce. He stated, “Indian legal profession was second to none, and therefore we can face competition.”
The awards evening kept the audience enthralled with the opportunity to hear many more eminent speakers well known in the legal and consulting industry. Mr. Jyoti Sagar, Chairperson, Jyoti Sagar and Associates spoke on the inception of the role of the General Counsel and the relevance of these awards.
Mr. Rajiv Luthra, Founder, L & L Associates, spoke on the importance of institutionalizing awards. He highlighted that “Being an in-house counsel was today as coveted, if not more, as a law firm or a chamber job. The General Counsel of today is like a North Star, the real navigator of corporate entities.”
Mr. Rajeev Chopra, Managing Director-Legal, Accenture shared his address on behalf of the jury for these prestigious awards as he was also a member of the jury who adjudged the award recipients for the event. He spoke of the evolutions of the legal profession and the role of the General Counsel. The latter has embraced the highest legal standards of the legal industry. Thereafter, Miss Neena Gupta, General Counsel, Interglobe shared her thoughts on behalf of all the awardees.
The event closed with Mr. Rohit Kochhar, General Secretary, SILF. He reaffirmed Mr. Puri’s words ‘When going gets tough, the tough gets going’, congratulated all the awardees, and shared his gratitude towards everyone who made the event a memorable one.
Here is the list of Best Law Firm awardees at the “Corporate Legal Awards.”
Name of Awardee
Mercedes Benz India Pvt. Ltd.
Rakesh Mohan Bakshi
Vice President-Legal and Associate General Counsel
Ms. Pooja Bedi
Head of Legal, Indian Sub-continent
Ms. Sahiba Chait
VP & Senior Counsel, Legal, South Asia
Group President-Legal and General Counsel
Group General Counsel
Executive Director Legal and Special Counsel
Nagendra Pal Goel
Executive Director-Legal and Company Secretary
Ingram Micro India Pvt. Ltd.
Ms. Neena Gupta
Global General Counsel
Arcelor Mittal Group
General Manager – Legal
Aditya birla Finance
Suresh M.S. Jagirdar
Hero Moto Corp Ltd.
Ms. Sheetal Kapur
Director-Legal, Transactions & Technology
Chief: Legal, Regulatory & Policy Advocacy
Ms. Mansi Khanna
Chief Manager Law
National Fertilizer Ltd. (a Mini Ratna Co.)
Ms. Shraddha Malhotra
Senior Legal Counsel-Asia Pacific
Director-Legal and Compliance
Boehringer Ingelheim India Pvt. Ltd.
Steel Authority of India Ltd. (a MahaRatna Co.)
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
The Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. (Taj Hotels)
Chief General Manager (Law), Corporate Office
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (a MahaRatna Co.)
Global Infrastructure Partners
Head of Legal-India Credit
Baring Private Equity Asia
Gujarat Fluorochemicals Ltd.
Ms. Baminee Viswanat
Group General Counsel
TVS Supply Chain Solutions Ltd, Chennai
Reference URL : https://www.legaleraonline.com/articles/awards/legal-era-supports-silfs-first-ever-corporate-legal-awards-event-760099?infinitescroll=1