Legal Era Magazine recently organized the 7th annual Indian Legal Awards (Legal Era Awards) 2017-18 to recognize the achievers of 2017-18. The Indian Legal Awards, instituted by Legal Era Magazine seven years ago, have come to be known as the most coveted and credible awards of the country that recognize finesse, innovation, and accomplishment among the legal community. The glittering ceremony witnessed strong domestic and overseas participation.
Welcoming the dignitaries, delegates, academia, and members of the Press, Aakriti Raizada Sharma, Founder & Managing Editor, Legal Era Magazine, Legal Media Group, said, “Most of us - whether we are private practitioners or part of a law firm or an in-house legal team - know how a typical day in the life of a lawyer pans out. Long working hours; erratic schedules; relentless deadlines; difficult seniors, associates, and/or clients; lack of control over when work comes in or must be done; and a general feeling that it’s all pointless…
However, those who manage to soar above all this, get up and get going with a sense of purpose, and make every day count are the winners amongst us. These exceptional men and women have dared to make a difference through sheer dedication and hard work. They are the ones who’ve blazed a luminous trail of finesse, innovation, and achievement for the rest of us to follow”.
The who’s who of business law was present at the awards that were attended by nearly 480 lawyers and corporate. The audience, more so the nominees, waited with bated breath for the winners to be announced.
The Premier League Awards hailed legal legends - The “Lifetime Achievement Award” was conferred upon Rafique Dada, Senior Advocate, Bombay High Court, by Justice A. K. Sikri, Judge, Supreme Court of India; Pallavi Shroff, Managing Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.; Ashok Raizada, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Legal Era Magazine; Dr. Lalit Bhasin, President, Bar Association of India & Society of Indian Law Firms; and Justice Deepak Verma, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India. Avnindra Mohan, President (Legal & Regulatory), Zee Network, bagged the “Legal Icon of the Year” Award.
“Senior Counsel of the Year” Award went to Janak Dwarkadas, Senior Counsel, Bombay High Court, while the “Leadership Excellence Award for Continuous Growth: In-House” was given away to Debolina Partap, General Counsel & Vice President - Head Legal, Wockhardt Group. Legal Era honored Majeed Memon, Senior Advocate, with the “Leadership Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Lawyer and Leader” for his contribution to the Indian legal industry. Madhavi Divan, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, took home the “Woman Lawyer of the Year” Award, while Dr. Manoj Kumar, Founder & Managing Partner, Hammurabi & Solomon, walked away with the “Policy & Regulatory Lawyer of the Year” Award.
In the Law Firm segment, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan won both “Tax Law Firm of the Year” and “Litigation Law Firm of the Year (New Delhi)”. Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, too, picked up both “Private Equity Law Firm of the Year” and “Best Law Firm of the Year for Innovation, Strategies & Continuous Growth”. Likewise, Anand and Anand bagged “Media and Entertainment Law Firm of the Year” as well as “Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year”.
“Litigation Law Firm of the Year (Mumbai)” was awarded to DSK Legal; “Banking & Finance Law Firm of the Year” went to JSA Advocates & Solicitors, whereas “Corporate Law Firm of the Year” was given away to Khaitan & Co.
MZM Legal won “White Collar Crime Law Firm of the Year”, while Singh and Singh Law Firm LLP took home “TMT Law Firm of the Year”.
“Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year (Mumbai)” was awarded to Manilal Kher Ambalal & Co., while “Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year (New Delhi)” was received by P&A Law Offices. “Most Promising Law Firm of the Year (3 Years & Above)” was presented to Veritas Legal, and “Regional Law Firm of the Year” was received by Tatva Legal (Hyderabad) and Surana & Surana International Attorneys (Chennai). The "Deal of the Year" Award was received by Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited Legal Team.
In the In-House segment, Accenture Solutions Private Limited got “Best IT Legal Team of the Year”, while Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. was awarded “Best Pharmaceutical Legal Team of the Year”. Ambuja Cements Ltd. received “Best Compliance In-House Legal Team of the Year” Award. HDFC Life walked away with “Best Insurance Legal Team of the Year”, while Axis Bank Ltd. was judged “Best Banking & Finance Legal Team of the Year”.
Godrej Industries Ltd. was presented the “Corporate Governance Excellence Award”, and ITC Limited was awarded “Best In-House Legal Team of the Year”. The “Best Media & Entertainment Legal Team of the Year” went to Zee Entertainment Enterprises.
Not just established names, the evening also saw up-and-coming names enjoy their moment in the limelight. In the Individual segment, “Young Achievers Award of the Year in the Firm Category (30 Years & Below)” went to Arush Khanna, Partner, Trinaya Legal. Damini Marwah, General Counsel and Legal Head, Axis Bank Ltd., and Vineet Chaudhary, Deputy General Counsel and Asst. General Manager Legal, Wockhardt Ltd., both won the “Young Achievers Award of the Year in the In-House Category (42 Years & Below)”, while Sameer Chugh, Director - Legal & Regulatory (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel Limited, walked away with the “General Counsel of the Year” Award.
The “Emerging Corporate Lawyer of the Year” was bestowed upon Shweta Shroff Chopra, Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co., while Satish Kishanchandani, Co-Founding Partner, DSK Legal, was awarded the “Corporate Lawyer of the Year” Award. Anand S Pathak, Managing Partner, P&A Law Offices, got “Competition Lawyer of the Year”, while Sujit Ghosh, Partner and National Head, Advaita Legal, won “Tax Lawyer of the Year”.
“Leading Lawyer of the Year (International)” was given away to Gautam Bhattacharyya, Partner, Reed Smith LLP. The evening stretched long after the actual ceremony with the attendees wining and dining into the starry night.