Executive Director and Associate General Counsel
Chief Risk and Compliance Officer – India and South East Asia
Cushman and Wakefield
- Offering more than 17 years of experience as General Counsel, Associate General Counsel, Regional Director and Head Legal with targeted emphasis in Corporate & Real Estate Laws, M&A, Labor Relations and Risk & Compliance of the company in the Service Industry.
- An entrepreneurial, results oriented General Counsel and Business Executive with extensive experience analyzing, structuring, negotiating and closing complex and sophisticated commercial transaction
- A strategic and analytical problem solver who focuses on the overall picture to ascertain strategic business direction. Proactively formulates risk mitigation strategies that protect corporate capital and profitability.
- Wide-range of experience in labor relations, as well as state, and local employment regulation, employee benefits, and common law employment issues.
- Expertise in development of solid compliance practices, formation of risk and compliance policy and procedures, complex compliance investigations
- Expertise in incorporation of entities – limited liability companies, joint ventures, shareholding agreements in South East Asia.
- Direct full complement of legal activities, including employment termination, defense, and litigation.
- Trusted advisor to Boards of Directors and investors, member of the Executive Boards and the Leadership Teams across the APAC region
- Corporate Law
- Real estate Law
- Labor Relations
- Policy / Procedure Development
- Organizational Structure Creation
- Regulatory Compliance
- Risk & Compliance Management
- Litigation Management
- Complex Transaction Negotiation and Management
- Corporate Governance
- Member of APAC Global Occupier Services and India Senior Leadership Executive Board and the Corporate Social Responsibility Board
- Expert Speaker in various Legal Fora
- Acknowledged as One of the Top 100 Powerful Women in Law in India by the World Intellectual Property Forum in November 2017
- Featured at No.6 by the Asia Law Portal for 20 Top People to Look Out for in the Business of Law in APAC
CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD MAY 2007 – TILL DATE
- Executive Director & Associate General Counsel, India & SEA, Global Occupier Services – APAC – November 2015 till date (Post Merger with DTZ Globally)
- Executive Director & General Counsel APAC – December 2014 till November 2015
- Regional Director, Legal, South, South East Asia and Australia – April 2011 till November 2014
- Head Legal, India – April 2010 till March 2011
- AGM Legal, India – April 2009 till March 2010
- Legal Manager, India – September 2007 till March 2009
- First Legal Counsel for Cushman & Wakefield in APAC
- Member of the Asia Management Committee
- Member of the India Senior Leadership Council and Executive Board
- Regional Compliance and Ethics Officer for APAC and Point of Contact for all complaints received through the Ethics Point for APAC
- Initiated the Monthly Regulatory Update Newsletter as a Value add for the complete organization updating on the key regulatory developments relevant for the industry
- Initiated the Program on Demystifying the Contract Clauses, which helps the business to understand the contract clauses from a layman’s perspective and giving them the ammunition for negotiating with better understanding of the business and risks associated therewith
- Single handedly put a legal system and set right the legal process in the organization where there was no defined process followed
- Branded as a “Corporate Solution Provider and a Business Counsel” by the Business Functions
- Handle various legal issues (commercial, compliance, property laws, litigation, labour laws and IP) connected with Cushman & Wakefield’s businesses in India as well as Asia Pacific.
- Lead the commercial practice areas including trademarks, corporate compliance, ethics & licensing and attend to global initiatives in these related areas as & when required to ensure that knowledge is shared and best practices are spread.
- Managing, guiding & co-ordinating existing team members to ensure services expected from the Legal and Compliance function are of top quality and exceed expectations;
- Being the single point of contact for the management across the region for all ethical and compliance matters including advising and training the Company on ethical and missiondriven policy positions around integrity issues, privacy, work culture and other relevant policy issues;
- Instrumental in the merger process of DTZ and Cushman & Wakefield form the APAC Legal perspective.
- Integral part of the M&A team for any acquisitions in the APAC region. Lead acquisition of business in India and other countries in APAC;
- Assisting Global Tax & Treasury in Corporate Restructuring and Legal Entity Rationalization including winding up and mergers of local business and moving shareholdings to ensure tax efficiency.
- Provide legal advice and education to Cushman & Wakefield businesses and functions in India
- Advise in relation to the development and implementation of business processes consistent with all applicable laws and prudent legal risk management.
- Counsel businesses on regulatory compliance issues.
- Advise on and application of laws relating to the contracts, supply of services, contract labour laws in order to ensure that adequate risk control and management measures are in place.
- Maintaining and developing the legal and contractual infrastructure required of a wholly owned subsidiary of an US-based organization which operates internationally, including organizational policy, document retention, filing and registration requirements, labor law, contracts, leases, affiliate agreements, and cross-border transactions;
- Maintaining and developing policy and legal defenses relevant to the operation of top organization including individual litigation, terms of service, and so forth.
- Single handed incorporated and set up entities in Philippines and Malaysia for commencing the business in these geographies and providing the entire legal and corporate set up for the entities including regulatory compliance
- Provide legal opinions and counsel, and serve as a trusted advisor to the Asia Pacific CEO, Country Heads, Board of Directors, Managing Director and C-level staff. Conduct and commission research and analysis of specific legal questions and prepare memoranda, opinions and position papers upon request;
- Keep abreast of Cushman & Wakefield’s legal context and advise and educate the management team and Cushman & Wakefield community with regard to changes and trends that could affect their operations.
- Develop, implement and maintain systems and processes for the documentation and tracking of legal matters, including, for example, filings and registrations, legal threats, business agreements, and the like;
- Act as a spokesperson and advocate for the Company’s legal positions as requested by the CEO, APAC, Country Heads, The APAC Service Line Heads or the Communications team.
- Triage incoming legal threats and provide legal defense; this involves defending Cushman & Wakefield against legal challenges, as well as providing advice and support to the international network of Cushman & Wakefield. This work may involve liasoning with external counsel;
- Ensure that Cushman & Wakefield has a robust, appropriate set of legal policies and practices related to its operations;
- Advise and educate the management team on legal issues related to the implementation of the five-year plan. This includes planned global expansion (e.g., ensuring compliance with employment law, ensuring new entities are structured appropriately, ensuring Cushman & Wakefield projects and staff are protected against unacceptable risk);
- Ensure compliance with relevant country laws (eg compliance with impact of all extra territorial US laws) or where non-compliance is identified, identify the risks, develop risk minimisation strategies and manage them where non-compliance arises;
- Working closely with the Global and APAC General Counsel and the Chief Global Compliance Officer and others, develop and design appropriate legal and compliance framework governing Cushman & Wakefield’s relationship with its sister companies. This will include assessing the current state of play, and developing agreements governing basic relationships including referral agreements and other matters;
- Implementing the legal processes required to affect the privileges, obligations, and rights of the organization.
- Coordination with HR by providing legal consultation to HR for all employee related policy decisions which come in the purview of IR and other legal implications by Helping the HR department in terms of development of employee related policies, assisting the HR team in taking various decisions related to legal angle for their IR purposes, Working closely with the HR team in case there is employee claim on the company.
- Preparing and reviewing various legal documents such as contracts, licenses, leases, sales purchases, real estate, etc.
- Preparing, reviewing documentation, conducting due diligence and negotiating with partners for the purposes of forming strategic alliances
- Collecting information and evidence for decision making of management.
- Conducting pretrial preparations for conference and defending the organization in law cases including preparing business contacts, settle labor disputes, administer legal matters..
- Performing advisory, informatory, and trial works.
- Advising officials on government regulations and legal rights.
- Advising regarding transactions of business concerning internal affairs, directors, stockholders, officers, and corporate relationship with public. Advice on the employment issues, litigation strategy, regulatory compliance as well as administrative policy.
BENNET COLEMAN & CO. LTD. (THE TIMES OF INDIA GROUP), MAY 2005 TO 2007
ASSISTANT MANAGER – LEGAL
- Providing support to all departments of the company to ensure legal compliance, particularly related to media laws, labor laws, SEBI regulations, general corporate, commercial and media laws, especially relating to violations of advertising code and ethics, etc.
- Drafting and vetting various contracts, MOUs and other legal documents like commercial contracts, lease deeds, employment contracts, Memorandum of Understandings, Development Agreements, Master Service Agreement, Non-Disclosure Agreement, Service Agreements and Debenture Subscription Agreements, etc.
- Handling litigations in district courts, High Court of Delhi and Supreme Court of India. Opinions and inputs pertaining to legal issues like Actuarial Variation, Registration of Copyrights, Facsimile editions of Foreign Newspapers, FDI in Print Media, Downlinking Policy, etc.
LEXISNEXIS BUTTERWORTHS, MAY 2003 TO MAY 2005
- Managing the publication of a fortnightly law journal ‘The Law Reports of India’ singlehandedly.
- Managing the Indian reprints of All England Law Reports.
- Editing the series of the ‘Halsbury’s Laws of India’.
- Recruiting, training and assessing researchers and part time associates for carrying out the research and edit in the manuscripts.
- Entering into contracts regarding copyright issues with the authors. Representing the company and actively participating in various seminars, functions and conferences.
S. N. GUPTA & CO. LAW FIRM, AUGUST 2002 TO MAY 2003
- Carried out due diligence on builder’s projects.
- Carried out title search, which includes investigation at the Office of the Land Registrar, checking documents pertaining to property and verifying whether property free from all encumbrances and in saleable condition.
- Advised banks and other financial institutions on mortgage finance and home loans /home equity. The scope of work included:
- Vetting of documents pertaining to property for home loans.
- Prepared Mortgage Deeds, Indemnity Bonds, Tripartite Agreements, Agreements to Sell, Conveyance Deeds, Lease and License Agreements, Wills, Powers of Attorney and Surety Bonds and documents for transfer of immovable properties.
VIRMANI & VIRMANI LAW FIRM, JUNE 2001 TO AUGUST 2002
- Drafted Special Leave Petitions – Civil and Criminal in the Supreme Court of India
- Drafted suits for specific performance, injunction, and recovery of money; infringement of trademarks and writ petitions in High Court of Delhi
- Drafted execution applications for enforcement of awards and decrees.
- Drafted appeals and replies dealing with Customs and Central Excise.
- Drafted and dealt with bail applications in criminal matters.
- Drafted and dealt with complaints under Consumer Protection Act.
- Drafted partnership agreements and documents for transfer of immovable properties.