Tata top GC Bharat Vasani: Long-planned to retire at 60, may teach and work as corporate lawyer afterTata top GC Bharat Vasani: Long-planned to retire at 60, may teach and work as corporate lawyer after

Tata Sons general counsel Bharat Vasani has set the record straight, saying that despite rumours in the media to the contrary, he had not been ousted from the top legal job at the group due to any corporate politics and has long been looking forward to his retirement.

Vasani’s job heading up the conglomerate topco’s legal function will be taken over by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas partner Shuva Mandal in early July, as first reported by Legally India on 23 May.

Vasani said today that he would be moving into an advisory role at Tata Sons until August 2018 and would ensure the smooth handover to Mandal of the group’s jlegal function, which has more than 400 lawyers and around 30 legal heads across its subsidiaries.

Vasani, who will be 59 years old this August, told us by phone today that he had always put a hard deadline of retiring from the Tata group by age 60.

“To whoever is the chairman, I had made my plans very clear. I will switch off in August [2018] and sever all my ties with the corporate world,” he explained.

“I am very passionate about teaching,” he added, noting that he would be interested in teaching legal subjects at national law schools after his retirement.

He also said that he might begin his own practice as a corporate lawyer after retirement.

Vasani rubbished rumours, such as in today’s Times of India, that his and others’ departure were the result of a management reshuffle to remove those perceived as close to the group’s former chairman Cyrus Mistry, following the appointment of Mistry’s successor N Chandrasekaran in January.

“At the end of 17 years [at the Tata group], the fag end of my career now, these kind of juicy stories are circulating... and I am getting dragged into it,” he said.

Vasani told us that he had reiterated to Chandrasekaran in February of this year that he would look to retire, which resulted in the creation of a succession plan with the hiring of Mandal, in which Vasani said he had been closely involved.

“Shuva has been working with us on the Cyrus [Mistry matter as first reported by Legally India] and I know Shuva for 15 years. He is a very competent lawyer,” he commented.

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Like +2 Object -0 WTH 08 Jun 17, 19:14
SAMCo partner, not AZB partner!
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Like +3 Object -2 kianganz 08 Jun 17, 19:16
Hah, oops, sorry, thanks for spotting! It's really hard to keep up these days with all the moves :)
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Like +13 Object -0 Watchman 08 Jun 17, 20:30  interesting  top rated
Ha Ha. That's why you should ignore those chunnu munnu moves
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Like +8 Object -1 Guest 08 Jun 17, 20:23  interesting
Great that he wishes to teach, as the quality of faculty at all the NLUs is just garbage (barring a few young NLU alumni who are teaching).
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Like +12 Object -4 NLU Stud 08 Jun 17, 20:48  interesting
Why does everything have to come down to NLU? How about Kian report that Pakistan lost to India in the recent ODI match because the players did not attend NLU?
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Like +17 Object -2 contradiction 08 Jun 17, 21:19  interesting  top rated
Picking two of his statements:

1. To whoever is the chairman, I had made my plans very clear. I will switch off in August [2018] and sever all my ties with the corporate world.

2. He said that he might begin his own practice as a corporate lawyer after retirement.
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4.1
Like +15 Object -1 Guest 08 Jun 17, 22:43  interesting  top rated
Let the man have his fig leaf!
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Like +4 Object -1 Slush plush 09 Jun 17, 00:04
He was v arrogant in heydays
Best to stay humble
But a rivetting speaker and a bright mind
They say such things of nearly all who make moves so yeah whatever. People love a fall down. They invent one if they can't see one.
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Like +1 Object -0 AJK 09 Jun 17, 07:57
If he knew and it was succession planning why did the Tata press release announcing Shuva to all media houses not have a quote by Bharat. This is to defray the TOI news which is what led to Bharat's exit. Replaced overnight. Loyalty does not pay. Time for the big B to steer another big group Reliance, Adani.
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Like +0 Object -0 LaughRiot 10 Jun 17, 23:39
Hahahahahahahahahahahahah ahahahaHahahahaha
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Like +2 Object -0 Dazed and Confused 13 Jun 17, 08:54
Mr Vasani is a class act, one of the very few GCs in India worthy of the name. For arguments's sake let's say he was pushed out early by the TCS wallah - Mr Vasani still had the political acumen and skill to navigate 17 years and major upheavals at one of India's top business houses. He helped establish the importance of the GC to the extent that the new guy wants his own pick in the role. The latter is a normal business practice while the former shows that Mr Vasani transformed the nominal "legal function" into an active member of the senior leadership at Tata.
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Like +0 Object -1 Okay, but . . . 13 Jun 17, 10:06
How do you pronounce "arguments's"?
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Like +4 Object -1 Dazed and Confused 13 Jun 17, 11:07
Rhymes with "asshole." I'm sure you can manage it with practice.
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