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After 2 years of legal ed, IDIA work, Glenmark entices ex-Cipla GC Murali Neelakantan back to pharma with new global GC role

Neelakantan goes back to in-house but hopes to keep close ties to law school world
Neelakantan goes back to in-house but hopes to keep close ties to law school world

Murali Neelakantan, who had left Indian pharma giant Cipla as global general counsel in 2015, has re-entered the in-house and pharmaceuticals space with Glenmark Pharmaceuticals after two years focusing on several legal education-related interests.

He has joined Glenmark in mid-April as president and global general counsel in Mumbai.

Vanjari Meera remains Glenmark general counsel and senior vice president in Mumbai. However, the global GC role is understood to be new, following Glenmark executive director Rajesh V Desai becoming a non-executive director.

Neelakantan, a 1996 NLSIU Bangalore graduate, had worked at Nishith Desai Associates in Mumbai before moving to London in 1999, where he became partner in 2005 at Arnold & Porter. In 2007 he joined Ashurst to head its India practice, and returned to India in 2008 to join Khaitan & Co as a partner.

He had moved in-house to Cipla in 2013, and after leaving Cipla in 2015 said at the time that he would focus on teaching at law schools more regularly.

Since then, Neelakantan has been publishing on healthcare reform, has been closely involved with the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) initiative, and also been a regular judge at many moot court competitions. In 2016, for instance, he had drafted the problem for the Herbert Smith Freehills moot in India.

“I hope to continue to be involved with IDIA and also visit law schools,” Neelakantan told us, adding that he would be a judge at NLSIU’s international arbitration moot on 14 May.

Former Luthra & Luthra partner Madhurima Mukherjee had in 2013 also taken a year away from legal practice, in which she helped out IDIA, before returning to private practice in 2014 with AZB & Partners in Delhi.

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