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Tata GC Bharat Vasani rubbishes rumours: 2018 retirement long-planned, was closely involved in Shuva succession • May teach at NLUs after

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