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Bharat Vasani permanently leaves behind Tatas with legal function of 450-lawyers, will join private practice

Bharat Vasani looks forward to a month off, then private practiceBharat Vasani looks forward to a month off, then private practice

Tata Sons former general counsel (GC) Bharat Vasani, has completed the handover of reins at India’s largets conglomerate’s parent company, and will be retiring from tomorrow.

“I am certainly going to be spending quality time with my family after a legal career of 39 years,” said Vasani, adding that he has already been giving lectures at Mumbai law schools, colleges and professional bodies, and would also continue to be spending time on academics in future.

After a month, he said, he would look into entering private practice. “One satisfaction I have is there’s not a single legal complexity that has not come across my desk,” he said, noting that he had a few available options that he would consider after the coming weeks.

He had joined Tata in 2000, in which time the legal function at all Tata companies has grown to more than 450 people across the world.

He said that Tata Consulting Services (TCS) had the biggest legal team at around 110, while Tata Motors and Tata Steel each had around 40 lawyers, while Tata Power companies also included a large number of lawyers.

Tata Sons itself was around 12 lawyers strong, with his successor GC Shuva Mandal, who had joined from Shardul Amarchand in May 2017, having hired around half-a-dozen people into the function.

The new hires include, as previously reported by Bar & Bench:

  • 2006-NLSIU Bangalore graduate Dhyanesh Sabnis from Aditya Birla Dubai,
  • 2004-NLSIU graduate Aravind Balajee from Allen & Overy Singapore,
  • 2010-NUJS Kolkata graduate Prateek Shroff from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM), where he'd spent 7 years before a stint at Trilegal, who had joined as senior legal counsel,
  • 2007-NLU Jodhpur grad Abhinav Surana from left Juris Corp as a senior legal counsel in September, following three years at CAM and six years at Herbert Smith Freehills.
  • 2003-GLC Mumbai graduate Gauri Rao in Mumbai from Herbert Smith Freehills.

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Like +0 Object -1 Scoop? 31 Jan 18, 08:37
He's made a press statement. This has been carried by other sites. How is this a scoop?
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Like +5 Object -3 kianganz 31 Jan 18, 08:52
I don't think he made a wider press statement, and the only other site with the news was Bar & Bench more than 2 hours after we first reported it.

For the purposes of the 'scoop' tag, we tend to refer to news as 'scoops' when we are first to report something big-ish that has not been press released and that we don't believe others currently have, and we tend to use 'exclusive' when we're nearly certain that no one else has or will get the same story.

So, 'Scoop' in-part is intended to be a signifier of time (i.e., "you can read it here first"), whereas exclusive is something like: "you can read it here but probably not anywhere else" (for a while at least).

It's not a cut-and-dry system, but happy to take feedback or suggestion if it should be modified or is unclear.
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Like +2 Object -0 SCOOOP 31 Jan 18, 10:37

In journalism, a "scoop" or "exclusive" is an item of news reported by one journalist or news organization before others, and of exceptional originality, importance, surprise, excitement, or secrecy.

Does this qualify then?
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Like +0 Object -2 kianganz 31 Jan 18, 13:11
Thanks, that helps! I'm not sure there's a real world difference between scoops and exclusives, though the word scoop has always sounded more exciting to me than exclusive, and certainly more so than BREAKING NEWS that is plastered over every TV channel :)

Meanwhile, there's also this:

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Like +24 Object -1 Ahem 31 Jan 18, 13:38  interesting  top rated
“One satisfaction I have is there's not a single legal complexity that has not come across my desk,”

Modest, then.
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Like +29 Object -8 Scooter- 31 Jan 18, 18:27  interesting  top rated  controversial
..for which I then appointed external counsels.
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Like +24 Object -4 Scooterette 31 Jan 18, 18:52  interesting  top rated
Who ultimately replaced me
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Like +0 Object -2 AZB 07 Feb 18, 21:32
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Like +7 Object -2 Lol - Hatchet man 31 Jan 18, 19:07  interesting
Finally the comments are getting interesting - wasn't he the hatchet man in throwing out Cyrus Mistry, his boss a few days before the expulsion - and he used the 'midnight opinion' of none other than Hon'ble Shuva Mandal to execute the hatchet job against his boss. Legal much?
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Like +4 Object -2 Precedent 01 Feb 18, 09:23
Reminds me of Pramod Rao joining Indus Law, after leaving ICICI, and before joining Citibank.
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Like +9 Object -6 Impressive 03 Feb 18, 16:16  controversial
I have seen Bharat Vasani on TV quite a few times in panel discussions with Cyril Shroff and other senior law firm partners (e.g cnbc, many of them conducted by the excellent Menaka Doshi- now with Bloomberg I think).

I was quite impressed with the ease with which Mr Vasani used to rattle off cases and sections. Much more knowledgeable and with a sharp mind than many of the star lawyers on these shows. Again, had the privilege to see him at several conferences and benefit from his keen insights. God Speed to you Mr Vasani.
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Like +0 Object -0 Ahem 17 Sep 18, 13:37
None of the Tata group company counsels report into Tata Sons or Bharat Vasani! So the 450 odd team has no impact on Vasani's life or work. Its a carefully crafted myth! His team is the 12 odd member team (lawyers and company secretaries) that dealt with the limited issues of Tata Sons alone. He was not really a "group" general counsel. The GCs of TCS or Tata Motors did not report to him.
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