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Breaking: Shardul Amarchand’s Shuva Mandal to succeed Bharat Vasani as Tata group GC [UPDATE-1: Tatas confirm]

Mandal will be one of the youngest GCs in the industry, having graduated from NLS the same year that his predecessor had taken up the GC job at the conglomerate.

Shuva Mandal to take one of India’s top GC jobs at Tata Sons
Shuva Mandal to take one of India’s top GC jobs at Tata Sons

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai partner Shuva Mandal is set to become the top general counsel (GC) of Tata Sons, the holding company of India’s largest conglomerate, replacing its long-serving GC Bharat Vasani, according to two authoritative sources.

Vasani had been GC at the Tata Group since 2000.

We have not been able to confirm the exact timing of Mandal’s joining at the time of publication.

Update 20:26: We understand that he will likely be joining in the coming months.

Mandal had had joined Shardul Amarchand from AZB as the firm’s national M&A head in September 2015. He is an NLSIU Bangalore alumnus, having joined AZB directly after graduating in 2000.

Mandal had been instructed late last year to advise Tata Sons on its spat with ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry, alongside Karanjawala & Co.

Mandal’s links with the Tatas stem from his AZB days under managing partner Zia Mody, where he handled much of the group’s M&A and corporate work, such as its 2013 joint venture with Singapore Airlines.

We have reached out to Shardul Amarchand Mumbai managing partner and Mandal for comment.

Update 18:29: We have reached out to Vasani for comment.

The Tata Group has around 660,000 employees globally, with dozens of subsidiary companies with their own respective GCs.

Update 20:57: The Tatas have now sent out a press release confirming the news

Several mainstream papers are now reporting Mandal’s move. The Economic Times carried the following quotes:

Chairman N Chandrasekaran said, “Mr. Mandal brings wide-ranging legal experience and energy into this important role as the Group General Counsel. His time spent at India’s top legal firms have given him a ringside view of different legal strategies and his long experience of working with multiple Tata companies in the past will hold him in good stead in his new role.” He further added, “Vasani will continue to advise the group to ensure a smooth transition.”

Shuva Mandal while reacting to the news said, “It has always been an enriching and learning experience working with the Tata group as an advisor, and now I look forward to playing a bigger role under the guidance of Mr. Chandrasekaran and his new team. These are exciting times for the Tata group and I look forward to contributing to its future growth.”

Tata’s press release also stated:

As a prelude to his retirement next year, Mr. Bharat Vasani, the current Group General Counsel of Tata Sons for the last 17 years, has expressed a desire to move into a more strategic and advisory role. Accordingly, Mr. Vasani will continue with the group as Legal Adviser to the Chairman’s office.

A graduate of the National Law School, Bangalore, Mr. Mandal has over 17 years of experience in the legal profession and has advised leading Indian enterprises, global private equity firms as well as Fortune 500 companies. A member of the Bar Council since 2000, Mr. Mandal began his career with legal firm AZB Associates between 2000-15 before moving to Shardul Amarchand & Co (Advocates & Solicitors) as Partner and National Practice Head for Corporate, M&A and Private Equity. During his career, Mr. Mandal has been actively involved in deal structuring, advising on securities law and development of legal strategy for corporations.

We are awaiting a press statement from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas.

Update 21:20: Shardul Amarchand has also issued a press release:

He will be part of N. Chandrasekaran’s special team that will assist in transforming the TATA Group. Mr. Mandal has been with SAM & Co for almost two years. During that time, he led the General Corporate, and M&A practice at SAM & Co, steering the National Practice Group through an important period of the Firm’s growth and transformation. The Firm’s practice is ranked amongst the top corporate practices in India.

Mr. Shardul Shroff, Executive Chairman, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, said: “While Shuva’s resignation leaves us deeply saddened, we are also pleased to know that he will be joining the very highly regarded TATA team. The TATA Group has been a client of the firm and we have a strong and extensive relationship with the Group. This relationship will only strengthen with Shuva’s move to the TATA Group.”

“The SAM & Co team remains strong. Our national footprint of 91 partners including 44 general corporate partners, many of whom are ranked at the top of their fields of practice, will continue to deliver the highest quality of services to our clients,” Mr Shroff added.

Mrs. Pallavi Shroff, Managing Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, said: “We wish to offer our very sincere thanks to Shuva for all of his hard-work in helping us establish a national Corporate practice at SAM & Co. We look forward to continuing our relationship and working together with Shuva.”

Mr. Akshay Chudasama, Managing Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, said: “Shuva is a stellar lawyer and has been instrumental in helping to establish the SAM & Co office in Mumbai and growing it from strength to strength. He has led and developed a highly-professional team of lawyers, who will continue with the Firm.”

“The Firm continues to actively look out for opportunities to team with quality lawyers in the legal market the Firm services,” Mr Chudasama added.

Mr. Shuva Mandal, said: “I wish to thank the wonderful team at SAM & Co and my Partners with whom I thoroughly enjoyed working over the last 18 months. The experience has been great. The team at SAM & Co will go places.”

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