Pallavi S. Shroff

The most high-pro­file en­gage­ment in 2016 was the repet­i­tive wins for Tata Sons and Ratan Tata in the rather bit­ter Tata-ver­sus-Mistry bat­tle.

Business Today - - CONTENTS - BY RA­JEEV DUBEY

Where there is a mat­ter of Com­pe­ti­tion, Pallavi Shroff, man­ag­ing part­ner of law firm Shardul Amarc­hand Man­gal­das (SAM), can­not be far from it. A noted lawyer and wife of Shardul Shroff (he is the Ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man of the firm), Pallavi, a grad­u­ate in mar­ket­ing man­age­ment from Mumbai’s Jam­nalal Ba­jaj In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment Stud­ies, has never been too far away from law as she is the daugh­ter of P.N. Bhag­wati, for­mer Chief Jus­tice of In­dia.

Shroff was quick to switch to law. She has built her rep­u­ta­tion since set­ting up the prac­tice in the 1980s in Delhi and has also led a crack team that is con­sid­ered among the best in Com­pe­ti­tion prac­tice.

But the jury chose Shroff for her hero­ics in 2016. Last year was the defin­ing mo­ment for the firm, which split in 2015. It landed a big win be­fore the AP Shah Com­mit­tee for ONGC in the case against Re­liance In­dus­tries for "unau­tho­rised" draw­ing of gas from ONGC’s ad­join­ing field. “The money ($1.55 bil­lion) has, of course, gone to the govern­ment but all our ar­gu­ments were up­held,” says Shroff. How­ever, the most high pro­file en­gage­ment in 2016 was the repet­i­tive wins for Tata Sons and Ratan Tata in the rather bit­ter Tata-ver­sus-Mistry bat­tle right through the year. “It has been THE spo­ken-about dis­pute of the decade lit­er­ally,” she says. The has­sle-free clear­ance for Voda­fone In­dia’s $23 bil­lion merger with Aditya Birla’s Idea Cel­lu­lar was an­other achieve­ment of the year. “Every­body was ready for Phase 2, but we got the ap­proval in Phase I. That was stel­lar.” Shroff also chal­lenged the Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion of In­dia’s de­ci­sion to order a probe into Voda­fone in a mat­ter of points of in­ter­con­nect in Bom­bay High Court.

Since the split took place in 2015, Shroff’s pri­or­ity was to sta­bilise the firm and set up of­fices in Mumbai and Ben­galuru (their for­mer of­fices went to the other firm man­aged by Cyril Shroff). “The first year’s pri­or­ity was al­most en­tirely Mumbai – get­ting the right peo­ple with the right mind­set. Now we are close to 150 in Mumbai out of a to­tal 500.” In Delhi, the firm added the cor­po­rate le­gal team of BMR, which got five part­ners and 25 other as­so­ciates. The Ben­galuru of­fice also got a huge fil­lip with the BMR ac­qui­si­tion as it was well en­trenched in that city.

Global Com­pe­ti­tion Re­view, a fore­most Com­pe­ti­tion law jour­nal and wire ser­vice, ranked SAM 11th among the top Com­pe­ti­tion teams in the world. The team has six part­ners and 30-odd as­so­ciates, one of the largest teams deal­ing with Com­pe­ti­tion cases in In­dia. ~

WHY SHE MAT­TERS Win­ning high-pro­file cases is just part of the tal­ent pack­age; build­ing an ace team af­ter a busi­ness split shows Shroff is also an ex­cel­lent leader.

PALLAVI S. SHROFF Man­ag­ing Part­ner, Shardul Amarc­hand Man­gal­das & Co

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