Home / Companies / Tata Sons: Shuva Mandal replaces Bharat Vasani as group general counsel

Mumbai: Tata Sons Ltd has named Shuva Mandal as group general counsel, the company said in a note on Tuesday. Mandal will join the company with effect from July.

Bharat Vasani, the current group general counsel of Tata Sons for the past 17 years, will move into a more strategic and advisory role. Accordingly, Vasani will continue with the group as legal adviser to the chairman’s office, Tata Sons said.

A graduate of the National Law School in Bengaluru, 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.

In his capacity as partner and national practice head, M&A, at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Mandal was involved in advising Tata Sons on various aspects of former chairman Cyrus Mistry’s ouster, including on rights and obligations of independent directors.

“Mandal brings wide-ranging legal experience and energy into this important role as group general counsel. His time spent at India’s top legal firms has 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," said N. Chandrasekaran, chairman, Tata Sons.

Mandal’s appointment comes a day after Tata Sons named Saurabh Agrawal, the former head of corporate strategy at Aditya Birla group, group chief financial officer.

A member of the Bar Council since 2000, he 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. His competencies include deal structuring, advise on securities law and development of legal strategy for corporations.

Before joining Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Mandal was equity partner at law firm AZB & Partners, where he spent about 15 years of his career.

He has extensive experience in M&A, private equity and corporate commercial matters and some of his prominent clients apart from the Tata Group, have been TPG Capital, Future Group, General Atlantic, Barings Private Equity and Star TV.

While Mandal has been advising the Tata group on various matters, in his early days, he worked with the Tata group as a legal adviser to Tata Motors and Tata Chemicals on multiple international projects.

Mandal is third big appointment by Chandrasekaran as he puts in place his core team to drive the $103 billion conglomerate. On 15 March, Chandrasekaran hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch dealmaker Ankur Verma.

In his first letter to the group after taking charge as chairman, Chandrasekaran had talked about bringing greater rigour to capital allocation and delivering superior returns to shareholders.

Under former chairman Cyrus Mistry, the Tata group had embarked on a major divestment plan, spanning various businesses, including telecom, steel and chemicals. The divestments of Mistry’s tenure were in stark contrast to his predecessor Ratan Tata’s regime, which saw the group expand its wings across the globe aggressively.

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