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Som Mandal: Celebrating Excellence in Legal Domain

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Som Mandal

With a worldwide reach, India’s oldest law firm Fox Mandal is a full service law firm, providing a mix of legal expertise, industry specialisation and commercial acumen. It offers cost-effective, value-added and fully integrated services to clients under the visionary leadership of Mr. Som Mandal, the charismatic man at its helm.

Established in 1896, the esteemed law firm Fox Mandal has a domestic network in more than 10 cities in India apart from its offices in Dhaka, Bangladesh and London, United Kingdom. One of the largest law firms in India, Fox Mandal has over 300 lawyers and a support staff of over 200 people pan-India.

Mr. Som Mandal is instrumental in driving perfection and excellence in the legal domain through his prestigious law firm Fox Mandal. Mr. Mandal is renowned for his legal acumen and wide affiliations with legal bodies across the globe. He is a name immediately recognised amongst top lawyers around the world. An Indian representative at the Commission on Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce Paris, he has also served as Co-chair of the Asia Pacific Forum and Council member of Section on Legal Practice of the International Bar Association and of Committee on Corporate Law & Legal Affairs-FICCI.

The lawyers and partners associated with Fox Mandal are well qualified and specialized in their fields with over 12-15 years of practice. Most of them are recognized for excellence in their fields by international legal magazines. Mandal, Managing Partner of Fox Mandal is a member of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Delhi High Court Bar Association, International Bar Association, American Bar Association (International Section) Union des Advocat, Inter-Pacific Bar Association, etc. Under his leadership, Fox Mandal handled the Narada matter and assisted the Shankaracharya of Kedarnath in the Ram Janmabhoomi case in Supreme Court.

Mandal has won many accolades in his career. He was awarded the National Law day Award by the Indian Council of Jurist in 2002 for his contribution to Corporate Law, by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He has been featured in Asian Legal Business Magazine’s Hot 100 Lawyers of Asia and also amongst the 40 International Star Lawyers graded by The Lawyer magazine of the UK. He has been also awarded by the Rt Hon'ble Lord Phillips President of the Supreme Court of the UK for his Professional Excellence and for providing quality legal service with creativity and Innovation in the UK.

Mandal actively contributes to international seminars and regularly speaks at global forums to promote Investments in India. A kind-hearted Mandal has been actively involved in corporate social (CSR) activities, providing free legal aid to the economically weak, and working for social causes especially in Bengal and particularly, in North Kolkata.

Mandal is the Chief Patron of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee Health Care Trust, which assists the people of Bengal in medical issues. His other NGO, Friends of Bengal, is actively trying to garner support from Bengali migrants, including those living in the US, UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia, etc to do something positive for Bengal.

An excellent professional, Mandal has been a convener of the West Bengal State PIL cell and was made a Special Invitee to the West Bengal State BJP Executive Committee. He was given a ticket by BJP to contest the West Bengal Assembly Election in 2016 from Shyampukur Constituency, and later became a member of the National Executive of BJP’s legal affairs Department.

Mr. Som Mandal said, “It is our constant endeavor to fully meet our clients’ needs. How best to serve clients is what propels and guides us in our drive for excellence. The firm tailors its services to meet its client’s specific needs, adapting its approach to the size and complexity of the case. Our lawyers are supportive, approachable, and understanding and they remain available 24/7."

Fox Mandal has significant expertise in legally overseeing contracts, agreements, mergers, and acquisitions, besides handling other legal matters, documents, and contracts of big infrastructure projects, power, and solar energy projects. It has been recognized as a specialist in corporate commercial, oil and gas, and various other areas like arbitration. The law firm also advises foreign companies coming to India to start a business. It caters to them from advising on all the legal issues involved and then helps them in setting the company and doing all the required registrations. It also helps them in forming joint venture agreements, among others.

Well known in arbitration and litigation practice, Fox Mandal is also an advocate on record with the Supreme Court of India. Among its major areas of practice include telecom matters, infrastructure, white-collar crime and it also handles matters of ED and CBI, in short, economic offense matters. Fox Mandal also has a very strong intellectual property practice, and it also handles do trademark and copyright matters.

Fox Mandal is well-known in recent times for appearing in Barbara Taylor Bradford's case against Sahara, defending the Government of India against Enron, appearing for Lodha in the famous Birla-Lodha dispute, and the historic Ayodhya case. Fox Mandal has handled the entire Enron case which included over 10-11 very specialized arbitration matters under a bilateral investment treaty. Apart from the law firm, Fox Mandal also has two more practices including an audit firm J Mandal through which it helps its clients in audit, tax audit, and tax planning. It also helps companies in forming joint ventures and in raising capital or debt through its arm Fox Mandal Consulting.

Asked how the legal sector is coping with the Covid complexity which has marred the entire industrial sector of the country as well as the legal sector, Mr. Mandal said, “The entire legal sector is now using technology, especially on the court's front -- most of the courts are now operating as e-courts and most of the hearings are taking place in online mode. This is the major change that has happened and technology has actually taken it forward and in the future, it will help in saving a lot of time for litigants as well as lawyers. However, at the same time, COVID-19 has slowed down most of the cases pending for a long time and the courts are now majorly dealing with urgent matters and new matters. So, the old matters have been majorly affected by the pandemic and a lot of litigants are suffering because of that."

Led by Mandal, over the years, Fox Mandal has been ranked as India's top firm in India by various international journals. The firm won the Best National Law Firm Award 2008 by the International Legal Alliance Summit & Awards, in Paris. It has been awarded as the Employer of Choice 2008, by Asian Legal Business.

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