Source: Bar and Bench

Asian Legal Business (ALB), an entity of Thomson Reuters, has come out with a list of the top 40 Asian lawyers under the age of 40. Among the list of the “brightest legal minds in the region” are four lawyers from top Indian law firms and one Indian lawyer from a Singapore firm.

The Indian lawyers featuring in the list are Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas Partner Kapil Arora, Khaitan & Co Partner Devidas Banerji, Trilegal Partner Kosturi Ghosh and AZB & Partners’ Ashwath Rau. Also making it to the list is NLSIU graduate Azmul Haque, who launched his own law firm, Collyer Law LLC last year.

ILS graduate Arora made the move from litigation to enter the law firm arena, joining Luthra & Luthra back in 2006. From there, he went on to be a Partner at Universal Legal, Kochhar & Co, and Bharucha & Partners. He joined Cyril Amarchand in 2015. According to ALB, Arora is working on some high-value deals, including advising China Railway First Group in an international commercial arbitration against an Indian company arising out of a joint venture with the Delhi Metro.

Banerji has been with Khaitan since 2010, prior to which he worked for Clifford Chance for seven years. The Banking & Finance Partner has advised some of the biggest banks in the world. He had represented a host of international banks in relation to a $550 million term loan facility availed by Cipla (EU) and InvaGen Pharmaceuticals.

Ghosh, the only Indian woman on the list, graduated from ILS, Pune and joined Trilegal in 2002. She has headed several deals including Wipro’s $130 million acquisition of Viteos and Strand Life Sciences’ reverse merger with Venaxis.

Rau, who was recently featured in Economic Times’ Hottest Business Leaders Under 40 list, graduated from NLSIU Bangalore in 1999. He began his career with the erstwhile Amarchand Mangaldas, before moving to AZB earlier this year. He has worked on the $50 billion global merger of Lafarge and Holcim and Ambuja Cements’ $2.5 billion acquisition of a controlling stake in ACC from Holcim. He is currently working on the State Bank of India’s merger with six other banks, a move that will make SBI a global top 50 bank.

In an interview with Bar & Bench last month, Rau gave a little insight on what it takes to be a good transactional lawyer.

“The most important thing is listening and understanding what the counter party is looking for, and ultimately not taking the negotiation as an adversarial process.”

Another NLSIU graduate, Haque, began his career with DSK Legal, before moving to Singapore. There, he worked for Wong Partnership, Berwin Leighton Paisner and Shook Lin and Bok, before setting up his own boutique law firm, Collyer Law LLC. He was principal Singapore counsel in the $450 million M&A deal between Snapdeal and Freecharge, in India’s largest e-commerce deal.