Insights Success’s latest edition, ‘Outstanding Women Lawyers 2022,’ also celebrates these legal professionals’ achievements, success stories, and triumphant tales. Hats off to all the lady lawyers on the path of future lady justices.
4. henever we think about the justice system, the
Wmost astonishing and recognizable symbol is the
statue of the Lady Justice with three distinct
features: a blindfold covering her eyes, the scale of justice
in her left hand, and a sword in her right hand.
The blindfold conveys that the Lady Justice is impartial and
fair. The scale of justice weighs the evidence put forth and
judges everything based on facts. And the sword represents
the authoritative power that Lady Justice holds to pass on
her quick and wisdom-full judgements.
The statue of the Lady Justice represents the justice system
as equal, fair, unbiased, unwavering, impartial, and full of
the law of the homeland.
The story behind her could be traced back to ancient Egypt.
Where goddess Ma'at idealizes qualities like balance,
harmony, law, order and justice; Greece, where Greek
goddess Themis represents traits of law, order, and fairness;
and goddess Dice (or Dike) embodies moral order and fair
5. These three goddesses, Ma'at, Themis and Dice, were
looked upon by all the ancient philosophers, including
Socrates, Plato, and Phaedo and all the mortals with divine
love, respect, and compassion to bless the humans with
their wisest and fairest judgment.
The moral of the story is why ancient civilizational wisdom
chose goddesses and not gods as the highest symbol of the
law, order and justice system. Because of all the above-
mentioned qualities these goddesses or ladies in general
All these qualities are also carried by 2,55,000 Indian
women lawyers ﬁghting for the legal rights of their clients
and then gradually becoming judges or even chief justice.
And after the Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana's assertion
that now it is time to reserve 50% of the seats for women in
the judiciary, this number will surely increase exponentially.
So, soon we will witness the number rising to eight-nine
lakh or even a million by 2025.
Simply, the future is of ladies behind and before the statue
of Lady Justice, entirely transforming the country's legal
profession and justice system.
Insights Success's latest edition, 'Outstanding Women
Lawyers 2022,' also celebrates these legal professionals'
achievements, success stories, and triumphant tales. Hats
oﬀ to all the lady lawyers on the path of future lady justices.
Also included in this edition are two crafty articles written
by our in-house editorial team for you to have some novel
perspectives and food for your legal thoughts.
Have a fantastic read!
C o v e r S t o r y
S p e c i a l p r o f i l e
An Expert Corporate Litigator
7. A r t i c l e s
P r o f i l e s
Ms Rashi Anand Suri
A Prominent Lawyer of the 21st Century
Benchmarking Legal Excellence
9. Management Brief
L&L Partners is a leading full-service law ﬁrm, with a team of
over 300 counsels including 70 partners, with oﬃces in New
Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
J Sagar Associates
JSA is a leading law ﬁrm in India providing strategic and
innovative legal solutions to corporates, businesses and
Upscale Legal is a multi-service law ﬁrm catering to the needs
and interests of various Corporate houses, Financial
institutions, Government agencies and departments.
Rashi Anand Suri,
Singh & Associates Singh and Associates is a progressive legal Consultancy and
Solutions with oﬃces in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
AZB & Partners
AZB & Partners is a corporate law ﬁrm in India, with oﬃces spread
across Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bangalore and Pune.
10. C O V E R S T O R Y
Be clear on what
you want! Don’t
get attracted by
Focus is very important.
There is no harm in
wanting more, or less,
if there is clarity.
12. Women have played an important part in the
development of the legal profession. Female
lawyers continue to battle for justice and pave
the way for women in the ﬁeld, whether it's defending
clients in court, representing companies, or delivering
Several female lawyers have made signiﬁcant contributions
to the legal profession. These outstanding female lawyers
not only do an excellent job, but they also make a diﬀerence
in people's lives. Sunila Awasthi is one of the most well-
known of these.
She is a Senior Partner at India's top law ﬁrm, AZB &
Partners. She is passionate about the rapidly growing ﬁeld
of gender-related workplace challenges.
Her ﬁrm, AZB & Partners, was formed in 2004 with the
goal of providing clients with credible, practical, and full-
service advice across all industries. It has oﬃces in
Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Bangalore, and Pune.
Sunila’s experience includes advising on a wide range of
commercial contracts as well as general advisory, with a
focus on e-commerce, information technology, data privacy,
and employment laws.
Journey so far
After qualifying as a lawyer from the Faculty of Law, Delhi
University, in 1992, Sunila joined Ajay Bahl & Co. This
was the time of economic liberalization and the advent of
foreign investment in India.
There were many ﬁrsts for Sunila in the ﬁrm – ﬁling the
ﬁrst FIPB application and obtaining approval; working on
the ﬁrst transaction under the SEBI takeover code in 1997;
creating contracts from scratch since there were no
The multiple joint ventures, technology license
arrangements, and technical collaborations were across
diverse sectors like automotive components,
pharmaceuticals, alcoholic beverages, food industry,
Despite not having computers or the internet, they were
exciting times with so much to learn and create! Physical
books were the only option with no online resources to help
After working for seven years, Sunila took a break to do
LLM from the University of Queensland, Brisbane,
Australia in 2000. After returning to India, she brieﬂy
joined J. Sagar & Associates. However, by 2003, she
returned to Ajay Bahl & Co. which became AZB & Partners
Why AZB & Partners?
AZB & Partners was a result of merger between Delhi-
based Ajay Bahl & Co. and Mumbai-based CZB &
Partners. AZB is one of India's most prominent full-service
law ﬁrms, with oﬃces in Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Bangalore,
It is well-known for its corporate advisory, M&A, dispute
resolution, including tax litigation practices, and also
reputed for its specialized advisory services in the areas of
employment laws, ﬁntech, technology laws, data privacy,
tax – both direct and indirect, competition law, capital
markets, intellectual property, private equity and venture
capital, funds, private client practice, real estate,
restructuring and insolvency, compliance and investigation
including white collar crime, regulatory and securities.
The ﬁrm has a wide variety of international and domestic
clients across sectors and industries with deep and long
While talking about the inspiration to venture into the legal
space, Sunila said, “While studying political science honors
at Lady Shriram College for Women, I wanted to do a
course that would ensure a profession for me. Financial
independence was a priority.”
“With no interest in science or commerce, many professions
were ruled out for me! I had been exposed to law and the
courts from a young age due to family litigations. I would
end up reading a lot of legal documents and provisions.
Being articulate, argumentative, and curious by nature, Law
seemed like a natural ﬁt,” she added.
AZB is one of the most prominent
full-service law ﬁrms in
India with ofﬁces in Mumbai,
Delhi/NCR, Bangalore, and Pune.
13. Sunila summarizes the reasons for being in the same ﬁrm
for so long as “the excellent work culture, ample
opportunities to prove yourself, freedom to handle client
relationships, work delivery and team management, but
above everything else, the leadership of Ajay Bahl.”
Overcoming the Adversities
When we asked Sunila about the challenges she had to
surmount while entering the legal space, she stated,
“Because of my witnessing ﬁrst-hand the delays and
loopholes in the justice system, it was clear no court
practice for me. The infrastructure of the courts was still
very poor; lawyers, judges, court staﬀ had apathetic
approach and statutes were disregarded rampantly.”
“This scenario reaﬃrmed my passionate opposition to
becoming a litigator. In 1992, my biggest challenge was to
ﬁnd a non-litigation role as ‘corporate law’ was unheard of!
It was serendipity that got me placed at Ajay Bahl & Co, as
it was looking for lawyers who didn’t want to go to court!”
When Sunila joined, the ﬁrm had 6 lawyers and today, she
heads a team of 20 plus lawyers consisting of partners,
counsels, senior associates, and associates. “It has been like
growing up with the ﬁrm, like a second family!”
About the current challenges, Sunila shared, “Having
entered the profession three decades ago, today I may not
know them. But I believe there is too much focus on the
external façade of the legal profession. Most get blinded by
‘brand’ names of law schools and ﬁrms - maybe law ﬁrms
are to be blamed for this emphasis – it is misplaced and
It depends entirely on the individual – do they have what it
takes to become a good lawyer? No law school teaches you
that. Money is the other aspect that gives a rose-colored
view of the profession - high retainer ships paid to lawyers
seem to have a magnetic pull!
Today, my area of expertise is
employment laws; however,
I lead a team that provides
general corporate advisory services
which could mean opinions
and advice related to almost any law.
14. The instant gratiﬁcation era almost demands instant money
and fame as an entitlement. Youngsters need to understand
the sheer hard work, focus, commitment required, the daily
grind that goes into achieving what is looking glamourous
today - the absence of awareness of ground reality can pose
a real challenge.
When we asked Sunila about the specialized legal oﬀerings,
that she provides to her client, she said, “Today, my area of
expertise is employment laws. However, I lead a team that
provides general corporate advisory services, which could
mean opinions and advice related to almost any law –
whether it is data protection, e-commerce, legal metrology,
drones, or even cryptocurrency!”
Three major practice areas covered speciﬁcally by Sunila’s
• Employment laws which are in the limelight due to
proposed labor codes
• Technology-related laws in areas of IT, e-commerce,
• Privacy and data protection.
“Thirty years later, I am again at the forefront of those
areas of legal practice which reﬂect a whole new world – in
India and globally!”
Impact of advanced technology
When we asked Sunila about the impact of technological
advancement in the law space, she answered,
“Unbelievable! I come from an era when today’s tools were
unavailable, so it changed the world drastically.
Technology's convenience and time eﬃciency to the legal
profession is great. But it also brings access to ready-made
answers that seriously impact real learning.”
Another major consequence has been pressure on
turnaround time due to 24x7 connectivity – the expectation
that the email or call will be responded to instantly adds to
the stress. The Covid-induced work-from-home situation of
the past two years has not helped.
An inﬂuential personality
Sunila’s extensive experience in advising clients on all
kinds of problematic employee issues, including critical
investigations in sensitive areas like workplace sexual
harassment or misconduct by employees or tricky senior
employee exits, while retaining objectivity and knowing the
latest legal position, gives her an edge in her ﬁeld.
Sunila’s pragmatic approach and feasible solutions within
the legal parameters are recognized and appreciated by
clients who want to be compliant as well as practical.
Opinion that matters
While advising the aspiring legal enthusiasts who are
willing to step into the legal space today, Sunila says, “Be
clear on what you want! Don’t get attracted by external
paraphernalia! Focus is very important. There is no harm in
wanting more, or less, if there is clarity.”
“Hard-work and dedication are essential for every
profession, not only law, so that is a given. Personal growth
is as important as professional. Being updated with what’s
going on in the world gives one a diﬀerent perspective, so
it’s important for a holistic personality,” she further stated.
Indian Legal Space at present
Sunila also talked about the current scenario of the Indian
legal space and said, “Potential for continued phenomenal
growth. The great trend of boutique, or specialized ﬁrms is
doing extremely well. There is space for much more,
including foreign law ﬁrms!”
Past few years my focus
has been on gender and
HR issues with an emphasis
on advisory, investigations &
training related to sexual
harassment of women
in the workplace.
16. In India, white-collar crimes originated from
the earlier well-established framework of
corruption and anti-bribery laws. This
framework includes accounting and corporate
frauds, data privacy, insider trading, security and
protection, money laundering, corporate
compliance, and FCPA and UKBA, which are the
Add to it rising prosecutions in white-collar
crimes, dispute resolutions, and increasing
complexity of criminal laws in the areas of
technology and cybercrime, the framework is
ever-complicating the business running risks.
Most such businesses ﬁnd solace in one name,
Amrita Tonk, an expert corporate litigator and
Partner at L&L Partners Law Oﬃces, a full-
service ﬁrm. The ﬁrm has a team of around 380
lawyers and 79 Partners across four oﬃces in
New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
The Firm is a ‘one-stop solution’ for its clients
and includes 15+ core practice areas, thus having
the ability to cross-staﬀ experts in multiple
Making of the Magistrate
Amrita Tonk graduated in 2010 and joined L&L
Partners (formerly known as Luthra & Luthra
Law Oﬃces) as an Associate with the Real Estate
Team. Thereafter, she shifted to a secondment
position at Accenture, wherein she closely
worked with the legal team from March 2012 to
In 2013, Amrita secured the seventh rank in the
prestigious Delhi Judicial Services Examination
and served as a Metropolitan Magistrate in
Delhi. During her tenure in the Judicial Service,
she presided over criminal courts in Patiala House
and Tis Hazari Courts. She resigned from the
Delhi Judicial Service in January 2018 and
focused on her independent practice. In 2021, she
was oﬀered a position as a Partner in the Disputes
Resolution Team at L&L Partners Law oﬃces.
As a Partner, Amrita is primarily involved in
advising and representing clients in disputes
pertaining to White Collar Crimes, including
An Expert Corporate Litigator
As I grow into
this profession, every
day is a new day, and
each case comes with
different sets of challenges
which propels me into a
deeper study of this
14 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
18. An Advocate of Inclusive Legal Environment
As far as challenges faced by women in the legal
profession, Amrita says that law as a profession
has majorly been dominated by men, especially
when it comes to areas like criminal law. During
her time at law school and her internships, she
realised that there were not many avenues for
women when it came to litigation and advocacy.
Although they had some amazing legal
luminaries when it came to chamber practice,
however, when it came to law ﬁrms, women were
mostly part of the corporate law practice.
Fortunately, things are gradually changing for the
better. She states, “It was a heartening experience
and inspiring to see that women lawyers made up
almost 80% of my batch in the Judicial Service,
and they were all exceptionally good.”
There is no dearth of women at top-level
positions in the dispute resolution practice of law
ﬁrms, which deﬁnitely gives an impetus to
women lawyers who have chosen to make a
career in litigation and advocacy. It is important
to have strong women mentors in the organisation
who are approachable and help create an
inclusive work environment.
Amrita expresses, “I consider myself extremely
fortunate to be a part of an organisation that
advocates this, which has helped me build on my
career and develop my practice as a litigator.”
About the various specialised legal oﬀerings,
solutions, or services that she provides to her
clientele, Amrita conveys, “As a Metropolitan
Magistrate, I held a criminal court for my entire
tenure in the Delhi Judicial Service and presided
over criminal trials. So, it is only natural that my
expertise would be in Criminal Law and cases
pertaining to defence against prosecution under
laws pertaining to PMLA, GST, POCA etc.”
And because she is a partner of L&L, Amrita
thinks, “Being a full-service law ﬁrm with the
corporate frauds, oﬀences under the Indian Penal
Code and anticipatory/regular bail applications,
Banking and Finance, Insolvency and Bankruptcy
Code, Arbitration, Suits for Recovery, Property
Disputes, Consumer Laws, matters related to
Negotiable Instruments, matters related to
Intellectual Property and matters under
Writ/Public Interest Litigation.
Voice of the Voiceless
Amrita shares, “The legal profession has always
kindled my interest in many ways, though I was a
science student.” She appeared for competitive
exams in medical and law colleges and was
fortunate to secure a good rank at the Army
Institute of Law at Mohali.
Amrita says, “I ultimately chose law. As I had
already joined the law school and was enjoying
the subjects, I decided to continue pursuing law.
As I grow into this profession, every day is a new
day, and each case comes with diﬀerent sets of
challenges and interpretations, which propels me
into a deeper study of this wonderful profession.”
Amrita feels, “I learned during my internships
that Law is a powerful instrument to govern our
society and comes to the aid of people without a
voice. When applied without bias or prejudice, it
treats all strata of society on an equal pedestal.”
This was also one of the reasons why she
ventured into public service by joining the
prestigious Delhi Judicial Services.
I learned that Law is
a powerful instrument
to govern our society
and comes to the aid
of people without a voice.
16 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
19. client as the sole focus, we can sustain the vast
needs of our clients across multiple legal practice
areas, all under one roof.”
A particular case may often require expertise
from diﬀerent ﬁelds of law, which is readily
available to the client. This, in turn, increases
productivity and results in better chances of
success for the clients.
Tech-enabled Access to Justice System
Sharing her opinions on the impact of
technological advancements in the Law space,
Amrita expressed that the legal profession has
been revolutionized by the advent of technology.
The availability of online material, including
judgments passed by courts of law, commissions
and tribunals and publications, has helped the
professionals and society at large.
She further says that it is encouraging to see our
Courts starting to embrace technology as part and
parcel of our legal system. Though a lot needs to
be done, the environment created by the
pandemic necessitated adapting to new practices.
The beneﬁts of virtual hearings and how they
facilitate access to the justice system at the touch
of a button result from technology.
Equality in Legal Representation
When asked what the specialities/factors that
make her stand out as an inﬂuential personality in
the legal profession are, Amrita says very
modestly, “At the outset, I am humbled that you
consider me to be an inﬂuential personality,
despite being fairly young in the profession.”
“To answer your question, what makes me stand
out is that I do not diﬀerentiate in my eﬀorts for a
client or a matter. So even if I am working on a
pro-bono matter or a matter having high stakes, I
ensure that my team and I give the same
importance to both the cases. From my
experience as a judicial oﬃcer, I have learnt that
all cases must be treated equally.”
Regardless of their ﬁnancial capacity, a litigant
has knocked on the doors of justice with
expectations, which is why Amrita thinks that it is
the legal professionals’ duty as lawyers and
oﬃcers of the court to ensure that person gets the
best legal representation.
A Judicial Advise
Amrita’s advice to aspiring legal enthusiasts who
are willing to step into the legal space today is
thoughtful. She says that,
• There is no shortcut to success.
• It is essential to be thorough with your brief.
• Be a patient listener and stick to your brief.
• Read, read and read as much as possible.
There’s no end to learning.
• Grab every opportunity you get and make the
best of it.
Future’s Lady of Justice
Speaking about the current scenario of the Indian
Legal Space, Amrita thinks that the legal
profession has evolved to be one of the most
sought-after professions. Like the 1990s, when
there was a boom in the ﬁeld of corporate law,
which saw the rise of corporate law ﬁrms, now
we are witnessing exponential growth in various
areas and their legal implications, such as
information and technology, artiﬁcial intelligence,
data privacy, cryptocurrency, to name a few.
It is also interesting to see the opportunities that
have opened up in niche practice areas, which
earlier were unheard of. However, it is important
to note that such opportunities are restricted
primarily to metropolitan cities.
Amrita concludes with a hope and a suggestion,
“For such opportunities to extend to the non-
metropolitan areas, technology, I feel, will have
an important role to play and how quickly we
embrace such change holds the answer to the
17 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
omen have proved
Wthemselves in the
eﬀectively and are counted as equal to
men, by their natural qualities of
discipline, dedication, focused
execution, smart communication, able
managerial, and entrepreneurial skills.
Women have made phenomenal
progress in almost every professional
sphere of art, science, technology,
medicine, entertainment, media, sports,
education, business, politics etc.
Adding to the list, the legal system,
too, has seen a gradual rise in the
number of women taking up the
However, the ratio of women
practising in the legal profession is far
lower than satisfactory. According to
Drishtiias.com, presently, a meagre
11.5% of judges are women. That
means out of 33 sitting Supreme Court
judges, only four are women. The
scenario for women lawyers is hardly
better, with only 15% or 2.55 Lakh of
the total 1.7 million advocates being
women. This is a case of worrying
numbers. How could it be countered or
The situation can change provided
certain steps are taken that can
motivate more women to take up the
profession and create their mark in the
18 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
21. L a d y J u s t i c e
19 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
22. · Spread Awareness About the Legal
Profession: Encourage young ladies to
visit the courtrooms to observe the
proceedings and understand the basic
functioning of the courts. Public
orientation programs are to be
conducted periodically to spread
awareness about the courts and basic
· Special Entrance Exams: Most
competitive courses like MPSC,
UPSC, MBA, Engineering and IIT
have special entrance tests with their
critical selection criteria. Similarly,
Legal education should also have
common entrance tests scheduled for
the admission criteria. This will
increase the importance of the
profession and can increase the number
of women to aspire to this profession.
· Dedicated Women's Law Colleges:
The education ministry and the legal
system should open dedicated law
colleges for women to encourage more
women to join the legal profession.
· Media Contribution: The press,
radio, TV and social media should
have an impetus on reporting various
legal cases solved with their decisions.
As the media will highlight the legal
industry, people will know more about
the judicial system and young people,
especially women can look forward to
choosing this as a profession. Regular
interviews of eminent women lawyers
are to be conducted throughout various
· Promote Gender Equality: Women
choosing the legal profession have
faced disparities in certain areas of
issues in work-life balance,
discrimination in payment models,
sexual harassment, and similar
challenges. All these issues should be
taken up with certain open work
culture and clear communication. An
impartial approach with rational
treatment to all, promote healthy and
cooperative work culture and equal
opportunity participation is
Social groups, clubs and open forums
to be initiated for encouraging
dialogues between the people of all
teams. Group discussions with debates
on diﬀerent past case studies to be
practised regularly. The group should
encourage and support the women
lawyers to take up new cases and
tackle them in the court towards
· Create an Encouraging Work
Environment: Legal entrepreneurs
should aim in creating a healthy
workplace culture. There should be
systems of proper work assignment,
and timely allocation with individual
task distribution. The business should
be people-oriented, equal opportunity
employers. Cases should be discussed,
and senior lawyers should engage the
younger lawyers to study, research and
participate in the case proceedings.
· Garner Knowledge sharing
programs: The legal ﬁrms should be
more sensitive towards their team
members to understand their issues,
and make provisions for good training
with suﬃcient mentors. Enhance a
homogenous space to encourage the
learning process and practice basics of
· Integration of Modern
Technologies: Technologies have
transformed every industry sector
including the law. Numerous allied
platforms are available that are well-
equipped with the basic legal
knowledge and reference data. It also
includes certain tips and tricks to
function eﬀectively. Women lawyers
can beneﬁt from such technologies to
strike the crucial work-life balance,
increase their involvement and work
Numerous software and applications
have been exclusively developed by
technology experts for legal industry
professionals. Women have proved to
be able to be task managers, organizers
and planners. They can eﬀectively
formulate an advance preparation for
cases to be taken up in the initial stages
as good preparation early can increase
the chances of victory through
conﬁdent appealing and case put up.
Judicious Support towards a
Women have made their mark in
numerous industrial sectors however
they need to go a long way in the legal
industry. Cornelia Sorabjee, Violet
Alva, Rebecca John, Indira Jaisingh,
Karuna Nundy and many more are
some of the role models who have
been inspired through their
contributions are noteworthy due to
their focus, dedication and
The government body, legal system
and society need to create a welcoming
ground to nurture their skills and
capabilities to bring in a visible change
- Kedar Borgaonkar
20 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
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26. A Prominent Lawyer of the 21st Century
Indian women's history abounds
with the pioneers’ legacy who
broke down gender barriers and
stereotypes. They succeeded in every
ﬁeld with their passion and courage,
whether related to arts, politics, space,
Amongst this, the law is one of the
most powerful platforms where women
play vital roles in legal practices.
Whether it be representing companies,
defending clients in court, or making
signiﬁcant rulings, female attorneys
continue to ﬁght for justice and set new
milestones for women in the ﬁeld.
One such personality is Ms Rashi
Anand Suri, Managing Partner,
Upscale Legal. She has been an
integral part of various leading law
ﬁrms in the country and business
houses. Ms Suri has over 20 years of
experience and has also assisted the
Planning Commission as a Legal
Consultant to the Secretariat of
Excelling in the legal industry, Upscale
Legal is a multi-service law business
that handles the legal challenges and
concerns of numerous corporate
houses, ﬁnancial departments,
government entities, and independent
Ms Rashi Anand Suri,
24 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
27. individuals. It is a solution-driven law ﬁrm committed to
providing high-quality legal services.
In an exclusive interview with Insights Success India, Ms
Rashi Anand Suri sheds light on the company’s journey,
highlighting the current industrial scenario of the legal
space and her opinions on the future of Upscale Legal.
Rashi, please brief us about yourself and shed some light
on your professional journey.
I have assisted several oﬀshore companies in setting up
their businesses in India which includes advice on
registration and licensing as well as operational and
business matters. During my association as a legal
consultant to the National Highways Authority of India on
several projects, I have advised in the preparation of
bidding documents for highway projects as well as Model
One of my prestigious clients is a major transport company
engaged in urban transport and infrastructure development
company responsible for building and delivering quality
infrastructure in the transportation sector, urban transport
planning, project management, engineering design, etc.
Several such companies and organizations are associated
I have advised several banking/ ﬁnancial institutions on
ﬁnancing projects and their documentation and developers,
focusing on public-private projects, reviewing project
documentation for energy, highways, power, and water, and
conducting due diligence reviews.
Please tell us about Upscale Legal in detail.
Upscale Legal is a legal ﬁrm that has members who are
highly qualiﬁed lawyers committed to providing quality and
eﬀective services to its clients. The members possess skills
for drafting and vetting all kinds of agreements, deeds, and
documents. The attribute which has primarily added to the
success of assignments undertaken by the ﬁrm is that the
members consider no assignment as small and thrive to go
to the root analysis of all assignments. The ﬁrm specialises
in start-up advisory and provides new business houses with
the requisite legal assistance.
What made you venture into the legal space?
I had humanities as my stream of choice during my senior
secondary and graduated in philosophy. I was always
inclined to observe the sociological thread closely, and
during my tryst with Greek philosophy, I came across how
the legalities are interwoven in our society. I was always
extremely interested in the democratic form of government,
and the better way to study that will be through legal eyes.
I was intrigued by law also because of my love and interest
in human rights, which I have wanted to practice for the
longest time. However, liberalisation and a spurt of foreign
investments got me interested in the corporate and
documentation side, which I enjoyed a lot, and that is how
my journey started.
What kind of services do you provide to your clients?
The ﬁrm has expertise in handling various issues and
concerns faced by corporates in day-to-day business
transactions and functions. The ﬁrm provides a blend of
legal and commercial solutions to the clients when
addressing such concerns and issues. The Firm is equipped
to handing legal issues on business transactions,
commercial contracts, and documents.
We provide services relating to:
• Start-up advisory
• Contract management
• Corporate leasing
• Corporate, commercial and M&A
• Tender participation
• Banking and ﬁnance
• Real estate and hospitality industry
The ﬁrm provides a blend
of legal and commercial
solutions to the clients when
addressing such concerns and
issues. The Firm is equipped to
handing legal issues on
Outstanding Women Lawyers | 2022
25 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
28. have developed in-house expertise on regulations under the
drugs and cosmetics act, labelling requirements and food
licensing. We also have a strong startup advisory and
investment practice with robust team for due diligence and
We have also developed a signiﬁcant practise area in
government tendering and tender management, a
specialised ﬁeld that few law ﬁrms work on. Last year
Upscale Legal had the opportunity to work with various
start-ups and ﬁntech companies as well as sports and
What is the current industrial scenario of the legal
From employment laws to data protection and foreign
investment, the dynamic and fast-evolving Indian legal
market reacts to our day's global economic and social
problems. On the industrial front, transactions in healthcare
and technology, particularly in e-commerce, are continuing
There is a lot of investment going into and out of India.
Private equity and venture capital ﬁrms and organisations
with money to spend are looking for opportunities in India,
partly as there are opportunities where Indian businesses are
In addition, several multinational corporations have been
restructuring their activities across the world, especially
their Indian subsidiaries. Work in infrastructure and energy,
including renewables, creates jobs, particularly in the legal
• Employment and POSH
• ADR and Litigation
Our area of specialisation includes:
• Blockchain and Digital Assets
• Loans and Finance
• Electronic Financial Services
What kind of challenges have you faced while entering
the legal space?
While I have thoroughly enjoyed every bit of my journey as
a legal practitioner, the challenging part is to adhere to the
timelines as a team in cases of multiple investments and
ﬁnancial transactions where every assignment is meant to
be time-sensitive and highly complicated.
Coupled with that is the issue of ensuring that no law is
violated and no compliance ignored, whether in the cross-
border or domestic transaction, as the clients look to you as
custodians of all compliances.
This becomes extremely critical in investments from
foreign parties. Given the vast array of legal compliances
for diﬀerent businesses in the country, I have mostly come
across the fact that most businesses tend to operate without
regard to the respective laws. Thus, it is challenging to
convince such companies regarding the beneﬁts of
incorporating and ensuring all legal compliances in their
What would you like to advise the young generation of
Multitasking and seeing beyond the problem is what I
would advise. It is important to be a problem solver and an
enabler on the documentation side. Clients look up to you
for solutions, not just for identifying issues and laws.
We need to look for and curate innovative solutions to
maximise commercial gains while complying with laws.
Where do you envision Upscale Legal to be in the long
run, and what are your future goals?
In a short period, Upscale Legal has developed a niche area
of hemp, ayurvedic and alternative medicines, and all
licensing and compliance-related work in this ﬁeld. We
26 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
30. Significance of
Have you ever noticed the steady rise of
women in the modern world?
Indeed. Women have displayed qualities of
leadership, discipline, resilience, intelligence
and business decision-making. They have
played pivotal roles in the developments,
improvements and progress of the nation.
Women have surged higher through their
notable work in various ﬁelds. Be it education,
IT, Science, Engineering, Arts, Culture,
Medicine, Social Work, Politics, Judiciary, and
Over the past ﬁve decades, women's
participation has steadily increased from their
domestic schedules to adorning the Black coat
in the judiciary. Women are seen making their
impression in various legal specializations in
solicitation, consultation, services and legal
in Modern Indian
28 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
32. Women who entered the legal industry learnt the basics
quickly and worked passionately on the purpose of
providing justice to the people. They learned the process of
ﬁling a case, preparing for the case, and gathering the
evidence, proofs and details about witnesses. Putting up the
case in a proper authentic manner to create an appealing
and convincing background of the case. Connecting the
cases logically with the suitable laws under the Indian Penal
Code, made them successful in taking the cases towards
rightful legal results.
With their passion, ambition and dedication, certain women
lawyers have chosen a diﬀerent innovative routes to achieve
their objectives. They have broken the paradigms of the
industry by their acute research, pin-pointed detailing and
building strong case platforms ensuring their successful
achievement in case victories.
· Higher Empathy
Women lawyers have been very good in social skills of
listening, understanding and communicating with their
subtle approach. They are excellent in their professional
relationship with oﬃce co-workers, patient and polite with
· Multi-tasking Abilities
This is one of the prominent qualities observed in the
women lawyers where they plan, organize and schedule the
tasks properly with their timelines. Readiness to get the
things done with tracking other things at the same time with
absolute ease and simplicity is indeed remarkable.
· Loyal Associates
Women lawyers have been loyal with their professional
careers with a proven track record of consistent association
with the same legal enterprise for a long time period. They
have been dedicated to their work proﬁles and consider
their work as their identity and prime duty.
· Passionate Learners
Every new requirement coming from the client is looked up
to very eagerly and enthusiastically. They are ready to go
the extra mile in learning the entire process of the case
proceedings. Enthusiasm in gathering the required details,
and searching for the evidence and important aspects in the
case, has been the virtue of women lawyers.
· High Reliability
Women lawyers who practice independently have heard of
being more reliable than their male counterparts due to their
discipline, focus and committed-to-justice pattern of
working. They have been very eager, demanding and
focused on their work. They take every client seriously to
represent the case on behalf of the client. Their dedication
to the profession and systematic approach have increased
their prospects of successful closing of the cases.
· Remarkable Consistency
Once decided, then ensure the work is brought to the
desired end. Women lawyers have learnt in every way
possible to get closer and put up the case to its expected
closure. They are ready to do everything that is required in
the case including the research, collection, data
management, scheduling, follow-ups, and many other
procedures. They are honest in their work and build such a
foundation of necessary elements that they prepare the case
for a sure-shot win.
· Ethical Working Practices
Female lawyers have known to be ethical and professional
in their work. They have a ﬁrm belief in the moral rules of
life and the Indian law system. Adherence to the rules and
protocols with systematic work methods has earned them
high respect in the legal fraternity and the public as well.
· High Work Eﬃcacy
Traditionally women have been brought up with domestic
responsibilities, which has made them capable and agile.
They are very active, quick thinkers, and smart managers
themselves. A good degree of patience and sound
temperament makes them eﬀective legal professionals.
Clean working, focused case documentation and organized
team management have made them eﬃcient lawyers.
Flagbearers of Justice
Like their successful presence in various industry domains,
women have created an important niche for themselves in
the Indian legal system. They have proved to be very
resourceful team members, dynamic lawyers and dedicated
customer-centric consultants. We can smile with conﬁdence
that our legal system is going to be even better in various
dimensions of oﬀering solutions.
- Kedar Borgaonkar
30 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
34. Benchmarking Legal Excellence
omen have played vital roles in the growth of
Wpractice of law. Whether it be defending clients
in court, representing companies, or making
consequential rulings, female lawyers continue to ﬁght for
justice and pave the way for women in the ﬁeld. Certain
female attorneys have left remarkable imprints in the ﬁeld
Their willpower and perseverance in the face of adversity
have led to new legislations and more equitable policies and
have continued the ﬁght against injustice in distinct aspects
of life. Their contributions to the ﬁeld are worthy of
emulation and celebration. This is where Adv Sahiba
Ahluwalia excels in the legal industry.
Sahiba Ahluwalia is a Litigating Counsel, currently
working at S&A Law Oﬃces, New Delhi, as a Senior
Associate in their Dispute Resolution team. She has
previously worked with L&L Partners and MSA Partners as
an Associate in the Dispute Resolution team.
Sahiba's work experience spans a broad range of
commercial arbitrations, particularly arbitrations arising out
of EPC (infrastructure) contracts. She has had the
opportunity to explore various dispute resolution
As far as her educational qualiﬁcations are concerned,
Sahiba holds a degree in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of
Law (LL.B.) from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha
University. Subsequently, she has also completed her
Masters in International Commercial Laws with Distinction
(AY 2017-2018) from University College, London.
An Alluring Cruise
While growing up, Sahiba was always inclined towards
understanding human logic and analysing life situations,
which was the main driving force behind her pursuit of law
as a career option. With time, there came a slow realization
that being involved in the legal ﬁeld would suit her
Sahiba believes that one of the enticing factors was also
that, unlike other professions, the profession of law
involves complex and diverse legislation, vast body of case
laws and varying legal systems, which create an
intellectually stimulating environment as opposed to the
dull and drab routine followed in other professional ﬁelds.
The whole thought of single-handedly being able to bring a
positive change in society instilled the zeal to work hard
and attempt to bring about the changes that she wants to see
in our society. The staggering growth experienced by the
legal industry, be it in terms of prestige or prosperity, was
another primary motivator for her to tread on this path.
This ﬁeld allows one to be involved with all parts of
society, be it the merger of two multi-national companies or
the release of the salary due to an engineer or the release of
a new ﬁlm or even common issues aﬀecting society at large.
Thus, there is immense potential and no dearth of
Overcoming the Challenges
Sharing the facts on the challenges in the legal industry,
"Life in law school is like always running on a treadmill.
One is expected to maintain a ﬁne balance between
academics, internships, extra-curricular activities, and other
allied interests that one wishes to pursue."
"However, things are diﬀerent when you enter the legal
fraternity as a law practitioner. You are constantly faced
with various challenges, be it professional or personal and
most importantly, the law being dynamic in nature, the
learning never ends. Therefore, it is important to understand
and embrace the situation at hand and be a quick learner
who can grasp legal as well as non-legal concepts with
"Having said so, in my opinion, the biggest challenge in our
profession these days is to maintain a work-life balance,"
An advocate of the Comprehensive Legal Environment
Sahiba's work starts by providing legal advice to clients
concerning the assorted options available to them prior to
the onset of litigation and providing a composite legal
strategy for achieving the desired result. Her work
experience spans a broad range of commercial arbitrations
and related litigation, particularly in EPC (Infrastructure)
Outstanding Women Lawyers | 2022
32 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
35. Adv Sahiba Ahluwalia's work spans
a broad range of commercial
arbitrations and related litigation,
particularly in EPC (Infrastructure)
Adv. Sahiba Ahluwalia
Li ga ng Counsel and
33 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in
36. She has had an opportunity to advise and assist leading
construction companies involved in constructing Roads,
Airports, Railways, etc., concerning disputes arising out of
multi-million contracts between private parties,
conglomerates, and statutory authorities. She has
represented clients at various stages of arbitration, from
entering reference to the execution of the Award and other
Adding to this scenario, Sahiba shared, "While the center of
my work has mostly been commercial arbitration, I have
also been fortunate enough to get a multitude of
opportunities to appear and represent clients before various
other legal forums as well, which has greatly shaped my
career as a law practitioner.”
Evolving around the Technology
There is no doubt that technological advancement has
deeply impacted every industry and practice area, the legal
industry being no exception to the same. Technology has
deﬁnitely increased eﬃciency, ensured business continuity
during the global pandemic and improved the quality of
services, including enabling the ﬂow of real-time
information for early action. At present, e-ﬁling, video
conferencing, e-courts, virtual hearings etc., are all possible
due to the adoption of technology in the legal industry.
It has signiﬁcantly reduced the time required to process and
share data, streamlined communications and most
importantly, has enabled lawyers to ﬁnd relevant
information, statutes, and case laws using online legal
databases. These advancements have helped lawyers focus
more on their clients and give them more of their time and
Revolutionizing the Legal Industry
Sahiba believes that the next generation of young lawyers
bring a fresh perspective, a more client-centric approach,
and a higher standard of professional service with the help
She also believes that having had the opportunity to work in
pioneering law ﬁrms of India, specializing largely in
commercial arbitrations, including, in particular, the ﬁeld of
EPC (Infrastructure) disputes, has allowed her the
opportunity to obtain an in-depth knowledge within the
ﬁeld of arbitration.
Sahiba is privileged to say that she has assisted and been
allowed the opportunity to play an instrumental role in
landmark judgements in the ﬁeld of arbitration.
She believes that working under a high-pressure
environment and high-value cases for eminent companies
has enabled her to hone her skills, become proﬁcient with
her specialization, and ensure eﬃciency over the course of
It wouldn't be out of place to say that having worked under
stalwarts of the legal industry has greatly shaped her
approach to handling subject matters and obtaining a client-
driven approach for ensuring desired results within the
Pearls of Wisdom
As a piece of advice for aspiring legal enthusiasts who are
willing to step into the legal space, Sahiba shared that the
youth of this generation have a lot to oﬀer, and she believes
that the legal industry can often seem overwhelming.
"I believe that we should not forget that the next generation
of lawyers will pave the way for the legal industry with
their technological prowess, fresh perspective, and zeal for
learning the law.
I think, since every day in the legal fraternity is a learning
opportunity, I would like to impart what I have always
followed in my professional career and observed in my
mentors i.e. leaders in the legal fraternity are keen learners
and life-long students of law. So long as the young aspirants
make consistent eﬀorts towards enhancing their knowledge,
their toil will come to fruition."
"For me, consistency is the key, and a holistic development
of both physical and mental health is a necessity. Therefore,
one must try to achieve a balance in their life between life
goals and career goals so that at the end of the day, you are
satisﬁed with your work and not burnt out due to the
demands of the profession," she added.
In Sahiba's opinion, the last two years have certainly
reshaped the Indian legal landscape. With social distancing
obligations and frequent lockdowns, the legal fraternity has
faced multiple challenges in the practice of law.
However, rising to the challenges, the legal industry has
adopted technology to ensure continuity of legal
proceedings and a ﬂuid work model to ensure that clients do
not face hindrances.
It is commendable and noteworthy that the Indian courts,
despite the staggering volume of cases, successfully and
smoothly brought the transition in court proceedings and
introduced virtual courtrooms to ensure that the
administration of justice is uninterrupted. The situation is
unpredictable; however, the past has been a testament that
even the legal industry can adapt to radical changes and
bring a complete transformation by introducing
34 | May 2022 | www.insightssuccess.in