Indian Corporates & the General Counsel

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Indian Corporates & the General Counsel

Amba Prasad, Head of Legal Services, L&T Construction, Larsen & Toubro Ltd, India

Where do we begin? Do we talk about the various stages through which the evolution of in-house counsel has been? Or, do we first look at the corporates who thought of hiring legal staff, and what made them do it? We adopted the latter approach — simply because business is required to operate in a legal environment and each aspect of business has a legal dimension to it, whether it be documentation or compliance, among others. Business houses traditionally went to law firms and were outsourcing all legal work. In India, during the post-independence era and up until 1991, business was subjected to enormous restrictions, and control by the bureaucracy was at its peak. The freedom to contract was significantly circumscribed by the rigours of the prevalent laws and the license-raj (a reign of permits). Given the preponderant influence of laws and regulations, which kept changing from time to time, business houses felt it safer and comforting to get all the documents drafted and reviewed by law firms. This also gave a sense of relief to the Board of Directors.

A law graduate from Bangalore University, with experience of over 30 years in legal field, having practiced law in Bangalore initially, and as an In House counsel over 20 years. Has experience in dealing with formulation of joint ventures, consortium agreements, project contracts in Construction sector, legal side of project management and handling of litigation and alternate dispute resolution process

Larsen & Toubro Limited’s Construction Division is well known for its active presence in India, Middle East, South East Asia and Africas in executing many complex infrastructure projects.

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