10 Best Chief Legal Officers in India 2023: The Protectors of Corporates

The role of the Chief Legal Officer in today’s context is quite complex and demands more than expertise in legal tactics. They are strategic thinkers and a senior executive operating at the most powerful level of the organisation. CLOs are the catalyst that provides the company with legal support and innovative solutions to grow and thrive. A chief legal officer is a strategist who creates value by aligning legal and business strategies, a guardian who deals with the company from legal complications, mitigating risks and protecting brand value and reputation, and an operator who maximises the company’s effectiveness. 

On its expedition to identify and recognise the 10 Best Chief Legal Officers in India, TradeFlock interviewed many top legal executives, counsellors and experts to determine which traits and attributes make the top chief legal officers and compiled a list of characteristics of India’s leading chief legal officers. 

Top traits and attributes of 10 Best Chief Legal Officers in India 2023

Followings are the key characteristics of India’s leading chief legal officers. 

Proactive Mindset 

Leading CLOs maintain a visionary and proactive mindset. They keenly observe even the most minor and intricate details of the legal operations while keeping a bigger picture in mind to deliver results. While handling the challenges of the present, they keep an eye on potential obstacles that may take place in future. 

Crisis Manager 

The best chief legal officers sail their organisations through the high tides of crisis or issue. Nearly every organisation has legal, regulatory or compliance-related aspects, and CLOs remain aware of these aspects. They effectively create pre-crisis and post-crisis management plans and provide essential leadership to bring the company out of the crisis.

Merger Expert 

When organisations seek Merger & Acquisition opportunities, the role of chief legal officers becomes crucial. Firstly, they determine the major business objectives of the company, then they analyse how a business deal can help the organisation achieve those objectives. CLOs map out a merger or acquisition plan and ensure its proper execution to the best of their abilities.

Versatile and Resourceful

The role of the chief legal officer demands versatility and multi-tasking. Top CLOs are capable of managing, commissioning and handling all legal matters. Additionally, they keep growing a legal team that can deal with added complexities that come with hyper-growth during the scaling.  

Service Oriented 

Even if the chief legal officer is no longer required to log billable hours, the service-oriented nature of the legal profession should be carried over to the in-house function. Instead of dealing with many business clients, the CLO should treat each department as a new client, whether it is finance, marketing, engineering, sales, customer service, operations, or human resources. 

Facilitate Digital Transition 

A study by Deloitte revealed that 29% of legal teams are geared up for tech adoption, while 56% of legal teams are leveraging cutting-edge technologies. These figures are a testament that the company’s legal department plays the most crucial role during the digital transition. Hence, CLO introduces innovative technologies, delivers the most effective services, and allows the company to focus on activities of higher value. 

Risk Specialists

When a well-established organisation comes across legal or compliance risks, top management looks towards the chief legal officer to mitigate the risks and help the organisation avoid potential legal risks by ensuring compliance with the associated regulatory body. 

Political Skills 

India’s most influential chief legal officers identify partners wherever they may be and do not hesitate to seek help. Legal and compliance professionals seek advice and suggestions about handling intense internal disputes that cannot be fixed through escalation and use their political skills to resolve the conflict. 

Based on above mentioned traits and attributes, TradeFlock evaluates the efficiency of CLOs and compiles its list of the 10 Best Chief Legal Officers in India 2023.

Company Name

Person Name

Designation

Chief Legal Counsel & Group Company Secretary

Vice President(Legal)

Director - Legal Affairs

Vice President Legal

Head-Legal & Company Secretary

Senior Director - Legal, Compliance & Quality

Director & Head Legal, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs

Legal Director

Head - Corporate Legal

Associate Vice President Head Legal- Land Acquisition

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