Very rarely do firms reach the very top without being a part of at least a few Merger and Acquisitions transactions. Some of the most successful firms in the world are known to employ teams of professionals, where their only role is to seek out some of the most attractive potential acquisitions, and that journey tells its own story.
When implemented well, an accurately mapped mergers and acquisitions strategy proves to be highly fruitful for the success of any company.
And when implemented by an expert and experienced lawyer, the graph just grows.
Featuring for the Cover Story of The Enterprise World’s this issue of The Most Influential Lawyers To Watch In 2022 is Harry Chawla, an expert lawyer and a leader with extensive experience.
The Many Endeavours of Harry Chawla-
Bringing years of expertise in the field of law, Harry Chawla has been a renowned name in the Banking and Finance Sector, Mergers and Acquisitions and Real Estate. With the extensive experience at his disposal, Harry chawla has played a key role in advising clients in the banking and financial services sector, hospitality, healthcare, automobile, aviation, telecom, IT, ITES, consumer goods etc.
Harry has extensive experience in the real estate sector, and represents some of the largest players in the Indian real estate market, including several Indian companies as well as foreign investors. He has also assisted Government of India and a few State Government(s) in the drafting of legislations in this sector.
He has also advised and represented a number of clients on issues pertaining to corporate finance, both domestic and cross border, debt restructuring and refinancing, securitization, acquisition finance, structured finance, bonds and similar instruments.
Apart from his stellar experience in Banking and Finance, he also has extensive experience in general corporate and commercial laws. Having worked closely with a large number of international and domestic corporations with respect to their business in India and outside India, Harry Chawla is the go to name for the most reliable services.
He has also participated in business strategy evolution and formulation process with several clients, vis-à-vis their new ventures and business initiatives and has advised in establishing, operationalization and implementation of the business strategies of the clients. He has also advised several clients on strategizing in dispute resolution, negotiation and settlement etc.
Harry has been ranked in IBLJ’s A-list of Top 100 lawyers in 2020 and 2016. He has also been ranked for his work in Corporate M&A by Asia Law Leading Lawyers in 2018.
Laying the Foundation of Atlas Law Partners-
The Firm was founded by Mr. Harry Chawla and Ms. Niti Paul. Mr Harry Chawla joined the law practice in 1990 and has worked since then with several leading India law firms, including the erstwhile Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co., Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices and Kochhar & Co., before starting Atlas Law Partners. He is the face of the Firm, and is a well-regarded name in the industry. He is often regarded as the Firm’s go-to lawyer for high value mergers and acquisitions with specialism in real estate, corporate law, securities law and exchange control regulations.
His work includes not only advising corporate clients across various sectors and practice areas, but also assisting Government of India in the drafting of legislations, particularly in the real estate sector.
Ms. Niti Paul was admitted to the bar in 1999 and has worked with leading Indian law firms such as erstwhile Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co., Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Kochhar & Co. She has also worked in the in-house legal department was leading multinational corporations. Niti has extensive experience on the corporate commercial side and heads the M&A and Private Equity practices of Atlas Law Partners. She has been featured in The Phenomenal She 2019, published by the Indian National Bar Association.
The Founders of the firm, Mr. Harry Chawla and Ms. Niti Paul, are recognized names in the Indian corporate commercial legal market. They have brought recognition to the firm since its inception through their established names and rankings in the legal market in India and outside.
Journey of Atlas Law Partners-
Atlas Law Partners was established in November 2016 with a small team comprising of 4 members, including the Co-founders, Harry Chawla and Niti Paul.
The founders aimed to establish ALP as a boutique corporate and transactional advisory firm, with expertise in corporate commercial laws, mergers & acquisitions, private equity, real estate, banking & finance, private client practice matters, regulatory matters, antitrust / competition laws and dispute resolution. It grew slowly and steadily over the next few months with more lawyers joining the Atlas team. The initial team of Atlas operated out of a basement office in Defence Colony and moved into their swanky Okhla Phase III office within a period of less than 2 (two) months.
“Over the years, our numerical strength has grown, and today we boast of a partnership consisting of 7 (seven) partners and 20 (twenty) associates across various levels.”
The Many Accolades of Atlas Law Partners-
“In a short time, Atlas Law Partners and its members have achieved significant recognition.”
Some of their most notable achievements include-
- Ranked for Corporate M&A and Private Equity & Investment Funds by Legal500 Asia Pacific Guide 2022
- Recommended as Firm to Watch in Real Estate and Construction by Legal500 Asia Pacific Guide 2022
- Harry Chawla ranked in India Business Law Journal’s A-list of Top 100 lawyers in 2020
- Ranked for both Banking, M&A and Private Equity practices by IFLR1000 2022
- Ranked as a Recognized Firm for Banking Finance and Real Estate and Notable Firm for Corporate M&A and Private Equity practices by AsiaLaw 2022
- Awarded Real Estate Law Firm of the Year – 2022 by Legal Powerlist Global Law Awards
- Awarded Corporate Law Firm of the Year – 2022 by Global Law Experts
- Medha Srivastava featured as a Rising Star in Asian Legal Business’s India Rising Stars 2022 edition
- Awarded Real Estate Law Firm of the Year – 2021 by The Lawyer Network
- Awarded Real Estate Law Firm of the Year – 2020 by Global Law Experts
- Awarded Best Boutique Transactional Advisory Law Firm – India by APAC Legal Awards 2020
- Harry Chawla awarded Leading Legal Mind in Corporate Finance (India) by APAC Legal Awards 2020
- Awarded M&A and Banking Finance Law Firm of the Year in India by 2020 Corporate INTL Global Awards
- Awarded Banking & Finance Law Firm of The Year – India by ACQ5 Global Awards 2019
- Harry Chawla recommended as Real Estate Expert in India by Global Law Experts
- Awarded the Banking & Finance Law Firm of the Year in India – 2019 by Global Law Experts
- Named as the Rising Star of India’s legal profession, by India Business Law Journal for two consecutive years in 2017 and 2018
- Ranked as the Rising Star in 2018 by Practise League
- Harry Chawla, co-founder and senior partner at the firm was ranked for his work in Corporate M&A by Asia Law Leading Lawyers in 2018
- Harry Chawla ranked in India Business Law Journal’s A-list of Top 100 lawyers in 2016-17
- Niti Paul, the co-founder and a senior partner at the firm, has been featured as one of the prominent figures in The Phenomenal She 2019, published by the Indian National Bar Association
- Harry Chawla featured in the “Constellations – Shining Stars of Indian Legal Fraternity” released by Corporate Counsels Association of India in 2019
The Changing Space and Atlas’ Road Ahead-
Some of the key challenges faced by Indian law firms today are keeping costs under control by moving from traditional hourly billable format to fixed fee matters. In order to face face intense competition from accounting / consulting firms who have been investing heavily in their legal services arm despite warnings from Bar Council of India and various lawyers’ associations, it is important for Indian law firms to achieve super specialization that is unmatched . Retention of correct talent with thousands of lawyers entering the legal market on a regular basis is an equally important challenge.
Atlas Law Partners endeavours to grow from strength to strength.
“We see our prospects increasing in leaps and bounds in our areas of specializations including banking & finance, mergers and acquisitions and real estate.”
Harry also sees the firm growing in the start-up space, representing investors and start-ups alike from an early stage seed investment to a growth – stage funding.
“Atlas team is a small but effective one and we hope to grow in numbers and transactions size and volume year on year.”
Harry’s Advice to the Budding Entrepreneurs-
“Start-ups and entrepreneurs in the law firm space need to identify their niche practice areas and work with a focus towards developing these. In this day and age of super specialization, it is important, especially for start-up law firms to identify their practice areas and hire the correct talent for these practice areas and industry sectors.”