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Consumer Protection Act, 2019

July 17, 2020

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (“CP Act 2019”) received the Presidential assent and was published in the Official Gazette on August 9, 2019. The Central Government, vide notification dated July 15, 2020, has brought into force certain provisions of the CP Act 2019, relating to product liability, consumer protection councils, mediation etc. effective from July 20, 2020. Section 107 of the CP Act 2019 has also been notified which repeals the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (“CP Act 1986”). However, provisions in relation to the Central Authority, liability for endorsing misleading advertisements and certain ancillary provisions have not been notified yet. In light of the above, it becomes imperative for every consumer to understand the spectrum of rights available to them under the CP Act 2019.

WHAT SETS THE CP ACT 2019 APART FROM THE CP ACT 1986?

The CP Act 2019 is a progressive step towards recognizing and protecting the rights of the consumers. The CP Act 2019 has attempted to include under its ambit, various aspects like product liability, liability on endorsers and advertisers of products, regularization of e-commerce, alternate dispute resolution mechanism for consumer grievances etc.

The key highlights of the CP Act 2019 are as follows:

Establishment of Central Authority

While the provisions are yet to be enforced, the CP Act 2019, under Section 10, provides for the establishment of a central authority known as the Central Consumer Protection Authority (“Central Authority”). The Central Authority has been allotted the powers to regulate matters relating to violation of rights of consumers, unfair trade practices and false or misleading advertisements which are prejudicial to the interests of public and consumers and to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class. The Central Authority will also have an investigation wing, to conduct enquiries or investigation on the complaints received in relation to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices and false or misleading advertisements. Powers have also been granted to the Central Authority to recall goods, issue directions in cases of false and misleading advertisements, order the discontinuation of unfair practices etc.

It is pertinent to note that the Central Authority can initiate any inquiry or take any action either on its own or pursuant to receiving directions from the Central Government. The Central Authority is a body in addition to the District, State and National Commissions and any appeal against the order passed by the Central Authority will lie before the National Commission. Barring the increase in pecuniary jurisdiction as detailed below, the CP Act 2019 does not contemplate any alterations to the District, State and National commissions.

Definition of ‘Consumer Rights’

In an endeavour to cover all aspects of rights available to a consumer, a definition of what constitutes ‘consumer rights’ has been inserted in the CP Act 2019. It includes (i) right to be protected against marketing which are hazardous to life and property, (ii) right to be informed, (iii) right to be assured, (iv) right to be heard, (v) right to seek redressal and (vi) right to consumer awareness.

Liability on endorser / advertiser

The CP Act 2019 provides for penalties against false or misleading advertisements not just against manufacturers, traders, advertisers and publishers, but also against endorsers of these products. The Central Authority has been granted the power to impose a fine of INR Ten Lakhs for the first occasion of violation and a fine extending up to INR Fifty Lakhs for every ensuing contravention. Further, the Central Authority can also ban an endorser from endorsing any products or services for a period extending up to one year for the first instance and period extending up to three years for every subsequent contravention. However, the endorser will not be penalized if they can prove that due diligence was exercise by them to verify the authenticity of the claims made in the advertisement. The provisions of the CP Act 2019 in relation to the above have not been brought into force yet.

Unfair contracts

The CP Act 2019 has introduced the concept of unfair contracts. An ‘unfair contract’ is defined as a contract between a consumer and a manufacturer, trader or service provider containing terms which significantly change the rights of the consumers and it includes: (i) requiring an excessive security deposit for the performance of a contract; (ii) imposing a disproportionate penalty for breach of contract; (iii) refusing to accept early repayment of debts; (iv) unilaterally terminating a contract without reasonable cause; (v) transferring a contract to a third party to the detriment of the consumer without the consumer’s consent; or (vi) imposing unreasonable charges or obligations which put the consumer at a disadvantage.

Inclusions to ‘unfair trade practices’

In addition to the unfair trade practices under the CP Act 1986, the CP Act 2019 lists three more practices as unfair trade practices. These are: (i) the failure to issue a bill or receipt; (ii) the refusal to accept goods returned within 30 days; and (iii) the disclosure of a consumer’s personal information given in confidence (unless required by law or in public interest).

Regulation of e-commerce

The CP Act 2019 accounts for unfair trade practices in the e-commerce sector and grants the government power to take any measures to prevent malpractices in the e-commerce sector. The government has rolled out draft rules seeking public comments in this regard. The rules, inter alia, cover the general conditions for carrying on e-commerce business, liabilities of the e-commerce entity, and liabilities of the seller.

Consumer Mediation Council

The CP Act 2019 provides for the establishment of a consumer mediation cell, which will be attached to each District Commissions and State Commissions and the National Commission. The empanelment of mediators will be based on the recommendation of a selection committee consisting of the President and a member of the District, State or National Commission, as the case may be. The procedure for mediation has been detailed out in the CP Act 2019. The settlement arrived at between the parties shall be duly recorded by the mediator and submitted to the respective commission. The government has issued draft rules in this regard for comments from the public stakeholders.

Inclusion of Product Liability

The term ‘product liability’ has been defined under the CP Act 2019. The manufacturer or service provider is bound to compensate the consumer if the goods or services have caused any harm or injury, or if they are defective in design, specifications, warranty etc. The liability of the manufacturer, service provider as well as the seller has been described in detail. Further, a product manufacturer will be held liable in a product liability action even if he proves that he was not negligent or fraudulent in making the express warranty of a product.

Increase in pecuniary jurisdiction

The CP Act 2019 has also increased the scope of pecuniary jurisdiction of the consumer forums. Where the value of goods and services paid is up to INR One Crore, the jurisdiction lies with the District Commission. If the value is above INR One Crore but does not exceed INR Ten Crore the State Commission has the jurisdiction to entertain such matters. Any claims above INR Ten Crore shall lie before the National Commission.

Under the CP Act 1986, the pecuniary limit was inclusive of the value of goods and services along with the compensation sought by the consumer. However, under the CP Act 2019, only the value paid for the goods or services will be considered for the purpose of assessing the limit.

CONCLUSION

The CP Act 2019 has made a tremendous attempt in addressing the needs of consumers in a dynamic market environment. The inclusion of provisions for regulating e-commerce businesses is a welcome change, keeping in mind the fact that large number of consumers have now shifted to using online platforms for buying goods and availing services. Further, including false and misleading advertisements under the spectrum of the CP Act 2019 in addition to holding the endorser liable for any false claims, is a positive change, especially at a time when blind faith is being placed in the words of an endorser as well as the excessive coverage of brand endorsements on social media.

The expansion of the scope of unfair trade practices is progressive. Most importantly, the disclosure of consumer information as a means of unfair trade practice is a laudable move which becomes relevant at a time when personal data protection is becoming more and more important. Mediation as a mode of dispute resolution and the introduction of product liability are also noteworthy.

The establishment of the Central Authority, which has a plethora of powers under the CP Act 2019, will ensure that consumer rights are upheld. At the same time, the CP Act 2019 strikes a fine balance between accommodating the needs of the consumers as well as the right of the sellers or service providers to defend themselves from consumer claims. Once notified, the CP Act 2019 will steer in an improved mechanism for redressal of consumer grievances.

Disclaimer: This article is meant for information purpose only and does not purport to be advice or opinion, legal or otherwise, whatsoever. Pioneer Legal does not intend to advertise its service through this article.

Shriya Belvi

Associate

Mumbai Office

901 / 9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan,227, Backbay Reclamation,Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021.

Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
E-mail: [email protected]

Education

  • B.A LL.B. (Hons.) Symbiosis Law School, Pune, Maharashtra.

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra
    and Goa

Highlights

  • Graduated from Symbiosis Law School, Pune in 2019.
  • Started her professional career in April 2020 under a prominent commercial disputes and insolvency practitioner.
  • Previously, she worked at Stangen Pharmaceutical Inc. based in the
    Philippines and Halan & Co. based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • In June 2024, she joined Pioneer Legal.

About

  • She has experience in advising clients on different aspects of corporate/ commercial laws. She has accumulated significant experience in advising domestic and foreign clients on legal and commercial issues in the pharmaceutical, life sciences and ITeS sectors
  • She has represented clients in disputes arising out of commercial transactions and insolvency matters at the pre litigation stage and has also assisted and appeared in matters before the National Law Company Tribunal, High Court of Bombay and other Courts/Tribunals/fora in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • She also has experience in contract review, negotiation and end to end closure of commercial contracts with clients across the globe.

Dhruval Sheth

Senior Associate

Mumbai Office

901 / 9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan,227, Backbay Reclamation,Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021.


Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
E-mail: : [email protected]

Education

  • B.A LL.B., Kishinchand Chellaram Law College, Mumbai

  • Company Secretary, Institute of Company Secretary of India

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra
    and Goa

Highlights

  • Graduated from Kishinchand Chellaram Law College, Mumbai.
  • Previously, he worked at JSA and Lumiere Law Partners based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • In May 2024, joined Pioneer Legal.

About

  • Dhruval has extensive experience in advising and assisting on various listed and unlisted entities and private equity funds in the field of corporate and commercial laws, securities law and other related laws.
  • He has worked on various domestic and cross-border transactions and providing his assistance in key processes including: (i) due diligence exercise to highlight key legal and commercial issues; (ii) drafting and negotiating relevant documentations.

Andre Jaggi

Associate

Mumbai Office

901 / 9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan,227, Backbay Reclamation,Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021.


Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
E-mail: :[email protected]

Education

  • BA LLB from the West Bengal

  • National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS)

Highlights

  • Graduated from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS) in 2020.
  • Previously, worked at Desai & Diwanji based in Mumbai.
  • In December 2023, joined Pioneer Legal.

About

  • Andre has worked in the Corporate practice and has advised a wide range of clients including global long-term investors, private equity funds, private/public companies and high net worth individuals.
  • Andre has considerable experience on conducting due diligence on entities across different sectors and assisting on private equity transactions from both the sell-side and the buy-side.
  • Additionally, Andre has expertise in the electric vehicle and pharmaceutical sectors and their related regulatory/contractual aspects.

Vedanta Kishanchandani

Associate

Mumbai Office

901 / 9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan,227, Backbay Reclamation,Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021.

Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
E-mail: :[email protected]

Education

  • B.B.A LL.B., D. Y. Patil

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra 

Highlights

  • Graduated from Kingston University and D.Y Patil
  •  Previously, he worked at Numen Law based in Mumbai.
  • In January 2024 he joined Pioneer Legal.

About

  • He has experience in advising on different aspects of criminal litigation, and understanding of the court structures and the functioning.
  • He has also represented clients in matters before the High Court of Bombay, Sessions Court and lower courts

Rishab Jain

Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
E-mail: [email protected]

Education

  • B.LS LL.B. from Government Law College, Mumbai

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa

Highlights

  • Graduated from Government Law College, Mumbai in 2020.
  • Previously, he worked at MDP & Partners and Mansukhlal Hiralal & Co., based in Mumbai.
  • In December 2023 he joined Pioneer Legal.

About

  • Rishab is experienced in arbitration, dispute resolution and matters pertaining to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

  • He has also represented clients in matters before the High Court of Bombay, National Law Company Tribunal, City Civil Court, and other Courts/Tribunals.

PURBASHA PANDA

Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
E-mail:  [email protected]

Education

  • BA LLB. (Hons.) at National Law
    University-Ranchi

Professional Memberships

  •  The Bar Council of New Delhi

Highlights

  • Graduated from National Law University-Ranchi, in 2020.
  • Her area of practice includes general corporate advisory, mergers and
    acquisitions, private equity, employment law and white-collar crime
    advisory.
  • Joined Pioneer Legal in June 2023.

About

  • Purbasha is an Associate with the general corporate practice group at Pioneer Legal. At the firm, she advises and assists clients on PE, M&A transactions including conduction of due diligence exercises and drafting of transaction documents. She undertakes employment law advisory and
    has assisted clients on drafting of crucial employment agreements, issuance of employment benefit options like ESOP(s), and SAR(s), aspects of labour law arising out of cross-border transactions and structuring and designing of internal policies.
  • Additionally, she undertakes advisory work on white-collar crime matters, conducts corporate investigations, compliance management, risk assessment. She holds the professional membership of the bar council of New Delhi, 2020.

YASH BHALE

Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
E-mail: [email protected]

Education

  • LL.B., I.L.S Law College, Pune
  • Chartered Wealth Manager (CWM®)
  • M.com., Pune University

Highlights

  • Graduated from I.L.S Law College, Pune in
    2021,
  • Started his professional career in a leading listed IT company – Persistent Systems Limited,
  • Joined Pioneer Legal in September 2023

About

  • Yash is an associate in the M&A team and
    brings extensive expertise in playing a key role in assisting the various end-to-end transactions which include carrying out the legal due diligence exercises, drafting various transactional documents, assessing legal risks, and dispensing strategic advice to clients hailing from diverse sectors such as aviation, cybersecurity, information technology, logistics, healthcare, media, etc.
    ▪ Additionally, Yash has reviewed, drafted and negotiated diverse commercial agreements, overseeing the complete lifecycle of commercial contracts to facilitate the smooth functioning of client businesses.

SHREYA MASALIA

Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
E-mail: [email protected] 

Education

  • LL.B., Government Law College, University of Mumbai
  • Company Secretary, ICSI
  • Bachelor of Management Studies, HR College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai

Memberships

  • Associate Member of ICSI

Highlights

  • Graduated from Government Law College, Mumbai in 2023
  • In July, 2022, she joined Pioneer Legal as a Paralegal wherein she assisted the corporate and commercial team.
  • She went on to become an associate with Pioneer Legal in July 2023 post her graduation.

About

  • Shreya is an associate in the Corporate & Commercial and M&A practices in Pioneer Legal and has experience in advising and assisting various listed and unlisted entities, and private equity and venture capital funds in the field of corporate and commercial laws, securities laws and other
    related laws.
    At Pioneer Legal, Shreya advises and assists various listed and unlisted
    companies in relation to:
  • (i) conducting due diligence exercise to highlight key legal and commercial issues;
    (ii) compliance and secretarial compliances;
    (iii) drafting and negotiating relevant transaction documentations; and
    (iv) corporate and regulatory approvals and foreign regulations
    compliances.

SAI SMRITHI BALASUBRAMANIAN

Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
E-mail: [email protected]

Education

  • B.B.A. LL.B., (Hons.), Symbiosis Law
    School, Pune

Highlights

  • Graduated from Symbiosis Law School,
    Pune in 2023
  • Started her professional career in June 2023 with Pioneer Legal, Mumbai
  • Prior to joining Pioneer Legal, Smrithi interned with law firms like
    IndusLaw, Keystone Partners, and Samvad Partners and undertook
    assignments in both contentious and transactional spheres of law.

About

  • Smrithi is an Associate with the general corporate practice at Pioneer Legal.

  • She advises and assists companies on various aspects of corporate law. She regularly assists in due diligence exercises and also in the drafting of various transaction documents like share purchase agreements, shareholders’ agreements, and investment agreements.

  • She has assisted clients in fundraise rounds, acquisitions, and in availing loan facilities.

  • She is also experienced in reviewing commercial contracts for companies
    in the technology, media, and telecommunications sector. She has regularly researched for and drafted commercial agreements, advocacy material for courts and tribunals, and other legal documents for high-value matters.

Jinal Shah

Senior Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation,
Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • LLM in Intellectual Property from Boston School of Law
    in 2020
  • Graduated from Rizvi Law College, Mumbai (affiliated to University of Mumbai) in 2017.

Highlights

  • LLM in Intellectual Property from Boston School of Law in 2020
  • Started her career in June 2017, with DSK Legal.
  • Joined Veritas Legal in September 2018.
  • In June 2021, she joined the General Corporate team at Khimani & Associates.
  • Joined Pioneer Legal in December 2022.  

About

  • At Khimani & Associates, she worked as an associate in the Corporate & Commercial and Media and Entertainment practices of the firm, where her role included advising and assisting various entities in the field of corporate and commercial laws. She also advised and represented various acting talent in their brand endorsement cum investment deals.

  • In her stint at Veritas Legal, she worked in the M&A practice area of the firm, where she advised various listed and unlisted companies in the areas of corporate laws and commercial laws as well as advised private equity funds in relation to their investments.

  • At DSK Legal, she advised and assisted various listed and unlisted companies in conducting due diligence exercise to highlight key legal and commercial issues; drafted and negotiated relevant transaction documentations and advised on corporate and regulatory approvals and foreign regulations compliances.

  • Jinal is a Senior Associate in the M&A and General Corporate practices at Pioneer Legal. Her role includes conducting due diligence on target entities to highlight key legal and commercial issues and advising clients on such identified risks and drafting, negotiating various transaction documents.

Some Name

Partner

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • Master’s in Business Law, NLS Bangalore
  • LL.B., K.C. Law College, Mumbai
  • Company Secretary, ICSI
  • B.MOS, University of Western Ontario, Canada
  • B.Com, Jai Hind College, Mumbai
  • New Education

Professional Memberships

  • Bar Council of India
  • Associate Member of ICSI

Highlights

  • Sanket has almost a decade of experience as a corporate transactional lawyer. His areas of practice include mergers and acquisitions and forensic investigation in white collar crimes.
  • He has advised on various complex national and cross-border M&A transactions and conducted forensic investigations of suspected fraud, bribery and misappropriation of funds; advised on preventive action and building robust mechanisms/policies to counter such crime, etc.
  • He is a member of the Bar Council of India, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Rugwed Dhage

Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
E-mail: [email protected]

Education

  • B.A.L.L.B, ILS Law College, Pune

Highlights

  • Graduated from ILS Law College, Pune in 2022
  • Joined Pioneer Legal as an Associate in 2022.

About

  • Rugwed is an associate in the Corporate, Commercial and M&A practices of the firm. He has experience in varied fields of law including corporate laws, insolvency and bankruptcy laws and SEBI regulations. He has extensively assisted in matters before the NCLT, NCLAT, and Bombay High Court, in varied corporate and commercial matters. He has also assisted in multiple Joint Venture transactions including, conducting due diligences, along with drafting, and amending of various transaction documents.

AASHNA JAIN

Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • LL.B., New Law College, Mumbai
  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Commerce, Kishinchand Chellaram College, Mumbai

Professional Memberships

  • Th Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa

Highlights

  • She began her career in the year 2018 when she joined the dispute resolution team at Aquilaw, Mumbai as an associate.
  • In 2019, she joined Tuli & Co.’s dispute resolution team.
  • In July 2022, she joined Pioneer Legal.

About

  • Her practice focuses on handling commercial arbitration, consumer disputes as well as legal advisory.
  • She has an extensive experience in arbitrations and handles civil as well as criminal matters.
  • She regularly appears before the Bombay High Court, City Civil Court at Mumbai, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Maharashtra, and Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court. She has also appeared before the Delhi High Court, Allahabad High Court, Telangana High Court and the Supreme Court of India.

Mamta Jain

Senior Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • B.A. LL.B. National Law University, Odisha (University Gold Medalist)

Professional Memberships

  • Bar Council of Delhi
  • Young ICCA

Highlights

  • She started her career with the Industrial Financial Corporation of India (IFCI) Venture Capital Funds (A Government of India, Public Sector Undertaking) in 2019 as an in-house counsel.
  • She joined TPM Consultants, Delhi to work as an associate in 2020.
  • She has also worked with Justice C. Hari Shankar, Delhi High Court as a research associate.
  • Joined AKS Partners, Delhi as a General Corporate and M&A Associate in 2021.
  • In July 2022, she joined Pioneer Legal as an Associate.

About

  • Extensive experience in advising on corporate and commercial laws to private as well as government entities.
  • Her expertise and practice covers diverse areas including structuring of a corporate entity, foreign direct investment, private equity and venture capital, debt transactions, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate advisory.
  • She is a specialist in the areas of technology and finance laws.

VIJAY KUMAR CHAWLA

Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • B.A.L.L.B (Hons.), Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur
  • Accreditation in Mediation Advocacy from the Standards and Competencies in Mediation Advocacy.

Highlights

  • Graduated from Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur in 2022.
  • Joined Pioneer Legal as an Associate in 2022.
  • Advised and assisted the Havas group on multiple acquisitions in India.
  • Advised and assisted DEPT Agency on their acquisition of Teknopoint.
  • Advised and assisted PFSWeb on their proposed merger with GXO Logistics with respect to the India leg of the transaction.
  • Advised Jashvik Capital in their investment in Jabsons Foods.

About

  • Vijay is an associate in the Corporate & Commercial and M&A practices in Pioneer Legal and has experience in advising and assisting various listed and unlisted entities, and private equity and venture capital funds in the field of corporate and commercial laws, securities laws and other related laws; and his experience spans across various sectors such as
    manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceutical, healthcare, e-commerce and logistics.

  • At Pioneer Legal, Vijay advises and assists various listed and unlisted companies in relation to: (i) conducting due diligence exercise to highlight key legal and commercial issues; (ii) drafting and negotiating relevant transaction documentations; and (iv) corporate and regulatory approvals and foreign regulations compliances.

VEDIKA SHAH

Senior Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • B.L.S. LL.B., Government Law College, University of Mumbai
  • Solicitor, Bombay Incorporated Law Society

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa
  • The Bombay Incorporated Law Society

Highlights

  • She started her career as an article clerk with the corporate and commercial practice team at DSK Legal in 2018.
  • In April 2019, she joined Pioneer Legal as an article clerk wherein she assisted the corporate and commercial team and subsequently assisted the litigation team.
  • She went on to become an associate with Pioneer Legal in the month of September 2020 post her graduation. She was promoted to the position of senior associate in April, 2023.
  • She cleared the solicitor’s examination conducted by the Bombay Incorporated Law Society in 2023.

About

  • Vedika is an associate in the Corporate & Commercial and M&A practices of the firm. She has experience in advising and assisting various entities in the field of corporate and commercial laws, securities laws and other related laws.
  • She advises and assists various listed and unlisted companies in relation to: (i) conducting due diligence exercise to highlight key legal and commercial issues; (ii) drafting and negotiating relevant transaction documentations; and (iv) corporate and regulatory approvals and foreign regulations compliances.
  • She also advises and assists various prominent promoters of businesses on issues relating to succession planning and preparation of testamentary documents.

SHWETA VERMA

Associate Trainee

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • B.COM(H), LLB

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Delhi
  • Associate Member at ICSI

Highlights

  • Started her career at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas in the year 2019 in General Corporate Practice.
  • In July 2021, she joined Pioneer Legal

About

  • Shweta is an associate trainee in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate practices in the firm. She has experience on advising the clients in private equity, M&A Transactions and general corporate matters. Conducting due diligence on target entities and advising clients on such identified risks.

ABHISHEK GAUR

Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • B.A.L.L.B (Hons.), Institute of Law, Nirma University

Highlights

  • Graduated from Institute of Law, Nirma University in 2022.
  • Joined Pioneer Legal as an Associate in 2022.

About

  • Abhishek is an associate in the Corporate, Commercial and M&A practices of the firm. He has experience in varied fields of law including corporate laws, insolvency and bankruptcy laws and arbitration laws. He has extensively assisted in matters before the NCLT, NCLAT, Delhi High Court, and various Arbitral Tribunals in varied corporate and commercial matters. He has also assisted in multiple Joint Venture transactions including, conducting due diligences, along with drafting, and amending of various Joint Venture Agreements.

MANAS MAHESHWARI

Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • LLM in Banking and Finance Laws, Queen Mary University of London
  • LL.B, Campus Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi
  • B.Com (Hons.), Ramjas College, University of Delhi 

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa

Service Lines and sectors

  • Private Equity
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Forensic Practice

Highlights

  • He started his working career in April 2022 as an assessment intern at Pioneer Legal.
  • From June 2022, he started out as an Associate at Pioneer Legal.

About

  • Manas has extensive knowledge in banking and financial laws.
  • His area of interest includes private equity, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance laws.

ANANT S. TRIPATHI

Senior Associate

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
E-mail: [email protected]

Education

  • B.L.S. LL.B., Pravin Gandhi College of Law, University of Mumbai

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa

Highlights

  • Started his working career in the year 2016, after graduating from Pravin Gandhi College of law (Mumbai University)
  • Previously, he has worked in the Dispute Resolution Team of Naik Naik & Co. and Clasis Law.
  • In February 2022 he joined Pioneer Legal.

About

  • Anant has extensive experience in civil Litigation and Arbitration. He regularly advises and represents clients in matters before the High Court at Bombay, National Law Company Tribunal, City Civil Court and other Courts/Tribunals/forumsa across Mumbai.

  • He is actively involved in strategizing and handling arbitration matters, insolvency proceedings and other matters involving complex commercial and/or civil disputes.

Shivek Sharma

Associate

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • B.A. LL.B., Institute of Law Nirma University, Ahmedabad

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Delhi

Areas Of Practice

  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity
  • Debt Capital
  • Insolvency and Restructuring

Highlights

  • Shivek started his career in 2018 and joined Agram Legal Consultants, Mumbai as an Associate and joined Pioneer Legal as an Associate in 2019.
  • He is a part of the Corporate & Commercial, Debt Capital and M&A practices of the firm.

About

  • He has experience in carrying out due diligence pertaining to e-commerce, NBFCs, defence, infrastructure, electronics and transportation sector; and has been involved in drafting of various transactional documents including Term Sheet, Investment Agreement, Share Purchase Agreement and Shareholders’ Agreement.
  • He has advised several companies in raising of debt capital through issuance and allotment of non-convertible debentures.
  • He has also advised the resolution professional on the various aspects of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and has been involved in the drafting of various applications and replies including application for approval of resolution plan.

Param Gupta

Senior Associate

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • B.A. LL.B. (Hons.), Symbiosis Law School (Pune), Symbiosis International University

Highlights

  • He started his professional career after graduating from Symbiosis Law School, Pune in 2020.
  • In August 2020, he joined Pioneer Legal.

About

  • Param is an associate in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate practices of the firm. He has experience in providing advice and assistance to clients through M&A transactions, conducting legal and forensic investigations into white collar crimes, and general corporate matters. He
    has also assisted in cases involving due diligence, equity investments, and
    share purchase agreements—including those involving earn-outs.

Shreya Gokhale

Associate

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • B.L.S. LL.B., Government Law College, University of Mumbai

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa

Highlights

  • Graduated from Government Law College, Mumbai in 2021
  • Started her professional career in August 2021 with Bharucha & Partners, Mumbai
  • Joined Pioneer Legal in September 2022

About

  • At Bharucha & Partners, she worked in the Capital Markets team of the firm where her role included advising companies and book running lead managers, and conducting due diligence on entities proposing to raise funds through initial public offerings and rights issues; drafting of draft red herring prospectuses/ red herring prospectuses etc.
  • Shreya is an associate in the General Corporate practice at Pioneer Legal. She has experience in providing advise on different aspects of corporate and commercial laws; conducting due diligence to highlight key legal and commercial issues; and drafting and negotiating transaction documents.

Rushad Irani

Principal Associate

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • LL.B., Kishinchand Chellaram College of Law, University of Mumbai.
  • B. Com., Jai Hind College, University of Mumbai.

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa

Highlights

  • He started practice under an eminent technology law practitioner from late 2015 to early 2017 earning a basic grounding in technology law.
  • From February, 2017, he joined a prominent commercial dispute resolution and insolvency law practitioner whom he worked under and took up independent assignments as well. He joined Pioneer Legal in February, 2021.

About

  • His practice revolves around dispute resolution including commercial litigation and arbitration.
  • He has experience in advising and appearing for clients on varied disputes arising out of commercial transactions, insolvency, corporate disputes and partnership disputes.
  • He has extensive experience in commercial disputes and civil disputes before various courts and tribunals. He also has experience in handling arbitrations spanning a wide range of disputes. He has appeared in matters relating to insolvency proceedings.
  • He regularly appears before the High Court at Bombay, the National Company Law Tribunal at Mumbai, the City Civil Court at Mumbai and Dindoshi and the Small Causes Court at Mumbai. He has also appeared before the Sessions Court, various Magistrate’s Courts, Consumer Fora, Family Court, Charity Commissioner, Registrar of Co-operative Societies and SEBI.
  • He additionally advises clients during pre-dispute/pre-litigation stage in finalizing strategy including the appropriate mode of dispute resolution to ensure the most favorable outcome for the Client.

Pavana Padmakumar

Principal Associate

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • B.L.S./L.L.B., SVKMs Pravin Gandhi College of Law University of Mumbai

Highlights

  • Graduated from SVKMs Pravin Gandhi College of Law, Mumbai (affiliated to University of Mumbai) in 2019.
  • She started her career as an ‘Associate’ in Pioneer Legal since the firm’s inception in 2019.

About

  • Pavana is a Principal Associate in the Corporate & Commercial and M&A practices of the firm. She has experience in advising and assisting various entities in the field of corporate and commercial laws, securities laws and other related laws. She has assisted in advising various listed and unlisted companies in the areas of corporate laws, commercial laws and securities laws as well as in advising private equity funds in relation to their investments and exits. She also advises clients on employment and labour laws and the related compliances.

Eishan Agnihotri

Principal Associate

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • B.A – LL.B (Business Law Hons.), Institute of Law, Nirma University (Ahmedabad)

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Delhi

Highlights

  • He started his working career in the year 2018, after graduating from Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad.
  • He joined DSK Legal, (a leading law firm) at their Mumbai office as an Associate with the general corporate and M&As team.
  • In April 2019, he joined the newly founded ‘Pioneer Legal’ as an Associate. Currently, there are more than 25 lawyers with 6 partners working in Pioneer Legal.

About

  • He has experience in advising various listed and unlisted companies in the areas of corporate laws, commercial laws as well as in advising private equity funds in relation to their investments and exits.

Sohil Shah

Counsel, Pioneer Legal

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • LL.B., Kishinchand Chellaram College of Law, Mumbai
  • B. Com., Narsee Monjee College of Commerce & Economics, University of Mumbai
  • Company Secretary, Institute of Company Secretaries of India

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa

Highlights

  • He started his career when he joined the dispute resolution team at DSK Legal in the year 2013 as an Article Clerk and then went on to become an Associate when he graduated as an Advocate in 2014.
  • In February, 2019, he briefly joined the International Arbitration team at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. and then joined Pioneer Legal in December, 2019.

About

  • His practice focuses on commercial arbitration and litigation.
  • He has experience in advising clients on varied disputes arising out of commercial transactions, private equity transactions, media, consumer and insolvency.
  • He has extensive experience in arbitrations and has represented clients for obtaining interim reliefs, appointment of arbitrators, representation before tribunals and appeals. He also has vast experience in handling civil and commercial litigations before various Courts.
  • He regularly appears before the High Court of Bombay, National Company Law Tribunal at Mumbai, City Civil Court at Mumbai and Dindoshi. He has also appeared before the Supreme Court of India, High Court of Delhi, District Court at Pune, Magistrate Courts, Family Court, Labour Court, Registrar of Co-operative Societies and SEBI.
  • He also advises clients during pre-disputes/pre-litigation stage in finalizing strategy and adopting the most appropriate mode of dispute resolution to ensure the most favorable outcome for the client.

Shoubhik Dasgupta

Partner

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • LL.B., Symbiosis Law,
  • MBA in Business Administration, ICFAI

Professional Membership

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa

Highlights

  • Shoubhik is a Partner in the firm and specializes in private equity funds, corporate and commercial transactions, mergers & acquisitions and joint ventures.
  • He was recognized as a “Rising Star” for Private Equity by Asialaw 2023 and “Rising Star” Partner for Private Equity by IFLR1000 2022-23
  • After a decade-long stint at DSK Legal, Shoubhik has been a part of Pioneer Legal since its inception. Shoubhik has over 14 years of experience in general corporate and commercial laws.
  • He is a regular speaker for the Institute of Company Secretaries on matters pertaining to mergers and acquisitions and private equity.
  • Shoubhik advises various clients on a wide array of general corporate matters, employment laws, foreign exchange and security regulations and sector specific regulations. He has a focus on emerging sectors such as gaming, automobiles, chemicals and Insurance.

Pritha Jha

Partner

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • BSL. LL.B, ILS Law College, University of Pune

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa

Highlights

  • Pritha is a co-founder of Pioneer Legal and a distinguished expert in the realms of private equity, strategic mergers & acquisitions, and corporate advisory.
  • Beyond her core areas of specialization, Pritha provides crucial counsel to advertising agencies and media houses on their day-to-day operations and commercial contracts.
  • Her exceptional achievements have earned her prestigious recognitions, including being named one of ‘Asia’s Top 15 Female Dealmakers, India and Middle East’ and being listed among Asia’s 40 under 40 lawyers.
  • Asialaw has ranked her as a rising star in Private Equity, and India Business Law Journal identified her as one of India’s Future Legal Leaders.
  • She was featured as one of the Top 20 emerging leaders for the Indian Legal Market in the RSG Emerging Leaders Report of 2019.
  • After a successful tenure of 9 years at DSK Legal, Pritha co founded Pioneer Legal with three partners, further solidifying her position as a leading legal professional. Her primary focus centers on advertising, media, and entertainment sectors, where her exceptional knowledge and experience have earned her a trusted reputation among clients.
  • With an impressive career spanning over 16 years, Pritha has played a pivotal role in numerous domestic acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity investments, and intricate cross border transactions, making her a sought-after advisor for complex multijurisdictional deals.
  • She has been instrumental in successfully navigating through sector-specific regulatory challenges, contributing significantly to her client’ success and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

Narendra Dingankar

Partner

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0040
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • Solicitor, Supreme Court of India
  • Solicitor London and Wales
  • Advocate, High Court of Bombay
  • B.Com., University of Mumbai

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa
  • The Bombay Incorporated Law Society
  • International Bar Association (presently inactive)
  • Law Society of London and Wales (inactive)

Highlights

  • Narendra is the co-founding partner of Pioneer Legal. Narendra advises multinational and domestic companies and private equity funds in the areas of debt and equity funding transactions, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, joint ventures, infra projects and corporate laws.
  • Narendra has over 28 years of work experience as an Advocate and Solicitor. Narendra worked with Arthur Andersen, an international accounting firm, Dua Associates and DSK Legal, formed as part of the Andersen Legal Network.
  • Narendra assists clients in litigation matters, dispute resolution and formulating strategy for disputes. Narendra also assists in succession planning, family settlement, creation of family trust structures, preparation of Wills, and related documents

Sanket Jain

Partner

Mumbai Office:

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • Master’s in Business Law, NLS Bangalore
  • LL.B., K.C. Law College, Mumbai
  • Company Secretary, ICSI
  • B.MOS, University of Western Ontario, Canada
  • B.Com, Jai Hind College, Mumbai

Professional Memberships

  • Bar Council of India
  • Associate Member of ICSI

Highlights

  • Sanket has more than a decade of experience as a transactional and investigative lawyer. His areas of practice include mergers and acquisitions, private equity, employment laws and forensic investigation in white collar crimes. He has advised on various complex national and cross-border M&A transactions and conducted forensic investigations of suspected fraud, bribery and misappropriation of funds; advising on fraud and anti-bribery laws in India and reporting requirements; advising on strategy and implementation of action against perpetrators of such crime; advising on preventive action and building robust mechanisms/ policies to counter such crime, etc.
  • Prior to joining Pioneer Legal, Sanket has worked for Haresh Jagtiani and Associates, ARA Law and DSK Legal as part of the corporate and M&A team.
  • He is a member of the Bar Council of India, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He is presently, a member of the Advisory Board of RMLNLU Law Review as well. He has been recently recognised by Asian Legal Business as one of INDIA’S SUPER 50 LAWYERS 2023

Pioneering the Future

Enabling Intelligent Legal Solutions

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Satish Kishanchandani

Managing Partner

Mumbai Office

901/9th Floor, Nariman Bhavan, 227, Backbay Reclamation, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Tel: +91 22 6862 0000
Fax: +91 22 6862 0001
Email: [email protected]

Education

  • Solicitor, Supreme Court of India
  • Advocate, High Court of Bombay
  • B.Com., University of Mumbai

Professional Memberships

  • The Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa
  • The Bombay Incorporated Law Society
  • International Bar Association

Highlights

  • Satish is the founding Partner of Pioneer Legal. Satish has more than three decades of experience advising various multinational and domestic companies across sectors on corporate issues, large M&A and PE transactions and strategy for various complex disputes.
  • Throughout his eventful career, Satish has won numerous awards & recognitions such as: 
  1. ‘Distinguished Practitioner’ for Private Equity and Corporate/M&A (India) by Asialaw Leading Lawyers
  2. Distinguished Practitioner’ for Private Equity and Corporate/M&A (India) by IFLR1000
  3. Rankedfor Private Equity and Corporate/ M&A by Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific 2020 to 2023
  4. Ranked for Corporate/M&A by Chambers and Partners Global 2021 to 2023
  5. Recognised in the ‘A-List’ of lawyers by India BusinessLaw Journal 2022
  • An advocate and Solicitor from 1989-90. In 1992, Satish joined Arthur Andersen, a leading international accounting firm in its tax and business advisory practice to set up its corporate business advisory team.
  • In 1997, he joined Dua Associates as a Partner and set up its legal practice in Mumbai and Pune. In 2001, he co-founded DSK Legal, and built it into a 130-lawyer firm over 18 years. In April 2019, he along with 2 other partners founded Pioneer Legal
  • Satish has more than three decades of significant experience in advising on large M&A and PE transactions, and he also specializes in crafting strategies for complex disputes to minimize litigation risks.