BW Most Influential Woman Of India: Zia Mody, Corporate Lawyer

Zia Mody, leader in corporate law in India, is considered as the master of corporate merger and acquisition law and is known for her fierce negotiating skills with a sharp mind. After earning her master’s degree from Harvard University, Mody worked in New York for 5 years before returning to start her own practice in India.

Zia Mody had her own set of hurdles while establishing her name in the legal profession, like earning the respect of her male colleagues in India, adapting to the Indian legal environment, building up a client base through pro bono work, and balancing the demanding career with motherhood.

Today, Mody is the founder and managing partner of AZB & Partners. Under her leadership, the company has grown to become one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the country. Her firm advised in the first successful closure and acquisition under the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of Bhushan Steel. 

She has also advised telecom major Airtel on its merger with the Telenor Group and Schneider Electric for the acquisition of Larsen & Toubro’s electric and automation business - two of big corporate deals.

Mody is inspired by the increasing number of women entering the legal profession in India, her own firm has 50% women as partners, but she still feels the need to improve opportunities available to women and girls in rural areas for them to be economically independent.

Zia’s mastery is recognised globally, she was appointed as deputy chairman and non-executive director of the HSBC Asia Pacific board; member of the governing board of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration; foreign arbitrator on the panel of arbitrators of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission; member of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, Washington DC (2008-2013); and vice president and member of the London Court of International Arbitration (2010-2013). She is also been a member of committees constituted by various ministries, regulators and industry bodies such as SEBI, MCA, CII and RBI.

Zia has been consistently ranked by renowned international business law journals as one of India’s and Asia’s best mergers and acquisitions lawyers, most powerful CEOs and commercial arbitration specialists. 

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