The legal profession in India is continually changing and evolving, bringing new challenges and rewards. Legal professionals are required to be “problem-solvers” and “innovators”, willing to tackle new challenges, and navigate an ever-evolving legal system. One such diversely seasoned pioneer in the legal sector is Vineetha MG. The dynamic legal landscape has made her each day unique and fostered an enjoyable and fulfilling work experience.
Beginning her career at ICICI Bank Limited, Mumbai in 1998, she later joined AZB & Partners in 2001. At AZB, she was part of the initial 12 member team and was there for over a decade, and handled their private equity, infrastructure, banking & finance, and funds’ practice. Then in 2012, Vineetha, together with her partners, Co-founded Samvad: Partners, which has grown to become a leading law firm specializing in various complex corporate and financial transactions.
The Dart that Landed on Law
By the time Vineetha had finished high school, she wanted to become an IAS Officer. She felt the need to understand all the rules of law before she could be an effective IAS officer, as law affects every aspect of a person’s life. Concluding that law seemed a good fit, she took a leap of faith and went to a law school- NLSIU. This turned out to be a great choice. The co-operative and interactive teaching method followed at NLSIU made the study of law even more interesting for her. Vineetha says, “I am grateful to all my teachers in NLSIU who played a significant role in molding me.”
Challenges on the Way
When Vineetha joined the profession, women had already made a place for themselves in it, and most of her mentors have been women. Hence she has always worked in a very conducive environment, However, in her view, the problem of gender bias is still pervasive in the legal system. Women are still subject to special scrutiny and female lawyers do not receive the same presumption of competence or commitment as their male colleagues. Tackling this was a huge challenge for Vineetha. Fortunately, she was lucky enough to have strong role models to help her find her feet. Today, her struggle she says is “so little time and so much to do!” And sometimes the challenge for her is to maintain a balance between work and other aspects of her life. “But there is no substitute for hard work,” she says.
Her Passions and Motivation
Vineetha wants to remain a good lawyer and a trusted advisor. She aims to be abreast with all the legal changes and retain relevance. “There are still so many more avenues to pursue, so many more contributions that I can make to the society. Miles to go before I sleep, as it goes,” she asserts.
Beyond law, education, specifically at school level, is close to her heart. Her family runs a school in a village in Tumkur, which provides subsidized education to 250 kids of farmers located in the nearby 25 villages. Vineetha is also passionate about the study of public policy. She finds the subject very fascinating and would want to contribute to the evolution of public policy in India.
The idea of helping people resolve their legal problems has been motivation for Vineetha. She has always believed that law is a powerful tool for social change. She thinks that with her career she can facilitate this process and is enthusiastic about being a part of the system. In her legal career, Vineetha has primarily represented several diverse companies. For this she had to also learn a lot about different businesses and industries, as well as the diverse areas of law that impacted her clients. This, for her, keeps the routine interesting.
Achievements and Remarkable Milestones of Her Life
To Vineetha, handling complex corporate or financing transaction is a great experience and offers a sense of accomplishment. For her, although the job is very stressful, it is totally exhilarating at the same time.
About the milestones in the journey of her life, getting into NLSIU was a life defining moment for Vineetha. Other than that, being passionate about public policy, when she got into the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, for an Executive Education Programme on public policy development, it was her “dream come true” moment. Coming together with her partners to form Samvad was one of the most fulfilling and defining moments of her career. Also, for her winning the Global Excellence Award as the Most Influential Woman in Private Equity Investments 2018, India, is a proud memory.
About the Company
Samvad: Partners is a full-service multidisciplinary Indian law firm with offices in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and New Delhi. It was formed from a merger of smaller regional practices in 2013 and ever since then, the firm has grown steadily in size over the past five years to its present headcount of 100 members. It is a leading adviser for a diverse array of subjects, ranging across private equity investments, cross-border and domestic M&A, insolvency and restructuring, banking and financing, general corporate and commercial matters, dispute resolution, technology, media and intellectual property. Samvad’s clientele also varies in sector and scale.
Advising the budding lawyers of the future, Vineetha says, “There is no substitute for hard work, integrity, and passion. If someone tells you that there are glass ceilings then just go ahead and break them.”