Spotlight on Member Priti Suri and the India Committee
Section Member Priti Suri, Co-Chair of the India Committee and Vice Chair of the Aerospace & Defense Industries Committee, has been extensively involved in numerous Section initiatives including the ILEX Program, Women’s Rights and the formation of the Section’s India Committee. She has been an enthusiastic participant and speaker at both Fall & Spring Meetings over the last several years. Priti has given us a personal account of her introduction to the Section, the many exciting projects she has spearheaded and what’s next in 2013!
“I am a first generation lawyer who has built up my own firm which has two offices in India, in New Delhi and Chennai. I have spent more than 26 years in the legal profession, nine of which were in the US and Europe and which greatly influenced
and shaped my thinking. I started out as a generalist but evolved to become a business, transactional lawyer with a focus on cross-border work. Apart from having rainmaker responsibilities and managing the firm, my own practice is focused on counseling clients in a diverse range of complex corporate, commercial, M&A work with deal size between $20 to more than $500 million.
My involvement with the ABA’s Section of International Law goes back over two decades to when I was an ILEX exchange scholar. Subsequently, as an ABA SIL member, I was asked to help plan the Section’s ILEX delegation to India in early 2009.
“Over the years, I have been involved in many Section activities including numerous speaking engagements and the development of the India Committee. In the early days of the India Committee, I was responsible, among other things, for organizing its webinars.
“In 2009, as a Vice-Chair of the IPBA’s Women Business Lawyers Committee (I am a current Chair of that Committee since 2011) I conducted a conference for women lawyers in New Delhi, India, which had the objective of raising consciousness on some key issues impacting women in the profession. As a result, SIL’s US Lawyers Abroad Committee Co-Chair contacted me and we co-developed a program, sponsored by SIL’s China Committee, the Women’s Interest Network and the Diversity Committee, which was replicated in multiple cities, titled “Focus on Women in Law: Building and Strengthening Client Relationships.”
“The success of this program culminated in a stand-alone session at the 2010 fall meeting in Paris where I was a panelist on “Rainmaking Women Style: Moving Past Unwritten Rules to Become Your Own Star” which was very well received.
“At the 2011 Spring Meeting in Washington DC, I was a panelist on “New Developments in India’s Corporate Regulatory Regime” which covered many significant changes that had occurred in the months leading up to the session.
“After I became a Co-Chair, I was very closely involved in the planning and implementation of the ABA’s first ever stand-alone conference in January 2012 in Mumbai, India on “U.S. and India: Key Legal Aspects of Cross-Border Business.” There were about 200 lawyers from all over the world and the conference was a great success, also raising the visibility of the ABA in India and providing an opportunity for lawyers from around the world to engage in interesting debates and discussions.
“Subsequently, in April 2012 at the Annual Spring Meeting in New York, I was again on the panel of a very interesting topic “Market Access for Foreign Lawyers: Distilling Positions In Search of the Truth” which discussed and analyzed issues of allowing lawyers from one country to work in another country without necessarily qualifying to practice in that “host” country.
“In 2013, I am speaking at the Washington DC Spring Meeting as a panelist on “At the Gates of the BRIC Countries: Regulatory Barriers to Private Equity Acquisitions.” I have also submitted a program proposal for the 2013 London Fall meeting on “Criminal Sexual Assault in India: Public Demands Legal reform and Enforcement following the Gang Rape in Delhi.”
“My firm also contributes articles for India Committee’s “India Law News” as well as to the Aerospace and Defense Committee. As President of “Society of Women Lawyers-India” (SOWL-India), a platform created in 2010 after the IPBA conference of 2009 (referred to above), I have also encouraged other Indian women lawyers to participate at ABA events, in India or elsewhere. In fact, SOWL-India has been one of the cooperating entities at the Section’s spring and fall meetings.
“While I am not a feminist, I am deeply interested in women’s issues generally and particularly in equipping women lawyers with tools for meeting the challenges of the legal profession when building practices, whether by mentoring them by providing experiential insights into tools and strategies that can be used to strengthen client relationships. This mentoring takes place within my own firm as well as within SOWL-India’s membership base.” If you have any comments or questions about Priti’s work in the ILEX program, the India Committee, Women’s Rights, Mentoring other Lawyers or her legal practice at PSA Legal Counsellors in New Delhi she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org