Corporate Legal Update



Jack Welch changed role of in-house lawyers at General Electric
Former General Electric Company chairman and CEO Jack Welch Jr, whose death was reported on March 2, revolutionised the role of the in-house law department during his 20 years as CEO, according to several former GE colleagues. His focus on recruiting top-tier legal talent and desire to work with regulators to clean up corporate messes helped change the role of lawyers inside and outside of GE. Welch—who was once married to former Shearman & Sterling M&A lawyer Jane Beasley (the couple divorced in 2003)—saw the value in adding and promoting in-house talent. Welch personally interviewed all top legal hires, many of whom would eventually move into prominent business-side roles, either at GE or elsewhere.


SC restores NCLT order asking JAL to return 758 acres land to Jaypee
The Supreme Court has restored the National Company Law Tribunal order directing Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL) to return 758 acres of land, which was pledged with several banks, to its debt-laden subsidiary firm Jaypee Infratech Ltd. The NCLAT had allowed the pleas of all banks as well as JAL and held that the transactions were genuine and the allegation of undervaluation was not justified. The top court, while deciding a batch of appeals filed by Interim Resolution Professional of Jaypee and others, set aside the decision of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) passed on August 1, last year.



Worldwide Legal Buzz


Third runway at London’s Heathrow ruled illegal over climate change
Plans for a third runway at UK’s busy Heathrow airport have been ruled illegal by London’s court of appeal because ministers did not adequately take into account the government’s commitments to tackle the climate crisis. The ruling is a major blow to the project at a time when public concern about the climate emergency is rising fast and the government has set a target in law of net zero emissions by 2050. The government is considering its next steps but will not appeal against the verdict.


Dubai ruler loses appeal over release of two UK court judgments
The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has failed in his latest attempt to prevent publication of two family court judgments involving his children with his ex-wife Princess Haya of Jordan. The court of appeal in London also refused his lawyers permission to take the case to the Supreme Court.




Law & Technology

Multinational law firm Linklaters creates legal tech curriculum for lawyers
London-headquartered multinational law firm Linklaters has worked with a group of academics to create a new legal technology curriculum for its youngest lawyers. The curriculum, which was developed in partnership with Swansea University, was born out of a series of workshops conducted in 2018 around the firm’s international network that asked stakeholders and managing associates what skills the future generations of lawyers are going to need. The main one identified was the ability to be comfortable using legal tech and understand how it should be deployed on matters. UK’s Swansea University runs a week-long legal tech school every summer.

Interview of the Week


Interview: Advocate Manu Sharma specialises in Criminal Defence and has a track record of getting his clients relief in 95 per cent of the cases!
Some of the high profile cases he has represented are – the 2G scam case for former Union minister A Raja; the Religare/Fortis case for Malvinder Singh; Peter Mukerjee in the P Chidambaram/ INX Media case; Devas Multimedia in ISRO corruption act case; Om Prakash Chautala in PMLA case; Aditya Talwar in the aviation scam case; Dilip Ray, former Coal Minister in one of the coal scam cases; Suhaib Illyasi case.




Delhi: NGT suspends clearance for ‘city’s tallest building’
The National Green Tribunal has suspended the environment clearance granted for the construction of the ‘tallest building in Delhi’, a 37-floor residential high-rise near Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station at Delhi University’s north campus, saying approval for it was given “without application of mind”. NGT has asked for an independent evaluation on the project viability by a panel comprising members from the Environment Ministry and Central Pollution Control Board, among others. It has sought a report within two months. The developer has been restrained from further activity until July 9.


Working woman giving birth to child after twins in first delivery not entitled to maternity benefits: Madras HC
The Madras High Court has ruled that if a working woman gives birth to a child during the second delivery after twins were born to her following her first pregnancy, she is not entitled to maternity benefits as the case should be treated as that of a third child. The HC said it found that a second delivery, which resulted in a third child, cannot be interpreted so as to add to the mathematical precision that is defined in the rules pertaining to giving maternity benefits to women employees.





The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 2 by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. The bill seeks to extend the upper limit for permitting abortions from the present 20 weeks to 24 weeks.


After approving the bill last month, the government said this will ensure safe termination of pregnancies and also give women reproductive rights over their bodies. The extension to 24 weeks will also help victims of rape, girls with disabilities as well as minors, who may not realise they are pregnant until later, the government said, describing the draft legislation as progressive.




Decree passed by the DRT and the order of the Recovery Officer are appealable under Sec.20 of Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act




SC – The Hon’ble SC while allowing the appeals against the order of the Madras HC, has observed that the suits filed by the original plaintiffs being vexatious and frivolous, the plaints are required to be rejected in exercise of powers under Order 7 Rule 11 of the CPC. Without exhausting the remedy of appeal provided under the RDDBFI Act, the suits with the basic relief of challenging the decree passed by the DRT were liable to be dismissed.

The allegations of fraud are illusory and only with a view to get out of the judgment and decree passed by the DRT. – Hon’ble Justices Uday Umesh Lalit,Indira Banerjee and M.R. Shah [28-02-2020]

Counsel for the parties – Mr. Rajesh Kumar-I, Mr.Anant Gautam, Ms. Sakshi Gaur, Mr. Sorabh Dahiya, Mr. Vibhu Sharma, Mr. Nipun Sharma, Mr. Anmol Mehta, M/S. Dua Associates

Read the full judgment with iDRAF (Issue,Decision,Reasoning,Arguments,Facts) on the headline Link


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