Senior partner joins CAM post garden leave


Akila Agrawal, a senior partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (SAM), has joined Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) after two and a half months of garden leave.

“While garden leave may not be an ideal situation for the professional, it is a fair practice,” said Agrawal who joins as an equity partner and head of the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) practice in the firm’s Delhi office.

Akila Agrawal
Akila Agrawal

“I served a notice period of nearly two months and was on gardening leave for an additional two and a half months. Firms may be constrained to resort to it to safeguard their clients.” Agrawal told India Business Law Journal she agreed with the practice “as long as the original contract provided for such a provision and the professional who is being rendered idle is adequately compensated”.

Agrawal worked at SAM and Amarchand Mangaldas before its split for 16 years. “I decided to join CAM as it was a great opportunity for further growth. The partners at CAM and I were in the same firm not so long ago. We share a common legacy. This gave me added comfort as I knew there should be no surprises.”

Agrawal will be working closely with Reeba Chacko, partner and head of the firm’s corporate practice, and Nivedita Rao, partner and deputy head of the corporate practice. “I have known them for nearly 25 years – since my days in college. Nivedita has always been my sounding board for public M&A matters. Reeba was my roommate in college. She and [CAM partner] Namrata Kolar are my closest friends. It is always fun to work with people you enjoy spending time with.”

In the past year, Agrawal has worked on some significant deals such as PVR’s acquisition of SPI cinemas and Warburg Pincus’ investment in PVR, GIC’s investment in a DLF subsidiary, Fresenius’ acquisition of Akorn Inc, Mars Inc’s acquisition of Tasty Bites, Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto and SAF Holland’s buyout of York Transport.