Founder & Managing Partner, AZB & Partners
ZIA MODY is the Founder and Senior Partner of AZB & Partners and one of India’s foremost corporate attorneys. She passed her law degree from the University of Cambridge in 1978 and was enrolled as an Advocate with the Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa in 1978. She did her LLM from Harvard Law School and was then admitted as a member of the New York State Bar by examination in 1980. Zia worked as a corporate associate at Baker & McKenzie, New York, for five years before moving to India to set up practice, establishing the Chambers of Zia Mody in 1984, which then became AZB & Partners in 2004. The Firm has offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Pune with an integrated team of approximately 400 legal professionals.
Zia’s abilities are recognized globally, as is reflected in her appointment as the Deputy Chairman and a Non-Executive Director of the HSBC Asia Pacific Board, a member of the Governing Board of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), member of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) Users Council and a member on the SIAC Panel of Arbitrators (2017-2018), foreign arbitrator on the Panel of Arbitrators of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), a member of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, Washington D.C. (2008-2013), and a Vice President and Member of the London Court of International Arbitration (2010-2013). Zia serves on various advisory committees of the Confederation of Indian Industry including its National Council and its committees on Corporate Governance, Financial Services, Capital Markets and Legal Services. Zia was a member of the Godrej Committee on Corporate Governance constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. She was nominated to be part of the “Committee on Rationalisation of Investment Routes and Monitoring of Foreign Portfolio Investments” formed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India under the chairmanship of Shri K.M. Chandrashekar. She was appointed by the Reserve Bank of India in 2014 as a member of Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households which was chaired by Dr. Nachiket Mor.
Awarded the “India Managing Partner of the Year – 2016” by Asian Legal Business (Thomson Reuters), Zia features on Fortune India as The 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in India, for 2016 & 2017. She has also been awarded the “Professional of the Year – 2017” at the inaugural UK India Awards.
She is listed by Forbes India (2013, 2014 & 2015) as one of ‘India’s 10 most Powerful women’; also listed by Forbes Asia as one of ‘Asia’s 50 Power Businesswomen’ (2015), it has been said that few of Zia’s peers can match her skills or take her on when it comes to acquisitions, joint ventures, company restructuring, foreign inward investment related practice and corporate law. She has been named as a Leading Individual for Banking, Finance, Corporate and M&A and Investment Funds by The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific. Euromoney awarded her a Lifetime Achievement award – at Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2015. Among her many awards, Zia has received the “Outstanding Women Business Leader of the Year – 2013” award at India Business Leader Awards; also “Legal Icon of the Decade – 2013” and “Best M&A Lawyer of the Year – 2012” award at the Legal Era Awards and she has been voted as “Business Woman of the Year, 2010” by the Economic Times, for which she was felicitated by The Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF). She has also been voted by the Economic Times as one of the country’s most powerful CEOs (2004 to 2016), and as one of the 15 most powerful Indian women leaders in 2010-2014. She has been selected as one of the 25 most powerful women in business by Business Today in 2004-2014, and named one of India’s top ten most powerful women in business by Fortune Magazine in 2014.
AsiaLaw Profile hailed Zia as one of ‘Market Leading Lawyers’ in the fields of Mergers & Acquisitions, General Corporate Practice (2016 to 2018), while Legal 500 Asia Pacific has identified her as a leading individual in the Corporate Mergers & Acquisition, Banking & Finance, Private Equity and Investment Funds. “Zia Mody is an obvious choice for many clients involved in large international M&A transactions” states IFLR1000. Zia has been nominated as one of the world’s leading practitioners by the International Who’s Who Legal for her legal expertise in various practice areas including Mergers & Acquisitions (2008 to 2017), Private Funds (2008 to 2016), Corporate Governance (2012 to 2017), Competition (2017), Franchise (2015 to 2017), TMT (India Specialist) (2016), Project Finance (2017), Litigation (2016 & 2017) and Arbitration (2016 & 2018). She has also been selected as one of the world’s pre-eminent commercial arbitration specialists by the International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration (2012-2015), one of the International Who’s Who Legal’s – Thought Leaders, Arbitration (2017) and been as one of the world’s leading commercial arbitration experts by the International Who’s Who Legal – Arbitration (2018).