Lawyer by profession and Wellness Coach by passion, Woman of Substance
She is the epitome of her favourite adage – ‘Be so good, they can’t ignore you’. Meet Neeha Nagpal, Lawyer by profession and Wellness Expert by passion, and multi-tasking woman of substance.
An alumni of the prestigious University of Warwick, England, Neeha studied BA (Hons) Law & Business Studies before pursuing her LL.M in International Economic Law from Warwick.
All set to scale the heights of the legal fraternity at the young age of 24, she was knocked down by one personal loss after another. In a span of 9-10 months, she first lost her father, then her grandfather, and being compelled to step up as the family matriarch. “Suddenly, I was responsible for my grandmother, mother and younger brother. I had no option but to step up and stay calm to deal with the pack of cards dealt to me by life.”
After an arduous journey of 15 years, Neeha has emerged as an Advocate of repute. She has vast commercial litigation experience at the Supreme Court, various High Courts, National Company Law Tribunal, National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, and Competition Commission of India.
She also has extensive experience in the areas of media and telecom. She has advised clients in the restructuring of Companies and Media/TV show productions. She has represented various Telecom players and Coal companies in the 2G cancellation and Coal block de-allocation case before the Supreme Court of India. She has also represented the Essar Group in the 2G Trial, Coal block de-allocation Trial, as well as several International Commercial Arbitrations.
In 2018, Neeha represented the most defining case of her career when she became part of the team of lawyers who challenged homosexuality laws before the Supreme Court, which led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India.
Today, she continues to actively engage in commercial law practice with a focus on white-collar crime and represents various HNIs and erstwhile promoters of large companies such as Fortis Hospitals, Rotomac Group, Educomp Solutions and Unitech, in matters pertaining to PMLA, SFIO, CBI.
Her commitment to excellence has already seen her win of various eminent honours: Forbes ‘Tycoons of Tomorrow’ Award 2018; Forbes
Powerlist 2021 for Top Individual Lawyers (above 10 years experience); BW Legalworld’s list of ‘40 under 40’ Elite Lawyers in December 2022, among others.
Which brings us to the question – In between meeting clients and representing them in court all day, how did Neeha find time to become a certified Gut Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, NYC? “In 2016, the pressures of work started overtaking me and I found myself spiraling physically and mentally. I was a mess. Yet instead of giving in, I sought help and resurrected myself. This marked the beginning of my wellness journey.”
Contrary to belief, Neeha feels law and wellness go hand-in-hand as both are directed towards helping people and the community at large. In the future, she hopes to find more time to follow her passion for wellness. “Gut health is everything from the mouth all the way till excretion. It is everything you eat and think. It controls digestion, skin and mental health, and it can keep diseases at bay. However, it is bio-individual. You must find what works for you and thereby build a sustainable life practice which works for you.”
Neeha herself does it by leading a regimented life – she does not compromise on meal timings, packs in a 45 minutes of workout almost 5 times a week and a beauty sleep of 7, and indulges her creative side by playing the piano or spending time with her mom and friends.
“I’m grateful to my parents for instilling the virtues of kindness and generosity in my brother and me. They taught us how to make an impact with love.”
Neeha finds inspiration in her mentor and her father’s childhood friend – the late Mr. Arun Jaitley [Former Senior Advocate and Former Finance Minister, Govt of India]- kindness was his greatest virtue and hard-work defined him. Neeha says, “I got the best life lesson at age 17 from Mr Jaitley. He said always know where you are headed. Identify your goal and then consistently work towards it.”
She also finds constant inspiration in her best friend’s mother – Dr. Jyotsna Suri [CMD of Bharat Hotels Ltd].
Neeha emphatically said, “Aunty Jyoti packs in grace, grit and compassion not only at work but in all her roles at work and home. I learnt the best lesson in time management from Aunty Jyoti- she once told me- pack in only what you can give your best to in a day, do that by prioritizing what is important!”
As a young woman’s leader in a man’s world herself, how does Neeha overcome her obstacles? “Every day presents a new challenge and a new opportunity to learn. I am grateful for all that the new challenge has to offer. The way I see it, you can face it in two ways – 1. Amplify the woman bias or 2. Be so good with what you do, that your work speaks for you! I live by the latter and let my work speak and honestly, then the rest does not matter. I do not shy away from long work hours or asking questions or just being open to exploring and learning. I know, I do not know it all but the power lies in the curiosity to learn and grow!
Sharing her mantra for women to succeed in a man’s world, she says: “Wake up, Dress up and Show Up! That is step one and do that everyday! And in addition to that, believe in yourself because you are your own brand ambassador!”