PEOPLE

Stephen Mathias

Senior Partner

LOCATION
Bangalore
EMAIL
stephen.mathias@bgl.kochhar.com
PHONE
+91 80 4030 8000

Profile

Stephen Mathias is the head of the Bangalore office of the Firm and co-chair of the Firm’s Technology Law Practice.

Stephen is a graduate of the prestigious National Law School of India University where he did an Honours degree in Arts and Law.  He is also a British Chevening Scholar and has done a diploma in European and English Law at the College of Law York and worked briefly at a leading law firm in London.  He is also a solicitor on the rolls of the Law Society of England and Wales.

Stephen began his career working in the Tax and Regulatory Division of multinational accounting firm Arthur Andersen, doing mergers and acquisitions, foreign investments, joint ventures, securities law and strategic investment work.

Stephen has spent most of his career representing many of the largest companies in the world with regard to their operations in India.  His expertise covers areas such as outsourcing, licensing, telecom, internet & e-commerce, privacy and intellectual property.  He is particularly adept at advising businesses on legal issues associated with unique digital products and solutions. Stephen is known for his unique expertise in the voice over IP arena, including advising large offshore operations in India on legally compliant telecom configurations, and advising companies involved in unified communications, conferencing and cloud based PBX services.

He does substantial data privacy work, mostly assisting multinationals in understanding data privacy law implications in the way they deal with personal data. He has also led teams investigating and taking enforcement actions in cases of data theft.

Stephen counsels’ clients on a wide variety of issues including risks relating to regulatory compliance, negotiations, dispute related strategies, employee retention and financing. In doing so, Stephen combines a vast expertise in areas such as M&A, financing, employment, litigation and regulatory compliance.

More recently, Stephen has been involved in conducting investigations of cases of corporate fraud by senior management including guiding clients on evaluation of evidence, industry standards, remedial measures and management exits.

Expertise

Corporate / M&A
TMT
White Collar Crime
Private Equity
Employment Law
Intellectual Property Rights

Publications

The Pathway to Compliance with Indian Privacy Legislation: Data Protection Law and Policy; March, 2016
Supreme Court Judgement on Privacy: what does it mean for privacy, Aadhaar: Indian Express; August 25, 2017
Indian Privacy Judgment, Society for Computers and Law, September 2017
Chambers Global Practice Guides, TMT Chapter for India
Technology Law Updates – Foreign Investment in E-Marketplaces
Technology Law Updates – New Intermediary Regulations, 2021
Technology Law Updates – Encryption Policy
Technology Law Updates – Personal Data Protection Bill
http://kochhar.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/70.Data-Protection-and-Privacy-in-India_Insights_Data-Privacy_Aug-2019.pdf

Awards & Recognitions

Listed in Euromoney’s Expert Guides for Information Technology
Recognised as Global Leader for Data - Information Technology and Labour & Employment 2021 and Thought Leader India 2020 by Who’s Who Legal (WWL)
Named in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific ‘Hall of Fame’ for TMT 2021 and recognized as Elite Leading Lawyer for TMT (2015-2021), Recommended Lawyer for Data Protection 2021
Most recognised practitioner under TMT practice area, 2020 (Asia-Pacific circle) by Chambers & Partners. Ranked as Band 1 Lawyer for TMT by Chambers & Partners (2015-2021)
Listed in India’s Top 100 lawyers and 35 legal icons by India Business Law Journal’s A-List
Recognised among India’s ’Top 100 Lawyers’ by FORBES Legal Powerlist 2020; felicitated for expertise in Technology, Telecommunication and Fintech
Selected by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), as one of India's Young Achievers to meet and interact with British Prime Minister, Tony Blair during his visit to India in 2002

Education

  • B.A (Arts and Law), LL.B (Hons), National Law School
  • Solicitor on the rolls of the Law Society, London
  • Diploma in English and European Law, College of Law, York

Memberships

  • Past member of the Board of Directors of Information Technology Law Association (ITechLaw)
  • Past Co Chair of the Asia Conference of Information Technology Law Association (ITechLaw)

Select Experience Statement

  • Assisted one of the world’s largest hardware companies on their set up in India including obtaining foreign investment approval, advising on online sales, corporate, employment and real estate issues.
  • Assisted one of the world’s largest software companies on over a dozen international acquisitions involving Indian subsidiaries including due diligence, closing, post-closing integration and regulatory strategy issues.
  • Assisted on of the world’s largest video conferencing services on regulatory restrictions in India concerning inter connection of PSTN with internet telephony and private networks and licensing issues.
  • Assisted one of the world’s largest banks over a 15 years period on setting up of over half a dozen call centres in India including telecom procurement, advice on telecom sharing, sharing of telecom resources between call centre and banking operations.
  • Assisted several cloud PBX providers on providing cloud PBX services to call centres and other businesses in India including restrictions on location of PBX outside India, restrictions on termination of India calls outside India and licensing issues.
  • Worked on over 100 outsourcing projects including projects involving BOT deals, multi-vendor projects, multi customer projects involving customer and its Indian subsidiary, staff augmentation projects for businesses in diverse fields including banking & finance, aviation, etc.
  • Worked on over 300 data privacy assignments, assisting multinationals in understanding the manner in which changes in the way they deal with personal information or new products and solutions are impacted by Indian privacy laws.
  • Assisted on investigations for several clients mostly corruption by senior management including investigations, review of evidence, interviewing senior management and providing risk based advice on options for the clients.
  • Represented over 60 Fortune Global 500 companies and over 100 companies overall on voice over IP issues in India for their Indian businesses, BPO and call centre operations including review of configurations, advice on workable call flows and regulatory issues.
  • Assisted on instances of data theft including review of evidence, advice on options available, review of criminal complaints and civil dispute documentation and guidance on effective strategy to recover data.
  • Assisted on numerous IP disputes mostly involving use of software as well as disputes relating to trademarks and music; advised clients on court remedies including obtaining Anton Piller orders.
  • Over the last 20 years, worked on setting up of numerous large offshore centres in India in areas such as banking & finance, insurance, retail and aviation, including over a dozen Fortune 500 companies.
  • Worked on various e-commerce projects in India including setting up of India’s first payment gateway, e-commerce projects in the hardware sector, retail and wholesale projects, and advising on investments in e-commerce platforms.

Industry Presence

  • Moderator at a Webinar on The thin line between personal and non-personal data, organised by PrivacyRules, May, 2021
  • Speaker at a webinar on What’s up with the WhatsApp privacy policies, organised by PrivacyRules, February, 2021
  • Moderator at a Virtual Session on India's New Employment Laws, organised by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce – November, 2020
  • Speaker at the Privacy & Cybersecurity track at The Digital Week Online a global online event, October, 2020
  • Speaker for the Session on Land Acquisition at 16th Indo‐US Economic Summit a flagship event organized by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, September, 2020
  • Speaker at a webinar on Schrems II: The impact outside the US, organised by PrivacyRules, August, 2020
  • Panel speaker at webinar on Legal Impact of COVID-19 on Startups, organised by TIE Bangalore, April, 2020
  • Panel speaker on Moving to Unknown Telecom Territories: AGR, Space, 5G and the Future of Telecom Regulations, at International Technology Law (ITECHLAW) conference 2020
  • Panel speaker on Data Fiduciary: A Bold New Idea in the Big Data World, at International Technology Law (ITECHLAW) conference 2019
  • Panel speaker on Is privacy Obsolete, at Bangalore International Centre (A TERI Initiative) conference 2018

Contact Details

  • 201, Prestige Sigma, 3 Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore 560001, Karnataka (India)
  • +91 80 4030 8000
  • +91 80 4112 4998
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