Dec30,2020 #Harish Salve

Senior Advocate

NAME: Harish Salve

PROFESSION: Senior Advocate, Former Solicitor General of India

BORN: 22 June, 1955 (age- 65 years)

FATHER NAME: N.K.P. Salve (Politician)

MOTHER’S NAME: Ambriti Salve (Doctor)


First Marriage – Meenakshi Salve (in 1982- 2020 div)

Second Marriage – Caroline Brossard (in 2020- Present)


Sister – Arundati Upadhyaya


Daughters – Saaniya Salve and Sakshi Salve.

PLACE OF BIRTH: Dhule, Maharashtra

HOBBIES: Listening to music and teaching

AWARS: Padma Bhushan

SPECIALIZED: Constitutional, commercial and tax law

One of the highest paid lawyers in India, Harish Salve started his career as a Charter Accountant, later he got specialization in Tax law after that he qualified as a lawyer.

He primarily practiced at the Supreme Court of India but also appeared in various High Courts, international arbitral disputes and also as a counsel and an adjudicator.

Salve practiced as a Chartered Accountant before he became a lawyer. Nani Palkhivala, an eminent tax lawyer from Mumbai, was Salve’s inspiration.

He also served as the Solicitor General of India from 1 November 1999 to 3 November 2002.


Born into a Marathi family, Salve’s father N.K.P. was a Chartered Accountant and very prominent politician of the Indian National Congress party. Adv. Salve’s mother Ambriti Salve was a doctor by profession and he was always fascinated by professional qualities and values.

However, it seems that he was inspired by his grandfather PK Salve who was a criminal lawyer and a subordinate judge.

Harish Salve converted his religion to Christianity. His second marriage with artist Caroline Brossard happened in 2020 at a church in London. The duo met at an Art Exhibition. This is the second marriage of both.

Education and Early Life

Harish Salve did his schooling at St. Francis De ’Sales High School, Nagpur and he completed his Chartered Accountancy from ICAI. He joined his father’s practice of accountancy and income-tax matters. He completed is LL.B degree from Nagpur University. He wanted to be an engineer in his younger days.

Harish Salve as Solicitor General

At the age of 43, Salve was appointed as a Solicitor General in 1 November 1999 and he held office till 2002. Salve was the premier law officer for Union of India so he had large number of important matters to see. He argued important matters for the government such as the first anti-dumping case and also cases like privatization of PSUS etc.

He was doing important non-litigation work such as conducting the WTO negotiations, drafting the electricity reforms and setting up legislation for the competition commission.

These experiences gave Harish Salve a larger perspective to legal matters and also helped him in developing his arguing skills.


The turning point in Harish Salve’s life came when he met Nani Palkhivala, the famous lawyer.

Harish Salve learnt the nuances of advocacy under Nani Palkhivala. He assisted Palkhivala as a junior in important cases like the famous Minerva Mills case.

Harish Salve was very much inspired by Nani Palkhivala and he also stated that Nani Palkhivala is his idol and role model.

Harish Salve credits the extensive grounding received from Palkhivala to cement his position in the profession.

Harish Salve paid tribute to Palkhivala by saying:

“From him I learnt that genius is a lot of hard work. It entails having the capacity to do what people find boring, that is where you hone your attention to detail. Palkhivala taught me to make excellence an end unto itself.”

“He used to say that the measure of how well you’ve argued in court comes not from the decision of the court, but from how you personally feel you’ve performed. He opened up a whole new dimension of the world before me.”


Harish Salve’s legal care began in the year 1980 as an intern at J.B. Dadachandji. He was first appointed as a legal intern but later as a full-time lawyer. During this time, he assisted Palkhivala in the case of Minerva Mills (AIR 1980 SC 1789).

He also worked with former Attorney General, Soli Sorabjee from 1980-1986 and in 1992, he was designated a senior counsel in Supreme Court of India. In 1999, he became the Solicitor General of India.

When he was offered a second term in 2004, Salve denied citing “personal reasons” later he clarified that his wife was unhappy about him bringing work home.

Salve was appointed as an Amicus Curiae of Supreme Court in most of the case relating to the preservation of the environment.

In 2013, Salve was admitted to the English Bar and also in Blackstone Chambers. On January 16, 2020, he was appointed as Queen’s Counsel for the courts of England and Wales.

Adv. Salve is a very hard-working lawyer and he believes in the necessity for full research into all cases laws and also, he makes point so he can concentrate in the court.

“I attend court daily to hear the other side’s arguments. I don’t like to distract myself and prefer to concentrate on the case at hand. You never know when a new idea pops up,” he said.

Harish Salve made it clear that he accepted a matter only where he was convinced about the merits of the case – “I am a very poor lawyer,” he said.

“If I am not convinced about a case, I will make a very weak argument in court. Lawyers, like doctors, take the oath that they will represent any case in court, giving everyone a chance for justice. But I am capable of laughing aloud in court if I have to argue for a matter that I think does not hold ground. And I am always aware that as a senior counsel, the court expects that what I say should be worth hearing.”

Harish Salve


Harish Salve’s experience as a Charter Accountant has given him a larger scope in Income-tax law. His prowess attracted him to MNCs and Foreign companies. He became the first port-of-call for MNCs troubled with Income-tax matters.


Senior Advocate Harish Salve argued the first Anti-Dumping case in the Supreme Court of India after that he appeared in numbers of landmark cases like UCO Bank vs. CIT 237 ITR 889 (SC), CIT vs. Podar Cement 226 ITR 625 (SC), Azadi Bachao Andolan 263 ITR 706 (SC), Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries vs. DIT 288 ITR 408 (SC), etc.

He also appeared in corporate matters, one of them being between Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani relating to RIL and RNRL.

Salve’s other noteworthy clients also include the ITC Limited and Tata Group whom he has represented on various matters. He has appeared for several Tata group companies.

He represented Ratan Tata in a privacy petition dealing with the leakage and publication of the Niira Radia conversations which exposed an alleged politico-corporate crony capitalistic nexus, causing a huge scandal in late 2010. Further, he appeared for ITC’s famous 803 crores excise matter.

Cyrus Investments Pvt. Ltd. V. Tata Sons Ltd & Ors on 6 January, 2020

In this case, the two-bench comprising Justice S. J Mukhopadhaya and Justice Bansi Lal Bhat of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal said that the removal of Cyrus Pallonji Mistry from the chairmanship of Tata Sons Limited was illegal and after that an appeal sent before the Supreme Court of India in January 2020.

Advocate Salve appeared in the case in the defence of Tata Sons. Harish Salve, Senior counsel said that between 1965 and 1980, nobody from the Shapoorji Group was on the board of Tata Sons.

Union of India v Vodafone Group Plc United Kingdom on 7 May, 2018

Adv. Salve represented Vodafone in its $ 2.5 billion tax dispute case with the Indian Government. He initially lost the case in the Bombay High Court, but later in Supreme Court, he won the case. After the judgment, Harish Salve, who represented Vodafone, said “I am very happy with verdict, very few countries can boast of such a judiciary. The verdict will boost people’s confidence on the Indian Judiciary.”

Charged Re. 1 to defend Jadhav

In 2016, Kulbhushan Jadhav was apprehended by Pakistan and in 2017, a military court gave him death sentence on charge of “terrorism and espionage”

The same year, India moved ICJ to point out how Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention by not allowing consular access to Jadhav.

Agreeing with India’s argument, ICJ asked Pakistan to suspend Jadhav’s punishment and granted consular access to GOI.

Senior Advocate Harish Salve had represented India at the ICJ. He charged only Re.1 as his fee, while Pakistan had spent 20 crores on lawyers to prove Jadhav was an Indian spy but the judgment came in favour of India and granted a new life to Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Salman Salim Khan v State of Maharashtra on 3 September, 2003

Harish Salve took a very high-profile case of Actor Salman Khan in 2015. The actor was earlier sentenced to five year in jail for a 2002 hit and run accident case – a man died and four others were injured. Senior Counsel Amit Desai, a Mumbai-based lawyer, replaced Salve for a short period of time. The Bombay High Court eventually suspended the sessions court decision and Salman Khan did not go to jail for even one day, but it was only Salve who quickly got bail for the Bollywood star.

In 2003, Salve appeared for Bilkis Bano, a victim of the Gujarat Riots at the behest of National Human Right Commission in 2003.


In February 2009, Activists group of Citizen for Justice and Peace, represented by Kamini Jaiswal, alleged that Salve was not fit to be amicus curiae in the Gujarat Riots cases due to his allegedly indifferent attitude to their complaints of shoddy investigation by the special team.

An article in Tehelka magazine, in 2011, claimed that Salve misused his position as an Amicus Curiae in the Gujarat Riots case by lobbying for companies with the state government officials, who were part of the investigation.

Salve, in an interview, while not denying any of the article’s facts, rejected any possibility of a quid pro quo or conflict in his role as an amicus in the case.

“I am appearing against Narendra Modi and his government’s misdeeds. I’m not appearing against Gujarat. If a project is good for Gujarat, I will again direct it to Gujarat. If you can show that I have received one rupee from this I will leave this profession and go,” he said.

He also denied that he had any pecuniary interest in making recommendations on behalf of Eros Energy, a company promoted by London-based billionaire Kishore Lulla.

Some more facts about Harish Salve

  • He is very fond of music and is a pianist
  • He likes to teach at Oxford University.
  • He is one of the most expensive lawyers in the world.
  • Salve played a significant in striking down the tyrannical regime of Section 66A, which considered sending offensive messages of computer resources through communication service etc. punishable.
  • India Today Magazine ranked him 43rd in India’s 50 most powerful people of 2017 list.
  • He is also known as the 20th wealthiest lawyer in the world.

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