The South Asian Bar Association of Northern California was founded to ensure that Bay Area South Asian lawyers were provided an avenue to develop professionally, network among peers and volunteer within the South Asian community. 

 

The mission of the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California is to:

  • Promote alliances between South Asian legal professionals in Northern California and throughout the nation.
  • Advocate for the South Asian community.
  • Support those who value diversity in the legal profession.
  • Assist law students, and those interested in the law, with developing contacts with practitioners.
  • Provide information to members on careers and the legal market in Northern California.
  • Provide an avenue for professionals and other community leaders to take an interest in matters of concern to South Asian attorney.
 
  Asit Panwala  President

Asit Panwala
President

Asit Panwala is former prosecutor, whose life mimicked "Law and Order," when he worked at the Bronx County District Attorney's Office. He responded to homicide scenes, took statements from arrestees, and tried felony cases.  After six years in the Bronx, Asit moved to the San Francisco District Attorney's where he handled domestic violence, child abuse and homicide cases. He has tried approximately forty jury trials including five homicides. Currently, Asit has his own practice where he handles both criminal and civil cases. Recently, he argued in the California Supreme Court in City of Morgan Hill v. Bushey, et. al., where he advocated to extend the voters' right to referendum with respect to a zoning ordinance even when the city seeks to comply with a state-mandated consistency requirement. 

  Aroma Sharma Shah   President-Elect

Aroma Sharma Shah
President-Elect

Aroma Sharma Shah is an attorney in McDermott Will & Emery's corporate practice group. Her practice is focused on the representation of emerging and middle market companies in the technology sector. Aroma has a special interest in working with companies in the blockchain industry. She assists Silicon Valley businesses with complex and sophisticated transactions and advises on formation and operation, financing, mergers and acquisitions and restructuring of business entities. Prior to returning to the Bay Area, Aroma completed a Fellowship in Law & Entrepreneurship at NYU Law's Program for Law and Business. She earned her JD from Santa Clara University School of Law, and her BA and BS from the University of California, Berkeley.

  Charanjit Brahma   Vice President

Charanjit Brahma
Vice President

Aroma Sharma is an attorney in McDermott Will & Emery's corporate practice group. Her practice is focused on the representation of emerging and middle market companies in the technology sector. She assists Silicon Valley businesses with complex and sophisticated transactions and advises on business law issues, including formation and operation, financing, mergers and acquisitions, and restructuring of business entities. Prior to returning to the Bay Area, Aroma completed a Fellowship in Law & Entrepreneurship at NYU Law's Program for Law and Business. She earned her JD from Santa Clara University School of Law, and her BA and BS from the University of California, Berkeley.

  William David   Treasurer

William David
Treasurer

Will is an employment associate at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.  He focuses on employment defense, spending a majority of his time on advice and counsel work, with the remaining time dedicated to defending employers of all sizes against wage and hour claims, and a variety of other employment claims in litigation and administrative matters.  He specializes in providing anti-harassment and anti-bullying trainings, and ban-the-box compliance.  He earned his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and his B.A. from Fordham University.

  Nabeel Ahmad   Secretary

Nabeel Ahmad
Secretary

Nabeel Ahmad is a Senior Labor & Employment Associate in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw. Before joining Seyfarth Shaw, Nabeel was a Senior Commercial Litigation Associate at a Boston law firm. He earned his JD from Columbia University School of Law, and his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

  Bethany Lobo   Endorsements Committee Co-Chair

Bethany Lobo
Endorsements Committee Co-Chair

Bethany Lobo is a senior associate at Cooley LLP.  Her practice is focused on class action defense, business litigation trials, and privacy counseling, with particular emphasis on cyberprivacy, biometrics, data breaches, and other Internet law issues. She serves on the Privacy Law Committee of the California Lawyers Association.

From October 2017 – February 2018, Bethany served as a prosecutor in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office as part of a firm-sponsored program, securing jury verdicts for the prosecution in each trial.  Bethany also maintains an active pro bono practice focused on asylum and immigration law.

Bethany previously served as a law clerk to the Hon. Consuelo Callahan (9th Cir.) and the Hon. James Ware (Ret.) (N.D. Cal.)

  Gautam Jagannath   Endorsements Committee Co-Chair

Gautam Jagannath
Endorsements Committee Co-Chair

Gautam Jagannath is a leading innovator and founding executive director of Social Justice Collaborative. Gautam is certified by the State Bar of California as an Immigration & Nationality Law expert. Gautam was drawn to the intersection between criminal and immigration law. As SJC is working toward becoming the immigration public defender, Gautam strives to increase representation for both detained and non-detained individuals. Gautam spends most of his time working on complex federal cases, including appeals.

Gautam is an adjunct professor at University of San Francisco’s Masters in Migratory Studies program and he is a member of the California Bar, the Northern District of California, the Central District of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Gautam speaks Spanish and Tamil. 

  Jasmine Singh   Memberships Committee Chair

Jasmine Singh
Memberships Committee Chair

Jasmine Singh is Commercial Counsel at Pinterest (the place for discovering and doing what you love) and helps the company negotiate transactions and maximize the value of deals. Prior to joining Pinterest, Jasmine was Corporate Counsel at 24 Hour Fitness, where she enjoyed doing transactional and advice/counsel work in gym clothes. Jasmine began her career as a commercial litigator and practiced at several prominent law firms in SF.  She graduated Order of the Coif from UCLA School of Law in 2008 and with High Distinction from the University of Michigan in December 2004. 

 

  Seema Bhatt   Events Committee Co-Chair

Seema Bhatt
Events Committee Co-Chair

Seema Bhatt is an Associate at Minami Tamaki, a San Francisco-based law firm serving clients in the areas of Consumer and Employment Rights, Corporate and Nonprofit Counseling, Immigration, Personal Injury, and Entertainment. Prior to that, she worked in Los Angeles as a personal injury and general litigation attorney where she was lead counsel on two jury trials and second counsel on two others. She also achieved and assisted in the negotiation of large settlements for her clients, including a 3 million dollar settlement with the City of Manhattan Beach. Seema received her J.D. cum laude in 2010 from Wake Forest Law School and a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Davis in 2007. After law school Seema volunteered full-time with a non-profit in San Francisco working with domestic violence victims and other less fortunate families on issues involving family, immigration, elder, and tax law.

  Smita Rajmohan   Events Committee Co-Chair

Smita Rajmohan
Events Committee Co-Chair

Smita Rajmohan is a dual qualified attorney in India and California. She is currently an associate in the Technology Transactions Group at Cooley LLP in Palo Alto where she works on cutting edge technology-related commercial transactions.  Smita represents some of the world’s most exciting and disruptive brands and startups. Her clients include household names in Internet, digital and social media, entertainment companies, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, multinational retail corporations, and educational institutions. Smita has experience drafting and negotiating a wide range of commercial, IP and technology agreements and is a frequent speaker on data privacy and cybersecurity issues. Smita obtained a Masters in Law and Technology (LL.M.) at the University of California, Berkeley where she served as an Associate Editor for the Berkeley Technology Law Journal. Smita has previously worked as an IP transactions associate at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP in San Francisco and as a litigation attorney before the Supreme Court of India.

  Hadi Razzaq   Civil Rights Committee Co-Chair

Hadi Razzaq
Civil Rights Committee Co-Chair

Hadi Razzaq is a trial attorney at the San Francisco Office of the Public Defender. He worked as an Associate at Bingham McCutchen LLP practicing civil litigation for approximately 2 years. He has been a public defender for more than 13 years and has tried all types of felony cases ranging from drug sales to homicide. Hadi earned a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).

  Ammad Rafiqi   Civil Rights Committee Co-Chair

Ammad Rafiqi
Civil Rights Committee Co-Chair

Ammad Wajahat Rafiqi is the Civil Rights & Legal Services Coordinator for the San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA). In this role, he represents clients facing religious discrimination/denial of accommodation at work or in public spaces and law enforcement harassment, as well as the documentation of targeted hate towards American Muslims. 

A native of Kashmir and Toronto, Ammad is licensed to practice in New York. As a law student, he focused on immigrants’ rights and on addressing racial disparities in criminal sentencing.”

 

  Siraj Husain   Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair

Siraj Husain
Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair

Siraj Husain is a patent attorney in Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton’s intellectual property practice group. Siraj focuses his practice on intellectual property and patent strategy in various technical areas with an emphasis in software and computer science. His practice includes assisting clients develop their patent portfolio strategy, identifying patentable inventions, as well as preparing and prosecuting patent applications, both in the United States and internationally.

  Mazarin Vakharia  Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair

Mazarin Vakharia
Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair

Mazarin Vakharia is an experienced attorney who has represented a wide variety of inviduals and businesses, including homeowners associations, public entities, real estate developers, non-profit organizations, and professional corporations.  She is currently counsel to the City of Burlingame. Mazarin advises clients in a number of areas, including planning and zoning law, as well as Public Records and Brown Act compliance, and police matters. She has significant experience in drafting and amending ordinances, resolutions, policies and procedures, as well as advising on contracts, service agreements, and documents prepared for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. She is an active participant in the League of California Cities and serves on the editorial board for The California Municipal Law Handbook.

  Daniel Vaswani  Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair

Daniel Vaswani
Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair

Daniel Vaswani is the Principal of Red Metric Law, a criminal defense, personal injury, and estate planning law firm based in Oakland, California. He practices federal and state criminal defense and represents clients accused of crimes ranging from driving under the influence to homicide. Daniel represents clients in all stages of criminal proceedings and in matters throughout the country. Daniel has served on the board of various organizations and has volunteered his time both as an attorney and otherwise. He obtained his Juris Doctorate in 2010 from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2006.

  Rav Grewal  Gala Committee Co-Chair

Rav Grewal
Gala Committee Co-Chair

Ravdeep S. Grewal is an associate at the Dhillon Law Group. His practice focuses on litigation and risk management counseling in all areas of state and federal employment law, where he represents both employees and employers. Ravdeep attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning degrees in both Economics and Political Science, before earning his Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Davis School of Law. Most recently, Ravdeep was the inaugural recipient of the SABA-NC Rising Star Award. In his free time, Ravdeep enjoys boxing, reading books on strategic warfare, and attempting to cook.

  Nitin Gambhir  Gala Committee Co-Chair

Nitin Gambhir
Gala Committee Co-Chair

Nitin Gambhir is a partner in McDermott Will & Emery’s Silicon Valley office.  Nitin Gambhir focuses his practice on intellectual property matters, including patent infringement and trade secret litigation, strategy and counseling, particularly in the area of computer-related technologies. He represents clients in a broad range of technologies, including computer networking, telecommunications, memory controllers, medical imaging, sensor technology, entertainment and internet-related systems in federal district courts throughout the country, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Nitin received his Master’s in Computer Science and Bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering from UCLA.  Nitin earned his Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law.

Past Board of Directors

2017-2018

President: Anant Pradhan
President Elect: Asit Panwala
Vice President: Aroma Sharma
Treasurer: William David
Secretary: Charanjit Brahma
Membership Chair: Nabeel Ahmad
Events Committee Co-Chairs: Seema Bhatt and Grishma Pradhan
Civil Rights Committee Co-Chairs: Hadi Razzaq and Pawanpreet Kaur Dhaliwal
Endorsement Committee Co-Chairs: Priya Brandes and Gautam Jaggannath
Pro-Bono Committee Co-Chairs: Siraj Hussain, Mazarin Vakharia, and Daniel Vaswami
Gala Committee Co-Chairs: Rav Grewal and Nitin Gambhir

2016-2017

Co-Presidents: Madhuri Nemali & Anant Pradhan
Vice President: Preeti Bajwa
Treasurer: Aroma Sharma
Secretary: John Paul Singh-Deol
Events Committee Co-Chairs: Nabeel Ahmad, Seema Bhatt, William David
Civil Rights Committee Chair:  Rishad Patel
Endorsements Committee Co-Chairs:  Asit Panwala, Priya Brandes, Gautam Jagannath
Pro-Bono Committee Co-Chairs: Pawanpreet Kaur Dhaliwal, Siraj Hussain, Grishma Pradhan
Gala Chairs:  Charanjit Brahma

2015-2016

Co-Presidents: Vidhya Prabhakaran and Madhuri Nemali
Vice President: Anant Pradhan
Treasurer: Aroma Sharma
Secretary: Priya Brandes
Events Committee Co-Chairs: Nabeel Ahmad, Roshen Prasad, John Paul Singh-Deol, Mahima Kheterpal
Civil Rights Committee Chair:  Saira Hussain
Endorsements Committee Co-Chairs:  Asit Panwala, Preeti Bajwa, Sid Venkatesan
Pro-Bono Committee Co-Chairs: Varun Behl, Rishad Patel, Kanika Radhakrishnan

2014-2015

Co-Presidents: Vidhya Prabhakaran and Maulik Shah
Vice President: Shamika Bains
Treasurer: Anant Pradhan
Secretary: Siraj Husain
Events Committee Co-Chairs: Priya Brandes, Roshen Prasad, Achyut Phadke, Aroma Sharma
Civil Rights Committee Chair:  Zahra Billoo
Endorsements Committee Co-Chairs:  Asit Panwala, Supriya Sundarrajan, Sid Venkatasan
Pro-Bono Committee Co-Chairs: Preeti Bajwa, Madhuri Nemali, Kanika Radhakrishnan

2013-2014

Co-Presidents: Maulik Shah and Akshay Verma
Vice President: Vidhya Prabhakaran
Treasurer: Sunil Bector
Secretary: Manohar Reddy
Professional Development Committee Co-Chairs: Achyut Phadke and Aroma Sharma
Civil Rights Committee Chairs: Tanya Koshy and Nandini Iyer
Endorsements Committee Co-Chairs: Shalini Swaroop and Supriya Sundarrajan
Pro-Bono Committee Co-Chairs: Siraj Husain and Minal Belani
Events & Membership Committee Co-Chairs: Sangeeta Powaku and Anant Pradhan
Gala Committee Chair: Shamika Bains

2012-2013

Co-Presidents: Shaamini Babu and Akshay Verma
Vice President: Sunil Kulkarni
Treasurer: Sunil Bector
Secretary: Neera Sivarajah
Professional Development Committee Co-Chairs: Manohar Reddy and Vandana Balakrishnan
Civil Rights Committee Chairs: Tanya Koshy and Nandini Iyer
Endorsements Committee Co-Chairs: Shalini Swaroop and Maulik Shah
Pro-Bono Committee Co-Chairs: Suchitra Narayen and Minal Belani
Events & Membership Committee Co-Chairs: Sangeeta Powaku and Ron Fernando
Gala Committee Chair: Peter Cownan

2011-2012

Co-Presidents: Shaamini Babu and Nina Paul
Vice President: Maulik Shah
Treasurer: Nitin Jindal
Secretary: Neera Sivarajah
Professional Development Committee Co-Chairs: Akshay Verma and Nimish Desai
Civil Rights Committee Chairs: Minal Belani and Shalini Swaroop
Endorsements Committee Co-Chairs: Suneeta Fernandes and Sunil Kulkarni
Pro-Bono Committee Co-Chairs: Suchitra Narayen and Megha Agarwal
Events & Membership Committee Co-Chairs: Silvia Bains and Shilpi Bannerjee

2010-2011

Co-Presidents: Sujal Shah and Hozefa Botee
Vice President: Sheena Wadhawan
Treasurer: Monique Gill
Secretary: Firasat Ali
Communications: Jishnu Menon
Professional Development Committee Co-Chairs: Nisha Agarwal and Firasat Ali
Civil Rights Committee Chair: Veena Dubal
Endorsements Committee Co-Chairs: Sandeep Solanki and Suneeta Fernandes
Pro-Bono Committee Co-Chairs: Suchitra Narayen and Megha Agarwal

Past Presidents


1993-1995 Mukesh Advani
1996-1997 Parthiv Sanghani
1997-1998 Sunena Sabharwal
1998-1999 Shashi Deb
1999-2000 Raj Chatterjee
2000-2001 Monty Agarwal
2001-2003 Tahir J. Naim
2003-2004 Paul Grewal
2004-2005 Meetali Jain
2005-2006 Inderpreet Sawhney
2006-2008 Shirish Gupta
2008-2009 Khurshid Khoja
2009-2010 Kiran Jain
2010-2011 Hozefa Botee and Sujal Shah
2011-2012 Shaamini Babu and Nina Paul
2012-2013 Shaamini Babu and Akshay Verma
2013-2014 Akshay Verma and Maulik Shah
2014-2015 Maulik Shah and Vidhya Prabhakaran
2015-2016 Vidhya Prabhakaran and Madhuri Nemali
2016-2017 Madhuri Nemali and Anant Pradhan
2017-2018 Anant Pradhan