Aahna Mehrotra


Membership profile

Position: Attorney-at-law

Type of Occupation: Private Practice Lawyer

Area of expertise: Anti-Doping, Contractual / Commercial matters, Disciplinary Matters, Dispute Resolution, eSports, Governance / Regulatory work

Member of the month: June, 2021

We are delighted to announce our Member of the Month, Aahna Mehrotra.

Aahna Mehrotra is a Founder of AM Sports Law and Management and a Partner at TMT Law Practice. 

How did you get involved in sports law?

“When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

I played multiple sports starting the age of 5 and eventually ended up being chosen to represent the India Under-19 Cricket team, however had decided at a fairly young age (11) that I wanted to pursue law and therefore gave up my cricketing career to go to law school. I knew from the start that true happiness for me lay in uniting both my vocation (law) and passion (sport) and therefore chose to specialize in Sports Law.

 What is your most memorable achievement in the sector?

It’s hard to pick one but what I value the most is the faith my clients showed in me when I made the decision to start out on my own (2017) as a young lawyer. Some of the other achievements that I value in my career, is the opportunity to represent Mr. Sushil Kumar, India’s only two-time Olympic medalist or being appointed as one of the Chairperson’s of the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel.

Do you have any advice for someone trying to break in to sports law?

Be Patient and Persistent – When I was starting out in 2011 (the Indian Premier League was pretty much the only Sports IP we had), a lot of people questioned my decision and suggested I pursue Entertainment and Media Law (developed fields of law in India) and do Sports Law (developing market) on the side. But I did not give into the pressure nor did I get frustrated about work being slow and scarce, instead I took time to learn more and more about the field – (i) pursued 2 masters; (ii) networked; (iii) worked in allied areas of law (Intellectual Property) which helped me hone my skills; (iv) of course did whatever little sports law work came my way; and (v) did not use monetary gains as a yardstick to evaluate my growth as a professional; but remained focused on my goal at all times, which is what led me to run a practice focused primarily on Sports Law.

What is the greatest challenge that you’ve had to overcome?

As the first female sports lawyer in India, it was hard, initially, to walk into a room full of men with raised eyebrows and questioning what a woman is doing in sport. Things have changed overtime, of course.

Why did you decide to focus on sports law?

In India, it is a developing area of law, and most sports lawyer do everything (from IP to Anti-Doping to working in the Player Transfer Market, including diversifying into gaming and betting laws). Therefore, there isn’t one specific area (under sports law) that I focus on – the practice is a 360 degree sports practice.

How have you found being a part of the WISLaw community?

WISLaw serves as a great platform to network (especially through the smaller conferences we host in different parts of the world). The lunch sessions in London before the LawInSport conference are one of my favorites. If I have a query pertaining to a specific jurisdiction, I can always reach out to a member who is happy to help. Further, it also gives you a fair amount of recognition by giving each member ample opportunity to speak at the conferences (and not just attend) they organize from time to time.

What do you do in your spare time?

My favorite sports are cricket and tennis and I continue to maintain that football is a professional hazard. Unlike when I was younger, when I would live eat sleep sport, I no longer watch as much sport in my spare time (as it feels like an extension of work). I listen to a lot of music and try and read a book (avoiding any form of screen time).