Mahalakshmi Pavani


B.A.L., M.A., LL.B., LL.M.

Ms.Mahalakshmi Pavani is a Senior Advocate who holds the distinction of being the first woman from Karnataka and the Sixth Woman to be designated “Senior Advocate” by the Supreme Court of India after a Full Court bestowed upon her the coveted ‘Senior’s Gown´ on 23rd April, 2015.

  Hailing from Bengaluru, Karnataka, Ms.Pavani pursued her legal education from Bangalore University, from where she earned her B.A.L., LL.B. and subsequently she acquired through correspondence her M.A.(Human Rights) Periyar University,  and LL.M (Labour &Administrative Laws)form the Annamalai University

  Ms. Pavani enrolled with the Bar Council of Karnataka on 21st August, 1992 and commenced practice under the aegis of the late Shri K.C. Shivasubramaniam, Advocate, M/s. King & Partridge, thereby gaining tremendous exposure in the fields of civil, criminal and corporate litigation as well as conveyancing. She has conducted cases and appeared before the Karnataka High Court and also before tribunals, quasi-judicial bodies and other lower courts in the State of Karnataka. In 1993, she was appointed Standing Counsel in the Criminal Court, Mayo Hall.

     In 1998, Ms.Pavani joined the Chambers of the Late Shri. P.P. Rao, Senior Advocate (her Father-in-Law) and commenced practice at the Supreme Court of India. Ms.Pavani had the esteemed privilege of assisting Shri. Rao on a number of important matters before the Supreme Court. In January 2005, she enrolled as an Advocate-on-Record (AOR) of the Supreme Court after having achieved a distinction in the AOR examinations that were conducted in the previous year.

     Over the years, Ms. Pavani has represented the Union of India, the State of Punjab and represented political leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, H.D.Devegowda, H.D.Kumaraswamy, Late Dorjee Kandu, Late.J.Jayalalitha, ministers of different states on a number of matters, argued before the Supreme Court and done a number of cases for private litigants, her forte being Service Law and Criminal Law. She is also on the Legal Aid panel of Supreme Court.

      In 2014, she was elected President, Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association, and a post she continues to hold to this day. On 27th March, 2015 Ms. Pavani was elected as the First Representative of the Supreme Court Bar Association in the Gender Sensitization Committee, a post which she held for two years. In December 2015, she was elected as Senior Executive Member of the Supreme Court Bar Association and held the post for a year.


    On 12th December, 2019 Ms. Pavani contested for the post of Senior Executive at the Supreme Court Bar Association and won with the highest number of votes in ten years.

  She was also part of the search committee instituted to identify deserving Advocates and recommend them to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India to be elevated to different High Courts across India.

   It is worthy to note that Ms. Pavani is also a recipient of several awards, in recognition of her efforts and contributions to law and society – she has been conferred with the ‘National Law Day Award 2016’ by the International Council of Jurists and Diplomats. She has also been awarded the ‘Mahila Shakti Shiromani’ Award by an NGO in Nepal. In 2018, Ms. Pavani also received the ‘Sampark for Samarthan’ Award from the Bharatiya Janata Party and in 2019, the ‘EMPATHY – Empowering People against Hepatitis’ Award which was conferred upon her by Shri. Om Birla, Hon. Speaker, Lok Sabha and. Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister.

   On 27th September, 2019 a book titled ‘Parameswara to PP’ which was edited by Ms. Pavani and dedicated in the fond memory of her late father-in-law Sri.P.P.Rao, was released by Shri. Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice-President of India. Her articles have been published in National Dailies, Lawyers magazines and web portals. She has also delivered lectures on different subjects in Webinars. On 22nd July 2021 she, was the only woman Advocate nominated to the Advisory Board of the Bar Council of India.

     On 2nd September 2022, she was nominated as Member,GSICC by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India  Hon’ble Justice Sri. U.U.Lalit.

On 11th Novenber 2022, she was appointed as Chairperson of the Internal Complaints Committee of the National Book Trust.