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Partner in the Disputes and White Collar Crime Practice at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Sara specializes in the areas of internal investigations and compliance training, white-collar crimes, corporate and financial investigations, fin tech and financial matters and international sanctions. She has assisted and advised several foreign investors, corporates and financial institutions on anti-corruption, anti-bribery issues, anti-money laundering, sanctions violations, and serious fraud investigations.

She also advises several foreign and domestic Clients on on AML/ABAC compliance, regulatory compliance and trade sanctions, and has handled internal investigations into compliance violations and whistle-blower complaints for corporations and financial institutions. She has considerable expertise in corporate governance, international sanctions, and international fraud related issues and regulatory compliance issues and financial crimes and Fintech.  She can be reached at

FIG Paper (No. 25 – Series 2): Shedding Light on Dark Patterns in FinTech: Impact of DPDP Act


The new draft guidelines titled ‘Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns, 2023’[1] (“Draft Dark Pattern Guidelines”), released by the Department of Consumer Affairs in September 2023, define dark patterns as “any practices or deceptive design patterns using UI/UX (user interface/user experience) interactions on any platform; designed to mislead or trick users to do something they originally did not intend or want to do; by subverting or impairing the consumer autonomy, decision making or choice; amounting to misleading advertisement or unfair trade practice or violation of consumer rights”.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 25 – Series 2): Shedding Light on Dark Patterns in FinTech: Impact of DPDP Act

FIG Paper (No. 24 – Series 1): 
New Data Law – Financial Services Implications

(Indian) Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 (“DPDP Act”) received Presidential assent on August 11, 2023, and is awaiting notification by the Indian Government, which is expected soon. This FIG Paper examines: (i) the existing data protection/ privacy framework for the Indian financial services space; (ii) overlays DPDP Act considerations; and (iii) preferred approach to “gap” analysis, basis global learnings.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 24 – Series 1): New Data Law – Financial Services Implications


On June 15, 2023, Securities and Exchange Board of India [“SEBI”] had released— (i) Master Circular for Investment Advisers; and (ii) Master Circular for Research Analysts.

The Master Circulars serve as comprehensive compilations of all directions issued by SEBI pertaining to Investment Advisers [“IAs”] and Research Analysts [“RAs“]. SEBI’s Master Circulars for IAs and RAs aim to provide easy access to relevant guidelines and promote compliance among IAs and RAs.Continue Reading FIG Paper No. 22: Decoding SEBI’s Master Circular for Investment Advisers and Research Analysts



On May 18, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Board of India [“SEBI”] had placed a consultation paper related to the total expense ratio charged by Asset Management Companies [“AMC”] to unitholders of mutual funds. June 8, 2023 was set as the deadline for submission of public comments. The due date, however, was extended to June 8, 2023.

The proposal is aimed at curbing distributor practices such as unnecessary switching of schemes and pushing new fund offerings for higher commissions. SEBI in its consultation paper proposed to introduce performance fees for funds. It proposed two approaches, but also suggested testing the models under the Regulatory Sandbox.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 21 – Series 1): SEBI’s Mutual Fund Expense Ratio Consultation Paper: Impact Analysis

Understanding Cross Border Legal Assistance

The increasingly globalised and liberated world economy has created opportunities for economic growth as well as transnationalisation of crimes.

Economic liberalisation aided by technological advancements has contributed significantly to complex cross-border offences with actors and offences and its implications occurring in multiple jurisdictions as well as the offenders seeking refuge in foreign jurisdictions. Especially with increase in organised crime, trafficking of humans and drugs, smuggling, mutual legal assistance is an invaluable resource in investigating crimes and bringing criminals to justice.

As offences are no longer a mere domestic governance issue, it is imperative for governments to aid domestic law enforcement agencies through proper channels for ensuring inter-jurisdictional assistance among nation states by entering into agreements providing for legal assistance or a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty “MLAT”. Mutual legal assistance may also be given informally through bilateral cooperation and sharing of information between policing or judicial officials in different states.
Continue Reading Understanding Cross Border Legal Assistance