2023 ACC Top 10 30-Somethings: Kriti Tannan

The ACC Top 10 30-Somethings awards recognize in-house counsel between the ages of 30 and 39 for their innovation, approach to challenges, well-rounded perspectives, contributions to the in-house community, and pro bono and volunteer work.

Kriti Tannan, senior director, Legal, JLL, shares her journey in the global Fortune 500 company. Navigating through the diverse landscapes of different industries, she discovered an unexpected passion for the real estate industry. At JLL, she functions as a valuable business partner, driving strategic goals and contributing directly to the company's success.    

One of her key initiatives was implementing technological solutions to streamline legal processes. Kriti and her team recognized the need for efficiency and transformed their operations by introducing a workflow automation tool with visual dashboards and intake request forms. As part of this digital transition, Kriti was instrumental in leading the launch of digital contract execution in 2021, a move necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby ensuring business continuity during a tumultuous period.

"In-house lawyers need to be more agile than ever to build a resilient legal function in the post-COVID world as they respond to challenges such as economic volatility, emerging technologies, and AI."

Kriti tannan

Kriti has been a driving force in the technological reinvention of JLL’s legal department. "We realized there was a lot of scope to advance technological adoption within the legal function,” she reflects. Kriti set up a self-service system that allowed the business to generate vendor contracts, effectively reducing the more than 1,000 vendor contract requests per year by 80 percent. Her efforts facilitated a shift in mindset, promoting the adoption of digital practices within the company. 

Over time, she has streamlined processes and established best practices to drive efficiency and ensure collaboration and consistency across the board. 

Her ability to adapt to a range of risks and issues, whether by transcending her area of legal expertise or geographic borders, and bring a holistic perspective, is highly appreciated by her stakeholders. Despite it not being her initial area of expertise, Kriti took the lead on a significant project related to tax legislation in 2018. Collaborating with global clients and tax consultants, she played a pivotal role in helping JLL adapt to revised tax laws in India, which was crucial for maintaining client relationships and ensuring compliance. Her efforts in navigating these changes were recognized with an internal company award.  

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 posed significant challenges for organizations, making legal guidance indispensable. During that time, Kriti's leadership was crucial in steering JLL through complex issues in a timely manner, while ensuring compliance with evolving regulations. “The challenges that started in 2020 have changed the entire world and legal is no exception. In-house lawyers need to be more agile than ever to build a resilient legal function in the post-Covid world as they respond to challenges such as economic volatility, emerging technologies, and AI,” Kriti shares. 

Kriti's legal career began in private practice where she gained a solid foundation of technical skills. “Private practice definitely gives you a good foundation — it exposes you to different industries and different kinds of advice,” she says.  

Recognizing the need for transition, Kriti made a strategic move to an in-house counsel role with JLL. The role has offered constant engagement and an opportunity to provide comprehensive and proactive guidance — a shift that she has found both fascinating and rewarding. “You have to be more than an excellent lawyer — you need to be well integrated into the business and operate as a strategic advisor,” Kriti explains. This mindset has allowed her to make an impact on the business far beyond her legal responsibilities. It’s here that she built her team of five lawyers from scratch to adequately support the business.

"You have to be more than an excellent lawyer. You need to be well integrated into the business and operate as a strategic advisor."

kriti tannan

Before joining JLL, she spent time undertaking voluntary work with the Association for India's Development, a secular charity organization based in the United States. For two months, she devoted her time to teaching basic literacy and numeracy to underprivileged children in remote rural areas, preparing them for admission to mainstream primary schools. On joining JLL, Kriti extended this philanthropic spirit to the organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, notably in the areas of child welfare and environmental sustainability. 

Kriti’s career has been marked by exciting challenges and gratifying experiences. As a strategic advisor and business partner, she has made a significant impact within the company. Her journey has been enriching and she’s excited about the opportunities JLL presents for professional growth and building a next-gen legal department.

Kriti Tannan's acceptance speech for ACC's 2023 Top 10 30-Somethings.