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May 15, 2023

Getting to Know Harsh Arora



Fort Lauderdale partner Harsh Arora has a blended practice representing mid-size privately held and public companies as their outside general counsel and also aiding them with dispute resolution through advocacy in mediations and arbitrations. His clients are primarily in hospitality, healthcare, insurance, technology, and transportation industries.

Harsh’s name means “joy” in Hindi, which is the national language of India, where his family is from. Harsh grew up in India and Switzerland before immigrating to the United States, and he now lives in Fort Lauderdale with his wife and three children.

Favorite holiday: Diwali (pronounced dih-vaa-lee), or Festival of Lights, an Indian holiday that dates back thousands of years.

Languages: English, Swiss German, Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi

Favorite authentic dish: Paneer Tikka, made out of the Indian version of Halloumi cheese that is marinated and served with skewers after being grilled on a traditional Indian barbecue

How has your background and experience prepared you to be effective in an environment that values diversity and is committed to inclusion?

Diversity is a powerful tool and a very unifying force. It is a misconception that diversity demarcates people. Through my international education and work experience, I have found diversity to be the impetus for people to search for common ground and ultimately causing us to make genuine efforts in understanding what a colleague, a client, or a company’s goals are so that the goals may be achieved more effectively. Overcoming language, cultural, business etiquette, and other diverse practices by connecting and coming to mutual understandings is how my background has molded me into becoming an attorney with whom clients feel a sense of ease, resulting in stronger bonds and greater trust. In business law, I am constantly interacting and dealing with other parties who are of different industries and many times, from different countries with their own preferred language and cultural norms with whom I must seek to connect to help my clients resolve their matters.

How has your leadership style been influenced by your culture?

I am a coach-style leader because of my admiration for Mahatma Gandhi. I have been inspired by Gandhi, who prior to becoming a prominent civil rights activist in India, was a longtime lawyer in South Africa. I admire Gandhi for his steadfast focus on nonviolence. One of my favorite quotes is “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” The simple meaning of this phrase is that instead of complaining, be willing to change within yourself first before seeking such change in society.

Similar to a coach of a sports team, I focus on identifying and nurturing the individual strengths of each member on my team. I consider that my style of leadership puts more emphasis on the growth and success of individual team members and gives me an opportunity to work on my own self-improvement.

Is there a certain person who you find is influential to your heritage or that you look up to?

Hon. Padmanabhan Srikanth "Sri" Srinivasan is the Chief United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The United States Senate confirmed Judge Srinivasan by a vote of 97–0 on May 23, 2013. Before his confirmation, Judge Srinivasan served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States, and he has argued 25 cases before the United States Supreme Court. In 2016, Judge Srinivasan was considered by President Obama as a potential nominee to the Supreme Court. I look up to Judge Srinivasan as a great role model within our profession who is also a doting father to his children.