India

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: The Bar Council of India 

Competition authority: Competition Commission of India 

Financial regulator: Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:

Energy and infrastructure (published June) – Energy, Infrastructure, Oil and gas, Technology and telecommunications, Transport

Financial and corporate (published October) – Banking, Capital markets, M&A, Private equity, Project finance

Jurisdiction overview

The legal system in India is relatively well-established and independent when compared with other countries in the region. It is modelled on British common law and many of those laws written by the colonial government still form part of the law today. Unlike other jurisdictions, the roles of barristers and solicitors are merged in India, and a legal professional who is enrolled with the Bar Council of India is allowed to perform both duties. 

Foreign lawyers are not been permitted to practice Indian law and foreign law firms equally are not allowed to practice. This protectionist policy has allowed Indian law firms the space to grow both financially and in manpower. Firms such as AZB & Partners, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, J Sagar Associates and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co are the big brands that dominate financial and corporate work. Fragmentation in the market and consolidation has also enabled these law firms to grow in recent years. 

For years the country has been discussing whether it should liberalise its legal market and open its doors to foreign law firms and in 2015, the Bar Council of India and Society of Indian Law Firms agreed with the government’s proposal to gradually open up the legal sector for foreign law firms to practice in India in a phased manner. 

International firms including White & Case, Chadbourne & Parke and Ashurst had already sought permission from the Reserve Bank of India to gain entry into India, arguing for permission to provide legal advice to non-Indian clients regarding their activities in the country. However, the high court ruled that counselling and providing legal advice to clients would be considered an “act of advocacy”, and that branch offices are only permitted to act as a communication channel between the head office and its parties in India. 

Candy Chan - Journalist - Asia-Pacific

Corporate and M&A
Link Legal India Law Services

Staffing changes saw the firm add partner Siddharth Srivastava to its banking and finance practice last year. Clients were pleased with the firm’s work saying that the “team and partners have good knowledge and experience” and the firm’s lawyers “are very good trusted advisors”.

Another client says: “The firm’s overall strength is the exceptional and in depth knowledge exhibited by the team whether by top most senior partners or the junior teams. It goes to show that the training at LL-ILS is entirely driven by expertise and knowledge.”

In banking and finance, the firm was involved in a $150 million foreign currency financing  availed by MB Power from India Infrastructure Finance Company for the purpose of part financing the cost of importing capital equipment for setting up a 1200MW coal based thermal power project based at Jaithari. 

In M&A, the firm advised Ru-Net South Asia, the lead investor, in a $30 million round investment in Faaso’s Food Services. Ru-Net was joined by the other existing investors, Sequoia Capital and Lightbox Ventures in its investment in Faaso’s.

Energy and infrastructure
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas handles projects in various sectors including power, oil and gas, ports, roads, airports, urban infrastructure and railways. It has experience representing India’s government on the development of airports, ports and railways and advises financial institutions on project financings. 

The firm has expanded substantially recently, hiring three new partners with a project focus. Most notably, the firm appointed head of projects and energy Jatinder Cheema, who joined form Clasis Law, where he held the same position, but also bringing in two new project finance partners in Avinash Umapathy and Piyush Mishra.

Highlights in 2015 include representing Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone on the PPP (public private partnership) to develop the Vizhinjam International Seaport. 

Dhaval Vussonji & Associates

Dhaval Vussonji & Associates has strong experience and expertise in project development – especially advising on EPC contracts - and finance and real estate.

It mainly handles cross- border transaction working for Indian clients abroad, particularly in Africa. 

In the past 12 month, the firm has been busy with a number of confidential mandates, including a number related to coal-fired and geothermal power plants in Africa.

 

DSK Legal

DSK Legal has a focus on disputes work related to infrastructure and energy projects, in the areas of power generation and renewable energy, social infrastructure and transport infrastructure. 

The firm was legal counsel to Ministry of Railways, Government of India and RITES in rolling out the tender for setting up of an Electric Locomotive Factory at Madhepura, Bihar, India using a public-private-partnership (PPP) model. 

The team also advised PSA International in forming a joint venture with Kakinada Seaports (KSPL) and Bothra Shipping Services Private for setting up a container terminal business at Kakinada Deep Water Port in East Godavari District of the state of Andhra Pradesh.

IndusLaw

IndusLaw advises on transactions and disputes in renewables (hydropower, wind and solar), oil and gas, mining, energy distribution and, in infrastructure, on rail, road and ports.

The firm hired two partners from HSA Advocates early this year, with project partner Avirup Nag and Navin Syiem joining the team.

Key clients include Dutch Development Bank FMO, Engie (formerly GDF Suez) and Canadian Solar, and in the past 12 months the firm has successfully secured new clients Orange, Ras-Al-Khaimah Investment Development Authority, ReNew Power, SKS Power Generation (Chhattisgarh) and Bolloré Africa Logistics. 

Highlights include advising FMO on the $143 million project financing of the 82MW Lower Solu hydropower project in Nepal developed by Essel Clean Solu Hydropower Private and Orange on the takeover of Bharti Airtel’s subsidiaries in two African countries – Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone.

Juris Legal

Juris Legal & Financial Services focuses on matters related to mining and oil and gas projects. It also acts on infrastructure projects related to energy, ports, roads and airports. 

The firm has strong relationships with government bodies and regularly acts for clients such as the Indian Ministry of Coal, state government of Karnataka and the central government of India.

Highlight deals include work on arbitration proceedings filed by Oil India for a total claim of $16 million and damages worth $3 million in which the firm represented defendant Suntera Resources. The firm also represented Lion Petroleum in another arbitration proceeding initiated against EAX for a total claim of $10 million approximately on account of default by EAX in its performance as operator in an oil block in Kenya.

Khaitan & Co

In energy, infrastructure and natural resource, Khaitan & Co has a five-partner team focused on M&A, joint ventures, private equity investments, regulatory issues and structured finance and securitisation.

The firm is active in areas such as oil and gas, conventional and non-conventional energy including solar, wind, hydro, waste-to-energy, biofuels and biomass-based power projects. The firm is also active in the mining and infrastructure sectors.

Highlights includes advising Nereus Capital Investments Singapore in its investment to build two solar power projects in India. 

Kochhar & Co

Kochhar & Co opened a new office in Agra and made two lateral hires last year, Jivesh Chandrayan from JDS Law Chambers and Saloni Gupta from Amarchand Mangalda.

Clients of the firm include Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance ADAG Group, Mosmetrostroy, Coastal Energy, Dubai Oil & Gas, Essar Oil, Patterson Energy, Petrofac, Bechtel India, Mott MacDonald, government of Nigeria, Huawei, Degremont, MARG Karaikal Port, Bihar State Road Development Corporation, National Fertilizers Corporation and Air France-KLM.

Highlights including representing Chalieco, an affiliate of Aluminum Corporation of China, on various contracts for design, engineering, supply, erection, construction and commissioning of a number of projects across India. It also acted for Simplex Infrastructure on a dispute related to mining royalties

Link Legal India Law Services

Link Legal India Law Services advises both on government and private sector work in the road, rail, airport, energy and utilities sectors.

Highlights of the past 12 months include advising Soma Isolux Group on the 4 National highway project in relation to contractual dispute with the government and sub-contractors on structuring of their financial matters.

Luthra & Luthra

Luthra & Luthra has earned a reputation in the energy and infrastructure sector by acting on a number of notable cross-border transactions. It has a strong client base including the Planning Commission of India, ministries, departments and governmental undertakings of the Government of India or state governments. 

In the past 12 months, the firm was counsel to Hyderabad Metro Rail on its metro project on various project management matters. The Hyderabad Metro Rail Project, is the largest elevated metro rail project in the world being developed on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis.

In a separate airport project, the firm advised a confidential client on a bid for the Navi Mumbai International Airport in collaboration with an Indian partner.

 

Majmudar & Partners

It has been a busy year for Majmudar & Partners which has landed new clients including Hareon Solar, 8minutenergy Renewables and British Petroleum.

“The firm was responsive and provided satisfactory services,” a client commented.

Key projects include work for Ingemetal Solar India Private on an equipment supply contract and assemble and erection contract in relation to a solar power project being set up in Gujarat.

The firm also advised Hareon Solar Technology on a joint venture agreement with ReNew Power Ventures to develop a 72MW solar project in Andhra Pradesh.

Trilegal

Trilegal expanded its team during the research period with the addition of counsel dhAbhimanyu Ghosh from legacy firm Amarchand Mangaldas.

The firm has experience working with different market participants from project developers to financial institutions, contractors and consultants. Its experience includes projects in upstream and downstream oil and gas transportation and storage, fuels and lubricants, LNG, renewable and nuclear energy.

On the infrastructure side, it has advised on a number of public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the transportation, water and waste sectors.

“Trilegal’s professionalism, responsiveness and quality of work is on par with the top international law firms,” one client said. “Their bench-strength, from partner down to junior associates is impressive.”

In the past year, the firm has advised Alstom on a deal awarded by the Ministry of Railway under the ‘Make in India’ initiative for setting up a factory at Madhepura, Bihar to manufacture and supply 800 electric locomotives to the Ministry of Railways. 

The firm also represented the World Bank on their proposed institutional framework for setting up sewage treatment plants as a part of the Namami Gange programme to look after wastewater treatment and sewage disposal services in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India.

Financial and corporate
ARA Law

The financial and corporate practice of ARA Law is  led by managing partner Rajesh Begur alongside  M&A partner Avik Karmakar and private equity partner Rowena De Sousa. 

In M&A, the firm has been active on both domestic and cross-border transactions. It advised acquirer Triumphant Institute of Management Education with due diligence, drafting and negotiation of documentation in its acquisition of Amoha Education. The firm also acted for Freshdesk Technologies to acquire Demach Software India. 

In banking and finance, the firm advised Fedfina Financial Services in relation to construction finance in Kartik Enterprises and construction finance in Rushabhdev Infraprojects. 

In capital markets, the firm advised HDFC Asset Management Company in a number of deals in relation to fund arrangements. And the private equity team was busy advising investment vehicles for its domestic clients.

AZB & Partners

AZB & Partners has an outstanding track record of legal work and is highly ranked across most of our financial and corporate practice areas.

In banking and finance, the team regularly represents both lenders and borrowers in connection with vanilla as well as structured finance, corporate and acquisition finance and project finance transactions. Founding partner Bahram Vakil has been actively involved in government advisory matters and was appointed to the Bankruptcy Law Reform Committee (BLRC) created by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India to draw up a new bankruptcy code for India. Deal highlights include work for Lafarge India on the financing of its acquisition by Birla Corporation. Lafarge India is an integrated cement unit at Sonadih (Chhattisgarh) and a cement grinding unit at Jojobera (Jharkhand), along with the Concreto and PSC brands.

In the capital markets, highlights include work for the underwriters in connection with the IPO of InterGlobe Aviation. The issue was the biggest Indian IPO to hit the market since December 2012. The firm also advised Housing Development Finance Corporation on its ‘masala’ bond issue on the LSE, the first rupee denominated bond listed on the exchange.

In one of its core practice areas M&A, highlights include work for American Tower Corporation in its 51% acquisition of Viom Networks, which owns and operate over 42,000 communication sites in India. Another deal saw the team act for Bharti Airtel on its merger with Axiata in Bangladesh. In private equity, the firm advised for Swanland Investment, an affiliate of Warburg Pincus in the acquisition of about 28% of the shareholding of Capillary Technologies International.

Chadha & Co

Chadha & Co is a full-service corporate and commercial law firm based in New Delhi. Clients of the firm include leading Fortune 500 corporations and SMEs. In the M&A space, the firm has advised leading foreign companies with operations in India, including  GE Industrial Systems, Hitachi, Toyota, Canon, and L’Occitane.

In the M&A space, highlight deals include advising Hitachi in its joint venture with the Indian subsidiary of Frauscher Sensor Technology India for manufacturing railway signalling systems in India; advising Bialetti Industries on a Re280 million ($4.17 million) demerger scheme whereby Bialetti had decided to demerge through sale of its India undertaking with a leading Indian listed company, TTK Prestige, India’s largest kitchen appliances company; and advising and assisting Amity Group, a leading player in the education sector, in  its acquisition of an English news channel run by an Indian company.

In restructuring, the firm was involved in various investment restructuring matters for a US consultant and investment company’s Indian entity. It also advised and assisted on the restructuring of DIAB Core Materials, which is an Indian subsidiary of DIAB International, a Swedish company. The restructuring  involved the disposal of assets and reorganising the company’s workforce.

Clove Legal

Clove Legal is based in Mumbai. Last year, its financial and corporate  practice  picked up deals from the pharmaceutical, media, technology, and manufacturing industries.

In the private equity space, the team advised Mswipe Technologies, the target company, on a $25 million investment made by Matrix Partners, Flacon Edge, Meru Capital, DSG Consumer Partners, Axis Bank, and Ola; and acted for Rent Alpha, an investee company in the Indian leasing market, in an investment  by Bravia Capital.

In  M&A, Clove Legal advised a number of target company clients, including Aerofine Chemical Industries in the transfer of the company’s business of aroma chemicals division to Camphor & Allied Products; Teleysia Networks in the management buyout made by Access India Fund; and Italcoats in its business transfer of the company’s Wood coating paints distribution business to the joint venture company between Pidilite Industries, Industria Chimica Adriatica  (ICA Spa) and Italcoasts.

Elsewhere, Clove Legal advised United Media Works in a joint venture with K Sera Sera Digital Cinema in which KSS UMW Digital is the resulting joint venture company; and advised Borkars Suraksha Packers, the acquirer, in gaining control of Suraksha Packers from the promoters – Dinesh Kundapur, Dinesh Hedge, and Sateesh Kadri.  

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

Founded in May 2015, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas seems capable of taking the legacy of the erstwhile 97-year old Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co forward after the split of the legacy firm in 2015.

In banking and finance the firm is known for its advice on banking regulation, loan and product documentation, security creation and recovery work. An example is work for the lenders on a $550 million in facilities provided to four SPV project companies, each of which are developers of a commercial real estate development project registered as a special economic zones.

In project finance the firm advised Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone in the bid for development of Vizhinjam International Multi-Purpose Seaport project in Kerala. The project, being developed under the PPP (public-private partnership) model, will be implemented in four phases and is jointly supported by the Government of India and Government of Kerala.

In capital markets, the firm was involved in the qualified institutions placement (QIP) and American depository receipts (ADR) offering by HDFC Bank. The deal, the largest offering by a private sector bank, also represented the first ADR issuance under the Depository Receipts Scheme which came into force in December 2014.

In M&A one of the high-value deals the firm has involved is in relation to the sale of Daiichi Sankyo Company’s shares in Sun Pharmaceutical Industries by way of a sale on the open market. It represents the largest bulk deal on the Indian capital markets valued at $3.2 billion. Elsewhere, the firm advised Canada Pension Plan Investment in relation to the acquisitions of 100% of the equity shares in Faery Estate Private which is engaged in the operation and management of an industrial park in Chennai.

Dhir & Dhir Associates

2015 has been a strong year for Dhir & Dhir Associates particularly in the capital markets where the firm has acted on fund raising by Indian corporates and the government.

One client says: “The team is very involved in the transactional advice and negotiation. Girish is well reputed in the field and provides constructive solutions in order to resolve tough negotiation points. The structuring solutions provided by the team are effective and evidence of their awareness of the regulatory framework and the market. We have had a wonderful experience working with Dhir & Dhir Associates.”

The firm has been involved in various public and private placement issues and buyback issues with an aggregated value of over $1.86 billion, including a $530 million public issue of secured redeemable non-convertible tax free bonds by the Housing and Urban Development Corporation, which was oversubscribed 4.59 times.

In the finance space highlights include work for seven lenders led by Kotak Mahindra Bank on the financial assistance to Renew Wind Energy for repayment of existing loans related to its 49.5MW wind based power project at Vaspet. In a separate transaction, the firm represented the SAARC Development Fund on the legal framework and documentation for financing economic and infrastructure projects in the member states.

The firm’s M&A practice is best known for its work in the distress asset space. In a $3 billion deal, managing partner Maneesha Dhir led the merger of Valuefirst Mobility Vision Technologies and Valuefirst Digital Media as a part of a group consolidation exercise.

Economic Laws Practice

Economic Law Practice has received a lot of praise from clients for the legal work it did in the past year. One says the team is “extremely talented and flexible in approach and service oriented”. Another says the lawyers are solution oriented: “They safeguard the interests of all parties in the transaction, they are cost efficient and  have excellent networking within the international legal firm network.”

Among all  legal professionals, Deep Roy is  highlighted as an “excellent professional and great advisor to clients”.

In banking and project finance, the firm saw the departure of partner Jeet Sen Gupta last year but remained busy. It was involved in Samhi Hotels’ acquisitions of Hyatt Regency Pune in relation to the INR3.88 billion refinancing by HDFC and DBS Bank.

Elsewhere, it has assisted clients like the Piramal group investing in secured optionally convertible debentures of Re2.75 billion for construction companies in the renewable energy space. It has also assisted Tata Cleantech Capital to fund over 5 wind power, hydropower and solar power projects.

In M&A, partner Vinayak Burman left ELP to start his own firm earlier this year.

Over the past 12 months, the team has been actively involved in large transactions which include advising  Johnson Controls, Hitachi Appliances and Hitachi’s joint venture in  an indirect acquisition of an Indian listed company.

It also advised Destimoney Enterprises in relation to the 100% acquisition of its shareholding by the Carlyle Group, resulting in the indirect acquisition of 49% stake in PNB Housing Finance.

Finsec Law Advisors

Finsec Law Advisors specialises in financial and securities laws. It provides regulatory advice on matters concerning the Indian capital markets. The founder Sandeep Parekh is a former executive director at Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), India’s securities market regulator, where he headed the legal affairs and enforcement departments.

In the capital markets, the firm regularly advises MCX Stock Exchange, MCX-SX, and MCX in relation to securities and commodities law related issues. It has also been advising and assisting Schneider Group Electric President Systems in relation to the implications pursuant to de-recognition of the Pune Stock Exchange, and assisting Schneider in exploring alternative avenues to provide an exit to its public shareholders following the exit of the Pune Stock Exchange.

In a landmark M&A deal, Finsec advised Sun Pharma in its $4 billion acquisition of Ranbaxy on all non-tax aspects. It was the largest takeover in India in 2015. As to 2016, the team picked up another high-profile deal. It was legal advisor to the manager of an offer, Induslnd Bank, in an open offer made by Sundhir Valia and others to acquire a substantial shareholding in Suzlon Energy for $460 million. The deal is one of the largest takeover in the public markets to date in 2016.

On the regulatory side, the firm is a regular advisor for DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund in relation to various issues pertaining to SEBI Regulations, including the Insider Trading Regulations and the Research Analyst Regulations; Finsec also advised Westbridge Capital with respect to compliance of a series of share transactions with Foreign Exchange Management (transfer or issue of security by a person resident outside India) Regulations 2000 and other SEBI regulations.

Fox Mandal

Fox Mandal saw the departure of partner Debanjan Banerjee last year. As a full-service firm, it continued to advise domestic as well as international corporate clients from various industry sectors on a range of legal matters including incorporation,  partnerships, joint ventures, take-overs, mergers, acquisitions and structuring.

In the last 12 months, the firm advised Regen Infrastructure and Service and Lebara Hotels on its project finance transactions. It also represented Share Infotech in respect to its proposed investment.

Gagrats

Gagrats has been busy advising foreign and Indian corporates and international organisations on legal matters across various practices. M&A is one of the firm’s core practice areas, and it was  counsel to ALD on an acquisition of a majority stake in ALD Dynatech. It also advised on a merger  by transferring  Jet Lite to Jet Airways.

In banking and finance, it represents  Indian and foreign banks, multilateral lenders, domestic and foreign funds and foreign institutional investors. The firm has  specific focus on corporate finance and aircraft finance. It was counsel to L&T Infra Investment Partners Advisory Private regarding the financing of flight simulation techniques.

In capital markets, the firm is counsel to Jet Airways regarding the proposed issuance and listing of redeemable preference shares to a registered foreign portfolio investor.

Elsewhere in restructuring and insolvency, it was involved in  proceedings before the High Court of Bombay against Reid & Taylor regarding SIL’s claim in  on-going wind-up proceedings.

HSA Advocates

HSA Advocates has enhanced its corporate and commercial practice by hiring associate partner Soumya Kanti De Mallik last year. It has been a busy year for the firm in both corporate and finance work.

In one highlight  it acted as the legal advisors to Tata Power Renewable Energy, a 100% subsidiary of Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company. Separately, it advised Statkraft India and Tata Power in the  acquisition of the 60MW Tidong hydro-power project in Himachal Pradesh from NSL Renewable Power.

On the finance side, the firm advised Deutsche Bank as lender for  financing of proposed projects  of the Raheja Group.

Elsewhere, it acted for United Overseas Bank in connection with a bilateral facility given to the State Bank of India for the general  funding purposes of the borrower.

IC Legal

IC Legal Advocates has received positive feedback from its clients. One client working with the firm’s private equity team says: “Tejesh's [ Chitlangi] team is very proactive. It really took complete ownership of the work, and acted like a partner of my business as it grows. It is very patient; it took time to listen to us and it  did not shy back from the extra requests we asked for.” Another client in the infrastructure industry says: “It has good commercial awareness and problem solving skills, and is very client-focused and approachable. It has been flexible and understanding regarding billing arrangements without compromising the quality. There were cross-border elements in the work and it used its international network to connect us with the right people overseas.”

In the debt capital markets, the team advised on a number of non-convertible debentures issuances made by different Transcon Developers group companies, including Sanjay Construction and Finance, Shree Venkatesh Multiservices, and Transcon Landscape.

The firm picked up a number of high-value transactions in the private equity sector last year. Highlights include assisting a confidential client in setting up one of the biggest private equity funds in India valued at$500 million with a green shoe option up to $150 million; assisting Arthveda Fund Management, the asset management firm of Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL) group, in the formation of its$225 million  real estate fund, ‘Arthveda Affordable Housing Trust’ in India; and advising Paragon Partners in setting up the $180 million “Paragon Partners Growth Fund”, one of India’s largest private equity funds launched in India under the SEBI Alternative Investment Fund regime.

IndusLaw

Indus Law hired a new partner Navin Syiem earlier this year to strengthen the firm’s  M&A capacity. The firm continued to represent organisations on the buyer and seller side, carrying out domestic and cross-border acquisitions.

 

One client described the firm as having “quality  work and a extremely high degree of responsiveness”, while another says: “It is responsive and has a good understanding of venture investments.”

 

Teams at the firm advised  telecoms group Orange on Indian legal aspects of a transaction concerning the  acquisition of 100% of Bharti Airtel’s subsidiaries in two African countries, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone. It also advised  the Manipal Acunova in the takeover of the company by Take Solutions.

 

In banking and finance, the firm represented Fiat India and advised them on the structuring of the $250 million financing availed from Citibank.

 

 

Whereas in private equity, it was involved in the series H investment in ANI Technologies  in a fresh funding round from existing investors and new investors. Elsewhere, the firm  advised  Snapdeal.com in a fresh round of funding from a clutch of investors led by Alibaba Group, Foxconn, and SoftBank.

 

 

J Sagar Associates

J Sagar Associates (JSA) demonstrates strengths across several practice areas particularly in banking and finance, where the firm demonstrate its worth in external commercial borrowing matters.

Banking highlights include work for State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Export-Import Bank of India as lenders in relation to the foreign currency borrowings of $550 million taken out by Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals. Elsewhere, the firm acted for Qatar National Bank as the arranger, agent and the lender in connection with the $150 million financing of Indiabulls Housing Finance.

In project finance the firm advised IL&FS on project implementation issues arising under the power purchase agreement between IL&FS and the offtaker in connection with their 2640MW thermal power plant at Tamil Nadu. The firm also assisted a syndicate of banks as the agent in relation to an external commercial borrowing of $450 million availed by Power Finance Corporation.

In the capital markets, the team has acted on a range of IPOs including those of InterGlobe Aviation, Dilip Buildcon, INOX Wind, Paranjape Schemes, Prabhat Dairy, Sadbhav Infrastructure Project as well as advising on various qualified institutional placement (QIP) issues. On the debt side, the firm advised Bank of Baroda in relation to its existing $3 billion MTN program.

The M&A team has worked across sectors including insurance, hospitality, energy and infrastructure, communications, asset management and financial institutions. One of the team’s highlights was work for Union Bank of India, in its acquisition of KBC Participations Renta’s (KBC) 49% shareholding in both Union KBC Asset Management Company and Union KBC Trustee Company.

In private equity, partner the firm advised Amazon in a number of matters including the acquisition of a minority stake in Housejoy which Amazon invested in along with Matrix Partners and Vertex Ventures. The firm also advised Amazon as it acquired a 20% stake in A&A Dukaan Financial Services which operates the website bankbazzaar.com.

Juris Corp

Juris Corp has a special focus in  structured products acting for the majority of  issuers in the Indian market and is also proficient in  debt capital markets. Last year, founding partner Jayesh Shah and partner Shan Bottlewalla  handled a couple of issuances in the Indian market such as non-principal protected debentures.

The firm acted as legal counsel to  Reliance Industries and advised on the Indian legal aspects of notes issuances in the US. The deal was the first ever Export-Import Bank guaranteed note issuance globally by a private sector energy company.

It was also involved in the restructuring of $194 million 6.75% existing Foreign Currency convertible bonds of issuer Videocon Industries.

Khaitan & Co

Khaitan & Co has impressive expertise across a number of practice areas. Its corporate M&A practice in particular received a lot of compliments, as one client says: “The team has deep knowledge and provides strong support in providing solutions,” while another client praised partner Rabindra Jhunjhunwala for “always take on board any constructive comments we have about service and seeking to improve the service his firm provides to our clients”.

“Khaitan will deal with matters promptly and efficiently. They will always seek to give our clients sound commercial advice,” another client adds.

Staffing changes including the recruitment of partner Nikhil Narayanan from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, partner Rahul Dutt from Reliance Industries and banking and finance partner Manisha Shroff who joins from Cyril Amarchand & Mangaldas

In capital markets a clear highlight was work on a “maharaja” bond programme for the International Finance Corporation.

In corporate and M&A, deal highlights include work for GlaxoSmithKline in relation to three connected deals worth over $20 billion combined, including a consumer health joint venture with Novartis, the acquisition of Novartis’ vaccines business and the sale of the company’s cancer drugs portfolio to Novartis.

In private equity a clear highlight was work for TA Associates on the acquisition of a 37.33% stake in Atria Convergence Technologies for approximately $500 million along with Argan (Mauritius), in one of the largest private equity transactions in India last year.

King & Spalding

King & Spalding’s India practice is led by partner Rahul Patel who works with lawyers from the firm’s offices in Atlanta, Dubai, Houston, London, New York and Singapore. Its work involves both Indian companies engaged in outbound transactions across the globe and companies from other jurisdictions looking to invest and do business in India.

Last year, the firm represented affiliates of the Avantha Group, one of India’s leading business conglomerates with operations in 90 countries, in connection with multiple M&A related transactions that have not been publicly disclosed.

It also represented Indian private equity fund Lumis Partners in various M&A related matters related to its portfolio companies.

Kochhar & Co

Kochhar & Co runs six offices in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, and Agra. It also has overseas offices in Atlanta, Singapore, Tokyo and Dubai. The firm has hired a number of lawyers last year, namely, Faizal Latheef, Jivesh Chandrayan, Sumit Phatela, Arvind Gurumurthy and Gaurav Chatterjee.

One of the unique features of the firm’s practice is the fact that it cuts across  sectors  such as automotive, banking, e-commerce, education, conventional and non-conventional energy, hospitality, manufacturing, and financial services.

Last year, the firm advised Neptune Orient Lines as its exclusive India counsel with respect to the sale of its group company APL Logistics to Kintetsu World Express. It also advised Hitachi Appliances on divestment of control of its Indian company, Hitachi Home & Life Solutions.

Elsewhere in banking, the firm was involved in Sidbi Venture Capital on its investment fund,  Samridhi Fund,  over its Re1 billion investment in five companies in India, in which three of the companies were micro finance institutions.

Separately, the firm advised Axis Bank in respect of working capital term loan facilities aggregating to $100 million  in favour of Shapooji Pallonji Middle East on the collateral of a corporate guarantee to be provided by Shapoorji Pallonji Srilanka.

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins’ India practice includes more than 50 lawyers in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. It is one of the largest groups among international law firms.

In capital markets, the firm advised the underwriters in relation to ICICI Bank’s $700 million  offer of 4% notes due 2026 pursuant to its $7.5 million global medium term note (GMTN) programme.

It also advised MakeMyTrip, India’s leading online travel company, in its issuance of $180 million convertible bonds.

For IPO work, the firm advised Axis Capital and Citigroup Global Markets, as book-running lead managers, in UFO Moviez India’s initial public offering on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.

Lex Favios

Lex Favios is a full service law firm with offices in New Delhi and Mumbai. The firm hired Rupul Jhanjee as its banking and finance head from ASA Law Firm earlier this year.

One client who worked with the firm’s corporate team says: “I am happy with its business knowledge especially on  local legal requirements and compliance matters. It constantly updated me on progress without me instructing it as to when to proceed. Its pro-activeness is excellent. It has good communication skills and it can put legal terms into simple  business terms for us to understand. Its timeliness is excellent. The junior lawyers are mostly responsible for the follow up and  did a good job in ensuring  coordination between all parties. The managing partner Sumes Dewan would inform us if he is unavailable and would make sure all work was completed by the deadline. Fees  are very competitive when compared with the other law firms we were considering.”

Last year, the firm acted as Indian counsel to Uflex in connection with a secured rupee term loan from Tourism Finance Corporation of India guaranteed by AR Airways, as well as in connection with the issue of a second amendment to the demand guarantee issued by Uflex to JPMorgan Chase.

In the capital markets, a landmark deal saw the team acting as the sole legal and regulatory counsel to Mushtaq Group of Hotels and assisted in negotiating and advising on the various operating contracts with the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, the total investment of which is approximately Re10 billion ($150.4 million). The deal is the biggest in India’s hotel industry. Lex Favios also acted as the legal counsel to the promoters and new management of Vastu Housing Finance  in the $10 million acquisition of Vastu Housing Finance.

Lexygen

Lexygen focuses on its general corporate, private equity, venture capital, and M&A practices. “Its general articulation is very good. It is able to give a lot of options and structuring ideas,” one client says.

Founding partner Vijay Sambamurthi’s attributes are drawn out by a client who was establishing a fund: “Comparing it with the other four tenders we received, Mr Vijay gave an impression of much higher competence than the rest and made me feel the most comfortable to work with him. He has very sound knowledge and has done similar PV/VC transactions in the past that I could very easily gauge his knowledge and competence. Mr Vijay was also quite responsive in getting back to me.”

The firm received instructions concerning the equity capital markets. For instance, it represented Zephyr Peacock and Omidyar Network in connection with its investment in Swarna Pragati Housing Microfinance; and advised as counsel for the investee company, Pinnacle Engines India, a California clean energy company which manufactures environmentally friendly engines, on an investment made by Indian venture capital funds.

In the M&A space, highlight deals saw Lexygen representing TVV Capital, the investor, in connection with its  acquisition of an Indian company engaged in the intelligent assembly solutions sector, as part of the larger global transaction where TVV Capital purchased the assets of Dukane Corporation; and representing AllGo Embedded Systems (AllGo) and its shareholders regarding an  acquisition of the company’s automotive business by Visteon Corporation and its affiliate.

Luthra & Luthra

Luthra & Luthra has been expanding with a new office in Hyderabad and a number of new hires including Shinoj Koshy from Nishith Desai Associates in its private equity practice, Priyamvada Haridas from State Bank of India in project finance and M&A lawyer Rajesh Chavda from Herbert Smith Freehills.

In banking and finance, a clear highlight was work for a consortium of more than 20 lenders led by State Bank of India in relation to the structuring of term loan facilities granted to Bhushan Power & Steel.

Project finance is one of the key practice in the firm given its years of experience and knowledge in the field. One highlight saw the lawyers advise Axis Bank as lender in relation to loans for funding the expansion of a port project undertaken at Jaigarh by JSW Jaigarh.

In capital markets, the firm has a clear strength in public offerings of equity shares, qualified institutions placement (QIP) and note issues. One example is work for the book running lead managers in relations to the IPO of one of the largest microfinance institutions in India.

In M&A highlights include work for Tata Advanced Systems in setting up a 51/49 Indian joint venture company with the Boeing Company. In a $4 billion deal, the team acted for Capgemini Services in its acquisition of iGate. In another transaction, the firm advised on the acquisition by Guardian Life Insurance Company of 100% equity interests in Aon Hewitt Absence Management.

Majmudar & Partners

Majmudar & Partners has been expanding in the past couple of years and received compliments from clients for its quality legal work. A client says the firm “provided advice on legal study in connection with the sale of receivables from an Indian law perspective”.

Another client says: “My  portfolio is managed by  partner Mr. Fraser Alexander who handles the tasks with ease and there has not been any instances of mismanagement. The legal matters have been handled with adequate responsibility.”

 

In capital markets, the firm acted as Indian legal counsel to an Australian entity in the replacement prospectus for the issue of fully paid ordinary shares at an issue price of $1.00 together with one loyalty option per share to raise $35 million to $100 million.

In M&A, the firm represented Asian Business Connections on its acquisition of  Elante Mall, Larsen & Toubro’s commercial real estate project in Chandigarh, from L&T Realty.  

Elsewhere in private equity, the firm advised Browndove Healthcare on an investment by Somerset Indus Healthcare Fund.

And in project finance, the firm advised on an extension of the corporate guarantee provided by UPL India towards a loan extended by Bank of Baroda to its Italian subsidiary, UPL Italia.

Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster's India practice operates  out of offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore. The team has recently hired Amit Kataria to its Hong Kong office as of counsel  to join Singapore-based partner Adam Summerly. Key clients of the firm are Hitachi and Hitachi Appliances, SoftBank and OMERS Private Equity.

Highlights include representing Hitachi and Hitachi Appliances in a mandatory tender offer for shares of Hitachi Home and Life Solutions India. It was triggered by Hitachi’s formation of a global air conditioning joint venture with Johnson Controls.

It advised SoftBank in its $627 million investment in India’s leading e-commerce company Snapdeal, which made SoftBank the largest single shareholder in the company.

In a separate deal, the firm also acted for SoftBank in  its joint venture with Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn Technology to develop solar power projects across India.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has over 20 active partners globally who advise Indian clients on  foreign law deals or  foreign clients on  India-related matters.

The firm acted for Asian Development Bank (ADB) in  six separate loans to six different borrowers for the purpose of part funding the development and maintenance of wind and solar power plants including evacuation and transmission facilities to the point of delivery for sale of power comprising in India.

The team also advised the Bank of New York Mellon as trustee in relation to the issue of $650 million bonds due 2020 by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone in its debut dollar bond issue.  

Phoenix Legal

Phoenix Legal’s strengths can be seen across disciplines like banking and finance, M&A, private equity and project finance carried out by its  three offices  in Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai.

In M&A, the firm advised Deutsche Bank in  the sale of its Indian asset management business and advised Sanctum Wealth Management on a management buy-out of the Indian wealth management business of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

In private equity, it represented Adinath Agro Processed Foods and its promoters in a new round of fundraising; whereas it also advised Apis Partners as investor counsel in its investment in EPS.  

Ropes & Gray

Ropes & Gray has 21 partners working on its India practice led by UK partner Anand Damodaran and partners in Hong Kong, Daniel Anderson and Scott Jalowayski. Its client list includes many of the key global investors in India such as the Carlyle Group. The team has handled a range of transactional mandates with an India nexus over the past 12 months, which are mainly in the corporate practice. It advised the sponsor of Catalyst Samsara India Opportunity Fund, a multi-$100 million Indian real estate fund, with respect to establishing the fund assisting with ongoing fund related matters.

It also acted as global counsel to Rabo Equity Management Company, the financial services provider based in the Netherlands, on the formation of its India AgriBusiness Fund II.

Elsewhere, the firm advised an ad hoc committee of bondholders for Suzlon Energy, an Indian wind-turbine maker, in the restructuring of circa $580 million foreign currency convertible bonds.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co

Following the split of Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co, new firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co has been active in recruiting to retain its capabilities in the legal market across various practice areas. In banking and finance the firm added partners Sapan Gupta, Jay Parikh and Debashree Dutta; in project finance Deepto Roy joined the team while in M&A the firm hired partners Shuva Mandal, Akshay Chudasama, Iqbal Khan, Ashni Roy, Gaurav Singhi and Mithun Thanks.

In the capital markets, the firm advised Coal India in relations to its share offer; advised Dr Lal PathLabs on a proposed IPO; advised Videocon Industries on its restructuring of foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs); and advised on the financing provided by Piramal Fund Management to Sarvavasa Buildtech & Farms done by way of issue of non-convertible debentures.

In M&A, the firm is advising DLF on the divestment of a 40% stake in its principal subsidiary to institutional, third-party investors through a competitive bid process. In the private equity space, the firm has been working with a number of blue-chip private equity funds operating in India. A long list of clients which it represents includes Apollo, AION, Blackstone, Temasek, TPG Capital, TPG Growth, IDFC Alternatives, India Agri Business Fund, ChrysCap and the IFC. A highlight was work for Blackstone Capital in its acquisition of a majority stake in Mphasis which is currently owned by Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Shearman & Sterling

Shearman & Sterling’s India practice is handled by lawyers in its Singapore and Hong Kong offices. In the past 12 months, the firm has been very active in the country and completed a number of significant deals.

An example saw the firm advise Citigroup, Credit Suisse, HSBC Securities, JPMorgan and other underwriters in the $1.2 billion global rights offering by Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile company. The deal marked the first rights offering of an Indian company registered both in India and the US.

In a separate deal, the firm advised General Electric Capital Corporation on the proposed sale of its commercial lending and leasing business in India, including GE Capital Services India and GE Money Financial Services, to a consortium of former GE Capital management backed by AION Capital Partners. 

The firm also advised Engie Global Developments and International Power on the sale of its stake in the Paiton power plant in Indonesia to Qatari infrastructure investment firm Nebras Power. Paiton is Indonesia’s largest independent power producer with over 2000MW of operating base. It represents 4% of Indonesia’s total installed capacity.

Singh & Associates

Clients speak highly of the law firm, with one saying: “It has done a very good job. We have used it for six to seven years and have no intention to switch to any other law firm.” Another client from the energy sector adds: “It always comes up with good solutions and suggestions. The lawyers always deliver within the timeframe agreed and the team is very dedicated. I have been using the firm for seven to eight years. The billing arrangement is very transparent. I cannot think of any improvement for it”. The firm is also in the process of opening a new office in New Delhi this year. Rajdutt Shekhar Singh was promoted as partner in the Contracts and Transactions practice group. Corporate partner Dilip Niranjan left the firm to start his own practice.

There has been individual praise for the founding partner Manoj  Singh: “Manoj is good at negotiation; the communication with Mr Singh was very good and I always had my answer the same or the next day.”

The corporate and tax team was active in the past 12 months. For instance, the team assisted Jindal ITF (JITF) in reviewing and closing its licence agreement entered into with Kolkata Port Trust for Haldia Project. The tender awarded to JITF is of the value $374 million. The firm was also engaged by Henry Ford Health Systems (HFHS) in various legal and commercial issues concerning  India related transactions.

SNG & Partners

SNG Partners has a fairly strong focus in banking and finance, but it also works in capital markets and private equity. A client from the private sector says: “SNG has helped us as  corporate lawyers on real estate financing transactions. We have been working with them for their excellent understanding of the real estate market and typical pitfalls that we as an investor need to avoid through appropriate documentation, when negotiating with counterparties.”

It acted as the lender's legal counsel to State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, acting as lead bank for a consortium consisting of 13 lenders, with regard to the grant of working capital facilities.

Elsewhere it advised Standard Chartered Bank on a syndicated LRD transaction involving the structuring,  preparation and finalising of  a facility and security documents  for DLF Cyber City Developers.

Squire Patton Boggs

Since it was established in October 2014,  Squire Patton Boggs’ India practice has advised on various capital markets transactions based out in Singapore. The team has been growing  in 2015, and achieved several landmarks in  large transactions.

It worked on more than 35 equity offerings last year, including IPOs, QIPs and other fund raisings in 2015 as well as a variety of M&A transactions.

The firm was  underwriter’s counsel in relation to advice on the $3 billion offering by State Bank of India, which was the largest deal by value in the Indian capital markets and in the Indian banking sector in 2015.

In a separate matter, the firm also acted for the underwriters on the proposed IPO of Equitas Holdings, one of the largest non-banking financial services companies in India. It was the second largest IPO in India since 2012, after Indigo.

Suri & Co

Suri & Co’s banking practice is recognised within the industry. It has been the principal legal advisor for Citibank  since 1987, and acts for other lenders including ICICI Bank, HDFC, Ratnakar Bank, Hero Fincorp, and Citicorp Finance. It has offices in Delhi, Chandigarh and Bhubaneshwar.

In the banking area, the firm advised Hero Fincorp, a non-banking financial company, in reviewing  a referral agreement with Amazon who approached Hero Fincorp to advance a  financial facility to the sellers registered on Amazon  for the sale of its products; it advised Citibank in reviewing consortium lending documents; and advised Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI)  in providing strategic funding to Sweta Estate and to Gaursons Promoters. The firm also conducted due diligence work for other lenders such as Intellecash and RBL Bank.

The M&A team was active last year with highlight deals including advising Medico Electrodes International (MEI), a global leader in ECG electrodes, on  Indian and UK law in relation to MEI’s acquisition of Ambu White Sensor, a British manufacturer in the healthcare sector; advising  a series of start-up companies such as Findmystay and Mera Job India, on the drafting of private equity investment documentations, as well as assisting investees in securing seed funding; and advising First House Budget Homes on a joint venture with another listed real estate development.

Talwar Thakore & Associates

Talwar Thakore & Associates gains a lot of compliments for its finance work as one client says: “The firm has provided excellent service on recent financial matters on which we have engaged them. Talwar Thakore & Associates is our go to firm for financial matters in India.” Another client singled out partner Kunal Thakore as the “go-to-guy in India, very business savvy and with good attention to client needs' and to details”.

A highlight for the banking practice was work on the $405 million financing arranged by Deutsche Bank, ING Bank and Standard Chartered Bank in connection with the proposed acquisition of Mphasisby by the Blackstone group.

In the capital markets the firm is best known for advising on convertible bonds and high yield debt issues in the international markets. Highlights include acting for JPMorgan in relations to the issuance of non-convertible debentures by Gujarat Road and Infrastructure Company; and advising the debenture trustee and the initial debenture holder in relation to the issuance of non-convertible debentures.

In M&A highlights include work for Sun Life group in relation to the increase of its equity stake from 26% to 49% in its life insurance joint venture in India; work for AXA group in relation to the increase of its equity stake from 26% to 49% in its life and general insurance joint venture in India with the Bharti group; and work for Blue Star Infotech on the sale of its entire IT business in India as well as overseas. 

Tatva Legal

The  M&A practice in Tatva Legal serves both Indian and foreign corporates. Key corporate clients are Everstone Capital, Metlife, NOK Freudenberg Group, Tisman Speyer, Manipal, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Café Coffee Day, Mindtree and GIC Singapore.

It is involved in the acquisition of a substantial stake by TPG Asia VI SF in Manipal Health Enterprises for a deal value of $146 million. It also worked in the acquisition of  Interactive Business Information Systems by Sonata Software.

In private equity, the firm worked for Kids Clinic India in connection with the $60 million investment supported by India Value Fund. It also worked for Ask Pravi Capital Advisors in the acquisition of substantial stake in Spalon India.

Trilegal

During the research period Trilegal opened a new office in Gurgaon, the firm’s fifth office in India. Its legal work has been widely recognised and clients praise the lawyers as “very helpful, quick to respond to queries, easily accessible, knowledgeable and able to explain things well”. Another praises the firm’s “turnaround time, they are mindful of the turnaround time and have always been punctual in reverting with their advice within the timelines requested of them”.

The firm’s banking and finance practice regularly advises lender side parties and key deals include advising lender Axis Bank Asia in connection with a $430 million facility provided to two companies of the Hiranandani Group.

In project finance, deal highlights include work for Ostro Energy in a number of deals including loan facilities taken out by Ostro Anantapur from L&T Infra Finance and IREDA and facilities taken out by Ostro Jaisalmer from Aditya Birla Finance.

In the capital markets, the firm was involved in the largest domestic IPO to date acting for the investors selling their shares in the listing of Equitas Holding. Elsewhere, the firm advised on the $5 billion MTN program established by Axis Bank.

In M&A highlights include advising the Alibaba Group and Ant Financial in relation to an investment in One97 Communications, which runs the Paytm online payment platform.

Universal Legal Attorneys at Law

Universal Legal Attorneys at Law is affiliated to The Chugh Firm. The firm has set up offices in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, and recently in Ahmedabad.

In the M&A space, during the research period, the firm was involved in a number of acquisition deals and mainly acted for the sellers. Examples include representing Integrated Cleanroom Technologies in the sale of a minority stake in the company to Takasago Thermal Engineering; representing a company in the sale of a stake to global giant Qualcomm Asia-Pacific along with Norwest Venture Partners; and representing ESAF Microfinance and Investments (ESAF) in the private equity investment by SIDBI Trustee in ESAF.

Veritas Legal

“The firm has good lawyers who react quickly, and we got good rates for the fees,” one client says. Veritas Legal  started in 2015, founded by Abhijit Joshi who specialises in M&A and corporate law. M&A, private equity, ligation, real estate, corporate,  advisory and competition law are the firm’s key practice areas. Its M&A partner Nandish Vyas was appointed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs as an external advisor for the merger and amalgamation rules under the Companies Act 2013.

The founding partner, Joshi, received  individual praise from a client who worked with the M&A team: “Abhijit is my go-to person for India-led international transactions. I followed him to Veritas after he left APJ-SLG. He is very creative. There was a very complex deal I had in 2009 and Abhijit was the only lawyer who could give me a solution. Veritas is my top choice among other international law firms in India because Abhijit can find me the best team. He has a lot of international experience. He can explain the difference between Indian law and German or US law for example.”

During the research period, the firm  advised Recipharm , a publicly listed Swedish pharmaceutical company, in connection with its $104 million acquisition of 74% shares of Nitin; and acted for  Pfizer in relation to the Business Transfer Agreement for the transfer of its Thane plant to Vidhi Research and Development. The team also acted for  Zoetis India in the sale of select animal health brands and a manufacturing unit to Cadila Healthcare (Zydus).

On the regulatory side, Veritas Legal advised Huhtamaki on general competition law in relation to the consolidation of companies forming a part of the Huhtamaki Group to Huhtamaki PPL; and advised K. Raheja  on general competition law concerning the proposed Re3 billion ($45.2 million) internal restructuring of the company through a series of acquisitions, mergers and demergers.

Financial and corporate - Foreign
Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy’s India practice comprises  lawyers from London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and New York with specialist knowledge across practice areas.

For banking and finance, the team handles a range of transactions from bond or note issuances to loans or pre IPO-financings. The firm acted for Investec Bank and First Gulf Bank on a facility provided to a Dutch subsidiary of an Indian multinational company, guaranteed by the Indian parent. It was also involved in a $200 million facility provided by Export Development Canada for a Dutch subsidiary of an Indian conglomerate.

In M&A, the firm continued to advise corporates, banks and governments on local and cross-border matters involving India. It advised AION Capital Partners, Apollo’s India fund, on its acquisition of GE’s commercial lending and leasing businesses in India. The buyout transaction is the first deal of its kind in the financial services sector in India.

In capital markets, the firm has  specific strength on IPOs and qualified institutional placings (QIPs), and acted for Citigroup in its role as sole bookrunner and lead manager in connection to depositary receipt issues in the equity capital markets. Last year, it acted as sole international legal counsel for Samvardhana Motherson Automotive Systems Group’s private placement of €100 million  senior secured high yield notes due 2025.

Ashurst

Ashurst’s India practice works across a number of its offices in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia and the firm keeps a strong working relationship with local law firm Indian Law Partners (ILP).

The firm’s capital markets team has been active within the natural resources sector, acting on oil and gas transactions for major players like Oil Indian, ONGC, Jubilant Energy, GAIL and Bharat Petroleum. It advised Vedanta Resources on its buy-back programme to repurchase up to 20% of the $743 million outstanding principal amount of the 6.75% bonds due 2016 of Vedanta Resources.

In banking, the firm hired counsel Kunal Kapoor from Ince & Co last year. The team advised APG Strategic Real Estate Pool as the investor on a $275 million investment platform for investing into FDI compliant infill residential development projects in India with Godrej Properties.

In  M&A, the firm acted for Vedanta Resources  on the merger of its oil and gas exploration subsidiaries Vedanta and Cairn India, it is part of the company’s $1.3 billion cost saving programme, as it makes attempts to simplify its group structure. It also advised Enel Green Power on the acquisition of a majority stake in Indian wind and solar power producer BLP Energy.

Elsewhere in project finance, the firm advised H-Energy on the development of this floating regasification project to set up a 6 million tons per annum (MTPA) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Floating Storage & Regasification Unit (FSRU) on the east coast of India, offshore of Digha in West Bengal.

Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis’s  India-focused practice  is highly active among international law firms and provides counsel for M&A and private equity transactions. Its major clients include Apax Partners, Apollo, Larsen & Toubro and Sun Pharma.

Last year, it represented funds advised by Apax Partners in its agreement to buy a 20.4% stake in Shriram City Union Finance from TPG Capital for $384 million.

Elsewhere, it represented Infosys in its acquisition of privately held automation technology provider Panaya in an all-cash deal with an enterprise value of $200 million. The transaction aims to leverage Panaya’s automation, innovation and artificial intelligence capabilities.

In a separate matter, the firm represented a consortium comprised of Bain Capital and GIC in the $350 million acquisition of engineering services company QuEST Global.

Meanwhile, in one of the latest deals, it acted for Blackstone on a leveraged financing to partly fund its acquisition of at least 84% of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s stake in Mphasis, an India based outsourcing firm listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy

Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has  decades of experience in  running an India practice. It has  particular strength in areas such as capital markets, projects and energy, which tied up the firm with clients like Citigroup, HSBC, JPMorgan, KKR Capital Markets and Standard Chartered Bank.

In the past 12 months, apart from a number of confidential mandates, it represented the underwriters in the $289 million high yield issuance by Delhi International Airport, which operates one of the largest airports in the world.  

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

There are a total of 10 partners from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom’s  network that handle its India practice, and three  are based in Hong Kong and one from Singapore.

Last year, the firm acted as the sole international counsel to DSP Merrill Lynch, Axis Capital, Edelweiss Financial Services and YES Bank  as lead managers in the $163 million combined primary and secondary IPO and dual listing on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange in India of Inox Wind, a leading provider of wind power solutions.

 

Elsewhere it represented Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered and DBS Bank as joint lead managers in a $1 billion issuance of 4.375% senior notes due 2025 by Bharti Airtel.

Meanwhile, the firm advised Azure Power Global in its $100 million proposed initial public offering of equity shares and listing on the New York Stock Exchange.