India

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:

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

Financial and corporate
Advaita Legal

Advaita Legal is known for its focus on project finance and development.

The firm handles the entire spectrum of project work for clients from sectors including banking and finance, transport, conventional and renewable energy and mining and natural resources. The firm has notably been appointed to the panel of the National Skill Development Corporation.

A recent highlight saw the firm advising a government body in formulating a regulatory framework for energy efficiency and conservation in India.

AZB & Partners

A household name in the Indian legal market, AZB & Partners is strong throughout the financial and corporate area, especially in banking, capital markets, M&A, private equity, and restructuring.

The banking team advises lenders and borrowers on projects related to structured finance, corporate and acquisition finance and project finance transactions. Recently the firm notably acted for IFC in providing loan facilities to banks.

The firm houses one of the largest capital markets teams in India and provides services in both debt and equity capital-raising transactions. In the research period the team acted on several significant mandates. Highlights include acting for the issuer on one of the largest public equity capital raising exercises in India ever; acting for the selling shareholders in one of the largest IPO exits by a private equity firm in India; and acting for the issuer in one of the largest issues of non-convertible debentures.

The firm’s prized corporate and M&A team was active recently on various high-value mandates such as Walt Disney’s acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox; Tata Steel’s acquisition of Bhushan Steel - the first successful acquisition under India's new insolvency and bankruptcy code; and the setting up of India’s largest infrastructure investment trust.

In projects the firm has experience in acting for an array of clients such as government bodies, banks, non-banking finance companies, multilateral financial institutions, project sponsors, investment funds, contractors and project developers. Key sectors of focus include power (conventional, renewable and nuclear), oil and gas, mining and natural resources, infrastructure and transport. A recent highlight saw the firm advising the project proponents on one of the first PPP projects being developed through a Swiss challenge bidding route.

In restructuring, the firm took on clients such as resolution professionals, accounting firms, distressed asset funds, creditors and lenders on high-value mandates such as the restructuring of the Adhunik Group of Companies and the restructuring of Bharati Defence.

The firm strengthened its banking and projects teams with the hire of new partner Piyush Mishra from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Additionally, the corporate team was boosted by the appointment of Kunal Kumbhat as a partner from Trilegal. However, the banking, corporate and restructuring teams saw the departure of partner Ashwin Ramanathan who quit legal practice.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•             Adhunik restructuring

•             Bharti Airtel Rs249.39 billion rights Issue

•             HDFC Asset Management NSE IPO

•             Indus Towers / Bharti Infratel merger

•             Oil & Natural Gas Corporation $5.7 billion acquisition of a 51.11% stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation

•             Tata Consultancy Services Rs160 billion share buyback

•             Tata Steel $7.4 billion acquisition of a 72.65% stake in Bhushan Steel

•             The Walt Disney Company $71.3 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox

 

Client feedback

“The firm's well-researched advice encompasses the whole gambit of a transaction and the firm guides the client with practical solutions.” – Capital markets

“Responsive and commercially focused.” - Investment funds

“Deep experience and thought leadership in fund formation. Highly recommended.” - Investment funds

“I have found the firm's lawyers to be extremely experienced and knowledgeable. They have responded to queries promptly and effectively, and have a deep understanding of industry practices as well.” - Investment funds

“AZB has a very strong corporate practice in India. The lead partners are top-quality and, very importantly, are supported by strong senior associates able to effectively manage day-to-day. It is a firm part of the corporate and regulatory landscape and is able to comment not just on the law but on the thinking behind various rules and expected changes.” - Private equity  

“A very efficient team which was proactive and diligent throughout the transaction. The overall approach was solution-oriented and practical solutions were offered at all stages of the transaction.” – Private equity  

“Very prompt in their responses which are generally well reasoned and given after consideration of all available facts.” - Restructuring and insolvency

Ajay Bahl

“Ajay is an incredible advisor. He combines a scholarly understanding of Indian law with a real awareness of what is happening in the legal, political and economic sphere in India. First-rate.”

Sai Krishna Bharathan

“A lawyer everyone would want to engage and take advice from.”

Pallabi Ghosal

“Pallabi understands her domain very well, is innovative and provides a balanced perspective.”

“Pallabi and Ananya are excellent and knowledgeable lawyers and have always been extremely professional and effective in the course of their work with us.”

Qais Jamal

“He is quite solid in his understanding of issues and very balanced in negotiations.”

Vinati Kastia

“Vinati is extremely knowledgeable in the PE and investment space in India. She is practical, solution-oriented and always delivers. Excellent adviser.”  

Gautam Saha

“Gautam is a great lawyer supported by an amazing team.”

Dhruv Singhal

“We have been working with Dhruv for the past 7-8 years. He has been a great asset for us and instrumental in the execution of our investments in India. Dhruv is reliable and responsive and always prepared with a commercial solution for any concerns or issues that we have encountered.”  

Ananya Sonthalia

“Pallabi and Ananya are excellent and knowledgeable lawyers and have always been extremely professional and effective in the course of their work with us.”

 

Dhaval Vussonji & Associates

Dhaval Vussonji & Associates is active in the financial and corporate space.

The firm’s experience includes working on domestic and cross border financing transactions in the real estate, aviation, transport, power, oil and gas and shipping sectors. Recent clients include the likes of Aditya Birla Capital, Piramal Finance, JM Financial, IIFL, Varde Partners, Xander Finance, and HDFC.

In the research period the firm was predominantly active in banking, acting for both lenders and borrowers. A highlight saw the firm advising a consortium of lenders in extending a loan for the financing of real estate projects.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Bombay Slum Redevelopment Corporation Rs4 billion financing

•                      Forum Projects and Forum Properties Holdings $56.1 million financing

•                      Indiabulls Real Estate Rs5 billion refinancing

•                      Omkar Realtors $52.6 million bond issue

•                      Pharande Promoters and Builders Rs2 billion financing

•                      Prestige Estates Projects $70 million private placement bond issue

•                      Wadhwa Group $38.6 million financing

Dhir & Dhir Associates

Dhir & Dhir Associates is known for its capital markets, projects and restructuring work.

In recent banking work, the firm acted for lenders and borrowers in financing transactions in sectors including real estate, renewables, and financial services. In terms of project finance, the firm regularly associated with L&T Infrastructure Finance on different mandates, assisting with due diligence and financing transactions.

The capital markets team has extensive experience in advising on regulatory compliance related matters. During the research period the firm acted for issuers, investors, and guarantors on matters including debenture issues, share buybacks, and private placements. 

In M&A, during the research period, the firm was primarily active on the acquirer’s side.

In the projects space the firm was particularly active in the renewable sectors and advised various clients in setting up wind and solar power projects across India.

On the restructuring side the firm acts for an array of stakeholders including financial creditors, corporate debtors, operational creditors, resolution professionals, resolution applicant and bondholders. A highlight saw the firm advising the committee of creditors in the resolution process of Ferro Alloys.

Staffing changes saw the departures of partners Sarbasuchi Das and Siva Gopinatham.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•             Bharat Heavy Electricals Rs16,282 billion buyback of shares

•             Delhi Baroda Road Carrier Rs1.5 billion financing 

•             INR Energy Ventures acquisition of Mamadapur Solar

•             INR Energy Ventures acquisition of Belgaum Solar Power

•             Karnataka 45 MW solar PV Based power plant

•             National Aluminium Company Rs5.048 billion buyback of shares

•             Power Finance Corporation $250 Million financing

•             Solar Pack 95 MW Karnataka power plant

Client feedback

“The professionals at Dhir & Dhir are experts in their field. They take care of the quality and complete the work within the given timelines. Mr Girish Rawat is highly recommended for his understanding and advice on deal structuring. “- Banking 

“Experienced and qualified staff.” - Banking

“Responsive and commercial.” - Project development

Girish Rawat

“Girish Rawat has in-depth knowledge of his work and the practice areas. We can rely upon his problem-solving skills and approach towards saving the interest of the client. Further, he makes sure that the work assigned to him is delivered before the committed timelines.”  

Guranpreet Sarna

“Very professional.“

Economic Laws Practice

Economic Laws Practice is a consistent performer across the financial and corporate space and has a strong projects practice. ELP is one of the few Indian law firms capable of providing advice to multi-national clients as foreign counsel in other jurisdictions.

The banking team has an extensive client base encompassing public sector and private sector banks, global banks, funds and investment houses, asset reconstruction companies as well as domestic and foreign commercial enterprises. During the research period the firm was active for both lenders and borrowers.

The firm’s recent M&A activities include a mix of buy and sell-side roles on acquisitions, joint ventures and mergers across various industry sectors. A highlight saw the firm act for the seller in one of the largest transactions in the healthcare sector.

On the private equity side the firm has experience in advising stakeholders such as investment managers, sponsors and seed investors, lead investors, placement agents and co-investors. A highlight saw the firm act for the second-largest tanker private shipping company in India on an investment from Fairfax India Holdings.

In the projects space the firm takes on clients from sectors including construction, hospitality, mining, and transport. A highlight saw the firm advise on the development and maintenance of an iconic hotel in India.

A highlight in the restructuring space saw the firm acting for resolution professional in the high-value corporate insolvency process of Videocon Group Companies.

Staffing changes saw the firm welcome new corporate partner Tushar Ajinkya from DSK Legal while the firm was hit by the loss of banking and finance partner Deep Roy who left for Equilex.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Adani Infra Rs12 billion financing

•                      Google India / Tata Trusts joint venture

•                      Ideal Real Estates Rs3.5 billion financing

•                      ITD Cemindia JV Rs5.55 billion financing

•                      Nayati Group acquisition of a majority stake in Primamed Hospital

•                      SAMHI Hotels acquisition of a 33% stake in SAMHI JV Business Hotels

•                      Samson Maritime $20 million financing

•                      Videocon Group Companies Rs250 billion insolvency

 

Client feedback

"Good work. A decent understanding of the nuances of project development and concession agreements."– Project development

“A highly experienced and credible team.” - Restructuring and insolvency

Aakanksha Joshi

“Excellent work.”

Babu Sivaprakasam

“Highly experienced and credible in his work and leads from the front.”

Halder & Associates

Halder & Associates has a focus on project development and often acts on inbound infrastructure and energy projects. Key industries of focus include transport, power, utilities, real estate, and oil and gas.

An recent eye-catching mandate saw the firm advising the IFC on the development of the Clark International Airport PPP project. Other noteworthy mandates include advising a co-developer on the high-value development of a thermal power plant and acting for the Asian Development Bank in financing multiple solar projects across India.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Clark International Airport PPP

•                      Godda 2x800MW thermal power plant

•                      NASSCOM skill-development programme PPP

•                      National Highway

Client feedback

"Good subject knowledge, hardworking and professional behaviour are their strengths." – Project development

‘They have a meticulous and detailed approach in reviewing and provide interactive support in a timely manner.” - Project development

Ajoy Halder

“Provided prompt and quality support so far.”

“Communicative and has an eye for detail.”

IndusLaw

IndusLaw has a well-diversified financial and corporate practice and is best known for its high-quality private equity work.

The banking team has considerable experience and often works on cross-border matters, advising both lenders and borrowers. An interesting recent mandate saw the firm acting for the lender in financing the acquisition of a shipping asset. The firm was also active in the renewable energy sector and acted for the likes of Canadian Solar on project financing mandates.

On the M&A side a highlight the firm acted for the acquirer in one of the first successful distressed asset sales in the power sector under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code. Another highlight saw the firm assisting an Indian multinational corporation in the high-value divestment of its data centre services business.

The firm’s flagship private equity team represents funds as well as companies and promoters, and can provide advice throughout the funding lifecycle. During the research period the team took on clients across a wide range of industry sectors. A newsworthy mandate saw the firm acting for Oyorooms on investments from new and existing investors.

In projects the firm has expertise in power, transport and oil and gas. In the research period the firm was particularly active in the renewables sector; a representative mandate saw the firm act for a renewable energy company in the development of a 300MW wind power project.

The firm’s restructuring clients include creditors, debtors, guarantors, directors, insolvency professionals, resolution applicants and lenders. Recently the firm notably acted for the acquirer in a distressed acquisition in the power sector – one of the first successful resolutions in the power sector.

The firm enhanced its team with the hires of new partners Sudipta Routh from Samvad Partners and Amit Jajoo and Sushmita Gandhi from HSA Advocates. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Agritrade Resources $185.15 million acquisition of SKS Power Generation

•                      Alight Solutions / Wipro joint venture

•                      Ensono $405 million acquisition of Wipro’s data centre services business

•                      Gadhsisa 300MW wind farm

•                      Gujarat 285MW wind farm

•                      Pine Labs $110 million acquisition of Qwikcilver Solutions

•                      SoftBank Vision Fund $400 million investment in FirstCry

•                      Think and Learn $120 million acquisition of Osmo

Client feedback

“Highly recommend IndusLaw. They always deliver prompt and cutting edge advice in tight deadlines.” – Private equity

“The firm is among the best in the country for venture capital investments. The lawyers are extremely knowledgeable and deliver high quality work within short timelines.” – Private equity

“Very accessible and very knowledgeable of the subject matter. Fully committed towards getting results with much appreciated due consideration to fees.” - Restructuring and insolvency  

Sushmita Gandhi

“Very good interaction and knowledgeable for banking matters and a very good network.”

Anindya Ghosh

“Anindya has vast experience in venture capital transactions. He has extensive legal knowledge and commercial awareness and is always responsive to his client's needs.”

Arun Kumar

“We recommend him for his strong sector-specific legal acumen. He provides pragmatic and solution-oriented advice. He works with the team to understand the precise requirements and provides workable business solutions well within legal boundaries.”

Avirup Nag

“Very intelligent lawyer.”

Sudipta Routh

“Extensive knowledge of the law and regulatory framework. Very meticulous in getting the best output possible. Extremely committed, at the expense of his billable hours. Charming personality.”

 

Jerome Merchant + Partners

Capital markets and private equity are the strongest aspects of Jerome Merchant + Partners’ financial and corporate practice.

In banking the firm often advises banks and non-banking financial institutions in India on corporate financing and structured transactions. The firm also boasts a strong aviation practice with clients including Air India, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. In the research period the firm acted for both borrowers and lenders on numerous financing mandates. A noteworthy deal saw the firm representing the lenders in extending a high-value syndicated loan facility to Indian Oil Corporation.

In the corporate and M&A space the firm has experience in advising private equity investors and target companies at all stages of the investment cycle and businesses. The firm advises on matters in a wide range of sectors including automotive, real estate, financial services, technology, healthcare and consumer goods. A notable recent mandate saw the firm acting for a real estate company in an investment from the IFC.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Centrum Financial Services Rs8 billion acquisition of L&T Finance’s supply chain finance business

•                      IIFL India Private Equity Fund Rs1 billion acquisition of a 75% of Kadaeishwar HomeFin

•                      Indian Oil Corporation $1.7 billion syndicated financing

•                      International Finance Corporation Rs1.9 billion investment in Mahindra World City

•                      Motherson Sumi Group €25 million financing

•                      Tata Motors Rs9 billion revolving perpetual securities

•                      Tata Motors Rs5 billion financing

•                      Tata Motors $500 million refinancing

Client feedback

“Senior partner attention to matters. Vishnu is particularly responsive, very accessible and provides exceptionally high-quality technical legal advice coupled with very useful practical insights from his wealth of experience.” - Banking   

“JMP is a very agile firm that helps us meet very tight timelines. The practical advice provided by the JMP team is value for money. Vishnu has an excellent understanding of the peculiar issues that arise in such transactions and with his depth of experience, is able to provide very pragmatic solutions.” - Banking  

‘The partners have excellent knowledge of the industry. They are very sharp and outstanding in drafting and negotiating. They are always available at short notice and are proactive and accessible.” – M&A

“Very competent. They are available at all critical times and have been very responsive to our needs. Getting partner time at critical moments has never been a challenge.” - Private equity                 

"Cost-efficient and good individual lawyers." – Restructuring and insolvency

Vishnu Jerome

“Very intelligent and hard-working. Has the ability to provide simple and complex situations and is commercially savvy.”

Sameer Sibal

‘Sharp, great drafting skills and great negotiation skills.” 

Juris Corp

Juris Corp has a focus on banking and finance and is ranked among the top firms for its banking work.

In banking the firm notably acts for almost all the international commercial banks with a presence in India and various domestic banks and non-banking financial institutions. The firm also acts as the Indian legal advisors to the International Swaps Derivatives Association. A recent highlight saw the firm act for the seller in a high-value trade financing mandate - the largest trade finance deal in the Indian steel sector at the time of execution.

On the project financing side the firm has predominantly been active for lenders recently. Key sectors of focus include energy, technology, manufacturing, and food and beverages.

In capital markets work the firm advised on numerous debenture issues, and Standard Chartered Bank featured as a repeat client. An interesting mandate saw the firm advising Reliance Securities in setting up its structured products programme.

A staffing change saw the departure of securities and insolvency partner Shan Bottlewala who left the firm in favour of independent practice.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Dewan Housing Finance Corporation $240 million financing

•                      Flextronics Technologies $200 million financing

•                      Jindal Steel & Power $765 million debt restructuring

•                      JSW Steel $750 million trade financing

•                      L&T Finance Rs10 billion bond issue

•                      Reliance Industries $1.5 billion financing

•                      Reliance Jio Infocomm $1.25 billion financing

•                      Spectrum Coal and Power Rs825 million financing

Client feedback

"Prompt and good understanding of the subject matter.”  – Banking and finance

“Quick in responding, prompt feedback, good analysis and correct advice.” – Banking and finance  

“Good commercial understanding of the products which reflects in their work.”– Banking and finance  

“Overall the firm has been able to provide highly specialised advice in a pragmatic and efficient manner.” – Capital markets              

Nand Gopal Anand

“Good relationship management, a nice presentation of legal points and prompt feedback.”

Nikita Chawla

“Very prompt, responsive, well trained and coordinated.“

Jayesh H

“Resourceful, prompt problem solving, and a good understanding of the subject matter.”

“Very good and solution oriented.”

Ashish Mukhi

“Good at the work and has an understanding of the needs of the client.              “ 

Pratish Kumar and Ankit Sinha

“Resourceful, prompt problem solving, and a good understanding of the subject matter.”

Khaitan & Co

Khaitan & Co is known for its capital markets, M&A and restructuring work.

In banking, the firm acted for international and domestic banks as lenders on refinancing, aircraft leasing and financing, and acquisition financing mandates.

On the debt capital markets side, the firm represented arrangers, issuers, investors on a host of bonds and debentures issues in sectors including banking and financial services, telecommunication, power natural resources and transport. A highlight saw the firm act for the issuer on the first foreign high yield bond under the revamped currency external commercial borrowings framework. 

Noteworthy deals on the equity capital markets side saw the firm advising the underwriters on the first bank IPO since August 2016 and the largest IPO by an asset management company.

On the M&A front, the firm acts for publicly listed and unlisted corporate acquirers and targets, private equity firms, investors and funds across the full spectrum of M&A matters. The firm has a particular focus on the defence, insurance, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals and healthcare sectors. A highlight saw the firm act for the acquirer on the second private equity control transaction in India’s health insurance sector.

In the projects space the firm has experience in representing project developers, private equity investors, central and state governments, project contractors, and equipment suppliers. AN interesting mandate saw the firm advising on the development of a commercial project at the Delhi Airport.

In restructuring, the firm advises stakeholders such as sponsors, creditors and creditor committees, distressed debt investors, and resolution professionals in distressed situations as well as formal debt resolution proceedings. The firm notably acted for the acquirer in the resolution plan for Electrosteel Steels – one of the first among the “dirty dozen” to be approved and implemented.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•             Bandhan Bank NSE IPO

•             Essar Steel insolvency

•             HDFC Asset Management NSE IPO

•             Ingersoll Rand $1.45 billion acquisition of the precision flow system business of Accudyne Industries

•             InterGlobe Aviation $750 million credit facility 

•             Reliance General Insurance NSE IPO

•             Ultratech Cement Rs50 billion loan facility

Client feedback

“They have a very competent team of diligent professionals who are well aware of nuances.” - Financial services regulatory

“The firm understands the nature of PE transactions and the fundamental rights and obligations they incorporate in the agreement. The firm ensures the protection of the client's interest and also outlines the risks and consequences of important clauses.” – Private equity

“The firm´s work was key in the tender process, very professional and high quality, and always responsive.” - Project development

“A high degree of professionalism and on-time availability of resources.” - Restructuring and insolvency

Devidas Banerji  

“Devidas provides an integrated approach and is able to allocate internal resources to us as when needed.”

Haigreve Khaitan

“High legal acumen and strong business focus. Professional services with a human touch.”

Kartick Maheshwari

“He is an amazing guy who understands PE transactions and also understands how we run our business.” 

Shivanshu Thaplyal

“Very professional and responsive; solution-oriented.” 

L&L Partners

L&L Partners is one of the strongest firms in India for capital markets, M&A, projects and restructuring.

In capital markets, the firm continued to play a strong role in the market. Notable mandates include advising the issuer in one of the first IPOs in the mobile advertising space in India; acting for the lead managers in the IPO of the first portfolio management service provider to be listed in India; and assisting the lead arrangers with the IPO of one of India’s largest microfinance companies. Another interesting mandate saw the firm advising the placement agents on the qualified institutions placement of equity shares of L&T Finance Holdings. 

An eye-catching M&A highlight saw the firm acting on the high-value acquisition of Bhushan Steel. Another interesting mandate saw the firm acting for the acquirer in a rare secondary’s deal in the Indian funds and alternative investments sector.

In projects, the firm acts for various stakeholders such as project developers, contractors, Indian and foreign investors, regulatory authorities, multilateral institutions, international banks and financial institutions. Key sectors of focus include renewable energy, oil and gas, transport, infrastructure, utilities and logistics. A recent highlight saw the firm advising on the development of the largest elevated metro rail project in the world.

In restructuring, the firm has been at the forefront of high profile insolvency resolution processes and is mandated by domestic and international clients such as insolvency practitioners, acquirers, applicants, and creditors. During the research period, the firm notably advised Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India in its capacity as the resolution professional on several mandates including the landmark Insolvency resolution process of Binani Cement.

The firm hired corporate and M&A partner Akshay Nagpal from Indigo Airlines, while Vishwanath Pratap Singh left the corporate team for an in-house role. Additionally, the banking team saw the departure of partner Mriga Solanki, who joined S&A Partners.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•             Affle NSE IPO

•             Fortis Healthcare $653 million acquisition of RHT Health Trust asset portfolio

•             Global Infrastructure Partners $ 1.4 billion acquisition of IDFC Alternatives Infrastructure Fund Management

•             Hyderabad Metro

•             Lodha Developers NSE IPO

•             Power Finance Corporation $2 billion acquisition of a 52.63% stake in REC

•             Reliance General Insurance NSE IPO

•             Tencent $750 million acquisition of a stake in Dream11

 

Client feedback

“The firm has good lawyers with relevant experience and expertise.” - Banking

“The Delhi team of L&L partners is impressive.” – M&A

“Luthra is very responsive, has a deep corporate bench, and takes a proactive approach to corporate compliance. On M&A specifically, they are creative in solving difficult issues, understand and are responsive to the often very short business timelines necessary to effect most M&A deals and coordinate well with counsel in other jurisdictions during cross-border M&A.” – M&A

“Very thorough, responsive to client needs, and provides precise legal advice.” – M&A 

“The partners are very experienced and thorough in their domain. The firm is big, and you can get a solution for almost every issue.” - M&A

“Great work. Navigated the often opaque merger control process in India with foresight and professionalism.” – M&A

“Always available on call, business-oriented and provide solutions.” – M&A

“Excellent. The partner, Karan, and his team have an eye for details. On-time in terms of delivery.”- Project finance  

Abdullah Hussain 

“The Delhi team of L&L is really impressive.”

“Abdullah is competent and so aware of competition commission practices in India, that, he responded to our issue within a day. The matter resolved as he predicted, without any surprises.”

“Outstanding lawyer and a great advisor.“

 Bikash Jhawar 

“The Delhi team of L&L is really impressive.”

Shinoj Koshy

“Shinoj is a senior partner and operates like one. He's incredibly knowledgeable, understands our business, provides practical guidance, and creates innovative solutions to unique problems.“

Karan Mitroo

“He is thorough with his work and is aware of all recent developments in his field. His knowledge in the renewable sector is excellent.”

“Exceptional lawyer. Focused, respects time, is solution-oriented and very reliable. Blessed with a good team that delivers.“

Manmeet Singh  

“The Delhi team of L&L is really impressive.”

“Very thorough, very hardworking, and provides precise advice.”

 

Link Legal India Law Services

Link Legal India Law Services has a diversified practise with strengths in restructuring and insolvency and projects work.

In banking work recently the firm was often engaged by both borrowers and lenders. The firm advises clients such as banks, financial institutions, and public and private companies on domestic and international transactions across various industries. The firm notably acted for the lenders in the first transaction where the borrower was an infrastructure investment trust.

The firm’s capital markets team focuses on representing book running lead managers in equity deals. Noteworthy clients include IDBI Capital Markets, Yes Securities, Elara Capital, and Equirus Capital. In the research period a highlight saw the firm acting on the IPO of a company operating in the defence sector.

In projects work key sectors of focus include infrastructure, transport, energy, utilities and automotive. The firm has a specialised Japanese desk focusing on advising Japanese infrastructure companies operating in India or looking to enter India. A noteworthy mandate saw the firm advising the subsidiaries of an infrastructure development and finance company in the development of a metro project.

The restructuring team advises resolution professionals and operational creditors in numerous insolvency matters. A high-value mandate saw the firm advising the resolution professional on the insolvency resolution process of Era Infra Engineering.

The firm saw several staffing changes during the research period. The corporate team was strengthened by the hire of new partner Anuj Trivedi from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas. While banking partner Anurag Dwivedi left for Shardul Amarch and Mangaldas, corporate partner Raunak Singh left for Avitr Legal and projects partner Durgesh Singh left for an in-house role.                                          

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Ami Organics NSE IPO

•                      Era Infra Engineering insolvency

•                      Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers NSE IPO

•                      Goa - Tamnar Transmission Project

•                      India Grid Trust Rs10 billion financing

•                      Jaypee Infratech insolvency

•                      Pipartoda Renewable Energy Rs1.77 billion refinancing

•                      Rapid Metro Gurgaon

Client feedback

"The firm is very good in project financing documents and insolvency laws.” –Banking and finance, restructuring and insolvency

“Experience: 1. LL has served as an important business partner in many of the corporate finance transactions 2. Good legal talent with an in-depth knowledge of the Infrastructure sector - roads, power, airports etc. 3. Provided solutions in matters of complexities pertaining to structuring, equity infusion, and regulatory aspects. 4. Have the goodwill of clients and lenders.” - Banking and finance

“The firm has a good set of lawyers led by efficient partners. We have never faced any issue in any of our transactions. Their strength is diversity as it becomes a one-stop-shop for all our legal concerns.” - Banking and finance

“Excellent, very responsive and clear, and provide helpful advice.” - M&A

“A fast-growing firm with young, sharp and resourceful partners. Very good for insolvency advisory in India. Special mention to Siddharth Srivastava and Nidhi Pathania. Pull out all stops to ensure client satisfaction.” - Restructuring and insolvency   

Siddharth Srivastava

“Good grasp over banking and insolvency laws.”

“Very good in subject knowledge, commitment to time, a good grasp of the client's requirements, good communication and drafting skills.”

“He is a brilliant lawyer, always available to his client. His fundamentals are clear, and he has in-depth knowledge of the subject.”

Yosham Vardhan

“Excellent - she was technically strong and extremely responsive.”

Obhan & Associates

Obhan & Associates is noted for its M&A and private equity practices.

A recent highlight saw the firm advising the sellers in a highly publicised acquisition in the technology sector. Another notable highlight saw the firm acting as the sole legal advisor in the second round of investment in Flexing It Services.

Sectors of focus include technology, food and beverages, and automotive.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      One97 Communications acquisition of Cube26

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co has one of the best financial and corporate practices across the board.

The banking team focuses on acquisition finance, leveraged finance, real estate finance, debt restructuring and financial services advisory. A recent highlight saw the firm advising the lender in an acquisition financing transaction in the power sector.

In capital markets, the firm recently acted for: the issuer on the first USD denominated bond publicly issued by an Indian public sector bank in the current fiscal; an acquirer on the first private placement of listed units by Indinfravit; the issuer on one of the largest IPOs in the hospitality sector; and the managers on one of the largest overseas bond buyback program by an Indian group.

The firm’s recent M&A activities include mergers and a mix of buy and sell-side work, including on private equity mandates. Recent noteworthy mandates include advising on one of the first mergers of two unrelated banking entities in India and advising the target in the largest investment in a food delivery company in India. Another eye-catching mandate saw the firm acting on Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart – which resulted in the largest exit for private equity and venture capital investors in India

The firm houses one of the largest project teams in India and focuses on an array of sectors including power, oil and gas, transport, infrastructure, telecommunication and utilities. In the past year, the firm often acted for bidders in transport projects.

The firm bolstered its projects team with the hire of new partner Anurag Dwivedi from Link Legal India Law Services.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•             Bandhan Bank merger with Gruh Finance

•             Blackstone $125 million acquisition of Indiabulls

•             Capital First Merger with IDFC Bank

•             HG Infra Engineering NSE IPO

•             Oil and Natural Gas Corporation $6.6 billion acquisition of HPCL

•             State Bank of India $1.25 Billion bonds issue

•             Tata Steel $7.4 billion acquisition of a 72.65% stake in Bhushan Steel

•             Walmart $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart

Client feedback

“Their strengths are immediate responses, partner-level involvement, and turn around time.” – M&A

“More than satisfactory.” - Project finance

Sapan Gupta

“Solution provider.”

 

Singh & Associates

Singh & Associates is active in the financial and corporate space with project development being its primary strength. The firm has a network of offices and associate offices in strategic locations across the country.

The firm takes on domestic and international clients from sectors including real estate, infrastructure, food and beverages, energy, healthcare, logistics, mining and manufacturing.

A recent M&A highlight saw the firm act for the seller in the sale of road projects.

The firm was also active in the restructuring and insolvency space, acting often for corporate debtors.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Chhatwal Group Trust Rs16 billion acquisition of Dilip Buildcon’s road projects

•                      Jindal ITF $4.29 million sale of a vessel

•                      SGN Nanopharma $2.5 million acquisition of Speed Remedies

SNG & Partners

Boutique SNG & Partners is known for its banking and finance and capital markets work.

During the research period the banking team often acted for banks and financial institutions as lenders. Notable clients include Bank of Baroda, IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, and KKR India Financial Services.

The capital markets team was active on the equity side working on a number of IPOs.

The firm notably acted for government bodies on several mandates under the Government of India’s disinvestment programme of Central Public Sector Enterprises.

The firm has expanded its presence by opening an office in Mumbai.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Air India Rs15 billion financing

•                      Bharat 22 ETF Rs130 billion secondary share offering

•                      Clean Max IPP2 $23.07 million financing

•                      Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers NSE IPO

•                      Mikado Realtors $110.88 million financing

•                      Mishra Dhatu Nigam NSE IPO

•                      MSTC NSE IPO

Client feedback

"Overall good." – Banking and finance

 

Spice Route Legal

Founded in 2016, Spice Route Legal has a focus on M&A and private equity. Key sectors of focus include technology, healthcare, media, and food and beverages.

During the review period the firm was active on local and cross-border M&A and private equity deals, taking on roles for sellers, buyers, investees and investors. A highlight saw the firm advise the sellers in the largest deal in the employee background screening industry in India.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      ANI Technologies $25 million acquisition of Birds Eye Systems

•                      Authbridge Research Services Rs150 million acquisition of Foot Prints Collateral Services

•                      Helix Investments investment in Network Intelligence (I)

•                      Larsen & Toubro Infotech $7.48 million acquisiton of Ruletronics Group

•                      Prestellar Ventures Fund 1 $2 million investment in Versafleet

•                      RB Investments Singapore $2 million investment in GC.Beverages

•                      SBI Neev Fund investment in Rahi Care

•                      SenseHawk restructuring

Client feedback

“The team is very prompt with their responses. They always meet deadlines. Work is very accurate. They fully understand our business needs.” – Capital markets

“A solution-oriented and practical way of resolving issues that came on the way. Highlighting various risk factors during the negotiations and also finding solutions.” – M&A

“Excellent technical knowledge on M&A and gave us detailed explanations for every query we had with utmost patience and insights. This helped immensely in making the right decisions towards all legal matters.” – M&A

“The SRL team is very professional and thorough with their work. They understand and provide a balanced perspective to the client and balance the client's needs and aspirations - thereby conducting fair & cordial negotiations. They have strong team dynamics, each individual brings a special skill set to the discussion which is really beneficial.” – Private equity

“Responsive, on the ball, know what they are doing, pragmatic and solutions orientated and provide value propositions.” – Private equity

“Knowledgeable about emerging technologies (digital token-based investments) across several jurisdictions. All members of the firm are accessible and are able to turn around requests on a short timeline and remain adaptable to different working styles.” – Private equity

Praveen Raju

“Professional with excellent people skills, clarity of thought and powers of persuasion. Really enjoyed working with him, and look forward to meaningful association in the years to come.” 

‘Very fast and responsive. Easily accessible and has very good knowledge of his domain. Has made efforts to understand our business.”

“Praveen demonstrated professionalism and was highly knowledgable in the M&A space. He was my go-to person for any challenging situation and complex clauses and he always went that extra mile and gave clarity and insight into the clauses' implications and what alternative arrangements or clauses can be agreed to in an amicable fashion with buyers.”

Talwar Thakore & Associates

Talwar Thakore & Associates is recognised for its quality work in banking and finance. The firm also has strong capital markets and M&A practices. The firm has cultivated a close relationship with magic-circle firm Linklaters and often works together with it on high-value transactions.

The firm is mandated by domestic and international clients to work on an array of matters such as leveraged and acquisition finance, structured finance, project finance, refinancing, and trade finance. During the research period, the firm took on borrower and lender side roles in sectors including renewable energy, healthcare, infrastructure and financial services.

On the capital markets side, a highlight saw the firm act on a matter involving one of the first instances of an inventory financing structure in the real estate sector. 

In M&A, the firm has particular expertise in the insurance, pharmaceutical and financial services sectors. During the research period, the firm’s worked on a mix of buy and sell-side mandates, including on private equity acquisitions.

Recent Deal Data highlights

  • Akarshak Infrastructure Rs9 billion loan facilities
  • Bharat Biotech International acquisition of Chiron Behring Vaccines
  • Continental Automotive joint venture with Osram
  • Hg Capital Trust acquisition of Financial Express
  • Marsh International Holdings acquisition of a 23% stake in Marsh India Insurance Brokers
  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development $100 million financing
  • Nayara Energy Rs39.4 billion financing
  • Redefine Capital Fund and Ganesh Ventures Capital Rs711 million acquisition of a 10% stake in Poncho Hospitality
UKCA and Partners

UKCA and Partners is an active player in the domestic corporate and M&A market. The firm's scope of work includes demergers of SEZ undertakings, refinancing post demerger, acquisition of substantial land holdings and private equity funding. Real estate is a sector of expertise.

A noteworthy deal on the M&A side saw the firm acting for a foreign private equity firm during a leveraged buyout of a target entity in India.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      DLF Group restructuring

•                      DLF Home Developers demerger with DLF Info City Chennai

Verist Law

Verist Law, founded in 2014, is active in baking and capital markets. Key clients include Yes Securities India, IDBI Capital, ICICI Securities and Axis Capital.Recent Deal Data highlights

During the research period the firm was particularly active in the equity capital market. The firm mainly acted for merchant banks on matters such as buybacks and IPOs. A noteworthy highlight saw the firm advising the underwriters on the IPO of Rail Vikas Nigam.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Akzo Nobel India share buyback

•                      Galaxy Surfactants NSE IPO

•                      Rail Vikas Nigam NSE IPO

•                      VRL Logistics share buyback

Veritas Legal

Veritas Legal’s strength lies in its private equity practice.

The firm was active for both sellers and acquirers in a variety of sectors including retail, consumer products, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, financial services, and food and beverages.

ZBA

ZBA in India is known for its banking and capital markets expertise.

In banking recently the firm advised on several confidential mandates, often acting for the lenders.

Capital markets highlights include advising Axis Bank on its medium-term note (MTN) programme; assisting an oil and gas exploration and production company on a foreign currency notes issue; and advising the Rural Electrification Corporation on its medium-term note programme.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Axis Bank MTN programme

•                      Bharat Petroleum Corporation $211 million secured non-convertible debentures issue

•                      Glenmark Pharmaceuticals $100 million foreign currency convertible bond buyback

•                      Indian Railway Finance Corporation MTN programme

•                      Muthoot Capital Services $34.38 million debt securitisation

•                      Oil India $550 million 5.125 % bond issue

•                      Rural Electrification Corporation MTN programme

•                      Rural Electrification Corporation $300 million 4.625% bond issue

Client feedback

"Overall excellent - very clear and concise advice and the written memorandum that we received was among the highest quality from the large number of local counsel we have used in multiple jurisdictions. Also very helpful in providing high-level overview/advice in conference calls.” – Banking and finance

“Very strong in banking and finance.” – Banking and finance

“Niloufer has successfully used the ZBA platform to start her own DCM practice. She is very proactive and hands-on. I understand she is getting traction and winning mandates on large deals.” – Capital markets        

“Competitive fee arrangement and responsive service.” – Capital markets

“Our experience with ZBA has been excellent. Niloufer Lam and her team understand debt capital markets and banking transactions both from a legal and practical/commercial perspective. The solutions provided by them get to the crux of the matter simplifying the legal and regulatory challenges in India. What we really appreciate when working with Niloufer and her team is that they helped us with solutions outside their scope of work - some of them have worked in banks as well as law firms, so they understand products across all financing types. They are extremely responsive (turning around documents in 2 hours often). They are available for calls whenever we need, and we trust their advice. They have good judgment. Although the firm isn't that big, they seem to have an infrastructure that supports the required service.” – Capital markets 

“ZBA was helpful in the deal. For a couple of tricky concerns, ZBA not only gave us the applicable law but also made us aware of ways to mitigate the risks. They also make themselves available most of the time.” – Capital markets                              

 

Ally Juridique Aide

Active since 2014, Ally Juridique Aide has a pan-India presence and is recognised for its banking work.

During the review period the firm was involved in regulatory compliance work for a multinational group.

ALMT Legal

While ALMT Legal is best recognised for its project development work, the firm also has strong M&A and private equity practices.

The banking team specialises in regulatory compliance related work and also advises on matters such as debt restructuring and refinancing. During the research period the firm notably advised the Central Bank of India on a real estate financing mandate.

In capital markets work a notable mandate saw the firm acting for the promoters on the delisting of shares of a firm operating in the fintech space.

In M&A the firm recently advised both acquirers and sellers and was active in sectors such including, technology, retail, real estate and social infrastructure. On the private equity front, the firm often acted for SIDBI Venture Capital on investments across several industries.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Brillio Technologies acquisition of a stake in Comity Designs

•                      Canara Bank Rs20 billionproposed divestment of a controlling stake in Can Fin Homes

•                      E-City Ventures Rs330 million acquisition of a majority stake in Ant Creditex Technologies

•                      ITI follow-on offering

•                      Penver Products NSE IPO

•                      Polaris Consulting & Services NSE / BSE delisting

•                      Sulphur Mills acquisition of a stake in R3 Crop Care

•                      Virtusa Corporation $140 million acquisition of eTouch Systems and eTouch India

ARA Law

ARA Law is a first-generation national law firm noted for its M&A and private equity work. The firm has offices in Mumbai and Bengaluru. Key clients include ICICI Prudential Assets Management, Fedfina Financial Services, HDFC Asset Management and Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management.         

During the research period the firm was predominantly active in the banking space, acting on several confidential mandates in the real estate sector.

Argus Partners

Argus Partners is best known in India for its banking and M&A work.

In banking the firm’s clients include nationalised and international banks, financial institutions, NBFCs, debt funds and corporate houses. Although the firm typically acts for lenders and investors, it also has experience in advising borrowers. A recent mandate saw the firm advising a client operating in the energy sector on refinancing its existing loans.

The M&A team had a busy year, with highlights including acting on a large merger in the banking and financial services sector and acting for the acquirer in one of the largest deals in the industrials and manufacturing sector.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Rs4.31 billion loan facilities

•                      Etesian Urja Rs4.01 billion refinancing

•                      Gruh Finance merger with Bandhan Bank

•                      Kaze Energy Rs2.91 billion credit facilities

•                      Manjeera Retail Holdings Rs3.25 billion credit facilities                     

•                      Mukand / Sumitomo Corporation joint venture

•                      Tata Steel Rs47 billion acquisition of Usha Martin’s steel division

•                      TR Capital III Mauritius and TR Capital III Mauritius II $36 million acquisition of a stake in Lenskart Solutions

Client feedback

"Argus comprises of a set of very capable and driven lawyers. Their strength lies in understanding the client's business, the economic rationale and risk tolerance for each transaction. This helps them provide sound and practical legal advice.”  – Banking and finance

“The law firm is well versed in banking law and practices.” – Banking and finance

“Reactive, sophisticated, and technical.” – Private equity

Chadha & Co

Chadha & Co is active in M&A. During the review period the firm was busy with matters including acquisitions (mainly for the buyers) and joint ventures. A highlight saw the firm advising a Japanese steel manufacturer on acquiring its existing joint venture company in India.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Kobe Steel $6.2 million acquisition of a 100% stake in L&T Kobelco Machinery

•                      STMicroelectronics corporate restructuring

Client feedback

“Very professional and quick responses.” – Financial and corporate      

"Rich knowledge and experience in the legal framework.” – Private equity

“Provided a timely and good response with highly professional service.” – M&A

 

Clasis Law

Clasis Law is recognised for its M&A work in India. The firm has a focus on advising international and domestic clients operating in the retail, manufacturing, services and hospitality sectors.

During the research period the firm was engaged in several confidential mandates for acquirers, sellers, and joint venture partners.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

One of the most reputed firms in the Indian legal market, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is a market leader throughout the financial and corporate space.

The firm’s capital markets team has had a landmark period. The team acted for: the issuer on the first REIT IPO and listing in India; the sponsor on India’s first registered InvIT to have ever listed on the stock exchanges through a private placement; and the issuer on the largest structured rights issue in India. Another highlight saw the firm act for the lead managers on the IPO of Hindustan Aeronautics - the largest defence public sector undertaking in terms of value.

On the M&A side, highlights saw the firm advising the acquirer in one of the largest foreign investments in the renewable power sector in India and acting for the seller in one of the largest acquisitions in the consumer sector in India.

The firm was also recently active in the private equity space and acted on the side of both acquirers and sellers in investments and exits in sectors such as utilities, real estate, insurance, financial services, infrastructure, and logistics.

In the research period the firm saw a host of staffing changes. The M&A team was joined by new partners Bharat Vasani from TATA Group; Pooja Patel and Danish Kazi from Khaitan & Co; Amarta Roy and Himanshu Narayan from Dua Associates; and Mukul Sharma, Akila Agrawal and Sourav Biswas from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas.

The firm saw the departures of partners Nivedita Tiwari and Harsh Kumar for Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Rishi Anand for DSK Legal, and Manishi Pathak for IndusLaw. Partner Vedant Shukla also left the firm.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•             Adani Transmission Rs188 billion acquisition of Reliance Infrastructure’s Mumbai Power Business

•             Bandhan Bank NSE IPO

•             Embassy Office Parks REIT NSE IPO

•             IndInfravit Trust NSE IPO

•             Power Finance Corporation $500 million 6.15% notes issue

•             Reliance Industries Rs29.4 billion acquisition of a 51.03% stake in Hathway Cable and Datacom

•             Tata Steel Rs128 billion rights issue

•             Zydus Wellness $625 million acquisition of Heinz India

 

Client feedback

“The firm's advice was measured and practical. They also demonstrated a lot of experience from similar deals in the past which was helpful.” – Capital markets  

DSK Legal

DSK Legal is a consistent performer across the financial and corporate space.

The banking team acts for both borrowers and lenders across the spectrum of banking and finance matters. During the research period the firm notably acted for RattanIndia Finance as lender’s counsel on several transactions.

In projects, DSK Legal regularly acts for government bodies, concessionaires and contractors in a wide array of matters including tenders, bids, consortium arrangements, EPC contacts and concessions and regulatory matters. The firm has a close relationship with the government and acts for government bodies on the majority of its deals. A recent highlight saw the firm advising the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on, the first-of-its-kind, tender for leasing of rolling stock for the Delhi metro line.

In restructuring work the firm was recently active for applicants, debtors, and resolution professionals across a variety of sectors.

A notable staffing change saw the appointment of Anuja Tiwari from Trilegal as a partner in the projects team.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Delhi Metro Rolling Stock Leasing PPP project

•                      Guardian Homes Rs2.8 billion loan facility

•                      Impex Metal & Ferro Alloys insolvency

•                      Pune Metro Line 3 development project

•                      SD Corporation Rs2.67 billion loan facility

•                      Sion Panvel Special State Highway project

•                      Sneh Sadan Traders and Agents Rs1 billion loan facilities

•                      Unimark Remedies insolvency

Client feedback

“More than satisfactory.” – Banking

"In-depth knowledge of resolution and insolvency issues.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“The firm has strength in conducting due diligence.” – M&A      

Gagrats

Gagrats has a diversified practice across the financial and corporate space.

The banking team has experience in advising domestic and foreign banks, multilateral lenders, domestic and foreign funds and foreign institutional investors. The banking team has significant experience in aircraft financing related matters. During the research period, the team was particularly active in the aviation space. A representative cross- border mandate saw the team advising an international airline on financing structures in relation to the sale and leaseback of several aircraft.

An interesting capital markets mandate saw the firm advising a publicly listed company on the conversion of its debt by a consortium of domestic banks into equity shares and non-convertible debentures. Another highlight saw the firm advising a private equity fund on its exit from a domestic company operating in the technology sector in a cross border mandate.

The firm’s extensive M&A and private equity experience covers sectors including, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, technology, mining, logistics, retail, aviation, oil and gas, and hospitality. The firm’s recent activities include acting for joint venture partners, sellers and acquirers. A highlight saw the firm advising a publicly listed company on its proposal to bid for a majority equity stake in a government-owned entity being privatised.

The project team’s areas of focus include power, real estate, infrastructure, mining and transport. In the past 12 months, the firm notably acted for a public company in the establishment of speciality hospitals.

On the restructuring and insolvency front, the firm advised a publicly listed aviation company on its corporate debt restructuring.

Gravitas Legal

Founded in 2015, Gravitas Legal is noted for its project finance work.

The firm’s recent activities include acting for borrowers and lenders in sectors such as energy and hospitality. An interesting highlight saw the firm advising repeat client REC on a refinancing mandate. Other notable clients include Green Infra Wind Energy, IDBI Capital Markets & Securities and HDFC Bank.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      ACME Bhiwadi Solar Power, ACME  Hisar Solar Power and ACME Karnal Solar Power Rs8.325 billion loan facilities

•                      Bharat Sanchar Nigam Rs10 billion loan facility

•                      Central Park Infrastructure Rs250 million loan facility

•                      Green Infra Wind Energy Rs13.28 billion financing

•                      Nagai thermal power plant phase 1

•                      REC $234 million refinancing

•                      Suryataap Energies and Infrastructure Rs259.2 million refinancing

Hammurabi & Solomon

Hammurabi & Solomon has a particular focus on M&A.

Highlights from the last year include advising a global tyre manufacturer in an acquisition; assisting a firm operating in the food and beverage sector in forming a joint venture in the UK; and representing an SOE in forming a joint venture.

A significant staffing change saw the firm hire Pathik Arora from Azure Power as a senior partner.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Bureau Veritas Consumer Product Services / Bureau Veritas demerger

•                      Cadila Healthcare $21.63 million acquisition of Windlass Healthcare

•                      Fertilizer Corporation of India / Engineers India / National Fertilizer joint venture

•                      Fertilizer Corporation of India / GAIL India / Rashtriya Chemical Fertilizers / Coal India joint venture

•                      Fertilizer Corporation of India / Projects & Development India joint venture

•                      GAIL India / Rashtriya Chemical Fertilizers / Coal India / Fertilizer Corporation of India joint venture

•                      Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation divestment of stake in Barauni Unit

•                      Quess Corp $4.2 million acquisition of HCL CARE

HSA Advocates

HSA Advocates is known for its high-quality project development work.

The banking team has a focus on the energy and infrastructure sector and often represents international commercial banks and multilaterals in India. The firm’s founding partner Hemant Sahai notably sits on the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi’s advisory committee for infrastructure projects in India. In the past 12 months, the firm acted as lenders counsel for the Power Finance Corporation and HDFC Bank on several mandates.

A significant M&A deal in the engineering R&D services space saw the firm acting as the sole counsel to the acquirer. The firm also notably advised ReNew Power Ventures on several acquisitions in the renewable energy sector.

The firm’s expertise in projects cover sectors including transport, infrastructure, oil and gas, and conventional and renewable energy. A highlight saw the firm advising the National Highways Authority of India on India’s first toll, operate and transfer (TOT) project. Another significant mandate saw the firm advising a government body on the development of the world’s largest greenfield PPP airport.

The firm enhanced its corporate and M&A team with the hires of new partners Jivesh Chandrayan from Kochhar & Co, Rachika Sahay from Ostro Energy and Rahul Talwar from Desai & Diwanji.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Altran $2 billion acquisition of Aricent

•                      I Squared Capital acquisition of Reliance Communications’ sub-sea cable business

•                      KCT Management Services $61.5 million acquisition of Active Securities

•                      Mumbai Metro Line 3 Project

•                      Nagpur International Airport Project

•                      National Highways Authority of India – TOT Bundle I Project

•                      Navi Mumbai International Airport PPP Project

•                      Renew Power Ventures $1.66 Billion acquisition of Ostro Energy Platform

IC Universal Legal

IC Universal Legal is a consistent performer across capital markets and private equity. The firm has solidified its presence across India with offices in several strategic locations and extended its presence to the United States and Brazil through its affiliation with Chugh.

The capital markets team assists various clients ranging from non-banking finance companies, housing finance companies, mutual funds, alternative investment funds and diverse business houses with matters including public issues and private placements, securitisation and debt investments. A highlight saw the firm advising one of the largest non-banking finance in India on its public issue of non-convertible debentures.

In the corporate space, the firm often advises start-ups in regulatory compliance matters. Key sectors of focus include banking and financial services, healthcare, technology and telecommunication, pharmaceuticals, and real estate. During the research period, the firm was active for both investors and targets; an interesting mandate saw the firm acting for a venture capital firm in an investment in India’s first equipment leasing Fintech firm.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Aurore Pharmaceuticals acquisition of a stake in Mylan Laboratories

•                      Elevar Equity Rs150 million investment in Origa Lease Finance

•                      HDFC Asset Management Company Rs2 billion subscription to Bajaj Electricals’ non-convertible debentures

•                      IDFC Private Equity Fund and India SME Investments Rs1 billion investment in Citykart Retail

•                      India Infoline Finance $725.8 million issue of non-convertible debentures

•                      Mirae Asset Credit Opportunities Fund Rs680 million subscription to Rajesh Unispaces’s non-convertible debentures

•                      Oman India Joint Investment Fund II $23.1 million investment in Annapurna Finance

•                      SBI Mutual Fund Rs7.5 billion subscription to RMZ Infotech’s non-convertible debentures

Client feedback

"It was a great experience to work with the firm. They are quick, responsive and most importantly well versed in investments and debt subjects in India.” – Capital markets

“Brilliant work. They are very detailed, take care of small aspects, which generally get missed from the client's end. They are very accommodating towards the timelines and are very good at understanding the deal objectives and work accordingly.” - Investment funds

“ICUL is one of the best legal firms we have dealt with. They have a very strong knowledge of the legal aspects of M&A matters and are able to advise us appropriately. They also have international relationships which help us in getting advice on overseas matters quickly.” – M&A     

“They are very thorough in their understanding of the requirements and are able to arrive at a consensus in resolving various complex issues.” – Private equity  

J Sagar Associates

One of the foremost law firms in India, J Sagar Associates is known for its strength in banking, private equity and projects.

The firm’s market-leading banking team recently acted mainly for lenders on funding companies operating in sectors including energy, oil and gas, and manufacturing. 

In capital markets, the firm advises on a host of matters including INVITS and REITS listings and offerings, delistings, buy-backs, rights issues, debenture issues, and qualified institutions placements. An award-winning mandate saw the firm act for the sponsor in the first private placement of units of an infrastructure investment trust in India. Other highlight saw the firm assisting the State Bank of India on the maiden listing of its green bonds.

A noteworthy M&A deal saw the firm acting for the acquirer in the fifth-largest outbound M&A from India. 

In private equity, the firm has experience in acting for venture capital funds, incubators, private equity and hedge funds. In the past year, the firm acted for both promoters and acquirers across a variety of sectors. An eye-catching mandate saw the firm advising Baring Private Equity Asia in its high-value acquisition of NIIT Technologies.

In the projects front, the firm focuses on energy oil and gas, transport, infrastructure, utilities and telecommunications. A recent mandate saw the firm advising a government body on the development of the first metro rail PPP project in India

Notable staffing changes saw Maneesh Upadhyay join the corporate team from DSK Legal and Asim Abbas join the projects team form Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. While Mansoor Ali Shoket left the firm for RegLaw Chambers.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•             Adani Transmission Rs188 billion acquisition of Reliance Infrastructure’s Mumbai Power Business

•             Baring Private Equity Asia $700 million acquisition of NIIT Technologies

•             Bhushan Steel $1.69 billion financing

•             Key Safety Systems $1.59 billion acquisition of Takata Corporation

•             Power Finance Corporation $2 billion acquisition of a 52.63% stake in REC

•             Pune Metro Line -3 PPP Project

•             Rural Electrification Corporation $700 million 5.25% notes

•             UPL $4.2 billion acquisition of Arysta LifeScience

 

Client feedback

“They are excellent. On top of developments and are solution-oriented.” - Banking

“Good quality work, value for money, flexible and practical in approach.” – Capital markets

“The team is competent and prompt in addressing the given issues. Full-Service firm and has the advantage of having all services under one roof.” – Financial and corporate

“Great on regulatory counsel and legal contracting and product due diligence.” - Financial services regulatory

“Professional, thorough, and knowledgeable with an eye for details.” – M&A

“Very high-quality work and committed partnership. Fully involved and total control of the transaction. Handled fine points which even the company counsel did not know.” – Private equity  

“Very good work. Our experience with them was very good in an earlier deal, and hence we decided to continue to engage them on our second deal.” – Private equity

“Vishnu's grasp on the subject of infrastructure is exemplary. He is also calm, which helps him solve critical matters in high demand situations in the best way possible. The firm J Sagar is a very good firm with competent lawyers and service is very just.” – Project development             

“Deep understanding and experience in legal aspects of infrastructure regulation and policy. They have a wide range of qualified personnel and are able to meet very challenging deadlines set by the government. Are very good at providing case-law references, esp. when faced with issues requiring lateral thinking, with a full appreciation of the government's concerns that policy/laws should be focused on the greater public good.” – Project development     

KKL Partners

KKL Partners, formerly Kkedarnath Law Offices, is a full-service law firm active in the financial and corporate space.

In banking, the firm acted for the borrowers in a real estate financing transaction.

In the corporate space, an interesting mandate saw the firm advising a firm operating in the real estate sector in acquiring an exclusive franchise for its real estate brokerage business in Sri Lanka.

In projects, the firm advised a construction firm in the development of a luxury resort.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Amayaah Spa Resorts

•                      Bellyful Foods acquisition of sub- franchising right for two Pita Pit outlets

•                      Citadines Paras Square

•                      India Sotheby's International Realty acquisition of Sotheby's International Realty franchising rights in Sri Lanka

•                      Karam Industries acquisition of The Black & Decker Corporation and Stanley Black & Decker franchising rights

•                      OESPL loan facility

•                      Sanotion / World Toilet Organization joint venture

Client feedback

"Ashish is great at his work and provides balanced and timely solutions.” – Financial and corporate

“Thorough understanding of both sides' requirements. The advice given ensured that both sides had something good to take away.” - Financial and corporate

“Efficient, quick, and very responsive.” – M&A

“We are very happy with the law firm. The partner, Mr Aashish Vats, is very well-read and is very efficient in providing corporate advisory services along with drafting and vetting of all our M&A and other corporate contracts. We take the law firm's advice on all legal aspects.” – M&A

 

Lex Favios

Lex Favios is noted for its work in banking, capital markets and M&A.

In banking, the firm was active mainly for lenders. Notable clients include the State Bank of India.

A capital markets highlight saw the firm acting alongside a multinational law firm on advising Geophysical Sub-Strata in establishing a medium-term note program.

On the corporate side, the firm advised an agricultural technology company in forming one of the first joint venture in India in the Hydroponics space.

The firm was hit by the departure of the head of the Corporate and M&A practice Ramandeep Chakravarty, who left for DH Law Associates.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      DCM Shriram Industries Rs3.05 billion financing

•                      Flex Films $16.5 million loan facility

•                      Geophysical Sub-Strata $400 million medium-term note program

•                      Junga FreshnGreen Private / InfraCo Asia Development joint venture

•                      Uflex $14.5 million loan facility

•                      Vastu Housing Finance Corporation Rs2 billion issue of non-convertible debentures

Majmudar & Partners

Active since 1943, Majmudar & Partners performs consistently across the financial and corporates space.

In banking, the firm has extensive experience in advising clients from a wide range of sectors such as energy, natural resources, banking and financial services and fintech.

In the corporate and M&A space, the firm notably acted for repeat client Cigna Corporation, a worldwide health services organisation, on a high-value global acquisition.

Recent project development highlights include advising the world's largest company in the flavour and fragrance space on establishing a manufacturing plant in India.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Chart Industries $143 million acquisition of VRV Asia Pacific

•                      Cigna Corporation / Manipal Education and Medical Group joint venture

•                      Cigna Corporation $67 billion acquisition of Express Scripts

•                      Delachaux Group acquisition of a majority stake in Frauscher Sensor Technology Group

•                      Elementisr $4 million acquisition of a production facility

•                      Eternis Fine Chemicals $15 million acquisition of AIMS Impex

•                      Givaudan flavours manufacturing facility

•                      Intertape Polymer Group $10.4 million acquisition of a 26% stake in Powerband Industries

Client feedback

“An excellent and trusted legal partner with a high-quality of work. I recommend Majmudar & Partners to my colleagues at other companies if they are in need of an Indian law firm.” - M&A              

"The firm was especially prompt and thorough. The advice I received was easily understood and was practical.” – Project development

 

MDP & Partners

MDP & Partners is recognised for its banking practice.

The firm has experience in advising lenders and borrowers on an array of matters including consortium lending, syndicated loans, bilateral loans, and project financing. During the research period, the firm was primarily active for the lenders across several confidential mandates.

Phoenix Legal

Phoenix Legal in India has a strong financial and corporate offering.

Recently the banking team primarily acted on the side of banks and financial services companies. An interesting banking mandate saw the firm acting for the lender in the refinancing of Archean Chemical Industries.

In M&A the firm takes on clients from diverse sectors including automotive, banking and financial services, technology and telecommunication, food and beverages, insurance, mining and utilities. A notable mandate saw the firm advising Jones Lang Lasalle Property Consultants in a cross border acquisition.

The firm’s projects practice specialises in energy, oil and gas, and infrastructure projects. Recent highlights include advising an automotive company in establishing a research and development facility and advising a multinational corporation on a CGD (City Gas Distribution) bidding round.

The firm had a busy year in terms of restructuring and insolvency, often acting for creditors and resolution professionals. The firm notably advised the resolution professional in the insolvency resolution process of Wind World India.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Archean Chemical Industries refinancing

•                      Chhara LNG terminal

•                      Ciena Corporation acquisition of Packet Design

•                      Jones Lang Lasalle Property Consultants acquisition of ValuD Consulting

•                      Murli Industries insolvency

•                      Sulphur Mills acquisition of R3 Crop Care

•                      VMware acquisition of Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite

•                      Wind World India insolvency

Client feedback

“Excellent client service, result-orientated, and hard-working.” – Capital markets

"We are extremely happy with the services provided. Their quality work adds value and has been extremely helpful in protecting our interests.” – Project development

Poovayya & Co

Poovayya & Co is recognised for its M&A and private equity work. Headquartered in Bangalore, the firm has significant experience in advising technology and media companies as both buy and sell-side counsel.

During the research period the firm was active for both acquirers and sellers in sectors including media, technology, insurance, and pharmaceuticals.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Axiscades Engineering Technologies $27.3 million acquisition of Mistral Solutions

•                      One Equity Partners acquisition of Orion System Integrators

•                      Wickedride Adventure Services Series A funding round

 

PSA Legal Counsellors

PSA Legal Counsellors is known for its corporate and M&A practice.

During the research period the firm was active for sellers and acquirers on several confidential transactions in sectors including automotive, food and beverages, healthcare, and defence. An interesting mandate saw the firm advising a multinational company on its internal restructuring.

The firm enhanced its bench strength with the hire of new partner Varun Kalsi form Dua Associates.

Rajani Associates

Rajani Associates is strongest in capital markets, private equity and project development.

The banking team was recently active for lenders and borrowers on matters such as asset financing and debt restructuring.

The firm boasts an international capital markets team focused on advising issuers, merchant bankers, and underwriters in various matters including global depository receipts, foreign currency convertible bonds, qualified intuitional placements and regulatory compliance. During the research period, the firm was primarily active for lead managers and issuers on IPOs.

A highlight in the corporate and M&A space saw the firm advising Indianivesh Renaissance Fund on its investment in Sebacic India. In private equity, the firm often acted for the investors in an array of sectors including real estate, financial services, food and beverages, and fintech.

The firm as also active in the restructuring and insolvency space, acting for clients including debtors and resolution professionals.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Indianivesh Renaissance Fund Rs1.9 billion investment in Sebacic India

•                      Marae India Investments investment in Arthashastra Fintech

•                      Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Co-Operative Society investment in SEWA Grih Rin

•                      Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Co-Operative Society investment in Y-Cook India

•                      Oikocredit, Ecumenical Development Co-operative Society Rs560 million investment in Origo Commodities

•                      Precision Fasteners insolvency

•                      Sundesha Enterprises investment in GIIAVA Singapore

•                      Supreme Infrastructure India debt restructuring

Client feedback

"An overall good team with sound knowledge.” – Capital markets

“Their strengths are timely availability of assistance and coordination with other parties.” - Financial services regulatory

“Very apt and knowledgeable professionals with very good problem-solving capabilities that result in seamless closures.” - Financial services regulatory           

“The firm is managed by good professionals who are able to address all the issues connected with the work assigned.” - Investment funds

“Good knowledge and timely delivery.” - Investment funds

“It is a good firm. The plus point is that they are able to complete the work on time. It is very cooperative to work with.” – M&A

“Eminently satisfied with the competency of the senior partners, engagement manager and associates. Being a small firm, agility, quick comprehension, flexibility and innovative solutions and partner availability are key strength.” - M&A

“We very much appreciated this firm's work for us. The team (headed by Poorvi Sanjanwala) is very reliable and available. The advice provided was of high quality, relevant and solution-oriented.” - Private equity

“Very meticulous, detail-oriented and helped in articulating the merits of the clauses in the agreement for a successful conclusion.” - Private equity

S&R Associates

S&R Associates is regarded as one of the market leaders in capital markets.

During the research, the firm maintained its reputation for top tier M&A work. Recent highlights include acting for the issuer on the largest ever rights issue by an Indian company; advising the lead managers in the first listing by a real estate investment trust in India; and assisting the lead managers with the first-ever preferential issue to institutional investors by an infrastructure investment trust.

The firm’s M&A team had a busy period and took on a mix of buy and sell-side roles in sectors including telecommunication, transport, media, healthcare, and manufacturing. The firm was also active in the private equity space and advised both investors and investees across a range of industries.

In restructuring the firm has experience in acting for stakeholders including financial and operational creditors, acquirers, bondholders, shareholders and distressed asset investors. Recently, the firm notably acted for ArcelorMittal on its bid to acquire Essar Steel through an insolvency resolution process.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•             Cube Highways and Infrastructure III Rs36.09 billion acquisition of DA Toll Road

•             Embassy Office Parks REIT NSE IPO

•             Essar Steel insolvency

•             India Grid Trust Rs25.14 billion preferential issue

•             Indus Towers merger with Bharti Infratel

•             McDonald's Corporation acquisition of a 50% stake in Connaught Plaza Restaurants

•             Vodafone Idea Rs250 billion rights issue

•             Xiaomi Corporation HKSE IPO

Sarthak Advocates & Solicitors

M&A is at the core of Sarthak Advocates & Solicitors’ financial and corporate practice. The firm notably sits on the panels of the Shipping Corporation of India and Bharat Heavy Electrical.

During the research period the firm was active for clients such as acquirers and joint venture partners in sectors including fintech, industrials and manufacturing, technology, energy, utilities, and social infrastructure. A highlight saw the firm advising a South Korean steel manufacturer on forming a joint venture with an Indian SOE.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      ABC Consultants Rs650 million investment in Quetzal Online India

•                      AION Investments acquisition of InterGlobe Technologies

•                      POSCO / Steel Authority of India joint venture

Client feedback

"The team lead by Mr Abhishek Tripathi is knowledgeable and does in-depth analytical assessments of contracts.” – Project development

Trilegal

Trilegal is known for its work in banking, M&A, private equity and project finance.

In banking, the firm notably advised a consortium of foreign banks as lenders on the largest trade finance deal in the steel sector and acted for the investor in the first equipment lease rental securitisation transaction

In capital markets, the firm routinely acts for domestic and foreign companies, underwriters, foreign portfolio investors, development finance institutions and banks. In a recent highlight, the firm advised the investors in the largest debentures issuance transactions by value in India.

On the M&A front during the research period the firm advised the target in one of the largest strategic investments in the Indian power sector; acted for the acquirer in the acquisition of a controlling stake in India’s largest hospital operator; and assisted the seller in one of the largest M&A deals in the insurance industry this year.

Interesting mandates in the private equity space saw the firm advised pension fund on the first large secondary trade of units in India and acting for the acquirer in one of the largest private equity investments in the NBFC space in India in recent times.

In projects, key sectors of focus include renewable energy, infrastructure, transport, and healthcare.

The corporate team was significantly strengthened with the hires of new partners Arjun Ghose from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas; and Ganesh Rao, Aditya Jha and Harsh Maggon from AZB & Partners. On the other hand, the capital markets team was hit by the departure of Srinivas Parthasarathy.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                    Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund Rs50 billion equipment lease rental securitisation

•                    Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec $250 million investment in ECL Finance

•                    Duferco $700 million trade financing

•                    Heineken Group $145 million acquisition of United Breweries

•                    IHH Healthcare $1.3 billion acquisition of a controlling stake in Fortis Healthcare

•                    India Infrastructure Trust Rs63.7 billion non-convertible debentures

•                    Renew Energy $4.5 billion acquisition of Ostro Energy

•                    Total joint venture with Adani Group.

 

Client feedback 

“We have found the partners of Trilegal acting for us to be very commercial and quick on the turnaround.” – Banking

“One of the few firms, as on date, on which you can relay comfortably for the legal opinions and solutions and have the comfort at the back of the mind, that nothing will be missed out on diligence front!” – Capital markets                 

Vertices Partners

Established in 2016, Vertices Partners is known for its private equity practice. The firm provides a niche service, focusing on guiding clients through seed, growth and expansion phases. The firm counts Nordic Microfinance Initiative Fund as a repeat client.

During the research period the firm was active for investees, promoters, and investors in a range of sectors including agriculture, technology, healthcare, logistics, financial services and hospitality.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Aavishkaar Bharat Fund Rs400 million investment in Gobolt

•                      Carpediem Capital Partners investment in Sindhuja Microfinance

•                      Finova Capital Series B funding round

•                      Flipspaces Technologies Labs series A funding round

•                      Green Agrevolution pre-series A funding round

•                      Nordic Microfinance Initiative Fund Rs450 million investment in Svasti Microfinance

•                      Poncho Hospitality Series C funding round

•                      Sixth Sense India Opportunities II $4 million investment in Fitternity Technologies Health E-Solution