India

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: The Bar Council of India 

Competition authority: Competition Commission of India 

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

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:

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
ARA Law

ARA Law’s focus is on M&A, banking and finance and investment funds work. The firm works primarily on India deals with some cross-border work, notably relating to Singapore and the US.

The firm advises private equity and venture capital firms on their investments with sector strengths in food manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. In banking and finance the firm focuses on real estate financing.

Key clients include Jungle Ventures, Kalaari Capital III and Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management.

Argus Partners

Argus Partners has historically had a focus on M&A work and also offers some banking and finance services. It has offices in five cities in India.

Some of the firm’s most notable deals during the research period were in the banking and finance practice area, with repeat client KKR India choosing it for advice in connection with promoter funding, a syndicate transaction and a real estate credit facility.

The firm provides a diverse range of M&A services. It assisted Mukan in the establishment of a joint venture with Sumitomo and advised Crompton Greaves on the €120 million sale of ZIV Aplicaciones y Technologia.

A number of lawyers moved during the research period. Prakash Panjabi and R Vedasagar joined as a senior partner in the banking and finance and real estate departments. Siddharth Raja joined as a senior partner with a focus on M&A and private equity. Shubha Karra left in June 2016 after four years at the firm. He was a salaried partner in education, infrastructure, projects, project finance and banking and finance.

Client feedback

“Very knowledgeable and very prompt and professional in their approach. Provides solutions to any problems.” - Corporate

“They are very good.” - Corporate

"The firm is very good and prompt in responding to queries. The corporate team is extremely strong and focused.” – Corporate

Soorjya Ganguly

“Very knowledgeable and able to offer solutions to problems.”

R Sudhinder

“Very good.”

“Has great commercial sense while providing advice. Gives clients astounding results. Faster deliverables.”

AZB & Partners

AZB & Partners is a clear M&A power house, but it also has an excellent track record advising domestic and foreign banks in vanilla and structured finance, acquisition finance, project finance and also securitisation transactions. The firm also has a highly regarded capital markets practice.

Highlight deals for the capital markets team include advising Asian Development Bank on its subscription of debentures issued by Janalakshmi Financial Services and work for the underwriters on RBL Bank’s IPO, which was the first IPO by an Indian bank since the IPO of Yes Bank in 2005.

The M&A team last year assisted Financiere Lafarge and Holderind Investments on their sale of equity shares of Lafarge India to Nirchem Cement and Nima.

Staffing changes saw AZB & Partners hire four partners last year from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, namely Ashwath Rau, Anu Tiwari, Dhruv Singhal and Ganesh Rao.

Key clients include IFC, ADB, SBI, YES Bank, DLF, Tata Motors, Sintex Industries, FMO, and KKR.

Chadha & Co

Chadha & Co has a particular focus on M&A work and also provides some corporate legal services. It is based in New Delhi.

During the research period, the firm offered M&A services including strategic advice, deal structuring and documentation work using Indian and English Law. 

It has a particular strength in Japanese and Singaporean cross-border work. This included setting up a multinational joint venture, setting up a Singaporean subsidiary and a restructuring by way of a scheme of arrangement in India.

Key clients included DFS, Hayakawa Rubber Co, Indian Woods Products and QH Talbros.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas’ name frequently appears on the high-end domestic and cross-border transactions and has a number of high profile bank clients. The firm has dedicated country desks for Japan, the Middle East, China and Hong Kong.

In banking and finance, the firm tends to act on the lender side for domestic and international banks. In the energy and projects space, the team advised SoftBank on project finance matters in relation to a 35MW solar power plant development in Ghani Solar Park.

In the capital markets the firm has a focus on debt capital markets work. Landmark deals include advising on the first green masala bond issued by NTPC, which was listed on SGX and LSE.

In the M&A space, a highlight saw the firm advise Welspun Energy in its sale of the entire stake in Welspun Renewables Energy to Tata Power Renewable Energy.

Key clients include State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Axis Bank, IFC, ADB, OPIC and Suzlon Energy.

Client feedback

“Very accessible, quick turnaround, reasonable on legal fees and expenses, knowledgeable about day to day legal issues and matters however on the more complicated or unusual issues, there is sometimes a lack of solutions and suggestions” – Banking and finance, restructuring and insolvency

“Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is a good law firm with excellent resources.” – Project finance

Joseph Jimmy

“Very accessible, provides reasonable fee quotes, quick turnaround time, reasonably good knowledge in banking and finance matters, needs to invest more analysing and dealing with more complicated and uncommon legal issues and needs to further strengthen legal knowledge and technical ability.”

Dhaval Vussonji & Associates

Dhaval Vussonji offers services in banking, project finance, M&A and private equity.

While most of its banking and finance deals were confidential, it often assists with the loan financing of real estate investments for a select group of clients. 

In M&A the firm advised clients such as Pudumjee Pulp & Paper Mills on the demerger of its paper and hygiene related business and Mastek on its acquisition of Trans American Infosystems.

Client feedback

"All the team members from associates to principal associates have been excellent in terms of knowledge, delivery of output as well as client service. The lawyers are proficient in the subject and offer practical advice, keeping our business interests in mind.” - Regulatory

“Strong knowledge base with attention to details and good turnaround time.” – Refinancing

Prachi Dave

“Prachi is a very efficient lawyer and her turnaround time is excellent. She is very pragmatic in her approach and looks and evaluates all applicable laws before offering any advice to her clients. We enjoy working with her.”

Dhaval Vussonji 

"Dhaval has been advising us for many years now. He is a versatile lawyer with remarkable knowledge and expertise. He is usually our go-to person for all issues.”

“Commercial understanding, solution oriented approach and best in field.”

DSK Legal

DSK Legal offers services in banking, capital markets, M&A, private equity and project development. 

The M&A team works on Indian and cross-border transactions. The project finance team has particular strengths in the infrastructure and energy sectors and experience working with governmental agencies. 

Key clients included True North, RITES, the Ministry of Railways and Indian Oil.

Client feedback

“Extremely good at what they do. A bit expensive sometimes.” – M&A

“Very responsive and easy to work with. They go outside the boundary to provide support to the areas we need more help on.” – M&A

Satish Kishanchandani 

"Excellent understanding of his subject.”

“Very powerful lawyer with great business acumen.”

IC Universal Legal

IC Legal and Universal Legal Attorneys at Law have merged together and now operate under the new identity of IC Universal Legal Advocates and Solicitors. The merger is effective from September 21 2017.

Prior to the merger, IC Legal was best known for its work in capital markets and private equity, although the firm also offers advice related to real estate, media and entertainment. 

The firm’s capital markets and banking practices have strength in the real estate sector where it has acted on matters including issuing and investing in non-convertible debentures and arranging term loans. The firm also provides investment funds services.

Its key clients include Fortune Infracreator, part of the Puranik Builders group, which it advised on the issuance of non-convertible debentures. It also advised Reliance Capital and Enam on the launch of new funds and helped to arrange banking finance for real estate acquisitions by Incor and Nalanada Shelter.

In April 2017, Pooja Mehta joined the investment funds and private equity practice area from ARA Law as a principal associate.

Former Universal Legal, on the other hand, offers services in M&A and private equity. It has offices in a number of Indian cities and a long term association with Chugh, a US firm.

The firm offers M&A services across a range of industry sectors acting for clients such as Newgen Digital Works, Opex Software and Aster DM Healthcare. It provided private equity advice to Agrif Cooperatief, Fusion Microfinance and Updater Services.

Client feedback

“It completed the work perfectly with good team coordination.” – Private equity

“The firm has excellent attorneys who are subject matter experts. They are also very engaging and responsive to the client's needs.” – Investment funds

“Strong leadership and follow up, timely delivery, broad understanding of risks.” – Investment funds

“Solution oriented approach, expert understanding of the subject, quick turnaround, firm opinions with respect to regulations, cost efficient, high quality and timely output.” – Real estate finance

Sameena Chatrapathy

"One word, superb!”

“Sameena is a subject matter expert and looks at how to move the deal forward, taking into consideration all the options on board. She is a deal maker."

Tejesh Chitlangi

“He is very proactive and has the client’s best interest at heart.”

Kavitha Vijay

“Very good in execution of contract and easy to access.” 

 “Extremely strong and sound understanding of alternative investment funds in India.”

IndusLaw

IndusLaw offers services in M&A and private equity, with experience in the transport and energy sectors.

The firm’s banking and finance advice covers M&A, debt investments and arranging credit facilities with a notable list of clients in the energy and financial technology sectors. 

The firm has also advised on M&A and project finance in the hydropower and solar sectors. Examples include work for FMO on the joint venture financing for an 82MW hydropower project in Nepal and work for ReNew Solar Power on a term loan. 

The firm also advised Ujjican Financial Services on a corporate restructuring.

Client feedback

“They are very competent, experienced, good value, pleasant to work with and reasonably efficient.” – M&A

“IndusLaw is one of the best firm in India. The team is highly professional, supportive and provides solutions in time bound manner.” – Banking and finance

Ran Chakrabarti

“Great intellectual with broad knowledge of the Indian legal system.”

Avirup Nag

“Excellent lawyer - bright, experienced, good quality - but requires pushing a little for responsiveness.”

Nishant Singh

“He has got a deep understanding of global and country specific legal matters, absolute clarity of thoughts and highly efficient in responding to queries.”

J Sagar Associates

J Sagar Associates has a market leading banking and finance practice in India and is best known for its work on corporate, real estate and infrastructure financing.

In banking and finance deal highlights include advising the lenders, JPMorgan Securities, Normura International and UBS, in connection with the first synthetic rupee-denominated margin loan in India.

In the capital markets the firm advised on bond issues and acted for IRB Infrastructure Developers in forming India’s first ever infrastructure investment trust – the IRB InvIT Fund.

In M&A, in the renewable energy space, the firm acted on the largest investment made by IFC in the renewable energy sector in India to date.

There was a sizeable reshuffle of staff at the firm during the research period. The banking and finance team added Tirthankar Dutta from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, while losing Sumanto Basu who went to start his own firm. The head of the securities law and financial sector regulatory practice, Somasekhar Sundaresan, left to start an independent regulatory counsel practice. Two M&A partners, Gautam Gandotra and Manisha Kumar, departed to join Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, while another partner, Akshay Nagpal left to become the legal counsel of Interglobe Aviation. While the firm lost projects partner Pallavi Bedi to Luthra & Luthra, it brought in E&I partner Ashish Suman from MV Kini & Co.

Key clients of the firm include Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, Edleweiss Group, Axis Bank, Google, Wal-Mart Stores, Reliance Group, Tata Power and Adani Power.

Client feedback

“Very knowledgeable and proficient in the oil and gas sector. They are the industry experts.” – Project development

“Very professional in their handling of our work, very diligent in providing advice and solutions.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“We have a long standing relationship with JSA, so they know us and our business and investments very well. I appreciate the fact that they continue to provide consistently high standards of client service on our transactions and a 'hands on' approach by the partners involved. Importantly for us, they managed a seamless handover of the key relationship partner a couple of years ago and I have been happy with the continuity (despite losses at the partnership level). One thing they could improve is the provision of consistent, client-facing know-how.” – Capital markets, M&A

Venkatesh Prasad

“Excellent - a recognised industry expert in our specific market sector.”

Vikram Raghani

“Excellent; knows his stuff and commercially minded. A very safe pair of hands on deals.”

Aashit Shah

“I would consider Aashit Shah (J Sagar Associates), Sonali Mahapatra from Talwar Thakore & Associates, and L Viswanathan and Santosh Janakiram from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as my go to lawyers for financing advice.”

Jerome Merchant + Partners

Jerome Merchant + Partners (formerly P&C Legal) offers advice on banking and finance, capital markets, M&A and private equity.

The firm’s banking and finance practice area advised lenders on a number of financing structures during the research period for the likes of Altico Finance, KKR Finance, Tata and Bajaj Finance.

In the capital markets, the firm acted on debt and equity matters for the likes of Kotak Mahindra and Citibank.

In M&A and private equity the firm acted for VPS India on its acquisition of healthcare group Rockland and Terrapin Acquisition’s on its acquisition of travel website Yatra Online. 

Kanga & Co

Kanga & Co is best known for its capital markets work. The firm’s key banking and finance client during the research period was Reliance, who the firm advised on real estate investments and financings.

The firm offered capital markets advice regarding a number of IPOs in India. Its main client was Aryaman Financial Services, which it assisted on the flotations of Manas Properties, Prime Customer Services, Octaware and others.

The firm disclosed one key M&A deal for the year, the sale of a 55% shareholding by promoters of Bright Power Projects India to Texmaco Rail & Engineering. 

Khaitan & Co

Khaitan & Co has a special focus on debt capital markets and has a dedicated securities markets team. The firm has offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore allowing it to also deal on regional matters. The firm also has an extensive M&A team active across a range of industry sectors.

In the capital markets the firm advised Mahanagar, a leading gas distribution company in India, on its $154 million IPO.

In M&A the firm advised Aircel and Maxis Communications on the largest consolidation in the Indian telecommunications sector.

The firm hired corporate partner Gautham Srinivas from Krishnamurthy & Co last year.

Key clients include YES Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Axis Bank, Morgan Stanley, ICICI Securities, Mahindra & Mahindra group, Vedanta Group, the Aditya Birla Group, Jagran Prakashan and Prudential Group, Deutsche Bank, Apax Partners, Temasek, Providence Private Equity and Blackstone.

Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan

Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan has offices in ten cities across India as well as Geneva and London. 

The firm acts on M&A and private equity work showing a particular strength during the research period with regards to Singaporean cross-border issues.

Key M&A clients included Swan LNG, Andhra Pradesh Gas Distribution and Zaggle Prepaid Ocean Services. Notable private equity clients included Duane Park, which received advice relating to two acquisitions, and private investment target Shahajanand Medical Technologies.

Partner level hires included Anurag Pareek and Shafaq Uraizee Sapre, who joined from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Bharucha & Partners respectively. Ajay Joseph left his position as partner at the firm to join Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

Lex Favios

A substantial share of Lex Favios’s work was related to banking and finance, as it advised on debt financing in a range of sectors for the State Bank of India, Tourism Finance and JPMorgan Chase amongst others. 

It also advised on equity financing for Neurosynaptic Healthsquad Telemedicine and on negotiations between Melwa Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Group regarding the management of six new properties with an investment of $100 million. 

Client feedback

“Quick and quality feedback in given time period, though need to enhance team strength.” - Corporate

“Excellent coordination and support.” – Corporate

“Good knowledge of the sector.” - Corporate

Sumes Dewan

“Knows the business, regulatory and compliance requirements and advises proactively.”

“Good knowledge of the sector.”

Luthra & Luthra

Infrastructure and projects work are the flagship practice areas for Luthra & Luthra. The firm is also historically strong in project finance. A majority of the firm’s financing work last year was in the energy sector. The firm is also building a good reputation in capital markets and M&A.

In the capital markets the firm advised on RBL Bank’s IPO which is the country’s first private sector bank to float in a decade.

In M&A a stand out deal saw the firm advise Tata Advanced Systems in setting up a joint venture in the defence sector.

In the projects space, Luthra & Luthra advised Hyderabad Metro Rail on the bidding process for the Hyderabad Metro Rail Project, which is the one of the largest elevated metro rail PPP project in the world.

Staffing changes during the research period include the hire of M&A specialist Apurva Jayant from Samwad Partners and the addition of Pallavi Bedi as a project finance partner from J Sagar. On the other side the firm lost M&A partner Rajesh Chawla.

Key clients include IL&FS, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, Express Way Developers, Semtech Corporation, and Khazanah Nasional.

Client feedback

“Luthra & Luthra are the market leaders on matters relating to project-finance in India and we have constantly gone back to them seeking their legal opinion on complex regulatory issues and engaging them in high value transactions. I have been extremely satisfied with the legal services provided by Luthra & Luthra.” – Banking and finance

“The capital markets team at Luthra has now developed good standards and deep product knowledge. We like their approach towards solving problems and their diligence standards.” – Capital markets

“They did a great job. They handled technical as well as commercial/client management issues really well. They managed the timelines well, handled several client sensitive issues well and did a good job with the documentation and deal agreements.” – Capital markets

Manan Lahoty

“Willing to find solutions, brings deep knowledge and connects well with clients (even once with no past relationship).”

“Manan Lahoty at Luthra has been instrumental in developing a great practice despite intense competition.”

“Technically sound and commercially mature.”

Karan Mitroo

“He has been mostly engaged in transactions involving complex legal as well as commercial issues often requiring out-of-the-box thinking. Karan is an extremely dedicated individual and ensures that he is personally involved in all the transactions. His drafting and negotiation skills are exemplary and among the best. Karan keeps the interest of his clients as his top priority and has often gone out of the way to ensure that the same is protected.”

“I have personally worked with numerous top lawyers in the field of banking and finance for quite some time and I can say for sure that Karan is definitely the one who stands out in terms of knowledge, drafting, negotiation and sheer and unparalleled commitment.”

Majmudar & Partners

Majmudar & Partners is active in banking, capital markets, M&A and project development and finance.

In banking the firm advised Axis Bank on setting up an online platform for discounting and factoring Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ (MRMEs’) trade receivables. 

In M&A the firm advised bancassurance reseller Axis Bank on the merger of Max Life Insurance and HDFC Standard Life. 

Other notable clients include the Water Quality Association and Nippon Soda.

Client feedback

“Very responsive and practical and understand a Japanese clients' needs.” – M&A

“Majmudar have become my go to firm in India. They provide excellent local market and political insight, together with a very international approach. Having instructed them on a matter involving complex financial products, they quickly demonstrated a strong grasp of the technicalities involved.” – Banking and finance

“The firm is ethical, hardworking and full of high-pedigreed individuals. They are thorough professionals and I would recommend them to anyone.” – Investment funds

Akil Hirani

“Very knowledgeable, responsive and responsible.”

“Akil is an extremely reliable first port of call. Excellent communication and responsiveness and a thorough understanding of the commercial and political dynamics of the Indian market.”

Raja Sujith

“Excellent work, professional work ethic, always on time, articulate and very knowledgeable.”

Phoenix Legal

Phoenix Legal offers services in banking, M&A, private equity, capital markets and project finance. It is ranked particularly highly for work in the oil and gas sector.

In banking the firm acted on a number of syndicated loans and project finance matters.

In M&A and private equity the firm advised Reliance Broadcast Network on its sale to Essel Group of a 49% stake in Reliance’s radio broadcasting business and 100% of its general entertainment television broadcasting business.

Rajani Associates

Rajani Associates offers banking, capital markets, M&A, private equity and project finance advice, with particular experience in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

In capital markets, the firm typically provides advice on debt and equity issues and restructuring to clients in a range of heavy industries such as manufacturing, agrochemicals and surveying.

In M&A one stand-out deal during the research period was CCI Logistics’ demerger into Avvashya CCI Logistics and subsequent acquisition of Allcargo Logistics and Hindustan Cargo. 

The firm also advised Supreme Infrastructure BOT Private on the sale of Supreme Vasai Bhiwandi Tollways, a company incorporated to construct and operate a four lane road project in the State of Maharashtra. 

In private equity the firm acted on an investment by Fairfax India Holdings Mauritius Investments in Saurashtra Freight.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co is best known for its M&A practice but also has a notable banking and finance practice with a focus on real estate investment and finance, leveraged finance, and acquisition financing. The firm also works across both debt and equity capital markets advising issuers and managers.

In the capital markets, the team acted for YES Bank on a qualified institutions placement (QIP) of $761.2 million made pursuant to Rule 144A. The deal was the largest offering to institutional investors by a private sector company in India.

In M&A a standout deal saw the firm advise Videocond2h (VDL) on the merger with Dish TV India. The merger companies are the leading players in the direct to home (DTH) broadcasting sector in India and this transaction is the first large scale consolidation in the DTH space.

The firm also advised Abertis Infraestructuras, an international toll road operator on its acquisition of a brownfield road project in India.

Staffing changes include the addition of two partners to the team in the forms of  GV Anand Bhushan and Dorothy Thomas from Cognizant and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas respectively. The firm also lost three partners in the forms of Kalpataru Tripathy, Sourav Kumar and Asim Abbas.

Key clients include State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Facebook, Vodafone, American Express, Loyalty Payment Solutions, Nokia, PayPal and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Client feedback

“SAM provides focused and high quality advice on a consistent basis.” – Project finance

“Definitely will be ranked as one of the top law firms in this space. A formidable force and one you would want to retain on your side.” – Banking and finance

“The lawyers are very solution-oriented.”– Investment funds

“Excellent knowledge, good at negotiations, very responsive.” – Banking and finance

Jatin Aneja

“Excellent knowledge, communication skills and responsiveness.”

Akshay Chudasama

“Akshay is an excellent senior lawyer, who can be called upon to solve complex issues.”

Jay Gandhi

“Jay is commercially savvy and provides practical and sound legal advice tailored to the deal.”

Sapan Gupta

“Sapan's commitment and professionalism is exemplary. He brings a lot of experience to the table and having worked in the corporate sector earlier just makes it better to understand the concerns from both sides, which is invaluable and helps in expediting the resolution. Lastly, his turnaround time is very good and ensures that sufficient resources are dedicated to each deal. He is always available to take calls and resolve issues.”

Singh & Associates

Singh & Associates offers advice in banking and M&A and has experience in the infrastructure sector.

Clients included Lexzau, Scharbau, Era Group, Udayan Care, PD Agroprocessors and the Mahesh Group.

SNG & Partners

SNG & Partners offers banking and finance services with a particular focus on real estate. It has offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore and Doha.

During the research period, the firm acted on corporate and project financings for clients including IndusInd Bank, Samson Maritime, Tata Steel and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Mumbai. 

In a stand-out deal the firm helped IDBI Bank and JPM Singapore to arrange a loan.

Spice Route Legal

Spice Route Legal has a broad-based corporate, M&A and private equity offering. 

The firm demonstrated its strength in M&A transactions in particular, disclosing deals involving restructuring, business integration and international work. During the research period it worked in the commodities and energy sectors among others.

During the research period, Neerak Chaudry joined as partner with expertise in banking, restructuring and insolvency and the firm added new offices in New Delhi and Bengaluru to its existing base in Mumbai. 

LT Foods engaged the firm on two international transactions, the acquisition of the global brands and assets of Hindustan Unilever and the acquisition of the Elephant Rice brand. The firm’s clients also include Indfrag, NISA Industrial Services and Aditya Infotech.

Talwar Thakore & Associates

Talwar Thakore & Associates has an association with Linklaters, who it can work with on cross border deals. The firm frequently acts for international banks.

In the capital markets highlight deals include the firm advising Credit Suisse, Barclays and IDFC Bank as the arrangers on the issue of $628 million in non-convertible debentures by Nirma, it is the largest rupee debt issue for a LBO in India.

In M&A a highlight saw the firm advise Rosneft on the acquisition of 98% equity interest in Essar Oil by Rosneft.

Key clients include RBS, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Rosneft, SSG Advisors and Rabobank.

Client feedback

“Very knowledgeable team comprising quality conscious lawyers, namely Sonali Mahapatra, Rahul Gulati and Rituparno Bhattacharya. Despite their small size and relatively boutique set up, they often outshine the big names in deal planning and execution. They do not overload their associates with work and are happy to refuse mandates if that would adversely affect time given or quality of work product for existing mandates. This is the only firm that allows you to literally forget the deal once instructions are given.” - Capital markets

“Very knowledgeable, responsive and committed, work product is of high quality. The relationship with Linklaters is very helpful.” – Financial restructuring, M&A

“Strong regulatory knowledge. Ability to come up with innovative structuring and solutions to issues” – Capital markets

“Strong knowledge of regulatory matters, practices and the process of the regulator, provides options and solutions to clients on approaching an issue, fast turnaround time, easily accessible. They should probably market themselves some more and organise sessions for customers” – Banking and finance

“We found the firm to be excellent for corporate matters. They study issues in depth and even look into minute details. I would recommend them any day.” – M&A

“Generally consistent with magic circle quality.” – M&A, regulatory

Feroz Dubash

“He is a highly experienced and insightful partner for India corporate matters such as M&A and regulatory matters. He has good business knowledge and can therefore focus his advice on what clients care about. His responsiveness is timely and cooperation on the timing and frequency of meetings is quite helpful. TTA is a strong firm and the staff supporting Feroz were experienced, professional and timely in their responses.”

“He is technically strong and provides insightful and astute advice on the application of the law to local circumstances.”

“Technically sound, reliable and solution-oriented.”

Sonali Mahapatra

“She is one of our go-to lawyers for banking and finance work. One of the few practitioners who has international experience having spent part of her career at Linklaters. She is technically sound and provides excellent commercial advice.”

“She is extremely responsive, balanced, solution oriented with in-depth knowledge and experience”

“She is analytical and possesses technical capabilities, yet she lacks real estate and enforcement practice experience.”

Raghuveer Parthasarathy

“He led the banks-related part of the deal (analysis of loan documentation, interaction with lenders, loan restructuring). He has amazing commitment and capabilities, quality work, reliable, good communication skills.”

Kunal Thakore

“He is a highly intelligent lawyer. The way he handles negotiations is a delight to watch. He is well assisted by his equally competent associate Neville.”

Trilegal

Trilegal has a close relationship with Allen & Overy and at one time the two firms were in a formal alliance. The firm is very active in the renewable energy and M&A areas.

In the M&A, interesting deals saw Trilegal acting for IDFC Alternatives through the India Infrastructure Fund-II, on the acquisition of 76% shareholding in BETL. This is one of the major M&A deals in the roads and highways sector in the country after the Government of India introduced a liberal exit policy so as to boost the infrastructure sector.

In projects the firm advised IFC and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha on the development of integrated water utility and solid waste management infrastructure in Bangladesh using a PPP model.

Key clients include General Electric, Investment Board of Nepal, Engie, CLP India and IFC.

Universal Legal Attorneys at Law

Universal Legal offers services in M&A and private equity. It has offices in a number of Indian cities and a long term association with the Chugh firm.

The firm offers M&A services across a range of industry sectors acting for the likes of Newgen Digital Works, Opex Software and Aster DM Healthcare. It provided private equity advice to Agrif Cooperatief, Fusion Microfinance and Updater Services.

Client feedback

“They completed the work perfectly with good team coordination.” – Private equity

“The firm has excellent attorneys who are subject matter experts. They are also very engaging and responsive to the client's needs.” – Investment funds

Sameena Chatrapathy

"One word, superb!”

“Sameena is a subject matter expert and looks at how to move the deal forward, taking into consideration all the options on board. She is a deal maker."

Kavitha Vijay

“Very good in execution of contract and easy to access.”

Veritas Legal

Veritas Legal offers M&A, corporate and private equity advice.

During the research period, the firm advised on Claris Lifesciences’s sale of its global generics injectables business, working across multiple jurisdictions. It also advised on the Indian part of Synnex’s acquisition of Minacs Group.

Client feedback

"Exceptional combination of legal knowledge and commercial instinct, always accessible and responsive, very client focused approach, acute understanding of our organisation's risk appetite and functioning style." – Private equity

“Veritas is very solution oriented in its approach. The attention to detail while drafting is some of the best. Lawyers are practical in their approach and are great in negotiations. Very accessible to reach and quick in their responses.” – Private equity

Abhijit Joshi

"Built a great team but still extremely accessible. Formidable knowledge of the law but has a keen commercial instinct."