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Editorial

With 'excellent response times, strength in depth and value for money', the India practice group at Allen & Overy LLP has been highlighted as being 'terrific in all respects'. In one highlight, it advised Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Citicorp International, as lead manager and trustee, on Tata Steel's high yield offering of $1.3bn notes. The team's dispute resolution capabilities have also been considered as being of the 'very highest quality'. Another key name to note is Hong Kong-based Matthew Gearing, who attracts praise for being 'thoroughly well prepared, highly articulate and having a particularly engaging manner'. Gearing led a team, including recently promoted partner Sheila Ahuja, which was instructed by Nissan in a claim against the Republic of India pursuant to the 2011 Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and India. Sanjeev Dhuna heads up the global practice from London, which also includes 'hard worker' Gautam Narasimhan based in Singapore. The 'solution-oriented' Amit Singh, previously based in Hong Kong, departed to join Linklaters' Singapore office.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is highlighted for its experience handling corporate and M&A matters with an India aspect. The team frequently acts for financial institutions and was instructed by Goldman Sachs as a joint placement agent in the $510m sell-down in telecom infrastructure provider Bharti Infratel. The group also leverages its strong dispute resolution practice in multi-jurisdictional disputes and acted for Cargill in a claim against Indian steel manufacturers Uttam Galva Steels. Singapore-based Arun Balasubramanian heads up the global practice, which includes a team led by Sam Newhouse in the UK. Clients also include investment funds Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and KGAL Investment Management.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's India group is singled out for its combination of 'high-quality work, stupendous industry knowledge' and 'practical understanding of the local nuances of doing business in India'. The firm acted for United Capital Partners on its $12.9bn joint acquisition with Trafigura of a 49.13% stake in Nayara Energy Limited (formerly Essar Oil Limited). With 'his availability to network and connect with Indian decision-makers being one of his key strengths', Chris Parsons chairs the India practice. 'Exceptional lawyer' Nicholas Peacock heads up the dispute resolution group and is leading representation of Vedanta Resources plc in a claim against the Government of India for the imposition of retrospective tax. Other key names to note include Roddy Martin for his 'meticulous attention to detail' and 'hands-on approach' and the 'fantastic life sciences leader' Alan Montgomery.

The team at Linklaters LLP is active across inbound and outbound corporate and M&A transactions, as well as advising on financing and capital markets in India. The India group is headed up by Narayan Iyer, who focuses on financing matters and, alongside recently promoted partner Sushil Jacob, led advice to Avendus Capital on the £23m acquisition of Ocean Dial Asset Management. In another work highlight, Savi Hebbur led a team which acted for Rosneft on its $12.9bn acquisition of a minimum 49% equity stake in Essar Oil Limited. Ben Carroll is a key name to note for dispute resolution and is handling several high-profile international arbitrations. Amit Singh, previously based in Hong Kong, joined the firm's Singapore office from Allen & Overy.

The 'client-oriented and responsive' India business group at Ashurst¬†is experienced in handling both inbound and outbound transactions. In one work highlight led by¬†Hong Kong-based¬†Stuart Rubin,¬†the team acted for the book running lead managers on the Indian¬†IPO of CMS Info Systems.¬†Attracting praise for his 'world-class, practical advice'¬†Korea practice group head¬†John Kim¬†(who is also based in Hong Kong) advised¬†Kia Motors Corporation on its investment into Indian State of Andhra¬†Pradesh for the construction of manufacturing plants or facilities.¬†Bringing 'decades of India experience',¬†Richard Gubbins¬†heads up the practice from the London office, which also includes Tom Mercer.¬†Changes to the team include the promotion of¬†'top-notch transnational lawyer' Huiyeon Kim¬†in Hong Kong ‚Ästwho attracts praise for being 'available around the clock' ‚Äď to the partnership.

Leveraging the firm's finance expertise, Clifford Chance is frequently instructed in significant transactions with elements in India. Head of the India-focused capital markets team Rahul Guptan led advice to the book-running lead managers of Bandhan Bank's substantial IPO. Led by Nish Shetty and Kabir Singh, the practice is also representing a US-based company in a dispute over the acquisition of a telecoms asset in India. All individuals named are based in the firm's Hong Kong office.

Sushma Jobanputra¬†heads up Jones Day's¬†Singapore-based¬†practice handling India-related transactions and disputes.¬†It recently acted for pension plan OMERS on its $266m investment in the¬†Indian private sector lender,¬†Housing Development Finance Corporation. The practice also has experience in the projects, infrastructure and energy projects, with clients including¬†Vibrant Energy Holdings ‚Äď which it is advising on¬†the expansion of solar power projects in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana ‚Äď and¬†Babcock Power. Other key names to note include Karthik Kumar¬†and Jeffrey Maddox¬†for project finance and capital markets respectively.

Highlighted as 'one of the most eminent international law firms working on capital markets transactions in India',¬†Latham & Watkins LLP's India group attracts praise for its 'quality, experience and ability to deal with Indian clients and promoters'.¬†Practice head Rajiv Gupta ‚Äď who is singled out for being 'able to find workable solutions' ‚Äď led a team acting for Morgan Stanley as lead managers of India Grid Trust's IPO on the National Stock Exchange of India and the Bombay Stock Exchange. It also advised the underwriters, Citigroup Global Markets India Private, in¬†the $615m¬†IPO of¬†Inter Globe Aviation.¬†Alongside Gupta,¬†Michael Sturrock¬†represented¬†MakeMyTrip Limited on its $720m acquisition of¬†ibiboGroup.

The India practice at Norton Rose Fulbright includes 'efficient and hardworking lawyers' offering 'prompt and precise, solution-oriented advice' on contentious matters and transactions. The group has particular experience handling the financing of energy-related projects. The 'exceptionally diligent and hardworking' practice head Sherina Petit, 'knows the Indian landscape very well' and is particularly known for handling international arbitrations. Singapore-based Stephen Begley is another key name to note.

Shearman & Sterling LLP's India group frequently acts for both Indian corporate and financial sponsors  in a range of transactions. Based between the firm's Singapore and Hong Kong offices, Sidharth Bhasin heads the practice and is leading a team advising Capital Square Partners on its acquisition of ESM Holdings from Essar Global. In another work highlight, the practice acted as international counsel to Dish TV and Videocon d2h on their merger to form Dish TV Videocon. Andrew Schleider is highlighted for his capital market expertise and was instructed by GMR Hyderabad International Airport's offering of $350m in the aggregate principal amount of 4.25% senior secured notes. Clients also include Goldman Sachs and ICICI Securities.

The practice at White & Case LLP is known for its strength in handling transactions and disputes with an Indian element. New York-based practice head Nandan Nelivigi led a team representing MTS Health Investors LLC and Altaris Capital Partners in the acquisition of Indian revenue cycle management company, AGS Health Private. Aloke Ray QC and Dipen Sabharwal QC, both based in London, are key names to note for disputes and are instructed in both inbound and outbound matters.

The India-focused team at Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow boasts expertise across banking and finance, capital markets, complinace, tax and TMT. It acted for Hindustan Aeronautics and the Government of India on US securities law elements relating to the initial public offering of the company's equity shares. A team jointly led by James Huang and Kah Chin Chu advised the lead arrangers (Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank, and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, State Bank of India, and DBS Bank) on the $500m syndicated term loan facility to ONGC Videsh Vankorneft, guaranteed by its India parent company Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. The group is headed up by Ashok Lalwani.

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee has significant experience advising both Indian companies and foreign clients on India-related transactions. The group was instructed as international counsel in the IPO of construction arm of the Indian Railway, Ircon International, advising both the company and the Indian government as the selling shareholding. Alexander McMyn, Andy Ferris (both based in Singapore) and Hong Kong-based Stephen Peepels jointly head the practice and focus on finance and capital markets. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation is another client of the firm.

The India practice at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is highlighted for its experience acting for clients investing in India and for advising on projects in the energy and natural resources sector. A London-based team led by practice head John Dewar and Nick Swinburne recently advised K-sure, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank on a $573m ethane project finance transaction. In another work highlight, Naomi Ishikawa (based in Singapore) led the representation of Tata Steel on its $2bn offering of fully- and partially-paid shares. Further demonstrating the groups strength in capital markets, Hong Kong-based James Grandolfo acted for the underwriters on SBI Life Insurance's $1.3bn IPO.

The 'experienced and pragmatic' team at Reed Smith LLP offers 'good value for money and quick responses' particularly for matters relating to banking, debt capital markets, finance, as well as disputes. Ranajoy Basu is a key name to note. The 'greatly respected' Gautam Bhattacharyya is considered 'a magnet for top-quality disputes', handling both high-profile litigation and arbitration. Bhattacharyya, who splits his time between London and Singapore, co-chairs the practice alongside London-based Basu.

Leveraging the firm's strong corporate, finance and investment practice as well as its global disputes experience, the team at King & Spalding LLP handles inbound and outbound, contentious and non-contentious India-related matters. Singapore-based Richard Nelson continues to lead a team acting for Hiranandani Gas Company on the establishment of liquefied natural gas regasification terminals in India. Rahul Patel (based in Atlanta) is advising  Lumis Partners on several M&A matters relating to portfolio companies. London-based Thomas Sprange is a key names to note for disputes.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has developed 'a clear positioning on premium cross-border work' with India-related elements, including inbound and outbound transactions, disputes and restructuring and antitrust advice. The practice is acting for Punjab National Bank, as a victim of fraud and potential creditor, in Firestar Diamond’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is also instructed by The Dow Chemical Company to advise on antitrust and competition elements of its merger of equals with DuPont, valued at $130bn. In another work highlight, the group is representing Google in proceedings at the National Company Law Tribunal of India following a Competition Law Commission's decision. The 'exceptional' Tihir Sarkar (who splits his time between London and Abu Dhabi) is key name to note for M&A and private equity work, while London-based Sunil Gadhia is highlighted for disputes. Also in London, recently promoted partner Nallini Puri also 'stands out on India-related matters'.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP frequently handles significant corporate M&A and capital markets transactions in the India market. The group is known for its capital market expertise and was instructed by the underwriters in the $500m IPO of ICICI Securities. In another work highlight, Jeffrey O’Brien and Leo Borchardt jointly led a team acting as international counsel to Reliance Jio Infocomm on its acquisition of wireless infrastructure assets from Reliance Communications. O'Brien also advised Reliance Industries on its $800m aggregate principal amount of 3.667% senior notes. Key names in Hong Kong include Gerhard Radtke and William Barron for capital markets, and Miranda So and Sam Kelso for M&A work.

The team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is regularly engaged to assist with inbound investment into India. Hong Kong-based William Chua led a team advising Capital Group on its $200m investment in InterGlobe Technology Quotient, head quartered in India. It also has experience advising on commercial and contentious issues with an Indian element.

The India practice at Duane Morris & Selvam LLP is 'noted for its commercial approach, and knowledge of the Indian market'  and offers 'a highly rated level of service'. The group has the capabilities across capital markets, corporate transactions and disputes. It was instructed by the President of India on the of the outstanding shares in HUDCO in an IPO in India and concurrent private placements outside India. Jamie Benson and the 'responsive, knowledgeable and solution-oriented' Babita Ambekar (now at DWF) jointly head the practice and focus on capital markets and corporate matters respectively. The team includes the recent addition of special counsel Priyank Srivastava from Allen & Gledhill (Myanmar) Co., Ltd, who has particular experience handling matters in the energy and infrastructure sector.

Ropes & Gray's India practice has experience handling transactional and contentious matters. The group was instructed by Google as international counsel in relation to abuse of dominance proceedings in India. London-based Ruchit Patel is a key name to note.

The 'excellent' team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is frequently instructed by Indian and international clients on a range of corporate and financial transactions with an India element. The group assisted India-based media company Times Internet with its acquisition of 59% of MX Media Co.  In another work highlight, it acted for Mars Inc on its acquisition of Preferred Brands International. Jonathan Stone and Rajeev Duggal, based in Singapore and Hong Kong respectively, jointly head the team and attract praise for their 'response times, business acumen, industry knowledge and appropriateness of advice'. Considered 'a pleasure to work with', counsel Parveet Gandoak is also highlighted as 'very responsive and knowledgeable'.

Stephenson Harwood's India-focused practice group is known for acting on behalf of Indian companies in cross-border disputes. The department counts Bharat Heavy Electricals, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries among its clients. London-based Kamal Shah heads the team and specialises in international arbitration and commercial litigation. Additions to the team include Singapore-based Parikhit Sarma and Diwakar Agarwal and Sandeep Dhama (both based in Dubai) who joined from Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC, DLA Piper Middle East LLP and King & Wood Mallesons respectively.

Bird & Bird LLP's India strategy group is jointly led by London-based Nipun Gupta and James Mullock and handles inbound and outbound transactions across a number of sectors. The team leverages the firm's financial services, life sciences and technology expertise in handling disputes and transactions with an Indian element. The group represented Alembic Pharmaceuticals in a claim against Generic Partners, for an injunction against its use of Alembic's confidential information and copyright. Punjab National Bank, Tech Mahindra and Genpact are all clients.

Covington & Burling LLP is also ranked.

Jai Pathak heads up the India focussed practice group at Gibson Dunn that is recognised for its cross-border transactional experience. Jamie Thomas is another key name to note.

Talat Ansari heads up the firm's India practice group at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP which has particular experience in dispute resolution and international trade. The group has acted for clients such as Reliance Industries, Cipla and Mahindra and Mahindra.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has the capabilities to handle a range of transactions with an India element. The group has particular experience acting for clients on inbound investments. Srinivas Kaushik heads up the practice.

The team at Slaughter and May is frequently instructed by both Indian and international clients on a range of inbound and outbound transactions. London-based partners Nilufer Von Bismarck and Simon Hall jointly head the practice which is advising Vodafone on the proposed merger of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers.

London-based Laurence Lieberman heads up the India practice group at Taylor Wessing LLP and has experience handling technology and telecommunications disputes. The team has capabilities to advise on M&A and financing transactions, real estate and contentious matters.

Vinson & Elkins RLLP advise on projects, transactions and international disputes relating to India. James Loftis solely heads the team following Mark Beeley's departure to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP.

WongPartnership LLP counts Tata Communications, Tencent Holdings and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co among its clients. The group is instructed on both contentious and transactional matters with an Indian element. The team acted for Farallon Group on the voluntary unconditional cash offer by Brenformexa for all of the issued units in Indiabulls Properties Investment Trust.

GC Powerlist -
India

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