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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Projects and energy
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Who Represents Who

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Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas’ ‘excellent’ practice is well regarded for its project financing and infrastructure expertise, regularly advising on matters related to oil and gas, ports, roads and urban infrastructure. Clients include a mix of banks, financial institutions, multilateral agencies and other players in the infrastructure financing space, and the firm has been notably active in M&A transactions domestically and internationally. In a recent highlight, the team advised ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Standard Chartered Bank on the Indian law aspects of a debt repayment to Essar Group, which was connected to the $12bn sale of Essar Group’s refinery and port business to Russian oil giant Rosneft. L Viswanathan chairs the practice, and Santosh Janakiram is recommended for banking, projects and acquisition financing matters. Managing partner Cyril Shroff has notable banking and infrastructure expertise.

Economic Laws Practice has been notably active in the energy sector, and also receives strong mandates from the energy, renewables and infrastructure spaces. The firm advises on project financing, regulatory issues and contentious matters, and has significant cross-border expertise across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Highlights included acting for BLA Power on its proposed power supply agreement through one of its generating units; advising Dubai Port World on the consolidation of its project entities into a single business; and advising Adani Power on the setting up of a coal-based power plant. The practice is headed by Sujjain Talwar, and Aakanksha Joshi and Naresh Thacker are the other key partners.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Alaya Legal Advocates

Alaya Legal is a law firm founded in 2003 and based in New Delhi with the capability of providing legal services throughout most of India. The founding partners, Divjyot Singh and Suniti Kaur are alumni of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore and have been practicing since 1995. The firm comprises of a team of experienced law yers, ably supported by paralegals and sector specialists.

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HSA Advocates provides ‘great value for money’, advising on all facets of project development including regulatory issues, financing, policy and dispute resolution. The firm is notably strong in the energy and renewables sectors, and is also active in the project finance and public private partnership (PPP) market in India, advising lenders, borrowers, issuers and other intermediaries on domestic and cross-border financing transactions. The team is currently advising Solenergi Power on the development, operation and maintenance of a 250MW solar power unit, and is also acting for the government of Goa on a greenfield airport PPP project. Founding partner Hemant Sahai is the main practitioner, and Amitabh Sharma is also noted.

J Sagar Associates has a strong focus on infrastructure projects, and has advised on a number of high-profile project financings in the public and private sectors over the last year; key sectors of focus include oil and gas, highways, high-speed railways, smart cities and telecoms infrastructure. The group recently advised Hero Future Energies on a $125m investment provided by International Finance Corporation and IFC Global Infrastructure Fund for the operation of solar and wind power projects across India. Amit Kapur is the key name to note, and Venkatesh Raman Prasad is noted for foreign investment matters.

Khaitan & Co. provides ‘an excellent level of service’ and ‘is very commercial in its approach’, and the team ‘has a good understanding of the political and business world in India, along with the various issues which can impact a deal’. The firm has significant expertise in project and structured financing, sector-specific M&A, bid support and regulatory matters, and has recently handled a range of deals within India’s burgeoning renewables market. Recent work included advising Tenaga Nasional Berhad on its acquisition of a 30% stake in GMR Energy, and acting for ICICI Bank on its provision of a rupee term loan for the refinancing of existing project loans. Dibyanshu Sinha heads the practice.

Kochhar & Co. has ‘a deep understanding of the industry and the clients’ business’, providing ‘all the necessary solutions under one roof’. The firm specialises in handling complex contentious matters in the infrastructure and energy space, and has also advised on a range of metro, national highway, urban infrastructure, and oil and gas pipeline projects. The team is advising Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority on a competitive open bidding process for the development of Amaravati, the new capital city of the state of Andhra Pradesh in southern India. Senior partner Krishna Vijay Singh is the key contact for contentious matters, and Ngangom Junior Luwang is recommended for oil and gas projects.

Luthra & Luthra Law Offices has a strong portfolio of energy and infrastructure projects, and has recently advised on matters spanning India, China, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The firm acts for various categories of stakeholders, its key clients including sponsors, developers, concession authorities and lenders, and it has also advised a number of government authorities on highway and railroad projects across India. Mohit Saraf is a key practitioner, and recently advised Kempegowda International Airport on a $279m term loan from the State Bank of India. Sameen Vyas is also noted.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co provides ‘exemplary professionalism and commitment’, and the team is ‘always available to take calls and resolve any issues that arise during the course of the matter’. The firm has handled matters across the oil and gas, power, port and transportation sectors, and has recently been involved in a number of major LNG transactions. Highlights included advising Gujarat State Petroleum on the divestment of its participating interest in the Krishna-Godavari offshore basin to ONGC, and acting for Abertis Infraestructuras, an international toll road operator, on its first acquisition in the Indian infrastructure sector. Jatin Aneja leads the practice, and executive chairman Shardul Shroff is also a leading figure.

Trilegal offers ‘a high standard of quality’ and ‘very prompt response times’ to its energy and infrastructure sector clients, where the team handles matters related to upstream oil and gas, downstream transportation and storage, LNG and renewable energy. The firm also advises on infrastructure and urban utilities matters such as water supply, waste management, affordable housing and healthcare, and assists across all levels of government on large-scale PPP projects. Akshay Jaitly leads the practice, and Saurabh Bhasin has a broad range of project financing experience.

At AZB & Partners, highlights included advising Sagitaur Ventures, a leading private solar park developer, on the drafting, review and negotiation of project contracts for the development of a 200MW integrated solar park, and acting for Orange Renewable Power on the sale and purchase agreements for its photovoltaic solar modules. Bahram Vakil has significant banking and finance expertise, Prashanth Sabeshan is recommended for energy sector matters, and Gautam Saha is the key contact for M&A and private equity deals.

Bharucha & Partners focuses on infrastructure projects, and has handled a vast array of developments involving railways, roads, ports and other areas of urban groundwork. The team recently advised Kandla International Container Terminal on a credit facility from IDBI Bank for the operation and maintenance of its container terminals, and also assisted Bharat Road Network with its INR4m IPO, which aims to provide funding for the operation of national and state highways. Alka Bharucha heads the practice.

Gagrats has recently advised several domestic and international power companies and state electricity boards on IPPs, co-generation projects, wind power and nuclear power projects. The team has also handled several major real estate developments in Mumbai and Pune, and has considerable expertise in oil and gas, pipelines and special economic zones. The group recently advised Deccan Minerals on its mining and mineral raising contracts in the state of Maharashtra.

M L Bhakta is the key contact at Kanga & Company Advocates and Solicitors, which has notable expertise in the power, infrastructure, telecoms and oil and gas sectors, handling the full gamut of project financing, development and transactional work.

Link Legal – India Law Services has solid experience acting for parties on both sides of projects and transactional matters, advising on risk analysis, bid processes, project development and financing, along with dispute management and resolution. The firm has recently advised on projects involving roads, railways and smart cities. Managing partner Atul Sharma is the name to note.

Majmudar & Partners’ well-established projects, energy and infrastructure practice advises on the full breadth of domestic and international issues. Recent highlights include assisting Schlumberger with its Indian operations in the energy space, acting for Nippon Soda on the structuring and financing of its chemicals business, and advising Givaudan (India) on its establishment of a manufacturing plant in Pune, Maharashtra. Akil Hirani is a well-regarded figure in the project finance space.

Phoenix Legal’s team is involved in projects across the oil and gas, real estate, water, energy and power sectors. It also receives strong mandates from its mining, education and telecoms clients, along with those on the project financing side from private equity funds, government bodies and international financial institutions. Mumbai-based Sawant Singh heads the project financing practice, and Delhi-based Abhishek Saxena has a vast array of experience advising on cross-border M&A deals.

Advaita Legal now includes the former Seth Dua & Associates lawyers, and key names in the newly combined team include Atul Dua, Shailendra Singh and Monali Dutta. Areas of expertise include energy, PPP projects and social infrastructure, and the firm has a strong client base in the airport, railway, renewable energy and oil and gas sectors, among others. The former Seth Dua & Associates team advised Veolia Water (India) on the tendering of several water PPP projects, which involved risk analysis, structuring and the implementation of tender documents, and acted for Swedish company Saab on a technical collaboration with Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering (now operating as Reliance Defence and Engineering).

Advaya Legal is advising Samsung C&T India on the construction of an international convention and exhibition centre, and is also assisting Samsung with a major mixed-use project in south Mumbai, a matter valued at $316m. Ramesh Vaidyanathan is the key practitioner, and has notable expertise in aviation, infrastructure and major projects.

Brus Chambers, Advocates & Solicitors specialises in oil, gas and natural resources, infrastructure, real estate and energy matters, and regularly advises on project financing and regulatory frameworks across various sectors. Shrikant Hathi and Binita Hathi, who has notable shipping expertise, are the key contacts.

DSK Legal advises clients on all aspects of energy and infrastructure transactions, including the structuring, negotiation and documentation of domestic and cross-border deals. Clients include a mix of government bodies, contractors and concessionaires, which the team regularly advises on EPC contracts, bids and consortium arrangements. Ajay Shaw is the name to note.

Managing partner Vishwang Desai is the key figure at Desai & Diwanji, which advises a range of Indian business groups, governments and financial investors on financing transactions, M&A deals and major projects. The firm is also noted for its infrastructure expertise.

The ‘excellent’ team at Dhir & Dhir Associates recently advised REC Transmission Projects Company on a number of inter-state transmission developments, and also acted as lender’s counsel to L&T Infrastructure Finance and L&T Intra Debt Fund concerning financial assistance to a borrower for the refinancing of a 20MW solar power project in Madhya Pradesh. Girish Rawat heads the team, where Hyderabad-based Siva Gopinatham is also a key figure.

Munish Sharma is the leading figure at Dua Associates, which focuses on PPP concessions, infrastructure projects, joint ventures and cross-border transactions. The firm also has notable experience handling foreign direct investments into India.

IndusLaw recently boosted its energy and infrastructure practice with the arrival of Deepak Chowdhury, who joined from Krishnamurthy and Co and has significant PPP, EPC contract and project management expertise. Highlights included advising FMO on the proposed financing of an 82MW hydropower project in Nepal.

At Juris Legal, highlights included handling the auction of C iron ore mines in Karnataka following the cancellation of illegal mining activity; assisting McKinsey & Co with the development of the Pune smart city project; and advising Ndovu Resources on its onshore drilling activity at the Ruvuma Basin of southern Tanzania. Managing partner Rupin Pawha is the key individual.

SJ Law, Advocates and Solicitors has notable capabilities in the infrastructure space, and also receives strong mandates from manufacturing sector clients in the steel, aluminium, coal and cement industries, advising primarily on financing transactions. Managing partner Samir Jagad is a well-regarded banking and finance practitioner, and has been significantly active in the debt financings of power sector projects.

Samvad Partners’ pan-Indian practice covers the full range of infrastructure, and projects and energy matters, and is adept at advising banks, financial institutions and infrastructure project developers on various regulatory issues affecting current projects. Harish Narasappa and Ekta Bahl jointly head the practice, which also has significant expertise in EPC contracts. Vineetha MG is also recommended.

Singhania & Partners LLP advises lenders and borrowers on the legal and regulatory frameworks governing transactions in the energy space, and has also handled numerous domestic and international arbitrations and enforcements regarding infrastructure and construction projects. Senior partner Dipak Rao recently advised the Ministry of Railways on the drafting of concession agreements for the development of passenger trains.

Talwar Thakore & Associates provides ‘reliable, high-quality guidance and a thorough analysis of each matter’, and the team ‘stands out for its knowledge of the Indian banking industry, and its great attention to detail’. Sonali Mahapatra heads the department, which recently advised Rosneft on its acquisition of a 98% equity interest in Essar Oil.

Ashish Ahuja is the name to note at Wadia Ghandy & Co, which advises primarily on road and real estate projects. Clients have included 3i India Infrastructure and Hindustan Construction Company.

GC Powerlist -
India

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