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AZB & Partners

AZB HOUSE, PENINSULA CORPORATE PARK, GANPATRAO KADAM MARG, LOWER PAREL, MUMBAI 400 013, INDIA
Tel:
Work +91 22 6639 6880
Fax:
Fax +91 22 5639 6888
Email:
Web:
https://www.azbpartners.com/
Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune

India

Antitrust and competition
Antitrust and competition - ranked: tier 2

AZB & Partners

Boasting 'good knowledge and quality advice', AZB & Partners' competition team has significant expertise handling cartel investigations, abuse of dominance allegations and leniency investigations in addition merger control matters. The group is representing Toyota Kirloskar Motor before the Supreme Court in an appeal of penalties imposed for alleged abuse of dominance on grounds of procedural impropriety, as well as on substantive competition law and economic grounds. Samir Gandhi led a team acting for Google in investigations by the CCI into alleged anti-competitive conduct. In another work highlight, the group was instructed by Bharti Airtel and Telenor (India) Communications on the companies' merger. Mumbai-based Rahul Rai is another key name to note. Changes to the team include the addition of Prashanth Shivadass from Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan.

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Aviation (including aerospace and defence)
Aviation (including aerospace and defence) - ranked: tier 2

AZB & Partners

The aviation team at AZB & Partners frequently advises aircraft leasing and financing companies on transactional issues. The group recently acted as Indian legal counsel to Pembroke Capital (as existing lessor) and Sichuan Development Holding Co. (as new lessor) in relation to financing from BNP Paribas, and novation in relation to the lease of an aircraft from Indigo. The department, led Ashwin Ramanathan, is also instructed by Dubai Aerospace Enterprise and Minsheng Leasing.

Leading individuals

Ashwin Ramanathan - AZB & Partners

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

AZB & Partners

The team at AZB & Partners has notable strength across the full spectrum of financial matters, representing borrowers and lenders in project finance, external commercial borrowings, strategic acquisitions in the Indian private banking sector, corporate transactions and insolvency matters. Highlights include advising Overseas Private Investment Corporation on an INR2.3bn loan extended to ReNew Wind Energy for constructing a solar power plant in Karnataka. Bahram Vakil, who has extensive expertise in infrastructure matters, heads the team along with Ashwin Ramanathan and Gautam Saha. Founding partner Zia Mody is a well-regarded practitioner.

Leading individuals

Ashwin Ramanathan - AZB & Partners

Bahram Vakil - AZB & Partners

Gautam Saha - AZB & Partners

Zia Mody - AZB & Partners

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

AZB & Partners

At AZB & Partners, areas of expertise include debt issuances, non-convertible debentures and warrants, masala bonds and IPOs. The latter has been particularly prominent in the team's workload as it recently assisted the New India Assurance Company with the regulatory and compliance aspects surrounding its INR95bn IPO, and advised HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company on its INR87bn IPO, the largest listing by a life insurance company in India. In another matter, the team acted for issuer Central Depository Services on its INR5bn IPO, the first of a depository in India. New Delhi-based Madhurima Mukherjee and Mumbai-based Varoon Chandra co-head the practice.

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

AZB & Partners

AZB & Partners reports an uptick in M&A instructions, with joint venture and corporate regulatory matters as other key areas of strength. In a highlight, the team represented the State Bank of India (SBI) in its merger with five associate banks and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank, which brought $120bn to the SBI's asset base and was the first large-scale consolidation to take place in the Indian banking sector. Senior partner Zia Mody, along with tax expert Ajay Bahl, are key practitioners. Gautam Saha is also a name to note.

Leading individuals

Ajay Bahl - AZB & Partners

Zia Mody - AZB & Partners

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 2

AZB & Partners

AZB & Partners' 'excellent' disputes practice is well known for representing clients before the High Court and Supreme Court of India. Clients have included Tata Sons, Harper Collins Publishers (India), and Kochi Cricket. Senior partner Rajendra Barot attracts praise for his 'good commercial mind' and 'thorough knowledge of Indian law'.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 2

AZB & Partners

Rajendra Barot and Ashwath Rau head up the insurance practice at AZB & Partners which boasts a client roster including AGEAS, HDFC Standard Life Insurance and BNP Paribas Cardif. Madhurima Mukherjee led a team which advised New India Assurance on its initial public offering of 120,000,000 equity shares, through a combination of a fresh issue and an offer for sale by the government. The group also assisted Old Mutual plc with the sale of its 26% stake in Kotak Old Mutual Life Insurance to Kotak Mahindra Bank.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

AZB & Partners

The two-partner IP practice at AZB & Partners has the capabilities to handle the full spectrum of matters, including contentious and non-contentious issues. The group was recently instructed by Torrent Pharmaceutical in a trade mark infringement, passing off and dilution of Torrent’s reputed 'CHYMORAL FORTE' mark by Wockhardt similar mark 'CHYMTRAL FORTE'. In another work highlight, the team successfully represented Skecher USA in a passing off action against Footwear (Klick) India, in relation to lookalike and replica products. The department is headed up by Delhi-based Akhilesh Rai and Nandan Pendsey in Mumbai.

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 1

AZB & Partners

The 'excellent' funds practice at AZB & Partners attracts praise for being 'very responsive' and is highlighted for handling work 'across all aspects of the industry and has very good commercial, as well as technical, knowledge'. The group advised Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings on its limited liability partnership agreement with Eros International Media. It also acted for Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors on the final closing of its first domestic real estate fund at approximately £5bn. Zia Mody heads up the group alongside Ashwath Rau and Sai Krishna Bharathan. The group's impressive client roster also includes the International Finance Corporation, Avaana Capital Advisors and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure. Ganesh Rao and Aditya Jha left the team to join Trilegal.

Leading individuals

Zia Mody - AZB & Partners

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 2

AZB & Partners

AZB & Partners has been assisting the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board with acquiring a $350m stake in ReNew Power Ventures, and recently advised Orange Renewable Power on 'change in control' restrictions to bidding for solar power projects auctioned by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. Bahram Vakil is highly regarded for his project finance expertise, and Prashanth Sabeshan has a wide range of experience in energy sector matters.

Leading individuals

Bahram Vakil - AZB & Partners

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 2

AZB & Partners

The practice at AZB & Partners is recommended for its experience handling investments and joint ventures in the real estate sector. New Delhi-based partner Hardeep Sachdeva led a team instructed by Xander Investments to advise on its $190m acquisition of 100% stake in Shriram Properties and Infrastructure Private Limited. In another work highlight, the group acted for Altico Capital India on its loan facility to Supertech ORB Project Private construction and development of real estate projects in Noida. Other key names to note include Sai Krishna Bharathan and Nohid Nooreyezdan (both based in Mumbai), who jointly lead the team alongside Sachdeva.

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 2

AZB & Partners

AZB & Partners' frequently acts for resolution professionals in high-profile restructuring and insolvency proceedings, as well as defending the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in proceedings challenging the validity of its circulars issued. Work highlights include acting for Ernst & Young as resolution professional in Bharati Defence and Infrastructure's corporate insolvency resolution process. The team also advised RBI in a writ petition filed by Essar Steel India against the circular giving direction to banks to refer certain large distressed companies into an insolvency process. The group has also handled matters for both lenders and debtors in insolvency filings. The team is jointly led by Rajendra Barot, Ashwin Ramanathan and Shameek Chaudhuri (all based in Mumbai).

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 2

AZB & Partners

Recommended for providing 'practical and commercially aware' advice, the 'responsive' TMT and e-commerce practice at¬†AZB & Partners¬†boasts a client roster including Intel Corporation,¬†21st Century Fox and the STAR Group, and American Tower Corporation. In a recent work highlight, Bangalore-based Chetan Nagendra¬†assisted¬†Google¬†with the launch of the¬†mobile payments service¬†Google Tez. The practice ‚Äď which is headed up by Gautam Saha¬†in New Delhi and Srinath Dasari¬†in Bangalore ‚Ästhas also been instructed by Bharti Airtel on several transactions, including on its¬†proposed acquisition of 100% stake in the share capital of Tikona Digital Networks.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

AZB & Partners

The New Delhi-based tax group at AZB & Partners handles complex advisory, strategic and contentious matters relating to a full range of direct and indirect tax laws. The department was instructed by Google India to advise on and handle litigation relating to international taxation issues including taxability of online advertising and withholding tax obligation. It also advised Softbank Group on taxation issues relating to its investment in Flipkart. Amazon,  Vodafone India and PepsiCo India are also clients. Ajay Bahl and Deepak Chopra jointly head up the practice which includes the recent addition of Rashmi Chopra as counsel.

Leading individuals

Ajay Bahl - AZB & Partners

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