Hall Of Fame

Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Labour and employment

Goswami & Nigam LLP  is a boutique firm that will shortly be opening a Bangalore office given its recent increase in southern-based clientele, to the benefit of its labour offering, with some promising disputes work pertaining to wrongful terminations.
Hammurabi & Solomon Partners regularly advises on transaction-related compliance issues, while also representing private security clients before the Central Government Industrial Tribunal-cum-Labour Courts.

Labour and employment in India

IndusLaw

At IndusLaw, the employment practice group benefits from a seasoned bench able to assist with the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Team head Avik Biswas is ‘energetic, bold and gives very practical advice to navigate complex issues‘ when drafting HR policies and assessing internal regulatory compliance; strong support comes from Sowmya Kumar – who made partner in April 2021 – on global reductions-in-force following the Covid-19 pandemic and new labour code transitions, as well as senior associate Ivana Chatterjee. Recent disputes pertain to wrongful termination allegations and unionised workforces, often handled by litigators Padmaja Kaul and Shabbeer Ahmed, while POSH and misconduct matters, workforce restructurings and M&A due diligence are other focus areas. Vaibhav Bhardwaj recently arrived from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, while Manishi Pathak departed for Anhad Law in spring 2021.

Practice head(s):

Avik Biswas

Testimonials

‘Avik Biswas is energetic, bold and gives very practical advice to navigate complex employment law issues. He helps to facilitate the growth of the business.’

‘Avik Biswas is a stand-out Indian employment lawyer due to his mix of practicality, market connections and responsiveness.’

‘The team provides pragmatic, business-relevant advice.’

‘Avik Biswas is particularly noteworthy as his in-house experience allows him to understand the need for risk assessment and gives him insight as to the challenges of in-house lawyer clients.’

‘Avik Biswas offers sound, practical, commercially strong advice.’

Key clients

Gates Corporation

Infosys Technologies

ICICI Lombard

Coca Cola India

Siemens India

Shell India

Uber India

Tata Communications

Zomato India

Autodesk India

Urban Company

MoneyGram International

InMobi

Metro Cash & Carry

Swiggy

Worley

Kia Motors

Molson Coors

Nielsen India

Work highlights

  • Advised Zomato on its global workforce restructuring and compensation re-evaluation exercise after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Assisted Worley in navigating crucial questions involving the permissibility of wage reductions, leave without pay and extension of work hours for its workforce, the feasibility of a reduction in force (RIF) for a certain portion of the workforce and the termination of services of contract labour.
  • Developed multiple online training modules for different categories of employees at NEC and also conducted different training sessions for all its employees in India.

Khaitan & Co LLP

Khaitan & Co LLP‘s team is praised for its ‘deep understanding of Indian labour laws‘ across an impressive range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters. These typically include senior appointments and exits, as well as large-scale restructurings and retrenchment exercises following the Covid-19 pandemic, with Jeevan Ballav Panda handling trade union disputes and appeals. Practice head Anshul Prakash stands out as ‘personable, well-connected with international law firms and, most importantly, highly accessible round the clock‘; recently, he advised FirstRand Bank throughout its closure of operations, and he has assisted other clients following workplace sexual harassment complaints. Elsewhere, Deepak Kumar – who made partner in April 2021 – is an expert on the regulatory side, while senior associate Abhimanyu Pal and associate Kruthi Murthy offer support on various HR governance and compliance instructions.

Practice head(s):

Anshul Prakash

 

Testimonials

‘A great team with a presence across Indian states and cities.’

‘Anshul Prakash takes a pragmatic view with an in-depth knowledge of the subject.’

‘They have a deep understanding of Indian labour laws and nuances. They do right by the law and act in the interests of all stakeholders.’

‘Anshul Prakash stands out in the employment and labour practice. Anshul is personable, well-connected with international law firms and, most importantly, highly accessible round the clock, which has gained the trust and confidence of our organisation, which has business operations spread across the globe. Anshul’s exceptional drafting and research skills have also benefitted our organisation when formulating employment-related policies or manuals and various communiques.’

‘Jeevan Ballav Panda stands out for his superb turnaround times and is very responsive. He provides detailed and incisive input.’

Key clients

Ministry of Defence, Government of India

FirstRand Bank

FIS Payment Solutions and Services

HCL Technologies

Harley Davidson

Tata Advanced Systems

Hiveloop Technologies (Udaan)

Mercedes-Benz Research and Development (India)

Tesla

Metro AG

Work highlights

  • Engaged as a consortium partner to KPMG to provide legal assistance to the Ministry of Defence in relation to the corporatisation of  Ordnance Factory Board.
  • Assisted the Indian branch of FirstRand Bank, South Africa’s second largest bank, in strategising and carrying out the closure of its operations in the country.
  • Provided support and assistance to Tesla Inc. on all employment law matters in setting up its business in India including the drafting of employee documentation and policies.

Kochhar & Co.

Kochhar & Co.‘s pan-India labour and employment practice ensures a comprehensive full-service offering, with its multinational client roster also including the domestic divisions of names such as Blue Yonder and S&P Global. Recent work has involved advising on Covid-19-enforced employee terminations and transfers, reductions-in-force and outright business closures; department co-head Suhas Srinivasiah is the key name here, along with Debjani Aich, who is also a renowned expert on POSH-related matters. Vijay Ravi leads the team alongside Srinivasiah and attracts praise for ‘his responsiveness, pragmatism and excellent service‘ when engaged on HR and employment policy matters, encompassing senior hires and exits as well as discrimination or wider misconduct allegations. Furthermore, the firm’s association with international network Ius Laboris sets it apart from its peers in helping to assist Indian companies with establishing overseas contacts and completing cross-border projects.

Practice head(s):

Vijay Ravi; Suhas Srinivasiah

Testimonials

‘The firm is committed to its clients, advising on diverse areas of law while holding on to the virtues the firm is based on. We appreciate the accommodation of client requests with a professional touch.’

‘I find Kochhar extremely professional and knowledgeable. They are thorough with their situation reviews and advice.’

‘Very professional, timely, good etiquette and keep us informed of the progress.’

‘Pragmatic, commercial, responsive and excellent value for money.’

‘I’ve worked with Vijay Ravi for a number of years and he is my number one go-to person for employment matters in India due to his responsiveness, pragmatism and excellent service.’

Key clients

Eli Lilly

Exxon Mobil

Facebook

Indo Australian Chamber of Commerce

Marriott Hotels

Oracle

Standard & Poor’s

Standard Chartered

Schmetz India

Western Digital

Willis Towers Watson

Work highlights

  • Providing the full range of employment law assistance, especially on matters arising out of the Covid-19 crisis, to Nuance Communications, a leading US-based corporation in the field of developing speech recognition and artificial intelligence software.
  • Advising Eli Lilly India on various issues relating to hiring doctors in full-time, permanent roles in India, including dual employment concerns from an Indian law perspective.
  • Handling all the legal aspects of Novus Animal Nutrition’s reduction-in-force following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nishith Desai Associates

At Nishith Desai Associates, a strong HR law practice covers regulatory advice and compliance, policy implementation, workforce strategy, agreement structuring, terminations and employee transfers. On the contentious side, its dispute resolution team is particularly well versed in labour and employment arbitrations, with an impressive client roster featuring various large global corporates. Vikram Shroff and Archita Mohapatra are the key contacts.

Trilegal

With a client roster featuring global giants Intel, PayPal and Twitter, Trilegal‘s ‘highly responsive‘ and ‘collaborative‘ employment practice has been particularly active on the regulatory and compliance side following the Covid-19 pandemic and given India’s impending new labour codes. Recent matters include modifying employee manuals, reshaping remuneration policies and handling unionised workforce or industrial relations-related issues. ‘Exceptional‘ department head Atul Gupta is particularly strong in this area, with the ‘responsive and practicalSwarnima leading on POSH matters and heading up the dedicated in-house workplace sexual harassment policy advisory and training team. Notably strong in the manufacturing and technology sectors, the firm also handles disputes and claims relating to senior management exits, high-profile terminations and working conditions during lockdown.

Practice head(s):

Atul Gupta

Other key lawyers:

Swarnima; Kanishka Maggon

Testimonials

‘I have worked a lot with Swarnima at Trilegal and have found her to be one of the most responsive and practical attorneys in India I have worked with. Great knowledge of the law and wonderful to deal with.’

‘They provide excellent legal support. Very flexible and can service demanding clients with strict timelines. Very detailed research and excellent industry connections.’

‘I’ve worked closely with Atul Gupta on multiple projects. He and his team (Kanishka and Donavie to name two) have always come through in difficult times. They provide valuable inputs that allow our legal team to take informed decisions.’

‘The team is highly responsive and provides practical and timely advice on the full range of employment legal issues that can arise. They also take a collaborative approach when it comes to dealing with cross-jurisdictional issues which involve working within their own firm and sometimes other firms outside of India.’

‘The team’s strengths are advising companies in India with global operations and understanding and offering practical business advice and solutions to our needs.’

‘Atul Gupta is an absolutely exceptional partner. We really appreciate Atul’s practical guidance to global companies and knowledge of so many matters that might impact employment-related decisions. He’s super responsive, responds at all hours of the day when we have urgent issues arise, and we have so much confidence that Atul will lead us to the best decision.’

‘Strong in the tech industry. Quick in providing responses.’

Key clients

Accenture

Paypal

Bank of America

Wells Fargo

Home Depot

Twitter

Comcast

Warner Media

Google

LinkedIn

VMware

Blackstone

Nike

Gap

The Ken

Work highlights

  • Handled MTR’s acquisition of 67.82% of the shareholding of Eastern Condiments (Target), and carried out a holistic and thorough diligence on the target to identify issues from an employment, corporate and competition perspective.
  • Assisted PayPal on various critical projects, including Covid-19-related compliance, sexual harassment and misconduct investigations, issuance of legal notices, redundancy and restructuring exercises, etc.
  • Advises Twitter on various employment matters including assessing the various restrictions imposed due to the outbreak of Covid-19; advising on the approach and requirements associated with employee separations, investigations, work from home arrangements, etc.

ALMT Legal

ALMT Legal leverages the firm’s cross-practice expertise in tax, immigration and M&A to provide a rounded labour and employment offering to its clients, who appreciate the team’s ‘international approach‘ and ‘solution-centric subject knowledge‘. Practice head Aliff Fazelbhoy is considered ‘a true authority in his field‘ and ‘a pleasure to work with‘, leading on matters ranging from employee contract negotiations and ESOP planning to misconduct hearings and the enforceability of post-termination obligations. Junia Sebastian and Souvik Paul Mazumdar offer strong support on the corporate and commercial side, while senior associate Ahetesham Thaver is a go-to on senior-level dismissals and HR advisory work. Kruti Desai departed in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Aliff Fazelbhoy

Testimonials

‘They respond within the timelines. Even if the partner is busy, other team members help answer queries.’

‘We have worked with Aliff Fazelbhoy and Ahetesham Thaver; all are good.’

‘The team led by Aliff Fazelbhoy is the preferred partner for any issues we have in India. They have an international approach, delivering excellent and concise advice at international firm standards. We especially like their teamwork mentality when we work together on cross-border projects, delivering the client a seamless service.’

‘Aliff Fazelbhoy is a true authority in his field. His experience and in-depth knowledge combined with his kind character makes him a pleasure to work with.

‘I have found ALMT team members very prompt, with good, solution-centric subject knowledge. Their professional approach backed with industry experience proved very helpful.

Key clients

CAI Info India

Cofresco Frischhalteprodukte GmbH & Co.

Direct Dialogue Initiatives India

Exikon Technology

Gebruder Loedige

Intermedics Healthcare LLP

Net Connect

V Ships India

Zocdoc Online Health Management India

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading pharmaceutical company headquartered in the UK in relation to the settlement amount due to a former senior level accounts officer whose employment came to an end by way of a settlement agreement executed between the client and the former employee.
  • Advised a renowned IT company headquartered in the US, with a subsidiary in Pune, on the strategy to take action against a person who was previously engaged by the client through a manpower service providing company and  started writing defamatory and derogatory statements against the client, its current and former employees.
  • Advised a US-based multinational software company on a unique working arrangement that the client has been in need of considering its business and customer requirements.

AZB & Partners

Clients identify AZB & Partners‘ employment law team as ‘responsible, thoughtful and helpful‘, having also been ‘extremely resourceful and flexible‘ during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. The four practice heads Sunila Awasthi, Nohid NooreyezdanRachit Bahl and Veena Gopalakrishnan each bring their own areas of specialism to the team: Awasthi handles misconduct investigations and employee transfers; Nooreyezdan has regulatory expertise in POSH matters and workforce reductions; and Bahl and Gopalakrishnan advise on retrenchments, HR documentation and collective bargaining-related mandates. The firm’s sectors of focus include banking, insurance, manufacturing and technology.

Testimonials

‘Excellent responsiveness. Uncomplicated onboarding. Pragmatic yet flawless and professional handling of client needs. Fair tariffs. Set timelines have almost always been met.’

‘Veena Gopalakrishnan was excellent in her guidance on the matters we approached her for.’

‘The AZB team are incredibly responsible, thoughtful, and helpful. They always approach any question or challenge as collaborative partners. They have been extremely resourceful and flexible in navigating a number of challenges posed by Covid over the past year.’

‘We found AZB to be much more thorough and creative than some of their competitors we had previously worked with. They really took their time to understand our circumstances and to offer solutions that were most appropriate to our organisation, not just a standard set of responses. Rachit Bahl and Sunila Awasthi have been exceptionally professional and helpful.’

Key clients

ABB India

Actis

Avery Dennison India

Axis Bank

Bank of America

Baxalta Singapore

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bytedance

Ceragon Networks

Citibank N.A.

Columbia University

Comverse Network Systems

Daimler Financial Services India

NRB Bearings

Piaggio Vehicles

Quess Corp

QikWork Services

Richemont India

Sandoz India

SAP AG

Schrodinger Inc

Skechers

Star India

Xiaomi

Work highlights

  • Advising one of the world’s largest property and casualty insurance companies, headquartered in the US, on critical employment law matters including implementing a strategic senior managerial exit, reacting and responding to a pandemic-linked employee casualty, and setting up financial and medical assistance programmes in light of Covid-19, including vaccination drives for employees.
  • Advised a large and leading multinational bank on various labour law issues, including with respect to termination provisions covering termination for cause, composition of internal committees for redressal of sexual harassment complaints, and the impact of newly introduced labour codes on the banking industry.
  • Advising one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies on the restructuring of their employment practices, policies and documents in view of the impending changes to the Indian labour codes as well as restructuring their workforce engagement models for contingent workforce, gig-workers and platform workers.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas benefits from a team of ‘very competent and articulate professionals’ whose ‘knowledge and experience is clearly evident’ when handling disputes and advisory-related employment mandates. Rashmi Pradeep leads the practice, which has notable experience in large-scale business transfers involving thousands of employees. Recent focus areas also include transitional preparation for India’s new labour codes and the implementing of ESOP schemes, as well as sexual harassment investigations. Richa Mohanty Rao and Abe Abraham are the other key players, with particular strength on the regulatory and compliance side; clients are typically from the healthcare, finance and IT sectors. Ankita Ray made partner in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Rashmi Pradeep

Testimonials

‘Very competent and articulate professionals. Knowledge and experience is clearly evident.’

‘Abe Abraham has been very responsive.’

‘The firm is thorough, responsive and technically sound. In addition, their turnaround time is fantastic.’

Key clients

Royal Bank of Scotland

Credit Suisse

Air Mauritius

Caterpillar

ExxonMobil

Benetton Group

Bytedance (TikTok)

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Boston Consulting Group

Goldman Sachs

J Sagar Associates

At J Sagar Associates, the most recent headline labour work has concerned M&A transactions and other corporate divestitures for clients including Rakuten and ViacomCBS. Practice co-heads Sajai Singh and Shivpriya Nanda are the key players here, with strong support from Minu Dwivedi, who in turn advises on wage reductions and pay incentive alterations prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Elsewhere, Rupinder Malik is strong in POSH-related disputes and fraud investigations, while Sandeep Mehta has recent experience advising on workforce restructurings and terminations. The firm also handles general HR and regulatory employment issues, including data privacy matters, senior hires and exits, and trade union negotiations.

Practice head(s):

Sajai Singh; Shivpriya Nanda

Key clients

Sistema Shyam Teleservices

Rakuten

BycyShare Technologies

Aviva Life Insurance Company India

Spencer Stuart

Alliant Group

Hahn Air Lines

Hubbell Group of Companies

Turner India

Viacom

Work highlights

  • Advised Rakuten Mobile (a wholly owned subsidiary of Rakuten Inc.) on its 100% acquisition of Innoeye Software Technologies  and Innoeye.
  • Advised several clients on the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the interpretation of ‘basic wages’ under provident fund law, particularly relating to wage restructuring, past compliance, risk assessment of liability, and provisioning of provident fund liability in the books of accounts of various clients.
  • Advised an Indian subsidiary of a US data and telecoms equipment provider on several contentious aspects of employee terminations, relating  to post-acquisition termination of employment on grounds of non-performance, and responding to employee’s claims on disability benefits and medical compensation.

Majmudar & Partners

Majmudar & Partners specialises in advisory mandates, with a global client roster predominantly from the manufacturing, financial services and insurance sectors. The team, headed up by Neerav Merchant and N. Raja Sujith, is adept at handling employment law due diligence in M&A deals, terminations and employee transfers, as well as contracts drafting and establishing new POSH policies. Other focus areas include breach of confidentiality investigations, and Amrit Mehta also adds strength to transactional and pay-related employment issues, including in regards to ESOP structuring and work from home guidelines required following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other key lawyers:

Amrit Mehta; Sinjini Majumdar

Testimonials

‘Sinjini Majumdar is supportive and approachable.’

Key clients

International Game Technology Global Solutions

Gallagher Service Center LLP

Tecnimont

LifeWorks (formerly known as Morneau Shepell)

Frontdoor Global Holding Company

OANDA India

H&R Block (NYSE: HRB)

GlobalEnglish

GS Engineering & Construction Mumbai

Transatlantic Law International

Work highlights

  • Advised International Game Technology Global Solutions Corporation, a global leader in the gaming industry, on Indian employment law issues.
  • Advised LifeWorks (formerly known as Morneau Shepell), Canada’s largest employee benefits company, on Indian employment law issues in connection with its Indian subsidiary, Morneau Shepell India LLP.
  • Advising Gallagher Service Center LLP, a subsidiary of the US insurance broking giant AJ Gallagher group, on various employment law issues in India.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co has an impressive global client roster to match an extensive HR advisory offering in the employment space, while the firm also leverages its wider litigation specialism for support on the contentious side. Practice head Pooja Ramchandani assists with senior-level hirings and retrenchments, comprehensive workforce restructurings in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, employee benefits negotiations and M&A transactional support. Principle associate Kriti Kaushik is a further key contact, with experience managing industrial relations, outsourcing and contract labour arrangements, and trade union settlements.

Practice head(s):

Pooja Ramchandani

Other key lawyers:

Kriti Kaushik

Key clients

Reliance Retail Ventures, subsidiary of Reliance Industries

TPG Growth

Infogain Corporation, a Delaware corporation (portfolio company of ChrysCapital)

Luxor Capital

One97 Communications

CareerBuilder LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Reliance Retail Ventures Limited on the employment aspects of the acquisition of the logistics and warehousing business of the Future Group.
  • Advised TPG Growth on a $350m investment in API Holdings Private Limited, the owner and the developer of ‘PharmEasy’.
  • Advised One97 Communications Limited on $376m acquisition of Raheja QBE General Insurance.

Ashlar Law

Clients appreciate the Ashlar Law  team’s ability to be ‘absolutely thorough and straight to-the-point‘ in a range of contentious and non-contentious labour and employment matters. Recent instructions have involved drafting contractual and POSH frameworks, along with handling labour law compliance issues regarding minimum wages as well as provident funds. On the disputes side, practice head Pingal Khan  ‘is a combination of intelligence, knowledge and empathy for the client, which is a winning combination‘, having advised on senior-level employee terminations and various associated claims. Aayush Yadav  is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Pingal Khan

Other key lawyers:

Aayush Yadav

Testimonials

‘Pingal Khan is very forthcoming, a great communicator and diligent.’

‘The lawyers at Ashlar have a sound ability to advise clients on various labour and employment matters. They are able to manage and resolve any labour and employment related dispute before various judicial authorities.’

‘This team makes understanding the law very easy and takes pains to explain it in a way that gives the client a perspective of the law in their case.’

‘The turnaround time and accessibility to the partners is very good; the people are knowledgeable and professional, as well as efficient and personable. Absolutely thorough and straight to-the-point. They have your back and your best interests at heart.’

‘Pingal Khan himself is a great asset to the team for a number of reasons: his meticulous nature, his tendency to ask piercing, relevant questions, and his belief in the quality of work that he puts out. But the aspect which makes him stand out the most is his accommodating approach.’

‘Flexible, easy to approach, and fair in terms of pricing per hour.’

‘I have been interacting with Pingal Khan and he is extremely supportive, having always gone the extra mile. The firm’s suggestions and the way they have treated us is commendable.’

‘For me, the person who stands out the most is Pingal Khan. He has been simply superb in some fairly complex situations, always coming up with innovative solutions that settle matters between the two parties. His knowledge of almost every aspect of the law is absolutely impressive and his personal investment in coming to the aid of the client is very evident – and thereby absorbed by his entire team. He is a combination of intelligence, knowledge and empathy for the client, which is a winning combination for us.’

Key clients

Willis Tower Watson (WTW)

Standard Chartered Bank

Workex NoTeamlease

Diageo

Altisource

Ocwen

Allegis

North Shore Technologies

SmarterBiz (Voiz)

Work highlights

  • Advising on the conceptualisation of a legal framework for Workex Solutions & Services for independent contractors to attract business via an e-commerce platform.
  • Advising on labour law compliance with respect to gig workers for Smarterbiz Technologies.
  • Assisted with the formation of contractual engagement frameworks between independent contractors (gig workers), end customers (businesses), and the client’s aggregation platform (GigForce).

Bharucha & Partners

Bharucha & Partners provides a wide range of HR-related guidance, particularly relating to ESOP structuring and POSH matters, as well as on employee exits – often at senior or executive level. Practice co-head Justin Bharucha also advises on industrial relations and labour issues in corporate transactions, with close support from private equity team lead Vandana Pai. On the contentious side, recent work includes wrongful termination disputes and gratuity claims, while the firm has assisted various clients with assessing government notifications regarding wage payments and workforce redundancies following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Practice head(s):

MP Bharucha; Justin Bharucha

Other key lawyers:

Vandana Pai

Key clients

General Motors

Burberry

Macquarie Group

Vodafone Idea

ITC

General Atlantic

Larsen & Turbo

FirstSource Solutions

Marico

Tata Communications

Alchem International

Vedantu Innovations

BarRaiser

Savantis Solutions India

Mastek India

Marston (Holdings)

DJO Global

Curtiss Wright Corporation

India Factoring and Finance Solutions

Luxury Club Holidays FZC

Tala

Work highlights

  • Represented First Source Solutions Limited in disputes before the labour courts and labour commissioners, including two disputes filed by  employees for wrongful termination.
  • Advising Alchem International on a range of labour and employment law matters, including termination of employees, drafting of documents and company HR policies, replying to legal notices, and advising on sexual harassment complaints, amongst other matters.
  • Advising TCL and TCTS on multiple employment law matters including the issue involving the liability of TCTS officials where employees had died during employment.

HSA Advocates

HSA Advocates provides advisory services to domestic and global clients on a wide range of labour-related issues. Jivesh Chandrayan and Soumya Kanti De Mallik are the main players when conducting internal investigations, reviewing employment agreements and assisting multinational companies with entry into the Indian market. The team has also assisted with rationalising workforces following the Covid-19 pandemic, most notably for Innovaccer. Other sectors of coverage range from energy and infrastructure to technology and telecoms.

Key clients

Arctech Solar Holding

Terma A/S Denmark and Terma (India)

Innovaccer Inc.

INFOBIP – Infobip India Private Limited and BSMART India

The Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri) on behalf of Stibo Systems

ACME Solar Energy

Viswatma Solar Energy

Sigfox Singapore

REC

Acme Solar Holding India

JVS (JOULON Group Company)

Acko Technology and Services

Linak A/S

Mytrah Energy (India)

ISS World

Work highlights

  • Undertaking a risk assessment for The Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri), on behalf of Stibo Systems, of all employment related standard agreements and policy drafts to ensure compliance with Indian employment law and industry best practices.
  • Assisted Innovacer Inc in the rationalising of the workforce while ensuring compliance with various applicable laws and various orders released by central and state governments as a response to Covid-19.
  • Conducting market entry due diligence for a NASDAQ-listed OTT headquartered in China including corporate, tax, employment and IP law issues to set up their business operations in India.

Phoenix Legal

Phoenix Legal‘s labour and employment practice benefits from ‘a number of reliable lawyers’ who handle the HR side of M&A, business transfer and reorganisation transactions, along with advice on compliance, terminations and retrenchments. Team co-heads Manjula Chawla, Abhishek Saxena, Sawant Singh and Vasanth Rajasekaran also handle collective bargaining and trade union-related negotiations, while clients identify Saket Shukla as ‘absolutely excellent particularly for Indian market inceptions or exits. The firm has a niche in representing factory workers as well as companies from the service sector.

Other key lawyers:

Saket Shukla

Testimonials

‘The firm has a number of reliable lawyers and has the necessary credentials for delivering the work.’

‘They are responsive and identify the issue fast and with precision.’

‘Saket Shukla is absolutely excellent.’

Key clients

Monster Energy Company

Cooper- Standard Holdings Inc.

Choice Hotels

Visteon Corporation

Quaker Chemical Corporation

Höegh LNG AS

Linamar Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisted in divesture of Cooper-Standard’s Indian rubber fluid transfer and specialty sealing business to Mutares SE & Co. KGaA (Mutares).
  • Advised Höegh LNG on all Indian law aspects; licenses and permissions required under the various employment laws like the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, Factories Act, 1948, Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act, 1970, Shops and Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act, 2017; and structuring of the bareboat charter and the operation and services agreement to reflect the division of responsibilities between the two parties with respect to the compliance employment laws.
  • Advised on extension of the employee stock option plan adopted by Monster’s US based holding company, Monster Beverage Corporation to the employees of Monster Energy India Private Limited (Monster India).

Samvad Partners

The ‘team of very knowledgeable, articulate partners‘ at Samvad Partners provides ‘rock-solid‘ advice on Covid-19 pandemic-related workforce streamlining, in-house fraud investigations and senior management exits. Headed by transactional specialist Ashwini Vittalachar and Poornima Hatti, who is considered ‘an expert in her field and always available‘, the practice represents clients in the IT services, fintech, insurance and infrastructure sectors. Other focus areas include drafting POSH regulations and handling sexual harassment complaints. Junaira Rahman assists with ESOP structuring and other employee incentive packages.

Other key lawyers:

Junaira Rahman

Testimonials

‘The team at Samvad Partners is abreast of the technicalities of the law and also understand the industry well. I strongly believe that Samvad Partners is well ahead of the curve in terms of being a diverse and inclusive team. In terms of engagement and collaboration, they do a fantastic job of connecting with the client in a timely manner.’

‘Poornima Hatti definitely stands out in her client engagement and quality of deliverables.’

‘They have a team of very knowledgeable, articulate partners who continue to help us with matters related to labour and employment. The advice is rock-solid. The wider implications of any matters are shared so that we make an informed decision.’

‘Poornima Hatti is a trusted adviser. She is an expert in her field and always available if we need her time. She is articulate, with depth of knowledge and understanding. She brings to the table her vast experience of working with a large number of clients spanning a number of years.

Key clients

ANI Technologies

CIGNEX Datamatics Technologies

Daiwa Corporate Advisory India

Delhivery

Eastern Engineering Company

Exilant Technologies

Fintellix Solutions

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals

Global Consumer Products

Huron Eurasia

Interglobe Aviation Ltd. (Indigo)

JP Morgan India Services

Jumbotail Technologies

Knowlarity Communications

Logos India

Mahindra Aerostructures

Manthan Software Services

McKinsey & Company

MTS Systems Corporation

Robotic Wares (Fareye)

Ruptub Solutions (Treebo Hotels)

Sarvaloka Services-On-Call

Securens Systems

Sequoia Capital India LLP

SFO Technologies

Smartpaddle Technology (Bizongo)

Stryker Global Technology Centre

Thorogood Associates India

Titan Company

Verisk Advisory

Visa Inc.

Wellthy Therapeutics

Xiaomi Technology India

Singhania & Partners LLP

The team at Singhania & Partners LLP offers ‘in-depth knowledge, understanding of the client’s requirements and legal research capabilities‘, particularly when handling due diligence and compliance work relating to central and state labour laws. Practice co-heads Ravi Singhania, Shilpa Shah, Manish Kumar Sharma and Rudra Srivastava also advise on employee transfers as a result of high-value M&A transactions, often in highly unionised sectors, along with terminations and developing new Covid-19 vaccination policies. Other focus areas include misconduct investigations and the drafting of POSH guidelines. Senior associate Bhanu Harish is a further name of note.

Other key lawyers:

Bhanu Harish

Testimonials

‘The in-depth knowledge, understanding of the client’s requirements and legal research capabilities of the team make clients satisfied.’

‘Ravi Singhania, Rudra Srivastava and Bhanu Harish provide timely services with legal expertise based on proper research.’

Key clients

Ness Digital Engineering

Hexpol

Work highlights

  • Advised and assisted IQoR India Services with reducing employees’ headcount due to the drop in revenues suffered by the client during the lockdown period.
  • Advised Secure Parking, which suffered loss of revenue during the lockdown, on ensuring staff salary was paid by the mall parking owners as the principal employers.
  • Assisting Hexpol on the diligence process surrounding its proposed 100% equity interest in the relevant entities of a group, including labour issues.

Vaish Associates

Vaish Associates‘ labour and employment coverage is international as well as domestic, enabling the team to assist on a number of large-scale M&A transactions requiring negotiations involving large workforces. Corporate specialist Bomi Daruwala heads the team alongside associate Tushar Shah, who focuses on compliance advice. Hemant Puthran provides further support on employee contracts, benefits and settlements, particularly when seeking to resolve disputes out of court. The firm also has experience overcoming obstacles arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, advising on the regulatory procedures pertaining to lay-offs and wider company retrenchments.

Practice head(s):

Bomi Daruwala; Tushar Shah

Other key lawyers:

Hemant Puthran

Key clients

Baxalta Bioscience India

Bracket Technology

Metacube Software

Midland Credit Management India

Medix Medical Services India

ReachLocal Services

Marmon Food & Beverage Technologies India

Wilo Mather and Platt Pumps

Ideal Tridon Clamp (Mumbai) Company

Work highlights

  • Reviewing Wilo’s master service agreement, used as the standard template for services from a contractor providing manpower.
  • Advised Baxalta on various labour issues during an interim period and following the appointment of a regional head under 17 central and state legislations.
  • Assisted Medix in adapting global templates of HR documents such as employment agreements, non-disclosure agreements, service agreements, employee handbook and data protection policies to comply with Indian law requirements.

Chadha & Co

Chadha & Co‘s labour and employment focus areas range from advisory work relating to Covid-19 pandemic guidelines and expatriate visa assistance to disputes involving employee transfers, senior personnel exits and dues claims. Savita Sarna leads on all work in this space, with support from practice co-head and founding partner Namita Chadha. Notable clients include Electronic Arts and Schenker.

Practice head(s):

Namita Chadha; Savita Sarna

Key clients

International Trading Fashion & Apparel Supply (Hong Kong)/ITFAS India Fashion

Electronic Arts

Sojitz Corporation

STMicroelectronics

ConvaTec (Singapore)/ConvaTec India

Schenker India (part of DB Schenker)

United Ocean Ship Management

William Grant & Sons

DSM Nutritional Products India

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Master Builders Solutions

Checkpoint Apparel Labeling Solutions

Nippon Sheet Glass

Kose Corporation India

Work highlights

  • Obtained a favourable judgment for Schenker India in high-stakes litigation brought by an ex-employee.
  • Represented STMicroelectronics before various Indian courts and labour departments, and achieved a favourable order from the Allahabad High Court, which has set several precedents for such matters in the future.

Clasis Law

On the contentious side, Clasis Law‘s recent caseload involves large-scale and executive-level terminations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, along with various disciplinary investigations. Corporate partners Vineet Aneja and Vikram Bhargava lead a team which also advises on employee transfers, retrenchment exercises and HR policy drafting.

Practice head(s):

Vineet Aneja; Vikram Bhargava

Fox Mandal & Associates

Fox Mandal‘s client roster includes manufacturing enterprises, IT companies and healthcare institutions, which the firm advises on compliance handling as well as HR policy and systems implementation. Employment practice head Shyamal Mukherjee, who assists with POSH inquiries, is supported by Kaustuv Chunder and Purnima Kamble; Chunder also has recent experience before various National Consumer Disputes Redressal forums.

Testimonials

‘As compared to other firms, the labour and employment lawyers at Fox Mandal stand out due to their depth of practical knowledge about the industry, in addition to being excellent legal experts.’ 

‘Kaustuv Chander is an expert in the field – accessible, solution-oriented and with a good reputation.’

Key clients

Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital

Work highlights

  • Assisting a client with establishing an environmental and social management system, and framing various policies.
  • Assisted a client with legal issues arising out of the Factories Act and West Bengal Factories Rules in respect of the development of three sewage treatment plants, along with some associated infrastructure undertaken by the company as a concessionaire under the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority.
  • Advising a client on the transfer of employees within the group company pursuant to a merger of companies, the review and drafting of the employee handbook and policies, inquiry procedures, the tripartite agreement between the employees, transferor and transferee company, consent and appointment letters, and so on.

G&W Legal

Clients appreciate the ‘prompt and practical legal advice‘ from the labour and employment team at G&W Legal , which is co-headed by senior counsel Srijoy Das  alongside the ‘extremely supportive and responsiveDisha Mohanty . Recent matters include employee terminations, transfers and payment structurings, as well as drafting new work from home and POSH-related policies. Anup Kumar  is another key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Disha Mohanty; Srijoy Das

Other key lawyers:

Anup Kumar

Testimonials

‘The team understands the complexities of the issue and is effectively able to customise its advice to the client’s requirements.’

‘Disha Mohanty has been extremely supportive and responsive.’

‘Disha Mohanty is able to anticipate and address client concerns beyond just the legal issues.’

‘Prompt and practical legal advice given. The team is always able to render advice which is practical and relevant to what is needed, especially when there are very short turnaround times and when we need to make quick decisions. They take the time to understand our needs and analyse the regulations to find the best solution for us. This has been particularly important in navigating Covid-19 regulations which are constantly changing.’

‘G&W Legal’s service is simply remarkable and exceptional among other firms within the industry. They are very experienced, provide practical solutions and their fees are extremely reasonable.’

‘Srijoy Das, Disha Mohanty and Anup Kumar are very supportive and experienced with foreign MNC practices and the local legal framework. The G&W team has been a great partner as we navigated the complexities of Indian law. They are knowledgeable and provide practical advice. Their responsiveness and willingness to communicate across different time zones at personal inconvenience is noteworthy.’

‘All G&W partners and staff are have specialised skills and knowledge, and provide advice that is easy to understand and practical to implement.’

LexCounsel

LexCounsel‘s employment team is headed by Dimpy Mohanty, with a predominant focus on advisory support and HR regulations – particularly in light of the pending new labour codes. The practice handles workforce restructurings, immigration policies and the establishment of new working practices, all following the Covid-19 pandemic; it also has recent experience in employee misconduct and disciplinary hearings, as well as high-level termination procedures.

Practice head(s):

Dimpy Mohanty

Testimonials

‘LexCounsel work rigorously, thoroughly and expansively in a very sensible and careful manner. They have a committed, responsible attitude and the implementation of their legal services is outstanding. At times our work requires tight time management; the team provides the service without any compromise on quality, within the agreed timeline.’

‘Individuals at LexCounsel are highly professional, intellectual, warm, humane and reliable people who focus on integrity and the client’s needs. They have an excellent sense of balance between being professional and being empathetic to the client and the client’s circumstances.’

Lumiere Law Partners

The labour and employment team at Lumiere Law Partnersrenders legal advice which can be relied upon without an iota of doubt whatsoever‘, led by Vihang Virkar and Probal Bhaduri. Recent work has involved the HR aspects of mergers and restructurings, particularly large-scale workforce transfers, as well as the structuring of employee benefits and pay reductions in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Vihang Virkar; Probal Bhaduri

Testimonials

‘PDS Legal is a very reputable law firm equipped with experienced, knowledgeable and competent professionals. Unlike other law firms, they render services of excellent quality, at great speed and their costs are also extremely competitive. They render legal advice which can be relied upon without an iota of doubt whatsoever.’

‘The team members are extremely able and competent professionals. They are very cordial and no matter what time of day or night it is, they will pick up a call and help immediately.’

Key clients

O&M Halyard Health

Doosan Power Systems

GS Engineering & Construction Delhi

BMW India

Diamler India Commercial Vehicles

Juniper Green Energy

Zebronics India

Hyundai Engineering India

Madhu Jayanti International

Work highlights

  • Advised O&M Halyard Health India on the actions required in respect of its employees under the existing employment agreements and labour legislation upon conversion from a limited liability partnership into a company.

Poovayya & Co

Poovayya & Co‘s labour and employment offering consists of advice on trade union negotiations, employment law audits, contract drafting and disciplinary procedures, as well as various other HR requirements. The team also handles contentious work, with recent activity in arbitral proceedings for technology clients concerning employee wages.

SNG & PARTNERS

SNG & PARTNERS‘ employment practice specialises in non-contentious advice, ranging from HR compliance audits and policy implementation to corporate due diligence and the administration of provident funds for international workers. Elsewhere, the team has some experience handling sensitive ADR procedures following employee misconduct under POSH guidelines.

S&R Associates

As part of the firm’s wider corporate practice, S&R Associates‘ employment offering has contentious and non-contentious facets. It regularly represents clients in labour disputes concerning employer-side rights, often in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as in separate high-level management terminations. Elsewhere, advisory work includes the drafting and reviewing of HR policies, along with compliance-related matters for the conditions of employee service.