Restructuring and insolvency in India

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has a strong track record of advising on stressed assets, restructuring and insolvency law across sectors including steel, power and telecoms. The practice is well equipped to deal with stressed debts on behalf of financial institutions to enhance recovery alternatives, and is also adept at representing bidders for distressed assets. Having advised on the insolvency resolution processes of all 12 of the largest defaulters in corporate India, the team primarily assists insolvency professionals, lenders, and resolution applicants and bidders. The practice is co-headed by L Viswanathan, who is currently advising on many proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), and Cyril Shroff, who has experience across restructuring mandates. Dhananjay Kumar has expertise in debt restructuring, as well as in acting for leading banks, office-holders and asset reconstruction companies in cases under the IBC.

Practice head(s):

Cyril Shroff; L. Viswanathan

Other key lawyers:

Dhananjay Kumar; Gaurav Gupte

Key clients

Mr. Satish Kumar Gupta (resolution professional of Essar Steel India Limited) and Alvarez & Marsal India Private Limited

Committee of Creditors of Monnet Ispat & Energy Limited

Committee of Creditors of Bhushan Power & Steel Limited

Lenders and financial institutions in the Committee of Creditors of Jaypee Infratech Limited

Committee of Creditors of the Videocon group entities

Consortium of lenders to Jet Airways (India) Limited led by State Bank of India

Committee of Creditors of ABG Shipyard Limited

Board of Directors of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited

Mr. Shailendra Ajmera (resolution professional of Ruchi Soya Industries Limited)

Consortium of lenders to SKS Power Generation (Chhattisgarh) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted as legal counsel to the resolution professional of Essar Steel India in relation to the corporate insolvency resolution process in under the IBC.
  • Advised State Bank of India, as the applicant, in preparing and filing an application to initiate a corporate insolvency resolution process against Monnet Ispat and Energy under the terms of the IBC.
  • Advised Punjab National Bank on preparing and filing a corporate insolvency resolution process application against Bhushan Power and Steel.
  • Advising the lenders in the committee of creditors in relation to the insolvency proceedings of Jaypee Infratech.
  • Advising the committee of creditors in relation to the corporate insolvency resolution process of each of the 15 Videocon companies.

L&L Partners Law Offices

L&L Partners Law Offices has cross-practice expertise in corporate restructuring and dispute resolution, advising clients throughout the entire lifecycle of insolvency resolution proceedings. The team recently advised the resolution professional of Bhushan Steel, which was one of the 12 companies identified by the Reserve Bank of India as having the banking sector's largest amount of stressed assets in the country.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co

Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co covers the full range of matters, from restructuring under formal and informal procedures to the actual liquidation and winding up of businesses. The practice has strength in advising creditors, distressed corporates and acquirers on the takeover of insolvent companies, and is also regularly instructed to act in recovery litigation and asset reconstruction. Other areas of activity include advising on Indian laws in relation to the cross-border aspects of insolvencies, formal restructurings and out-of-court settlements. Shardul Shroff is a leading authority in bankruptcy and insolvency law and heads up the department. Other names to note include Sapan Gupta and Veena Sivaramakrishnan, who often leads advice to foreign banks and distressed funds on their investments in Indian entities. In a recent highlight, the team represented the committee of creditors of Bhushan Steel in what was the first case under the IBC to be resolved successfully.

Practice head(s):

Shardul Shroff

Other key lawyers:

Sapan Gupta; Veena Sivaramakrishnan

Testimonials

‘Sapan Gupta has an amazing balance of legal and business understanding.’

‘One of the best firms for restructuring and insolvency matters.’

Key clients

State Bank of India

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company

Axis Bank Limited

Union Bank of India

ICICI Bank

IDBI Bank

JK Paper Limited

AION Investments

JSW Steel

Work highlights

  • Advised the committee of creditors of Bhushan Steel from the commencement of the corporate insolvency resolution process until the acquisition of the company by Bamnipal.
  • Representing the committee of creditors of Essar Steel India and the State Bank of India in the ongoing corporate insolvency resolution process of Essar Steel India and its subsequent acquisition by ArcelorMittal (the world’s largest steel producer).
  • Advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the acquisition of the non-performing debt of Jayaswal Neco Industries.
  • Advised the committee of creditors of Bhushan Energy on the corporate insolvency resolution process.
  • Assisting Bank of America Merrill Lynch with its investment in the security receipts issued by Indian asset reconstruction companies that have aggregated debt relating to GTL Infrastructure and Sevenhills Healthcare.

Trilegal

Fielding a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in transactional, banking and litigious matters, Trilegal provides legal support to distressed companies, creditors, lenders and investors, handling restructurings in and out of court, business reorganisations, acquisitions and liquidations. The practice is particularly active advising investors on the acquisition of stressed assets. Typical instructions also include representing creditors, resolution applicants and shareholders in various disputes under the IBC, as well as acting for committees of creditors in proceedings before the investigating authorities. Mumbai-based Nishant Parikh specialises in advising on the resolution of distressed assets, while equity and debt investments, restructurings and exits are particular areas of expertise for Aniruddha Sen. Kannan Rahul has extensive experience in acting for banks in the public and private sector in relation to debt restructuring. The team's insolvency offering was further strengthened with the arrival of Arjun Ghose from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

Practice head(s):

Nishant Parikh; Aniruddha Sen; Kannan Rahul; Arjun Ghose; Harsh Pais; Yogesh Singh; Sitesh Mukherjee; Ameya Khandge; Shankh Sengupta; Gautam Singh; Vaibhav Kothari; Ashish Bhan

Key clients

China Development Bank

Edelweiss ARC

Oaktree Capital Management

SSG Capital Management

Eight Capital Management

Goldman Sachs

Deutsche Bank

Farallon Capital Management, L.L.C

Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Limited (ARCIL)

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised the committee of creditors of Gitanjali Gems on the corporate insolvency resolution process.
  • Advised Assets Care & Reconstruction Enterprise (as the resolution applicant), and others, on the corporate insolvency resolution process of Golden Jubilee Hotels.
  • Advised Surat Hazira NH-6 Tollway and Roadis Transportation on the restructuring of debt.
  • Advised China Development Bank on its attempts to recover   debts owed to it by Reliance Communication and its subsidiaries under various facilities, including filing an insolvency application.
  • Assisting China Development Bank on its rights as a lender under an inter-creditor agreement, which included providing advice on the enforcement of security interests over telecoms llicences owned by Aircel and its subsidiaries.

AZB & Partners

AZB & Partners has a strong track record of managing complex refinancing, restructuring and insolvency proceedings. Indian and foreign lenders, resolution professionals, acquirers of distressed companies and overseas distressed debt investors seek the firm's advice on some of the largest restructuring and insolvency matters. Finance and restructuring expert Bahram Vakil leads the practice, which also includes Nilang Desai, who has been involved in some of India's most complex IBC processes and related restructurings. Hufriz Wadia advises on distressed debt restructuring under the insolvency law as well as pre-proceedings, while Piyush Mishra has extensive experience in the enforcement of security and distressed assets. In a standout mandate, the firm led the advice to Tata Steel on its acquisition of Bhushan Steel through the first successful resolution of a large defaulter under the IBC.

Practice head(s):

Bahram Vakil

Other key lawyers:

Nilang Desai; Anindita Roy Chowdhury; Vijayendra Pratap Singh; Piyush Mishra; Hufriz Wadia; Suharsh Sinha

Key clients

Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte. Ltd

Varde Partners Inc.

JM Financial

Axis Bank

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

KKR & Co. L.P

Tata Capital

RBL

Davidson Kempner

OakTree Capital

Centerbridge

Cerberus

BroadPeak

CarVal

Cantor Fitzgerald

SC Lowy

Weiss Asset Management

Tata Steel Limited

Reserve Bank of India

KPMG

Duff & Phelps

Sketchers Inc.

ACG Associated Capsules Private Limited

The Resolution Professional, Educomp Infrastructure and School Management Limited

The Resolution Professional, Gitanjali Gems Limited

Committee of creditors of Deccan Chronicles Holdings Limited

Patanjali Ayurved Limited

Grant Thornton and the resolution professional, Adhunik Group of Companies

The resolution professional and Ernst & Young, Bharati Defence and Infrastructure Limited

WhatsApp Inc.

Uber B.V.

ASF Keystone Inc

IHH Healthcare Bhd

Genpact India Private Limited

BSES Rajdhani Power Limited

Solar Industries India Limited

SMS Limited

Eastern India Power Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Tata Steel on its acquisition (through its subsidiary Bamnipal Steel) of Bhushan Steel through the corporate insolvency resolution process route, which marked the first successful resolution of a large defaulter under the IBC.
  • Represented the resolution professional in relation to the restructuring of the Adhunik Group, including Adhunik Metaliks, Zion Steel, Orissa Manganese and Minerals, and Adhunik Alloys and Power. This was one of the first group-wide restructurings via the IBC in India.
  • Represented the resolution professional in relation to the restructuring of an Indian shipbuilding company, Bharati Defence and Infrastructure, through the IBC process.
  • Advised Axis Bank and ICICI Bank on allegations that their security creation was undervalued or preferencial under the IBC.
  • Advising ACG on its proposed acquisition (through a wholly owned subsidiary) of Sterling Biotech, which is in a corporate insolvency resolution process under the IBC.

Dhir & Dhir Associates

Restructuring and insolvency are mainstays of the practice at Dhir & Dhir Associates, which focuses on providing advice on the IBC. Typical instructions include advising on acquisitions and takeovers in the distressed asset space, and well as handling complex litigation. Alok Dhir has extensive expertise in representing corporate entities in distress and formulating plans for their revival. Sachin Gupta is particularly noted for handling sector-related litigation, as well as company restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Alok Dhir; Maneesha Dhir; Sachin Gupta; Jayashree Shukla Dasgupta; Varsha Banerjee

Other key lawyers:

Swati Sharma; Saloni Chowdhry

Key clients

Punjab National Bank

Ferro Alloys

Amtek Auto

Castex Technologies Ltd.

Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd.

Jai Prakash Associates Ltd

Jindal India Thermal Power

Soma Enterprises Ltd

Power Finance Corporation Ltd

Rural Electrification Corporation ltd

Athena Demwe Power Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Representing Punjab National Bank before the National Company Law Tribunal in relation to its debt in various Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services group companies.
  • Acting as legal counsel to the committee of creditors – in which REC is the single largest creditor – in relation to Ferro Alloys Corporation’s insolvency proceedings.
  • Advising the former management of Amtek Auto (corporate debtor) on aspects of the IBC proceedings.
  • Advising the former management of Castex Technologies (corporate debtor) on aspects of the IBC proceedings.
  • Assisting Soma Enterprises with filing a writ petition before the Supreme Court of India under article 32 of the Constitution of India challenging the vires of section 7 and other provisions of the IBC, including a stay of section 7 petition filed by Oriental Bank of Commerce.

Phoenix Legal

Phoenix Legal advises on corporate restructuring and business reorganisation, namely demergers, amalgamations, and schemes of arrangement with creditors and stakeholders. Other areas of expertise include providing support in relation to voluntary liquidation and dissolution of companies. The practice is also instructed by insolvency professionals, financial and operational creditors, and corporate debtors in IBC proceedings. Jyoti Singh has over a decade of experience in insolvency, recovery and enforcement proceedings; another key practitioner is Abhishek Saxena, who focuses on cross-border deals.

Practice head(s):

Abhishek Saxena; Manjula Chawla; Saket Shukla; Vasanth Rajasekaran; Jyoti Singh

Testimonials

‘Abhishek Saxena is an exceptionally good lawyer who is able to advise and guide clients through the maze of Indian litigation, insolvency and restructuring. He is commercial, pragmatic and gets the job done.’

Key clients

Axis Bank Limited

KPMG

Groupe Veritas

Deloitte India

Work highlights

  • Advised Axis Bank and appeared in the application against the resolution professional of KSS Petron for wrongful rejection of a large part of a claim submitted by Axis Bank arising out of certain uninvoked corporate and bank guarantees.
  • Advised and represented the resolution professional of Murli Industries during its corporate insolvency resolution process.
  • Assisted the Veritas Consortium, as one of three resolution applicants shortlisted to present their plan before the committee of creditors, with drafting and submitting a resolution plan in respect of Dighi Port.

Economic Laws Practice

The insolvency and restructuring group at Economic Laws Practice is made up of a cross-practice team with experience across banking and finance, dispute resolution, corporate and tax. The team undertakes work ranging from distressed M&A transactions, debt restructuring and recoveries to equity capital raising and open offers. Recent activity includes advising insolvency professionals and operational creditors in insolvency proceedings under the IBC.  Babu Sivaprakasam has experience in representing stakeholders under the IBC, as well as in the resolution of stressed and non-performing assets under various schemes. Other names to note include Sujjain Talwar and Darshan Upadhyay, who assists clients with the preparation of resolution plans as well as regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Sujjain Talwar; Darshan Upadhyay; Babu Sivaprakasam

Other key lawyers:

Bhavin Gada; Mitesh Jain; Aditya Khadria

Key clients

Videocon Group Companies

SAMHI Hotels Private Limited

Diamond Forever International

Catholic Syrian Bank

Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company Limited

Phoenix ARC Private Limited

CRH Plc

State Bank of India

Work highlights

  • Advising the resolution professional during the ongoing corporate insolvency resolution process of Videocon Group.
  • Advising SAMHI Hotels, as one of the resolution applicants, in its bid for Golden Jubilee Hotels, which was going through the corporate insolvency resolution process.
  • Acted as the legal counsel for Catholic Syrian Bank as one of the members of the committee of creditors of a real estate developer.
  • Acted as the legal counsel for the resolution professional of Ind Barath Thermal Power during the ongoing corporate insolvency resolution process.
  • Acting for CRH plc as one of the resolution applicants in its bid to purchase the assets of Binani Cement (the corporate debtor).

Khaitan & Co LLP

With expertise in litigation and corporate transactions, the department at Khaitan & Co LLP has extensive experience of advising all stakeholders in restructuring matters. The practice is well placed to advise controlling shareholders prior to the invocation of the formal debt resolution process, as well as to act for financial creditors and resolution professionals in proceedings under the IBC. Kumar Saurabh Singh, whose areas of expertise include restructuring and turn-around financing, leads the practice alongside Ashwin Bishnoi, who focuses on distressed M&A and private credit transactions.

Practice head(s):

Kumar Saurabh Singh; Ashwin Bishnoi

Other key lawyers:

Nikhil Narayanan

Key clients

Liberty House Group Pte

ABG Shipyard Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Vedanta on its bid for and acquisition of Electrosteel Steels under the IBC.
  • Advised Liberty House Group on its resolution plan to acquire ABG Shipyard, which is undergoing a corporate insolvency resolution process under the IBC.

Link Legal - India Law Services

Link Legal - India Law Services is well equipped to assist corporate creditors, banks and lending agencies, financial investors and corporate debtors in debt restructuring and rescheduling and insolvency processes. The practice demonstrates particular expertise in acting for resolution professionals and operational creditors in big-ticket insolvency matters under the IBC; it is also adept at advising on the initiation of proceedings against defaulting borrowers. Practice head Siddharth Srivastava's experience also covers advising prospective investors or bidders on the preparation of resolution plans for the taking over of stressed companies.

Practice head(s):

Siddharth Srivastava

Other key lawyers:

Harshit Khare

Key clients

Era Infra Engineering Ltd.

BDO India LLP

ACIL Limited

NBCC (India) Limited

Duff & Phelps

BDO Restructuring Advisory LLP

Grant Thornton

Power Finance Corporation Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised the resolution professional and PwC India on the insolvency resolution process of Era Infra Engineering, as well as providing litigation support in various courts and tribunals.
  • Advised the resolution professional on the corporate insolvency resolution proceedings of Ind-Barath Power (Madras) under the IBC.
  • Representing the resolution professional on the corporate insolvency resolution process of ACIL.
  • Represented the resolution applicant in the submission of its plan in the corporate insolvency resolution process of Jaypee Infratech.
  • Advised the resolution professional on the corporate insolvency resolution proceedings of Jyoti Structures under the IBC.

Majmudar & Partners

Majmudar & Partners offers multi-disciplinary advice on the banking, corporate and tax aspects of insolvency matters. The team demonstrates particular strength in corporate and tax restructuring, but is also able to provide support in relation to insolvency matters under the IBC. Neerav Merchant, who has considerable experience in commercial and insolvency-related disputes, leads the department alongside Rukshad Davar.

Practice head(s):

Neerav Merchant; Rukshad Davar

Other key lawyers:

Fraser Alexander; Ravi S. Raghavan; Amrit Mehta

Key clients

Israel Discount Bank of New York

Sure Honest Investments Limited

Cigna Corporation

SABIC UK Petrochemicals Limited

Dhanlaxmi Bank Ltd.

Punjab National Bank

Zephyr Software Holdings, USA

Starkey Hearing Technologies

Work highlights

  • Representing Israel Discount Bank of New York in what was one of the largest cross-border bankruptcies of all time involving a $2bn fraud by Nirav Modi, owner of Firestar Diamond, which triggered bankruptcy proceedings in the US and India.
  • Advised Sure Honest Investments on the company petition filed before the National Company Law Tribunal by the Union of India in relation to the freezing of the assets of Firestar Diamond on the issue of whether the company (which was a party to a transaction entered into by the client in the UK) was to be deemed as “insolvent” from an Indian law standpoint.
  • Advising Cigna, one of the largest healthcare insurance and ancillary services providers in the US, on the proposed replacement of Indian conglomerate TTK Group as its partner in a health insurance joint venture by the Manipal Education and Medical Group.
  • Advising Sabic UK Petrochemicals, one of the largest petrochemicals companies in the world, on the winding-up petition filed by the client against Punj Lloyd in the Delhi High Court.
  • Advising and representing Dhanlaxmi Bank in filing the necessary intervention applications in winding-up proceedings filed by unsecured creditors of the borrower company.