Restructuring and insolvency in India

AZB & Partners

AZB & Partners has built a solid reputation in insolvency proceedings under the IBC, having played a prominent role in leading restructuring and insolvency matters ever since the new framework came into force in India.  Combining multidisciplinary knowledge across dispute resolution, banking and finance, M&A and compliance, the team is well placed to advise a variety of stakeholders, ranging from  insolvency professionals, committees of creditors, public sector and international banks, to private equity players and distressed companies. Department leader Bahram Vakil, who was involved in the drafting of the Insolvency code, is a leading authority in this field. Nilang Desai is noted for his expertise in non-performing debt acquisition transactions and pre-IBC financial restructuring processes. Other key members include Suharsh Sinha, who is proficient in cross-border restructurings and complex IBC cases and Saloni Thakkar who is also noteworthy for her involvement in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Bahram N. Vakil

Key clients

Reserve Bank of India and the Administrator of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation

Ashish Chhawchharia as RP of Jet Airways (India) and Grant Thornton

Ashwini Mehra as RP of Punj Lloyd

Abhilash Lal as RP of Jhabua Power

Ashutosh Agarwala as RP of Cox & Kings

Patanjali Ayurved as Resolution Applicant for Ruchi Soya Industries

Oaktree Capital and Edelweiss ARC

Varde Partners, Davidson Kempner, CQS, Madison Pacific Trustee, Deutsche Bank

Carval Investors and Nithia Capital

Interups Inc. as resolution applicant for certain companies undergoing insolvency resolution process

Ashwini Mehra as RP of Educomp Infrastructure and School Management

Work highlights

  • Advised RBI, India’s central bank, as their sole counsel in the initiation of India’s first ever insolvency resolution process for a systemically important financial institution.
  • Advised the Creditor Group on the insolvency resolution and restructuring of Reliance Communications, Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel (the “RCom Group”).
  • Assisting the resolution professional of Jet Airways and his transaction advisor in India’s first and largest corporate insolvency resolution process of an airline company.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas undertakes the entire gamut of work involving stressed assets, restructuring and insolvency law, demonstrating sector-specific expertise in key areas which have witnessed recent large-scale insolvencies, such as steel, telecoms, power, financial services and construction. The team primarily acts as lead counsel to banks, private credit funds and resolution professionals, showcasing an impressive track record in landmark IBC cases as well as complex restructuring matters. Managing partner Cyril Shroff co-heads the practice with L Viswanathan, who is actively involved in several proceedings under the Insolvency and Banruptcy Code (IBC). In addition to corporate insolvency resolution processes, Dhananjay Kumar further brings to the table in-depth knowledge of debt restructuring and recovery of loans.

Practice head(s):

Cyril Shroff; L Viswanathan

Key clients

CoC of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (Union Bank of India being the Lead Lender)

Mr. Satish Kumar Gupta (Resolution Professional of Essar Steel India Limited) and Alvarez & Marsal India Pvt. Ltd. (Adviser to the Resolution Professional)

Consortium of lenders of Altico Capital India Limited (State Bank of India being the Lead Lender)

CoC of (i) consolidated Videocon group companies (comprising of 13 companies), (ii) KAIL Limited, (iii) Trend Electronics Limited, and (iv) VOVL Limited (State Bank of India being the Lead Lender)

Government-appointed Board of Directors of IL&FS

Adani Power Limited (Resolution Applicant for Korba West Power Company Limited)

Adani Power Limited (Acquisition of GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Limited)

Mr. Shailendra Ajmera (Resolution Professional of Ruchi Soya Industries Limited) and Ernst & Young LLP (Process Advisors to the Resolution Professional)

JSW Energy Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting as legal counsel to the Indian lenders forming part of the CoC of Jet Airways (India) Limited, a company currently undergoing a corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) under the IBC, 2016.
  • Advising the Committee of creditors of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited, actively guiding on several of the technical and practical difficulties that have arisen in applying this framework to a type of entity to which the IBC was not previously meant to be applicable.
  • Advising the consortium of lenders on the restructuring of Altico Capital India Limited under the aegis of Reserve Bank of India’s circular entitled ‘Prudential Framework for Resolution of Stressed Assets’ dated June 07, 2019.

L&L Partners Law Offices

The practice group at L&L Partners Law Offices focuses on insolvency resolution processes as well as debt and corporate restructuring. The team is adept at advising the full range of players in IBC proceedings, demonstrating particular strength representing bidders, lenders and insolvency professionals. Leading the department is Mohit Saraf, who has a strong track record in large insolvency cases in the country, as well as acquisition of distressed assets. Fellow co-heads Sudhir Sharma (dispute resolution) and Bikash Jhawar (corporate) are also noted for corporate insolvency resolution processes. Managing associate Avinash Subramanian is another key practitioner in this field.

Other key lawyers:

Apurva Jayant; Avinash Subramanian

Work highlights

  • Represented ArcelorMittal, the successful resolution applicant in the insolvency resolution process of Odisha Slurry Pipeline Infrastructure Limited (“OSPIL”).
  • Advised ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel Corporation in connection with the Insolvency resolution process of Essar Steel India Limited valued at $7bn.
  • Acted as legal counsel to the consortium of lenders to GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Limited and supported the Banks, led by Axis Bank, in the implementation of a successful resolution plan to restructure the existing debt of GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Limited.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co provides the full range of restructuring and insolvency services, and is regularly involved in high-profile  bankruptcy matters in relevant sectors, such as telecoms, steel and manufacturing. The team, which is predominantly  engaged by committees of creditors and resolution professionals, displays equal strength in distressed M&A and contentious insolvency proceedings. Out-of-court and formal restructuring matters, asset reconstruction and cross-border processes are other focus areas for the department, which is chaired by leading practitioner Shardul Shroff. Distressed funds and international banks often seek Veena Sivaramakrishnan's support in relation to their investments in domestic entities.

Practice head(s):

Shardul Shroff

Other key lawyers:

Veena Sivaramakrishnan; Anoop Rawat

Key clients

Power Finance Corporation

Resolution Professional of Alok Industries Limited

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Resolution Professional and Committee of Creditors of

ARGL Limited

Resolution Professional of SPS Steels Rolling Mills Limited

Committee of Creditors of Bhushan Energy Limited

Resolution Professional of JEKPL Limited

ICICI Bank

State Bank of India

HSBC Bank

Resolution Professional of Ferro Alloys Corporation Limited

Resolution Professional of Videocon Industries Limited

Visa Steel Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Power Finance Corporation (the lender) in relation to the resolution of debt of Rattan India India Power Limited under the Reserve Bank of India’s Prudential Framework.
  • Represented Mr. Ajay Joshi, the resolution professional (RP) of Alok Industries Limited.
  • Advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the acquisition of 93% of the non-performing debt of Jayaswal Neco Industries Limited, amounting to approximately $576m.

Dhir & Dhir Associates

With a longstanding reputation in the restructuring and insolvency market, Dhir & Dhir Associates has significant experience of handling complex restructurings of distressed companies in the public and private sector. Drawing upon close ties with other firm-wide practices, the department provides a one-stop service to investors and lenders in relation to debt restructuring, distressed M&A, refinancing and exit strategies. Managing partner Alok Dhir is a renowned practitioner in this field, having assisted multiple stakeholders in proceedings under various insolvency regimes besides the IBC. Debt recovery and corporate restructuring are notable areas of practice for Sachin Gupta, while Varsha Banerjee  is proficient in liquidation processes.

Key clients

Hotel Leelaventure Limited

IDBI Bank Ltd

Gloster Cables Ltd.

Amtek Auto, Fenace Auto

Soma Enterprises

JMT Auto Limited

Action Ispat & Power Limited

Jai Prakash Associates Ltd

Jindal India Thermal Power Limited

Power Finance Corporation

Athena Demwe Power Ltd.

Helios Photovoltaic Limited

Jindal Steel & Power Ltd

Punjab National Bank

Rattan India Power Limited

Vaayu Infrastructure LLP

Jassum Propcon Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing Gloster Cables Limited before the NCLAT and advising on the Civil Suit filed before Civil Court, in the context of the insolvency resolution process of Fort Gloster Industries Ltd.
  • Acted on behalf of IDBI Bank in the challenging of an approved Resolution Plan submitted by erstwhile Promoter, Mr. A.K. Lakhotia of MBL Infrastructure before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.
  • After approval of the Resolution Plan, the firm is representing the ex-management of Amtek Auto, Fenace Auto before National Company Law Tribunal and other High Courts against the Applications filed by the Resolution Professional and Banks for preferential and under value transactions.

J Sagar Associates

The debt restructuring and insolvency department at J Sagar Associates is composed of lawyers with wide-ranging expertise in corporate law, disputes, and banking regulations. Besides its impressive credentials in corporate insolvency resolution processes under the IBC, the practice also excels in out-of-court restructuring matters. The firm renders legal services to a diverse client list, which includes lenders, asset reconstruction companies, corporate debtors, creditors and insolvency professions. Practice co-head Aashit Shah is well versed in advising on exit strategies and security enforcement assignments. Other core members of the team include Dina Wadia and Divyanshu Pandey, who often undertake debt restructuring and insolvency-related work.

Practice head(s):

Aashit Shah; Amar Gupta

Other key lawyers:

Dina Wadia; Divyanshu Pandey

Key clients

Standard Chartered Bank

State Bank of India

SSG Capital

ICICI Bank

PROPARCO

Altico Capital India Pvt Ltd

Piramal Finance

VTB Capital

Bank of Baroda

Mr. Vaaranasi Venkatachalam as the Resolution Professional

Vijay Kumar Iyer as the Resolution Professional

Work highlights

  • Represented the Association of Power Producers, Rattan India, GVK, GMR and Coastal Energen in the landmark judgment where Supreme Court has squashed the RBI 12 February circular on stressed assets.
  • Advised the Committee of Creditors of Reliance Communications Limited (RCOM), comprising of around 40 Indian and foreign banks and financial institutions – illustratively, the State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, China Development Bank, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Varde Capital LLC, China EXIM, HSBC France etc.
  • Advising the SSG Capital Management (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. in relation to the resolution proposal for debt resolution and restructuring of Altico Capital India Limited (“Altico”).

Khaitan & Co LLP

Khaitan & Co LLP has particular expertise in assisting international lenders on complex distressed investments into India, offering advice to a sizeable client roster of private credit and distressed funds. Finance and restructuring expert Kumar Saurabh Singh is experienced in the corporate insolvency processes of large non-performing accounts in India. Distressed M&A transactions are key specialisms for both Ashwin Bishnoi and Nikhil Narayanan.  Other names to note include Rajeev Vidhani and Shruti Singh, who have advised on several corporate restructuring and IBC matters. The practice was further strengthened by the arrival of Siddharth Srivastava, who was the former head of the insolvency department at Link Legal – India Law Services; he has considerable experience acting for lenders and resolution professionals in big-ticket insolvency processes.

Key clients

Silver Point Capital, LP

The Carlyle Group

Committee of Creditors of Alok Industries Limited (“CoC”) represented by State Bank of India as the lead bank

Rattan India Power Limited

SMC Power Generation Limited

Synergy Group Limited – potential bidder in the insolvency resolution process for Jet Airways (India) Limited

Bidder in connection with potential acquisition of assets in the Videocon Group

Consortium of banks led by State Bank of India

Jindal India Thermal Power Limited (“JITPL”)

NBCC (India) Limited

Rajiv Chakraborty- Resolution Professional (“RP”) of Era Infra Engineering Limited (“ERA”)

Sterlite Power Transmission Limited (“Company”)

Mahender Kumar Khandelwal – Resolution Professional (“RP”) of Pawan Impex Private Limited, Payne Realtors Private Limited, Prius Commercial Projects Private Limited, Sharan Hospitality Private Limited and SVIIT Software Private Limited (“Corporate Debtors”)

Sundaresh Bhat – Resolution Professional (“RP”) of EMCO

Work highlights

  • Represented the Committee of Creditors during the corporate insolvency resolution proceedings of Alok Industries Limited, which was among the top-12 loan defaulters in India as identified by the RBI in June 2017.
  • Acted as the legal adviser to RattanIndia Power Limited in relation to the binding one-time settlement between the Company, its promoters and its lenders (led by Power Finance Corporation Limited) effected by assignment of entire outstanding debt to a trust set up by Aditya Birla ARC Limited Company.
  • Legal advisor to Synergy Group Limited on the Indian law aspects of the proposed/contemplated acquisition of Jet Airways (India) Limited, which was admitted into insolvency under the provisions of the IBC in 2019.

Trilegal

The multidisciplinary group at Trilegal brings together lawyers from the banking, litigation and M&A practices to provide legal assistance to a range of parties in restructuring and insolvency proceedings, including creditors, debtors, insolvency professionals, lenders and investors. The department counts business reorganisations, financial recapitalisations and liquidations among its typical mandates. Assisting clients on restructuring their investments in debt instruments is an area of particular activity for Aniruddha Sen, who jointly heads the team with Yogesh Singh and Harsh Pais. Nishant Parikh is a seasoned practitioner in exit strategies and resolution of distressed assets.

Other key lawyers:

Nishant Parikh

Key clients

Reliance Industries Limited

Bharti Airtel Limited

Power Finance Corporation Limited

China Development Bank

Varde Partners

Goldman Sachs

India Resurgence ARC Private Limited [India Resurgence Fund (promoted by Piramal Enterprises Limited and Bain Capital Credit)]

ICICI Bank Limited

SSG Capital Management Limited

CLSA Ltd.

Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Limited (ARCIL)

Edelweiss ARC

Deutsche Bank

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

SC Lowy

Work highlights

  • Advised Varde and Goldman Sachs on various legal and strategic issues regarding the acquisition of $1.5bn of senior debt of RattanIndia Power Limited (RattanIndia) from a consortium of 12 lenders led by Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
  • Advised India Resurgence ARC Private Limited on the various legal and strategic issues with regard to the acquisition of more than 60% of the debt of Indian Steel Corp. Ltd (Indian Steel) from State Bank of India.
  • Represented the Investors (Värde Partners, SSG Capital Management Ltd and CLSA) on purchase of the debt and equity restructuring of Sravanthi Energy Private Limited (Company) pursuant to the acquisition of debt and equity held by IFCI Limited, Canara Bank, PNB and SBI (collectively, Lenders) in the Company.

DSK Legal

DSK Legal offers litigation expertise and advisory services to a range of clients in the context of insolvency resolution processes, restructuring of corporate debtors and liquidations. Recent mandates include advising a variety of stakeholders and representing them before the National Company Law Tribunal and the Supreme Court in significant insolvency proceedings under the IBC. Ajay Shaw is regularly retained to assist public and private sector banks, non-banking financial companies, promoters and resolution professionals in restructuring and insolvency matters. Niraj Kumar predominantly acts for the committee of creditors and resolution professionals, while Nirav Shah is seasoned in sector-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ajay Shaw; Niraj Kumar; Nirav Shah

Other key lawyers:

Ashish Pahariya

Key clients

SC Lowy Financial (HK) Limited

Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Limited

Global Cloud Xchange Limited and GCX Limited

Quantuum Resolution Professionals Private Limited Yes

Mr. Ashish Rathi (Mazars India’s Insolvency Group)

PWC Restructuring

Sumedha Management Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (Insolvency professionals)

Suraksha Asset Reconstruction Limited

Vistra ITCL (India) Limited

Aditya Birla Finance Limited; Aditya Birla Housing Finance Limited

State Bank of India

IDBI Bank Limited

Bank of India

IDBI Capital Limited

KPMG Restructuring

Kotak Stressed Funds

BDO Restructuring LLP

Madhuban Trade-Steels Private Limited

Mr. Sutanu Sinha Resolution Professional/Liquidator of IVRCL Limited

Mr. Bhurgesh Amin Resolution Professional of ICCOM Limited

Mr. Deepak Amin

Liberty House Pte Limited through their Indian subsidiary LHG Metal Two Private Limited

Mr. Bhurgesh Amin Resolution Professional of Panyam Cements and Mineral Industries Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Vistra ITCL (India) Limited (“Vistra”) as a Debenture Trustee for the defaults which had occurred on various listed, secured, redeemable non- convertible debentures (“NCDs”) issued by Reliance Capital Limited (“RCL”).
  • Representing the liquidator in the liquidation process of IVRCL Ltd.  commenced under Section 33 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
  • Assisted ARCIL in connection with the restructuring of the liabilities of Hindustan Construction Company Limited with respect to ARCIL

Economic Laws Practice

Economic Laws Practice not only demonstrates a strong litigation capability, but also pairs cross-departmental knowledge in banking and finance, corporate and tax law to assist clients in insolvency processes and restructuring transactions. Of particular note, the team is often retained to act for insolvency professionals as well as operational creditors in IBC matters and in the implementation of resolution plans. Co-head Babu Sivaprakasam is actively involved in a number of corporate insolvency resolution processes under the IBC. Senior associate Dhrupad Vaghani also has considerable experience in stressed assets and insolvency matters.

Other key lawyers:

Yogesh Pirthani; Dhrupad Vaghani

Key clients

Resolution Professional of Videocon Group Companies

Diamond Forever International (Client)

Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB)

Resolution Professional of Ind Barath Thermal Power Limited

Liquidator of Sunil Hitech Engineers Limited

Liquidator of Tag Offshore Limited

Resolution Professional of KAIL Limited

Sify Technologies Limited (Sify)

State Bank of India, Chennai Branch

Tata Realty and Infrastructure Limited

IDBI Capital Markets & Securities Limited

NSR Advisors & others

Work highlights

  • Acting as the legal counsel to the Resolution Professional  of Videocon Group Companies, guiding the resolution process to ensure compliance with legal and statutory obligations.
  • Assisted Diamond Forever International as a resolution applicant in preparing the resolution plan for Provogue (India) Limited (Corporate Debtor), a public listed company domiciled in India.
  • Acted for the Resolution Professional of Ind Barath Thermal Power Limited, having advised on the legal queries during the ongoing corporate insolvency resolution process of the Corporate Debtor.

Link Legal

Link Legal fields a practice which has a strong track record of representing resolution professionals, renowned insolvency professional firms and operational creditors in IBC proceedings. Practitioners are also well-equipped to assist investors and corporate debtors on debt restructuring issues. The department saw a recent change in leadership, when banking and insolvency partner Anand Srivastava and dispute resolution expert Abhishek Sharma took the lead, following the departure of former head Siddharth Srivastava to Khaitan & Co..

Other key lawyers:

Nidhi Pathania

Key clients

Gitanjali Gems Limited (GGL)

Jyoti Structures Limited (JSL)

Era Infra Engineering Ltd. (EIEL)

ABG Shipyard Limited

BDO India LLP

Ind-Barath Power (Madras)

ACIL Limited

NBCC (India) Limited

Nakshatra Brands Limited

BCIL Group Companies

Grant Thornton

Power Finance Corporation Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised the Resolution Professional and Duff & Phelps India Private Limited (providing support to the Resolution Professional) in relation to the insolvency resolution process of Gitanjali Gems Limited.
  • Acted for the Resolution Professional and BDO India LLP, (providing support to the Resolution Professional) in relation to insolvency resolution process of Jyoti Structures Limited.
  • Assisted the Resolution Professional and PwC India in connection with  the insolvency resolution process of Era Infra Engineering Ltd.  

Majmudar & Partners

Benefiting from a strong banking practice, Majmudar & Partners provides a multidisciplinary service further covering corporate and tax law issues in the contexts of insolvency and bankruptcy matters. The practice demonstrates sector-specific expertise across manufacturing, telecoms, financial services and technology, and is often instructed to handle complex corporate restructuring issues. Neerav Merchant, who focuses on dispute resolution, jointly leads the department with Rukshad Davar, who specialises in M&A and corporate restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Neerav Merchant; Rukshad Davar

Other key lawyers:

Ravi S. Raghavan

Key clients

Cummins Generator Technologies India Private Limited

Essence Group Holding Corporation

Cigna Corporation

Roto-Die Company, Inc.

Armstrong Teasdale LLC

SABIC UK Petrochemicals Limited (SABIC)

Dhanlaxmi Bank Ltd.

Punjab National Bank

Work highlights

  • Assisting Cummins Generator Technologies India Private Limited in filing and conducting creditor’s insolvency proceeding against RA PowerGen Engineers Private Limited before the National Company Law Tribunal, Bangalore.
  • Advising Roto-Die Company, Inc. on the restructuring of its existing Indian subsidiary, Rotometrics India Private Limited, and combination with Electro Optic (Asia) Private Limited.
  • Advising on the restructuring and winding-up of Essence’s Indian group company, Lumeris

Phoenix Legal

Phoenix Legal is well equipped to assist a range of stakeholders in insolvency proceedings, such as creditors, insolvency professionals and corporate debtors. Its portfolio is further populated by mandates concerning the winding up of companies and voluntary liquidations, as well as distressed M&A. Sawant Singh has significant experience in matters pertaining to asset reconstruction, corporate and debt restructuring. Sriram Ramachandran, whose specialisms include complex M&A and private equity deals, is another noteworthy member. Former co-head Jyoti Singh left the team to establish her own boutique law firm.

Key clients

Shailen Shah

Vijaykumar V. Iyer

Group Veritas

Nissan Motors

Work highlights

  • Acted as legal advisors to the Resolution Professional of Wind World India Limited,  and also represented the client in all proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai, National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, High Court of Gujarat and the Supreme Court of India.
  • Advised the Resolution Professional of Murli Industries Limited,and also represented the client in proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.