AZB & Partners is ‘well versed in the practical aspects of tax law and has an understanding of business’, particularly in relation to high-value corporate transactions and planning. Co-founding partner Ajay Bahl leads the practice alongside ‘true professional’ Deepak Chopra, whose ‘experience and performance in tax litigation is remarkable’. Both had recent success representing Google India and Google Ireland before the High Court of Karnataka in challenging adverse ITAT orders which created demands of over $1bn; all appeals were successful and sent back to the tribunal for a second adjudication. Other work ranges from transfer pricing and permanent establishment advice, with a particular focus on avoiding double taxation, to M&A and private equity deal structuring. Harpreet Singh Ajmani is another name to note.
Tax in India
AZB & Partners
Other key lawyers:
‘Well versed in the practical aspects of tax law and has an understanding of business. The approach is professional, setting out clear thoughts and strategy. An experienced team with diversified exposure.’
‘Deepak Chopra’s experience and performance in tax litigation is remarkable. He is a true professional and has a persistent approach towards the result and timelines.’
GlaxoSmithKline Group (GSK)
Honeywell International (HII)
Americom Asia Pacific
BT Global Communications India
Giesecke & Devrient
National Basketball Association
Shanghai Electric Group
Twenty–First Century Fox, Inc. and News Corporation
M/s. Symphony Marketing Solutions India
M/s. Mitutoyo South Asia
McKinsey Knowledge Centre India
Bharat Aluminium Company
Beam Global Spirits & Wine (India)
Fun Fashion India Private
Oil & Natural Gas Corporation
Infonox Software Private
TSYS Card Tech Services
Reckitt Benckiser India
ANI Technologies (OLA)
Sugam Vanijya Holdings
Corteva AgriScience Group
Qatar Investment Authority
Ivanhoe Cambridge Investment Advisory (India)
FIS Payment Solutions and Services India
Export Development Canada
Bank of Singapore
Vantage Drilling International
Sumi Motherson Innovative Engineering
Perfetti Group (Includes Perfetti Van Melle India and Perfetti Van Melle, Netherlands)
- Acted for Reckitt Benckiser India in litigation concerning advertising, marketing and promotional (AMP) expenses; the ITAT gave a categorical finding that AMP expenses do not constitute an ‘international transaction’.
- Advised Giesecke & Devrient India in a first- of-its-kind judgment wherein the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal held that Dividend Distribution Tax paid by a resident company to its non–resident shareholders would be subject to tax rates, as envisaged under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement as opposed to under domestic law.
- Represented Concentrix Services Netherlands in a landmark ruling where the Delhi High Court extended the benefit of 5% tax rate provided in India-Slovenia Tax Treaty to dividend paid by an Indian company to its holding company resident in Netherlands by invoking the Most Favoured Nation Clause enshrined in the India-Netherlands Tax Treaty.
Economic Laws Practice ‘has a fantastic blend of advisory and dispute resolution expertise, and is exceptional in tax’ across the full spectrum of direct and indirect matters. Rohit Jain heads the team alongside Nishant Shah; both offer advice on indirect tax controversies including anti-profiteering disputes and transitioning credits following the implementation of GST. Jain and Kumar Visalaksh ‘are able to straddle their advisory and litigation roles with finesse’, while Visalaksh attracts further praise for ‘an approach which is preventive rather than curative’. On the direct tax side, matters range from transfer pricing issues to tax arrangements during corporate transactions, as well as inbound and outbound investment structuring. The firm also leverages its international commerce expertise to assist with customs valuations and foreign trade policy queries. Other significant names include Harsh Shah and Rahul Khurana, who made partner in April 2021.
‘ELP is a unique firm which has a fantastic blend of advisory and dispute resolution expertise and is exceptional in tax and commercial matters. Its professionals, even at the associate level, take ownership of the matters they are involved in. Their tax team in particular is very driven and is one of the best in the country.’
‘Rohit Jain and Kumar Visalaksh have exceptional knowledge in the subject and are able to straddle their tax advisory and litigation roles with finesse. Kumar Visalaksh is well regarded by clients for his litigation strategy. His ability to anticipate issues sets him apart from many other tax partners whose approach is largely reactionary rather than preventive. Kumar’s approach in running diagnostics to create a mechanism for the early detection of issues is a true value-add for clients. An approach which is preventive rather than curative is what clients love about Kumar.’
‘Great grasp of commercial and technical issues in indirect tax and customs-related matters. Easy to work with and available at short notice. Provides end-to-end solutions.’
‘Rohit Jain and Harsh Shah stand out for their delivery of service, knowledge of our industry and excellent technical skills.’
Mondelez India Foods
Purulia Kharagpur Transmission Company
Anheuser Busch InBev India
The Great Eastern Shipping Company
Khaitan & Co LLP‘s ‘responsive and thoughtful team’ is split into direct and indirect tax practices with an impressive pan-India presence. The firm’s full-service, integrated approach also means the breadth of its contentious and non-contentious offering is vast; recent matters include advising on acquisitions for high-end private equity funds and representing multinational corporates in transfer pricing litigation. On the direct tax side, Indruj Rai ‘stands out for his practical advice’ and is a ‘very engaged and hands-on lawyer’, while Sanjay Sanghvi is ‘thorough, diligent and has a deep understanding of rules, tax codes and procedures’; Ritu Shaktawat and Bijal Ajinkya are other key players in the transactional space. Elsewhere, Dinesh Agrawal and Arvind Baheti provide the principal support on indirect tax instructions. The practice recently welcomed Sudipta Bhattacharjee from Advaita Legal, and Udayan Choksi from VoxLaw India, in spring 2021.
Other key lawyers:
‘Indruj Rai is a very good partner.’
‘Excellent and practical advice. Very responsive and thoughtful team.’
‘Indruj Rai stands out for his practical advice. A very engaged and hands-on lawyer. A pleasure to work with.’
‘They have a deep understanding of the client’s business, and make the effort to develop this understanding and find solutions based on that. The partners are committed to acting for a client over the long term, sometimes over decades. The unique teamwork and cross-disciplinary cooperation to find integrated solutions is very unique. Excellent use of technology to enable cooperation.’
‘Sanjay Sanghvi is thorough, diligent and has a deep understanding of rules, tax codes and procedures.’
‘The tax team at Khaitan is thoughtful and experienced. They have provided us with well-thought-out and considerate advice on multiple issues, taking a holistic view of our company and the secondary implications of our actions.’
‘Indruj Rai has been a reliable partner. He has taken the time to understand our viewpoint, priorities and preferences, and adapted to them while representing us. He is experienced and insightful.’
RMG Acquisition Corporation II
NewQuest Asia Fund IV (Singapore) (NewQuest Capital Partners group)
British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (“BCI”)
Manipal Health Enterprises
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group
MCPI Private Limited (“MCPI”)
Subway Group, USA (Subway India)
TVS Motor Group | Tax Advisory
Goodluck India Limited and Anr.
Brand Equity Treaties
Prahitha Constructions (RMZ Corp group)
Nirman Estate Developers
Prahitha Constructions (RMZ Corp group)
3I Infotech Limited
Sapphire Foods India Private Limited
Go Airlines India
Shapoorji Pallonji and Company
Max Life Insurance Company
LICHFL Care Homes
M/s. Harinagar Sugar Mills
Vinayak Agro Industries
Pramerica Life Insurance
BT Group PLC
University of Petroleum and Energy Studies
- Advised Metro-NOM GmbH on its sale in Germany and that of Metro Systems Romania S.R.L. to Wipro.
- Advising RMG Acquisition Corporation II with respect to its business combination agreement with ReNew Power and ReNew’s current investors, including Goldman Sachs, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, JERA, and GEF SACEF, which will result in ReNew becoming a publicly listed company on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange.
- Acting for the Indian Bank Association (IBA), HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, Kotak Bank and 12 other private, public and foreign banks in obtaining relief in the form of a favourable interim order.
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan‘s general ‘know-how as well as soft and interpersonal skills‘ supplement its ‘patient and very even-tempered‘ team, which has particular expertise in handling indirect tax matters. Founding partner V. Lakshmikumaran is the key name here, along with Ravi Raghavan and Charanya Lakshmikumaran, for whom recent work has included litigation over the carrying forward of credit to the newly implemented GST regime. There is also a significant direct tax offering, led principally by S. Vasudevan and Amar Gahlot, featuring advice on income tax assessments, M&A transactions, corporate expansions and transfer pricing disputes before the ITAT. The practice also has a reputation for establishing new jurisprudence; it recently represented camara companies Sony, Nikon and Canon in Supreme Court proceedings which established the jurisdiction of the Indian tax investigations authorities.
‘All the partners and people within L&S are very professional. They have both know-how as well as soft and interpersonal skills. They put you at ease with Indian tax requirements as well as the Indian business and administration environment.’
‘The team are very prompt to answer questions. They understand business and the difficulties of their clients, and are patient and very even-tempered. This is much appreciated as we are coming to them, most of the time, with very difficult business and tax questions.’
‘L&S examine each matter in detail and discuss the various possibilities, but finally provide clear advice and maintain a high quality of work. They also tell us when litigation is unlikely to succeed.’
Sony, Nikon and Canon
Arvind Beauty Brands Retail
National Internet Exchange of India
Jaquar and Company
Sun Pharma Laboratories
Genus Power Infrastructures
Gas Authority of India
SC Johnson India and Unilever group
Nestle India, Johnson & Johnson, Jubilant Foodworks, Apex Meadows, Emmar Mgf Land
Ultratech Cement, Nuvoco Cement, Lafarge, Sanghi Cement
Benaras Hotels Ltd. (Taj Group)
- Representing Sony, Nikon and Canon in Supreme Court proceedings concerning the jurisdiction of the Indian tax investigation authorities.
- Representing Arvind Beauty Brands Retail, Vertiv Energy, National Internet Exchange of India, Jaquar and Company in High Court proceedings pertaining to the carrying forward of credit from an earlier tax regime to the newly implemented GST regime.
- Advising Sun Pharma Laboratories, Eris Lifesciences and Genus Power Infrastructures on the curtailment of exemption benefits, which were available to taxpayers under the earlier tax regime, under the new GST regime.
Nishith Desai Associates
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co‘s practice counts high-profile global corporates and private equity funds among its clients, providing advice on direct (income and corporation) tax issues accompanying M&A deals, foreign investments and large-scale reorganisations. Other focus areas include digital taxation as well as audits, investigations and appeals before domestic and international appellate bodies. Amit Singhania, Gouri Puri, Abhay Sharma and Rajat Bose are the key contacts.
Vaish Associates has a strong reputation for tax litigation and acts in various domestic, international and transfer pricing-related proceedings. Clients include multinational corporations from the pharmaceuticals, technology and automotive sectors, for which the team also handles compliance as well as regulatory work on both the direct and indirect tax sides. Notable members of the team include Ajay Vohra and Abhishek Agarwal.
ALMT Legal‘s ‘client service is excellent‘ and ‘nothing is too much trouble‘ for practice co-heads Aliff Fazelbhoy and Statira Ranina, who offer advisory and litigation services concerning both direct and indirect tax. Matters range from advice on cross-border structurings and permanent establishments to the characterisation of software payments or GST issues. Fazelbhoy also handles high-stakes disputes involving international tax, with recent success in transfer pricing disputes before the High Courts.
‘I am impressed with how well the team understand our business. The client service is excellent; nothing is too much trouble and the team are always extremely pleasant to work with.’
‘I am always impressed with the promptness of their responses to queries and the level of information that is provided in those responses. Statira Ranina has shown excellent knowledge and understanding that comes through in her correspondence and advice to us.’
‘ALMT’s strengths are client focus, clarity and expertise on the subject and responsiveness.’
‘Our main work has been with Statira Ranina. She is an expert in the subjects that she deals with, and very calm and level headed, with a tremendous capacity for patience and care for the client’s views. She has a great team to back her up and lives up to the promises she makes.’
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas ‘specialises in complex tax issues and is able to offer commercially workable solutions‘ on matters ranging from investment structurings to corporate reorganisations. Cyril Shroff co-heads the practice alongside SR Patnaik, who garners client praise for being ‘pragmatic in his approach‘ – particularly when advising on international tax treaties and M&A transactions. The team also handles disputes instructions, with ongoing involvement in a series of proceedings before the High Court of Telangana regarding import policy for maize corn under the domestic foreign trade policy, on behalf of Gourmet Popcornica. The team saw the departures of Mekhla Anand and Daksha Baxi – the latter to set up her own practice – but was strengthened at partner level by the promotion of Kunal Savani in spring 2021.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team are extremely well-versed in the subject, both at a technical and practical level. They specialise in complex tax issues and are able to offer commercially workable solutions. They are also very dependable and responsive to the client’s needs and concerns.‘
‘SR Patnaik offers a wealth of experience in this very thorny and often complicated area of Indian law and regulation. He is pragmatic in his approach, and creative in finding solutions which work to achieve all objectives. He is also very responsive and quick to turn around matters.’
Mitsui Sumitomu Insurance
Kirkland & Ellis LLP (New York)
Brightstar Logistics and Brightstar Corporation
- Advised Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited on the structuring of a transaction in a tax-efficient manner, along with rendering assistance on negotiations and review of the agreements, in respect of a share swap transaction.
- Working alongside Kirkland & Ellis LLP, advised on the tax implications of an acqusition transaction and assisted in finalisation of the transaction documents within stringent timelines.
- Acted as counsel for Murugappa Group (TIIL), with the tax team assisting in analysing the tax implications of the restructuring, including recommendation of novel structures for undertaking the transactions in light of the new regulations as well as commercial exigencies.
Kochhar & Co.
Clients appreciate the ‘responsive, extremely knowledgeable but also commercial‘ approach at Kochhar & Co., which has recently advised on matters involving customs valuation rules, cross-border taxability issues and transfer pricing. Practice head Shahid Khan handles direct tax, with particular expertise in effective repatriation and exit arrangements under double taxation avoidance agreements. Reena Khair‘s arrival from her own firm to lead the indirect tax practice in July 2020 was also a boost to the team’s coverage; alongside Shampa Bhattacharya, Khair assists with GST, VAT and pre-market entry guidance work, as well as leading various CESTAT appeals.
Other key lawyers:
‘Responsive, extremely knowledgeable but also commercial. Demonstrated flexibility in fees which was appreciated.’
‘The tax team at Kochhar & Co. have been meticulous in dealing with all our matters. They have the expertise to handle the matter entirely from the initial stage of notice till the Supreme Court. Unlike other firms, they do not outsource any work and efficiently deal with all aspects of the matter themselves. They have been able to deliver high-quality work in a timely manner. We are quite satisfied with the results the team has achieved for us.’
‘Reena Khair is an expert in the field of tax law. She has handled all our matters with the utmost integrity, professionalism and commitment. She is extremely forward-thinking in her advice. Her ability to simplify things and give practical solutions has helped our company in the long term.’
Wells Fargo Bank
Vodafone India Services
Akamai India Networks
Lutron GL Sales & Services
NWRP Partners, Alberta, Canada
Labaton Sucharow LLP, as lead counsel in a class action suit against Dr Reddy’s Laboratories
Evalueserve.com and Evalueserve SEZ Gurgaon
Rajasthan Small Industries Corporation
- Advised Wells Fargo Bank on the impact of a newly introduced ‘equalisation levy’ on multinational companies operating via digital platforms without a physical presence in India.
- Acting for Lutron GL Sales & Services in a CESTAT investigation relating to whether its relationship with a foreign supplier had influenced pricing.
- Advising Labaton Sucharow LLP on whether compensatory damages awarded to US-based holders of Indian securities by the US courts in the settlement of a class action lawsuit brought against the Indian company issuing the securities are taxable in India.
Majmudar & Partners has become ‘a one-stop service‘ for international corporate clients and high-net-worth investors with tax issues pertaining to transfer pricing, permanent establishment and fund structuring from overseas. The practice is also experienced at handling domestic employee tax and ESOPs work, with Akil Hirani being well-versed in structuring equity compensation plans and M&A-related reorganisations. Ravi Raghavan remains ‘responsive and efficient‘ alongside fellow department co-head Hirani, particularly while forming litigation strategy. Rukshad Davar is another key name, particularly for US-based clients such as NapCloud, when preparing documentation for GST exemptions from service exports.
Other key lawyers:
‘Majmudar & Partners have a tax practice which can offer clients a one-stop service. The tax people are helpful.’
‘Ravi Raghavan is responsive and efficient.’
DLA Piper, Hong Kong
Govecs Group, Germany
Travers Smith LLP
Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP
Liberty Global Transaction Solutions, USA
- Provided tax and transfer pricing advice to NapCloud, a leading US entity engaged in information technology, software development and programming services.
- Advised Equisoft, a leading North American company, in a matter concerning the tax and regulatory issues around employee equity incentive plans.
- Provided Indian law and tax advisory services to Govecs Group, Germany, regarding its proposed activities in India.
Trilegal‘s tax department contains a ‘strong team of people, able to deliver clear answers to tough questions‘ from a multinational client base including financial services, manufacturing and software service companies. Himanshu Sinha, who ‘has exceptional knowledge and commercial understanding‘, leads the team alongside Samsuddha Majmuder; both cover direct and indirect tax-related matters, including transfer pricing litigation, M&A deals, customs issues and regulatory investigations. At counsel level, Komal Dani and Nameer Khan provide strong support, particularly when assisting on international tax and foreign trade policy mandates. Among various new hires in 2020 and 2021, counsel Shashank Shekhar and senior associate Tushar Joshi joined from Advaita Legal.
‘Strong team of people, able to deliver clear answers to tough questions.’
‘Himanshu Sinha has exceptional knowledge and commercial understanding of the issues.’
Mack Star Marketing
Norsk Hydro ASA
National Investment and Infrastructure Fund
Institute for Sustainable Communities
Tree Line (Asia) Master Fund Singapore
ParadigmARQ Multi Asset Fund
Circulate Capital Management
International Asset Reconstruction Company
AastarUrmika Health Systems
Ventures B.V (Prosus)
Bombardier Transportation India
- Assisting Mack Star in resolving a myriad of complex tax issues that occurred due to the mismanagement by the erstwhile management.
- Advising Tree Line on its recent acquisition of shares of National Stock Exchange of India from Citigroup Strategic Holdings Mauritius Limited.
- Advised Canon on a transfer pricing adjustment made by the income tax department on account of alleged excessive expenditure incurred on advertising, marketing and promotion (AMP) activities, and represented the client before the ITAT.
Amicus is ‘seamlessly innovating to bring in newer tax offerings‘ alongside its established handle on transfer pricing issues and litigation. Practice head Ashutosh Mohan Rastogi ‘stands out for his versatility‘, with an increased focus on GST advice as well as customs valuations. In a recent victory for Cinestaan Entertainment before the Delhi High Court, Rastogi secured a stay order from the tax tribunal following the rejection of a fair market value assessment, which will aid future relief for start-ups and angel investors.
‘The firm is seamlessly innovating to bring in newer tax offerings. After starting with transfer pricing, the firm has now become our go-to for all tax advice including GST, customs and, more recently, valuation matters.’
‘Ashutosh Mohan Rastogi stands out for his versatility in tax matters and his ability to offer practical advice. He is supported by strong senior associates to form a stellar team.’
Rubber Skill Development Council
Astra Business Services
DE Diamond Electric India
Pyramid IT Consulting
CM Logistics India
- Represented Cinestaan Entertainment in an appeal before the Delhi High Court against the tax tribunal’s judgment, quashing the entire tax demand on the issuance of shares at a premium under section 56(2)(viib) of the Income Tax Act.
- Represented Corbus (India) and succeeded in deleting/quashing the entire transfer pricing adjustment on receivables at Income Tax Appellate level.
At HSA Advocates, the firm has a notable focus on tax-related disputes and represents its clients during adjudications and proceedings before the High Courts. It has also developed a strong reputation in the energy sector – particularly the solar industry – thanks to Faranaaz Kharbari and Rahul Jain, who are well versed in power purchase agreement regulations and in contesting any associated entry tax levies. Other areas of work range from the direct and indirect tax implications of business reorganisations to advice on compliance frameworks.
Acme Yamuna Nagar Solar Power
Baillie Gifford Overseas
Assystum Engineering and Operation Service SAS
Vishwakarma Solar Energy
Niranjan Solar Energy
Acme Cleantech Solutions
JSA Law‘ tax practice ‘provides comprehensive solutions for any litigation‘, in addition to handling M&A and corporate restructuring advisory work and cross-border GST and customs-related transactions. Manish Mishra and Kumarmanglam Vijay head the team from Gurugram, with Mishra overseeing the indirect tax practice and Vijay managing the direct side of cases. Mumbai-based Shareen Gupta offers strong support, particularly in the burgeoning area of the taxability – and the classification – of online gaming set-ups. Other sectors of focus include IT, fintech, energy and manufacturing.
Other key lawyers:
‘JSA provides comprehensive solutions for any litigation because they have a complete team to analyse all the aspects of any case.’
Adyen Technologies India
Energy Efficiency Services
Ford Motor Company
Sameer Mittal & Associates
- Advised Rattan India on the illegality of a levy from a coal supplier and on challenging the same levy before the High Court of Delhi by way of a writ petition.
- Advised Schindler India on the applicability of a local tax on the entry of specific goods into the municipal limits, under a specific agreement executed by the client for the supply and installation of elevators in a metro project in the State of Maharashtra, prior to the implementation of the GST law.
- Advised Energy Efficiency Services on a comparative analysis of the direct and indirect tax implications of a transfer by slump sale versus asset transfer versus de-merger concerning the classification of solar power generating systems.
Phoenix Legal‘s expertise lies in cross-border reorganisations and advisory work often pertaining to GST, transfer pricing and tax avoidance agreements. Abhishek Saxena, Pranav Srivastava and Saket Shukla have recently advised on restructuring agreements between domestic subsidiaries of multinationals and their overseas group companies, as well as the outright tax structuring of new investments into India. Manjula Chawla is another key name to note, acting for a client roster that features names from the manufacturing, energy, retail and technology sectors. In September 2021, the team was bolstered by the arrival of Jatin Arora who joined from PwC India to lead the indirect tax practice.
Anant Raj Global
ASTA Energy Transmission Components
Asesorias e Inversiones Benjamin/South Lake One
- Advised South Lake One (a Delaware company) on an investment in the SunEdison group in India, including on direct and indirect tax aspects of the deal involving the restructuring of the SunEdison group to carve out its under-developed solar power projects into separate holding entities in India and the UK.
- Advised Padmini VNAon a joint venture with Vitesco Technologies, aContinental (a listed German company) group entity to offer selected powertrain technologies for the Indian market that meet the new emission standard Bharat Stage VI.
- Advised Anant Raj group on a reorganisation and restructuring of its promoter holdings, businesses and assets amongst the two founders of the group.
At Gurugram-based boutique firm Reina Legal, the team ‘is always hands-on and eager to go over and above the set deliverables‘, often on GST assessments and litigation mandates. It achieved recent success before the Delhi High Court, having filed a writ petition on behalf of Insitel Services challenging the constitutional validity of refund provisions under the Central Goods and Services Rules, 2017. Indirect tax expert and managing partner Gajendra Maheshwari heads the department alongside Prerna Chopra, who made partner in April 2021.
‘The entire team is always hands-on and eager to go over and above the set deliverables.‘
‘The involvement of the partners is excellent; it is not something I have experienced in other firms.’
‘A very professional and talented team as far as indirect tax is concerned.’
Luxury Tech Services
Wheelseye Technologies India
CBRE South Asia
Cushman and Wakefield (India)
Benetton India (United Colours of Benetton)
Samsung SDS India
Tower Vision India
Pioneer India Electronics
Jones Lang LaSalle India (JLL)
Light Ray Advisors LLP (Saif Partners)
A.M. Marketplaces (Lime Road)
Vertex Global Services LLP
- Assisting Insitel Services with filing a writ petition before the Delhi High Court which challenged the constitutional validity of the refund provisions under Rule 90(3) of the Central Goods and Services Rules, 2017 as ultra vires Article 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.
- Assisting SPML Infra with filing writ petitions before the Rajasthan High Court challenging the non-continuation and non-extension of the benefits of tax exemptions under the GST regime that were available under VAT and service tax regimes.
- Assisted Siemens Healthcare with filing an application before the Authority for Advance Rulings, seeking clarity on the issue of whether the provision of diagnostic imaging services under a proposed agreement would qualify for an exemption from the levy of GST.
S&A Law Offices‘ practice was significantly boosted by the August 2020 arrival of indirect tax specialist Smita Singh from Ashok Dhingra Associates. Singh co-leads the ‘highly knowledgeable and vastly experienced’ team alongside managing partner Daizy Chawla, who in turn handles direct and international transfer pricing-related matters. Clients range from global corporates to domestic infrastructure providers, while typical advisory work includes evaluating GST issues, customs duty refunds and assessing double taxation avoidance treaties.
‘S&A Law Offices has far-reaching tax expertise. Their insight is always very useful and the availability of the team deeply appreciated. The deliverables, irrespective of the format (call, memorandum of understanding, etc) are well-structured and easy to understand even in the case of specific analytical content.’
‘I often have the opportunity to work with Daizy Chawla on various international tax and transfer pricing topics. Each time, it is a renewed pleasure to conduct various tax analyses together and I deeply appreciate her availability and her professionalism, as well as all the efforts provided to contribute to the success of our partnership.’
‘Highly knowledgeable and vastly experienced people.’
‘Good access to lawyers across the firm.’
JMC Projects India
Allseas Marine Contractors
- Advised Vikram Solar regarding the GST implications of setting up a solar power plant project.
- Advising Adani Enterprises on the GST implications of MDO services provided and the sale of coal rejects by one of its related entities (Parsa Kente Colleries), as well as the restructuring of the coal rejects transaction.
- Advising Allseas Marine Contractors in a dispute under the Customs Act, 1962, relating to a refund of customs duty paid under protest during investigations by revenue officers.
Boutique firm BSA Law is known for its handling of indirect tax-related matters, providing advisory and litigation services relating to customs, excise, GST and foreign trade policy. With a team fronted by founding partners Ashok Kumar Bhasin and Vimal Sethi – who boast decades of experience between them – the firm acts for a roster of domestic clients across the shipping, telecoms, automotive, manufacturing and healthcare sectors.
M/S Swayambu Enterprises
Jaquar and Co.
Kadimi Tool Manufacturing Co.
Maja Heathcare Division (VI-John Group)
M/S Kiwi Foods India
R.K. Associates and Hoteliers
Campus EAI India
Gateway Rail Freight
Lifescan Medical Devices India
Nissin Brake India
- Advising Tsunami Venture Corporation on the rejection of a refund of CGST/SGST wrongly paid by the company.
- Acting for M/S ASI Glass Solutions in seeking a refund of excess IGST following the import of a machining centre which was found to be defective and had to be exported to the supplier for a replacement.
- Advising M/S B M Enterprises on an objection raised by the customs department to the filing of a shipping bill under claim of drawback for the export of goods of foreign origin.
Fox Mandal‘s tax practice expanded in 2020 with the arrival of Mumbai and Pune-based international tax specialist Sandip Mukherjee, previously a tax partner at Deloitte India, as well as Bangalore-based Gopala Rao, a former chief commissioner of income tax. Mukherjee and Rao lead the practice with indirect tax specialist Pramod Banthia and director Ranganath Harirao, both also in Bangalore. Matters typically involve GST claims, tax incidence and transfer pricing regulations and the structuring of share purchase agreements.
- Represented a well-reputed infrastructure company in proceedings before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals).
- Advised an aerospace and aviation client on the implications of customs duty on the import of aircraft into India.
- Advised an international telecoms company on the taxability of royalty payments made under a product licence agreement under the extant provisions of Indian Income Tax Act, 1961.
Lumiere Law Partners
Lumiere Law Partners‘s focus is on direct tax litigation before the High Courts and ITAT. Practice head Nishant Thakkar is adept at cross-border transfer pricing work and a range of domestic-oriented contentious matters. Recent work has also involved relief claims and advising on double tax avoidance agreements for Indian companies with subsidiaries abroad.
Accenture Services (now known as Accenture Solutions)
American Express Bank
Credit Suisse Group
Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz India
Eight Roads Investment Advisors
Foster Wheeler Group Entities
Goldman Sachs Group
Hindustan Unilever Limited & its Group Companies
Henkel Adhesive Technologies India
Johnson & Johnson
Jefferies International and Jefferies LLC
Knight Riders Sports
Mahindra CIE Automotive
Mondelez India Foods
Qualcomm Inc and its Group companies
Shelf Drilling Offshore Services India
Sodexo India Services
SVB Financial Group
Swiss Re Insurance
Uber India Systems
Vantage International Management
Van Oord India and Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors
WNS Global Services
Wockhardt Limited and its Group companies
Zee Entertainment Enterprises
- Assisted Mondelez Group, Wockhardt and Essar Group Entities with drafting and filing a writ petition before the Bombay High Court challenging the constitutional validity of section 3 of the Taxation and Other Laws Act, 2020 and the validity of notifications issued under section 3.
- Assisted Shelf Drilling Group Entities, Mahindra CIE and Hapag Lyyod Group Entities with the drafting and filing of a writ petition before the Bombay High Court challenging the validity of notices and orders issued under the new Faceless Assessment Scheme.
- Acting for Aegis before the Bombay High Court in a case concerning whether a transfer pricing officer could recharacterise a transaction in order to a make a transfer pricing adjustment.
NITYA Tax Associates
Boutique firm NITYA Tax Associates focuses on contentious mandates in relation to indirect tax and allied laws, with recent cases involving GST credits and classification, export costs and double taxation avoidance agreements. Litigator Puneet Bansal heads the ‘clear and decisive’ team alongside Dharnendra Kumar Rana, Deepak Suneja, and Gaurav Narula.
‘Experts in their field of law with a good understanding of practical business issues. Their approach is very clear and decisive, and provides practical solutions.’
‘Puneet Bansal’s experience and performance in tax advisory is notable. He has a professional approach and ensures deliverables.’
Haier Appliances India
TAFE Motors and Tractors
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India
Avery Dennison India
Sonalika International Tractors
Shriram Pistons & Rings
Whirlpool of India
McCain Foods India
Unified Credit Solutions
TLC Legal‘s tax offering is ‘excellent, especially in the field of indirect taxation’, with a domestic and international client roster spread across the shipping, manufacturing, infrastructure and energy sectors. Vipin Jain heads the practice, which focuses on contentious matters before the CESTAT and High Courts involving VAT liability, GST and customs issues; Jain has notable support in litigation proceedings from Vishal Agrawal.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team at TLC Legal is excellent, especially in the field of indirect taxation. The response time is super-quick, the analytical power of the team is excellent and they are available at all times.’
Reliance Jio Infocom
Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals
Cricket Club of India
Dream 11 Fantasy
- Advised three Indian companies in the port infrastructure sector on an issue relating to the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.
- Advising Malaysian exporter Metrod on an appeal before the CESTAT, challenging the levy of CVD/anti-subsidy duty on imports of continuous cast copper wire into India.
- Advising an Indian company in the port and air infrastructure sector on issues concerning the payment of GST on goods and services used for the maintenance and construction of facilities in the domestic tariff area.