Firm Profile > AZB & Partners > Mumbai, India

AZB & Partners
AZB HOUSE, PENINSULA CORPORATE PARK
GANPATRAO KADAM MARG, LOWER PAREL
MUMBAI 400 013
India

Banking and finance Tier 1

With leading capabilities advising distressed companies and investors on restructuring under the IBC process, AZB & Partners  also boasts expertise advising lenders and borrowers on a diverse set of loan transactions, including privately placed non-convertible debentures, green bonds and loans advanced for refinancing purposes. Partner and advocate Nilang Desai has overseen a significant number of restructuring mandates recently, including representing the resolution professional in the $7.2bn restructuring of Essar Steel Limited, and advising a major multinational bank on the acquisition of GTL Infrastructure’s debt through a series of trusts, representing India’s first loan-to-own transaction. Gautam Saha, who is qualified in India and the UK, regularly advises international clients in high value debt and project financing transactions. Bahram Vakil is particularly well-known for his involvement in major project finance transactions, including large power projects. Ashwin Ramanathan left the firm in 2018, whereas Piyush Mishra joined from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

Key clients

Yes Bank

Export Development Canada

IDFC Bank

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

International Finance Corporation

ReNew Power Ventures

Cube Highways and Infrastructure

Au Small Finance Bank

Varde Partners

JM Financial

BNP Paribas

Nomura

Tata Capital

RBL

Kotak Bank

Centrum Group

Manipal Group (Ranjan Pai Group)

Davidson Kempner

OakTree Capital

Centerbridge

Cerberus

BroadPeak

CarVal

Cantor Fitzgerald

SC Lowy

Weiss Asset Management

Capital markets Tier 1

AZB & Partners’ capital markets team handle a high volume of IPOs, typically on behalf of selling shareholders, in addition to advising clients, including issuers and underwriters, on structured bonds, public issuances of debt and buy-backs. The team stands out for its instruction in novel transactions, such as working on a direct listing by a financial services company which, once finalised, will be a first of its kind in India. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Madhurima Mukherjee is frequently instructed by large corporates to advise  on all aspects of IPOs and rights issues, including due diligence and regulatory compliance. Varoon Chandra advises issuers, investment banks, promoters and selling shareholders on public issues, QIPs, rights issues and domestic and international debt issues. Recently he acted for the BRLMs and the underwriters of HDFC Bank in a simultaneous ADR and QIP offering enabling it to target both American and domestic Indian markets, with an accumulative value of approximately $2.2bn.

Testimonials

‘The firm is an exceptional repository of various nuances involved in capital markets transaction. Moreover, the team is well-equipped with to understand all the applicable provisions of SEBI, RBI, COMPANIES ACT 2013 as amended etc.’

‘Varoon Chandra has a deep understanding of capital markets transactions and is always ready to provide solutions.’

Key clients

Au Small Finance Bank Limited

Anand Rathi Wealth Services Limited

ASK Investment Managers Limited

Atria Convergence Technologies Limited

Axis Bank Limited

Bank of Baroda Limited

Bandhan Bank Limited

Bharti Airtel Limited

BSE Limited

Capacit’e Infraprojects Limited

Capital First Limited

Central Depository Services (India) Limited

Coldex Limited

Craftsman Automation Limited

Delta Corp Limited

DLF Limited

Dodla Dairy Limited

Endurance Technologies Limited

Galaxy Surfactants Limited

GMR Infrastructure Limited

HDFC Asset Management Company Limited

HDFC Bank Limited

HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited

Hinduja Leyland Finance Limited

Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited

Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited

Indiabulls Ventures Limited

Infosys Limited

InterGlobe Aviation Limited

Jain Irrigation Systems Limited

JM Financial Limited

JM Financial Credit Solutions Limited

JM Financial Products Limited

JSW Steel Limited

Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited

Lemon Tree Hotels Limited

Larsen & Toubro Limited

LT Foods Limited

M. Pallonji & Company Private Limited

Mahindra Logistics Limited

Max Ventures and Industries Limited

Metropolis Healthcare Limited

Motherson Sumi Systems Limited

Muthoot Capital Services Limited

Mrs. Bectors Food Specialities Limited

Muthoot Finance Limited

Nazara Technologies Limited

Novartis India Limited

Corporate and M&A Tier 1

AZB & Partners’s versatile team handles domestic and multi-jurisdictional transaction across a wide range of key sectors for buyers, sellers and investors, including extremely high value mergers and acquisitions, takeovers and hostile takeovers, joint ventures, corporate restructuring and outbound investment, and displays notable expertise advising clients on the resolution of stressed assets under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code. Zia Mody stands out for her international background and her instruction in high value complex deals, such as advising Tata Steel Limited on the acquisition of Bhushan Steel Limited by Bamnipal Steel Limited for approximately $7.4bn, enabling BSL to repay a significant portion of the amount owed to its 52 lenders. In another major mandate, Ajay Bahl recently advised Bharti Airtel Limited and Bharti Infratel Limited (BIL) on the $10.8bn merger of Indus Towers Limtied with BIL. Aditya Periwal has joined from L&L Partners Law Offices.

Key clients

Walt Disney Co. and Twenty First Century Fox

Amazon

Bharti Airtel Limited and Bharti Infratel Limited

Tata Steel Limited

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited

GlaxoSmithKline Plc

Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited

Reliance Industries Limited

Mitsui & Co. Limited

IDFC Bank Limited

American Tower Corporation

New MMI Holdings Inc.

Resurgent Power Ventures

RHT Health Trust

Pawan Poddar, Deepak Poddar and Vikas Poddar, and their respective affiliates (promoters of Ashirvad Pipes Pvt. Ltd.)

Wipro Limited

Dispute resolution Tier 1

AZB & Partners has impressive strength in corporate disputes and a proven track record of acting in seminal cases in relation to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC), not only on the side of resolution applicants but also on behalf of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in major challenges to its authority. The team’s further expertise includes trade mark law, shareholder disputes, and advising clients during regulatory proceedings in relation to the financial markets, power and real estate. Vijayendra Pratap Singh, whose expertise lies in corporate and commercial litigation and regulatory matters, successfully defended Tata Steel against challenges made to its appointment as the resolution applicant for Bhushan Steel.

Key clients

Reserve Bank of India

National Stock Exchange of India

KKR India Asset Finance Private

WhatsApp Inc.

Bhushan Steel

Uber B.V.

Genpact India Private

KPMG

Duff & Phelps

Skechers Inc.

BSES Rajdhani Power

Solar Industries India

ETA Star Holdings Ltd., Mr. Salahuddin & family, Arif Buhary Rahman and Mr. Essa Al Ghurair

91Street Media Technologies

Tokheim India

Dispute resolution: arbitration Tier 1

AZB & Partners’ arbitration practice specialises in corporate disputes and acts for clients in contentious matters relating to breach of contract, invocation of bank guarantees, shareholders' agreements and complex tax issues, across a broad range of sectors including healthcare, power, energy and infrastructure. The group stands out for its involvement in landmark cases: in a recent mandate, Vijayendra Pratap Singh, whose expertise spans international and domestic commercial arbitration, represented IHH Healthcare Berhad in proceedings relating to shareholders' agreements.

Key clients

Nissan Motor Co

Actis LLP

ASF Keystone

IHH Healthcare

SMS

Eastern India Power

Investment funds Tier 1

AZB & Partners is a leading firm for fund formation expertise for all manner of investors, including unique sovereign funds, family offices, private equity houses, pension funds and joint venture REIT (including affordable urban housing) platforms. Practice co-heads Ashwath Rau and Sai Krishna Bharathan, along with, Pallabi Ghosal assist with the full fund cycle, from structuring distressed fund ventures, mezzanine finance arrangements and offshore structures, to handling the closing and exit strategy. The team advises venture capital funds investing in startups in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, renewables and advanced technology innovations.

Testimonials

Technically sound, approachable and effective.

Pallabi Ghosal has great communication skills, knowledge and tenacity.

Ananya Sonthalia provides knowledge, focus and timeliness.

 

Key clients

Bain Capital Credit

Alkemi Venture Partners

Dr. Archana Hingorani

Avaana Capital Advisors

Cardpdiem Advisors

CDC Group

Clearwater investment Advisors India

Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors

Epventure Partners (India)

HDFC Property Ventures

Ivanhoe Cambridge

IDFC Alternatives

International Finance Corporation

Investec Bank

ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company

GIC

Leo Capital

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure

Filter Capital India Advisors

Reliance Industries

SCP India Advisors

SCP Holdings

Circle Park Capital Advisors

Real estate and construction Tier 1

AZB & Partners advises investors, lenders and developers on all aspects of real estate transactions, including joint ventures and foreign investments in mixed-use developments and in commercial, residential, warehousing and special economic zone projects. Real estate dispositions, financing and debt restructuring are other areas of expertise for the department, which also advises clients in relation to leasing, licensing, sale arrangements and applicable local levies, including zoning and land use regulations. Real estate investment expert Sai Krishna Bharathan leads the practice alongside Hardeep Sachdeva and Nohid Nooreyezdan, who regularly advises on the transfer of immovable land.

Testimonials

‘The team has deep legal expertise coupled with sound commercial knowledge.’

‘Lawyers are understanding and willing to meet tight deadlines.’

Key clients

Xander Investments

Ascendas Property Fund Trustee Pte. Ltd

Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd.

CPPIB

WPP Marketing Communications India Private Limited

Hero Cycles Limited

Virtuous Retail South Asia Pte. Ltd

GIC Singapore

Singapore Technologies Telemedia Global Data Centre Pvt. Ltd.

Mahansaria Tyres Private Limited

RMZ Group

Godrej Funds Management Pte. Ltd.

Godrej Funds Management Pte. Ltd.

Gera Developments Private Limited

Audia Plastics India Llp

Standard Chartered Bank

ILC Group

Altico Capital India Limited

Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited

M3M India Pvt. Ltd.

Hines India

ASF Group

Emaar Group India

Adani Realty

Varde Partners Inc.

B.I. Waverly Private Limited

Splendor Group

JM Financial Credit Solutions Limited

Siemens India Limited

Ivanhoe Cambridge

Equis Pte. Ltd.

Total Environment Building Systems Private Limited

Interglobe Real Estate Ventures

DLF Limited

HDFC Capital Advisors Ltd.

Joyville Shapoorji Housing Private Limited

Axis Bank

CP Wholesale India Pvt. Ltd.

LI Industrial Parks Private Limited

PCM Inc.

Tax Tier 1

Ajay Bahl heads up the advisory aspect of AZB & Partners' deep, full-service tax practice. Typical mandates for the 10-partner team involve advising multinational names on cross-border mergers, demergers and other corporate transactions, tax efficient restructuring exercises, establishing trust and estate structures and advising on the evolving legislative landscape. Deepak Chopra heads the litigation team; recent mandates involved transfer pricing disputes, nature of payment disputes and contesting tax liabilities before the ITAT and upper courts.

Testimonials

A highly qualified and refreshingly practical and efficient team.

Experienced and highly knowledgeable professionals who understand the issues and obtain resolutions without wasting time.

Key clients

Google India

Softbank Group

Vodafone India

GlaxoSmithKline Group

Honeywell International

Amazon.com

Stryker India

Americom Asia Pacific

BT Global Communications India

LG Group

Honda Group

SABMiller Group

PepsiCo. India

Pernod Ricard

ZTE Corporation

Giesecke & Devrient

Nokia Networks

Hyosung Corporation

Hindustan Zinc

National Basketball Association

Inter Globe Enterprises

Max Group

Diebold Systems

Shanghai Electric Group

Bombardier Transportations

21st Century Fox

News Corp.

Symphony Marketing Solutions India

Eastman Chemicals

Mitutoyo South Asia

Bharti Airtel

Jubilant Group

New Zealand Consulate General

Asahi India

McKinsey Knowledge Centre India

GE India

Bharat Aluminium Company

Beam Global Spirits & Wine

Indus Towers Limited

Fun Fashion India

Oil & Natural Gas Corporation

Amorepacific Corporation

Antitrust and competition Tier 2

AZB & Partners  provides cross-practice support to a roster of domestic and multinational clients when competition and antitrust issues arise. On the merger control front, the firm successfully obtained Phase I clearance from the CCI for a number of significant transactions across a breadth of industries form telecoms, steel, IT and energy to emerging sectors such as new media and digital payments. Of particular note is Samir Gandhi and of counsel Rahul Rai’s successful handling of Tata Steel’s acquisition of Bhushan Steel under the nascent Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The team provides advice on potential CCI and Director General investigations and also acts on litigation concerning abuse of dominance and cartelisation claims. The practice was strengthened by the arrival of competition lawyer Bharat Budholia, who was previously at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

Key clients

Tata Steel Limited

GlaxoSmithKline Plc

Google LLC

Daimler AG

F Hoffman La Roche AG, Genentech, Inc

Tata Motors Limited

Warner Bros Pictures (India

SoftBank Group

General Electric

AT&T

Bharti Airtel

Aviation (including aerospace and defence) Tier 2

Aircraft leasing and financing comprises the bulk of received instructions for AZB & Partners' aviation practice, with the team typically acting for lessors involved in the transactions. Recent defence work involved advising a US weapons and aircraft manufacturer on Indian defence procurement policy. The team also handles insolvency-related matters including repossessions, leasing restructuring, deregistration and grounding, as well as the associated contentious matters that arise. Advice on procuring operators’ permits and general regulatory assistance is also provided. Anand Shah now leads the practice owing to the departure of previously ranked practice head Ashwin Ramanathan.

Key clients

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise

Pembroke (Standard Chartered’s aviation arm)

GE Capital Aviation Services

HSBC

CMB International Leasing

Shannon Engine Support

SDH Wings International Leasing

Minsheng Leasing

Bank of America Leasing

Tata SIA Airlines (Air Vistara)

Insurance Tier 2

AZB & Partners handles a broad range of transactions for clients in the insurance sector including rights issues transfers and majority stake acquisitions. Joint venture structuring is a strong point, particularly in regards to advising on regulations surrounding the increased FDI cap in the sector. Rajendra Barot regularly assists domestic and foreign clients on audits initiated by the IRDAI. The firm recently provided regulatory advice for new market-entry insurance products and the establishment of holding structures for insurance companies’ investment routines.

Testimonials

Arvind Ramesh is powerhouse of the insurance sector who helps to tackle any situation encountered in a transaction.

Key clients

M. Pallonji & Company

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance

GoDigit Infoworks

Star Health Investments

Axis AIF

Insurance Australia Group

Labour and employment Tier 2

AZB & Partners fields a team of dedicated employment experts who handle the breadth of mandates for a solid list on multinational clients. Significant recent instructions involved complex compensation restructurings, termination exercises (including within unionised sectors), formulating and revising large-scale regulatory compliance regimes and misconduct and HR policy review. Partners such as Nohid Nooreyezdan and Sunila Awasthi provide general advice concerning the rapidly changing regulatory framework as well as conducting internal investigations well misconduct and sexual harassment allegations arise. The firm also advises on data privacy compliance.

Key clients

Amazon Seller Services

Caring with Colour – A Manasi Kirloskar Initiative

Agence Française De Développement

TrustLaw – Thomson Reuters Foundation

Projects and energy Tier 2

AZB & Partners advises on the entire life cycle of projects from bidding to financing, development and operation, drawing upon the firm's strength in dispute resolution, funds and capital markets. The practice has wide-ranging experience in handling high-profile green and brownfield projects, including those relating to power generation and transmission, renewable energy, mining and waste management, as well as urban infrastructure. Leading project finance lawyer Bahram Vakil jointly heads the department, which also assists with the setting up of Special Economic Zones and LNG projects. Swathy Pisharody's areas of expertise include infrastructure and project financing. Gautam Saha is also noted. Corporate and infrastructure partner Aditya Periwal joined from L&L Partners Law Offices and Qais Jamal has been promoted to partner.

Testimonials

‘The team is responsive, thorough and very good at explaining Indian law issues.’

‘The firm has excellent lawyers. Their responsiveness and clarity is highly valued.’

‘Lawyers are very knowledgeable and always available.’

Key clients

Ascendas Singbridge & Sembcorp Development Group

Asian Development Bank

ORIX Corporation (ORIX)

Asia Climate Partners General Partner Ltd; and AEP Investments (Mauritius) Limited (a group entity of Olympus Capital Asia)

Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte. Ltd

Resurgent Power Ventures Pte. Ltd

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited

DP World Limited

General Electric Company

Fairfax, through FIH Mauritius Investments Limited

MAIF Investments India 3 Pte. Ltd.

VTB Capital Plc & VTB Bank

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

DP World Limited

Restructuring and insolvency Tier 2

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.

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

TMT Tier 2

AZB & Partners leverages its deep M&A practice to handle transactions in the telecoms, e-commerce, IT and software sectors, with the team providing advice and regulatory support unique to each sector. Multinational telecoms operators, media houses, e-commerce players and fintech clients also instruct the team on commercial contracting matters, corporate restructurings, electronic payment regulations and data privacy laws. The team also fields expertise with sports sponsorship matters.

Key clients

Bharti Airtel

American Tower Corporation

Sequoia Capital

21st Century Fox and the STAR Group

Sachin Tendulkar

National Basketball Association (NBA)

Warburg Pincus

Wipro

Epiq Capital

White-collar crime Tier 2

AZB & Partners’ white-collar crime offering assists with regulatory investigations by the breadth of authoritative bodies, with recent matters pertaining to alleged criminal negligence, violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act and asset misappropriation. The firm also handles the implemention of compliance frameworks and whistleblower response procedures.

Key clients

Max Healthcare Institute

Axis Bank

Continental Hospitals

Genpact India

PWC India

Uber India Systems

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Amway India Enterprises

Alpha Tiger Cyprus Investment

Intellectual property Tier 3

The litigation-heavy IP practice at AZB & Partners is regularly instructed to handle disputes throughout the tribunals and upper courts involving trade mark and copyright infringement, passing off, dilution and unfair competition. Practice co-heads Akhilesh Kumar Rai and Nandan Pendsey also handle day-to-day portfolio work for a diverse range of clients, providing assistance with patent and trade mark searching, filing, prosecution and due diligence on company acquisitions.

Testimonials

The firm’s approach builds trust and confidence that the team has a good depth of knowledge and that all needs are covered.

AZB Partners’ advice is commercial and pragmatic.

Key clients

Bayer

Skechers

The North Face Apparel Corp

Sachin Tendulkar / SRT Sports Management

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Richemont

Philip Morris Products

Suzlon Energy

Lockheed Martin

Axis Bank

Tata Motors

GAP

NRB Bearings

Torrent Pharmaceuticals

Wrangler Apparel Corp

The Christian Broadcasting Network

Dell

Ascent Health And Wellness Solutions

Cerberus Capital Management

Nvantage India

The firm: AZB & Partners is one of the most prominent law firms in India. Its aim is to provide clear, concise and practical advice based on an in-depth knowledge of the legal, regulatory and commercial environment within which its clients operate. The firm’s services are tailored to the needs of individual clients, drawing on the collective knowledge of the firm and its members. It aims to add value at all stages of a project, from its initiation, through its planning right up to its execution. The firm was named ‘Best Indian Law Firm 2017’ at the International Legal Alliance Summit Awards, ‘Client Service Law Firm of the Year, 2017’ by Chambers Asia-Pacifc, and ‘Law Firm of the Year, 2017’ by VC Circle. It was also ranked No.1 in M&A league tables compiled by Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and Mergermarket.

Its clients are central to everything it does. Their needs determine how the firm organises itself and the range of specialised services it provides. The firm aims to work in partnership with clients to anticipate and deal successfully with the legal and regulatory aspects of their business aims and objectives.

Areas of practice: The principal areas in which legal services are provided by the firm are: corporate and M&A, private equity, competition and antitrust, dispute resolution and litigation, capital markets, banking and finance, funds, real estate, insurance, intellectual property, restructuring and insolvency, TMT, energy (transaction and regulatory), employment, tax, IT and business process outsourcing, transport (aviation), alternative investment funds, ethics and compliance and white-collar crime

Contacts: Zia Mody, Ajay Bahl, Bahram N. Vakil, Ashwath Rau, Darshika Kothari, Sai Krishna Bharathan, Nohid Nooreyezdan, Gautam Saha, Anil Kasturi, Srinath Dasari, Vinati Kastia, Samir Gandhi, Rajendra Barot, Vijayendra Pratap Singh

Department Name Email Telephone
M&A and general corporate
Private equity
Capital markets
Funds practice
Banking and finance
Microfinance
Infrastructure and project finance
Real estate
Media and entertainment
Employment
Insurance
Intellectual property
TMT
Taxation
Aviation
Competition
Litigation and arbitration
Compliance and investigation
Number of lawyers : 400 (approx)
Number of partners : 80 (approx)
English
Gujarati
Hindi