MZM Legal, Advocates & Legal Consultants > Mumbai, India > Firm Profile
MZM Legal, Advocates & Legal Consultants Offices
1D, ONE FORBES
DR. V.B.GANDHI MARG, KALAGHODA
MZM Legal, Advocates & Legal Consultants > The Legal 500 Rankings
India > White-collar crime Tier 1Boutique criminal defense firm, MZM Legal, Advocates & Legal Consultants covers a range of advisory and litigation white-collar crime matters, assisting in governmental prosecutions and investigations. Its white-collar crime and defence and criminal compliance and investigations team is co-lead by Parvez Memon and Zulfiquar Memon , both well-versed in representing high-profile national and multi-national corporations as well as private clients including HNI’s before high courts. The team, including, Waseem Pangarkar , and senior associate Chirag Naik are currently representing the director and chairman of HDIL in one of India’s most notable banking scam investigations to date by the Directorate of Enforcement under PMLA.
Zulfiquar Memon; Parvez Memon
Other key lawyers:
Waseem Pangarkar; Chirag Naik
‘MZM have a very good team at all levels and are diligent, responsive, knowledgeable and work well as part of a team. ’
‘Zulfi is very well regarded and has great professional connections and expertise. Chirag is very knowledgeable in terms of the law and is very responsive and thorough. ’
‘MZM is a jewel in the Indian Crown; exceptionally able, high caliber lawyers and support staff who respond on a 24/7 basis. They work to a very high standard in terms of work output and are accessible. The team is in-depth and the Partners are immensely responsive. This is our “go-to firm” for all white-collar/dispute resolution needs ’
‘Parvez Memon and Zulfi Memon are two partners who are exceptional lawyers. Parvez Memon has an encyclopedic knowledge of Statutes and Local Caselaw and a brilliant legal mind. Zulfi is a master strategist and tactician outside court. Two of the younger lawyers to watch are Vivek Jain and Chirag Naik-two exceptionally hardworking lawyers with a superb grasp of the Indian procedural codes. ’
Sarang Wadhawan, Rakesh Wadhawan
Dr. B R Shetty
Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd. (“BCCL”)
National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL)
- Defended DR. B. R. SHETTY in the Suit brought against him in India by Banks and FIs seeking recovery of debts and / or injunctions of disposal of assets. We have also been instructed to pursue the Indian leg of the criminal prosecution being initiated by the Client against the perpetrators of the fraud.
- Represented the main disputing defendants, HDIL, SARANG WADHAWAN, RAKESH WADHAWAN and strategically advised in the challenging of a sale of 25 units by Ocean Deity Investments worth around USD 10 million.
- Represented Mr. Pandey, who is in custody pursuant to his arrest by the Special Investigation Team (“SIT”) instituted by the State of Uttar Pradesh in relation to his alleged involvement in the “Bike Bot” scam. The matter is valued at USD 400 million approx.
Karamtara Engineering Pvt Ltd
Kotak Securities Limited
Naaptol Online Shopping Private Limited
Essar Vizag Terminals Limited
- Representing the Super Ma Group in a $250m International Commercial Arbitration under the LCIA Arbitration seated in Geneva brought by an investor in the client’s company for alleged breach of the Share Subscription Deed by the against which the claimant has levied damages.
- Defending the Wadhawan group of companies in arbitration proceedings filed by Banks and financial institutions for recovery of debts.
- Representing alternate investment company Kotak Securities in a $250m domestic arbitration brought by a pharmaceutical company in India.
MZM Legal, Advocates & Legal Consultants > Firm Profile
MZM Legal (MZM) is a full-service law firm providing a wide range of focused solutions. Headquartered in Mumbai, the firm was established in 2005 and is now widely regarded as a national leader in the fields of white-collar crime and dispute resolution. While MZM remains highly regarded in its initial core areas, it has diversified its offering in recent years and today ranks among the leading postmillennial full-service law firms in India. MZM is a distinctive firm providing both advisory and litigation services to clients in government and prosecutorial investigations. This combined with its substantial experience in acting on extraordinarily complex multijurisdictional litigations, arbitrations, anti-bribery, and corporate compliance investigations and transactions have contributed to MZM’s unique and holistic client-centric approach. MZM has significant international exposure and has the privilege of servicing clients from over ten countries across four continents. The hallmark of our practice at MZM is providing bespoke service to our clients through the highest standards of excellence in its legal advice keeping confidentiality and privacy of each of our clients as a priority. In recent years,
MZM has emerged as one of India’s leading white-collar crime and business crime defense practices. MZM Legal has had the privilege of advising and defending clients on sum of India’s most complex and large scale investigations conducted by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (“CBI”), the Directorate of Enforcements (“ED”), Serious Fraud Investigation Office (“SFIO”) and the Economic Offences Wings (“EOWs”), Anti-Corruption Bureau’s (“ACBs”) of different Indian states. The firm has developed a strong dispute resolution practice and has been advising and representing many clients in their domestic and international arbitrations and disputes before major international arbitral institutions including, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and courts in other jurisdiction. MZM Legal has vast experience in advising and handling multi-layered, high-value and sensitive cases pertaining to restructuring and insolvency, labour and employment, commercial litigation, etc, for wide-ranging industry sectors, including, banking, international trade and investments, international finance, insurance, construction, energy, media and entertainment, E-commerce, FMCG, maritime, technology and telecommunications. The firm is best known for ideating innovative solutions to address typical disputes and litigations which its clients face.
Main areas of practice
Alternative dispute resolution – arbitration and mediation
Number of partners: 3, approx 2 fee-earners
Key clients: Punj Lloyd Limited, Essar Shipping, Tata Trusts, Naaptol Online Shopping Private Limited, Drive India Enterprise Solutions Limited, Wahl – India Grooming Products Pvt Limited, Skardin Industrial Corporation, UPS,
Contacts: Mr Zulfiquar Memon, Mr Waseem Pangarkar Mr Vivek Jain
Email: email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Business crime/ white-collar crime
Number of partners: 5, approx 7 fee-earners
Key clients: Tata Sons Limited, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, JSW Steel Limited, Tata Technologies Limited, M. Pallonji & Co Pvt Ltd, 63 moons Technologies Limited, Skardin Industrial Corporation,
Contacts: Mr Zulfiquar Memon, Mr Parvez Memon, Mr Waseem Pangarkar, Mr Mrinal Bharti
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Number of partners: 6, approx 4 fee-earners
Key clients: Punj Lloyd Limited, Kaedrion International Gmbh, Hyundai Motor India Limited, Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd., The Yash Birla Group, Larsen & Toubro Engineering, United Phosphorous Limited, Naaptol Online Shopping Pvt Ltd, TV18 Broadcast, Shop CJ Network Pvt. Ltd.
Contacts: Mr Zulfiquar Memon, Mr Munir Merchant, Mr Waseem Pangarkar, Mr Mrinal Bharti, Mr Dinesh Kadam, Mr Mohammad Shine,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Number of partners: 2, approx 4 fee-earners
Key clients: Fortune 100, 500 & 1000 Companies
Contacts: Mr Zulfiquar Memon
Number of partners: 4, approx 7 fee-earners
Key clients: Tata Sons Limited, Tata Trusts, Punj Lloyd Limited, SAP India Pvt. Ltd., Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, OPITO, Technimont Pvt. Ltd., Balkrishna Industries Ltd., Trust Investment Advisors Pvt. Ltd., Wahl – India Grooming Products Pvt Limited, Skardin Industrial Corporation
Contacts: Mr Zulfiquar Memon, Mr Parvez Memon, Mr Waseem Pangarkar Mr Mohammad Shine
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Extradition and mutual legal assistance
Number of partners: 2, approx 3 fee-earners
Key clients: Confidential
Contacts: Mr Zulfiquar Memon, Mr Parvez Memon
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Family and matrimonial disputes
Number of partners: 4 partners, approx 5 fee-earners
Key clients: High-net-worth individuals, celebrities, sportspersons
Number of partners: 2, approx 4 fee-earners
Key clients: Tata Trusts, Punj Lloyd Limited, Malaysian Overseas Palm Oil Board, Naaptol Online Private Limited, BD Industries,
Contacts: Mr Munir Merchant, Mr Waseem Pangarkar
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Media and entertainment:
Number of partners: 3, approx 3 fee-earners
Key clients: Viacom 18 Media Pvt.Ltd, Zoom Entertainment Network Limited, Cinema 24×7 Private Limited, Bennet Coleman & Co. Ltd, TV18 Broadcast, Shop CJ Network Pvt. Ltd.
Contacts: Mr Munir Merchant, Mr Waseem Pangarkar
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Number of partners: 4, approx 4 fee-earners
Key clients: Larsen &Toubro Realty Limited, Roha Dyechem Private Limited, Ahuja group, Royal Palms India P. Ltd.
Contacts: Mr Javed Dhorajiwala, Mr Munir Merchant
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Number of partners: 2, approx 2 fee-earners
Key clients: TV18 Broadcast, Shop CJ Network Pvt. Ltd., Naaptol Online Shopping Pvt Ltd, Cinema 24×7 Private Limited, Shrinivas Sugandhlaya LLP
Contacts: Mr Munir Merchant, Mr Waseem Pangarkar
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
|Alternative Dispute Resolution – Arbitration & Mediation, Business Crime/ White Collar Crime, Civil Litigation, Criminal Compliance, Criminal Defence, Extradition & Mutual Legal Assistance, Family & Matrimonial Disputes||Mr Zulfiquar Memon, Managing Partnerfirstname.lastname@example.org||+91-22-22643333 / 22646666 / 22648888|
|Business Crime/ White Collar Crime, Criminal Defence, Extradition & Mutual Legal Assistance, Family & Matrimonial Disputes||Mr. Parvez Memon, Senior Partneremail@example.com||+91-22-22643333 / 22646666 / 22648888|
|General Corporate, Media, Real Estate||Mr. Javed Dhorajiwala, Senior Partnerfirstname.lastname@example.org||+91-22-22643333 / 22646666 / 22648888|
|Civil Litigation, General Corporate, Media, Real Estate||Mr. Munir Merchant, Senior Partneremail@example.com||+91-22-22643333 / 22646666 / 22648888|
|Alternative Dispute Resolution – Arbitration & Mediation, Civil Litigation, Criminal Defence, Family & Matrimonial Disputes, General Corporate, Media,||Mr. Waseem Pangarkar, Senior Partnerfirstname.lastname@example.org||+91-22-22643333 / 22646666 / 22648888|
|White-Collar Crime / Fraud, Criminal and Civil Litigation||Mr. Mrinal Bharti, Senior Partneremail@example.com||+91-011-40040208|
|Criminal litigation||Mr. Dinesh Kadam, Partnerfirstname.lastname@example.org||+91-22-22643333 / 22646666 / 22648888|
|Corporate Litigation / NCLT / Company Law / Arbitration||Mr. Vivek Jain, Partneremail@example.com||+91-011-40040208|
|Criminal and Civil Litigation||Mr. Mohammad Shine, Partnerfirstname.lastname@example.org||+91-22-22643333 / 22646666 / 22648888|
|Mr. Mrinal Bharti||Senior Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Javed Dhorajiwala||Senior Partner||View Profile|
|Mr. Vivek Jain||Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Dinesh Kadam||Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Parvez Memon||Senior Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Zulfiquar Memon||Managing Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Munir Merchant||Senior Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Waseem Pangarkar||Senior Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Mohammad Shine||PARTNER||View Profile|
LanguagesEnglish all regional Indian languages
- The firm is strongly committed to diversity and inclusion in its ranks. MZM Legal is primarily a Litigation firm with diverse practice and is recognized as a pioneer of White-Collar Crime Litigation in India. As we all know, Litigation and especially criminal litigation in India is a grueling and a male dominated field. Traditionally, female lawyers in India are advised not to take up litigation and more specifically criminal litigation since it requires a lot of physical exertion which includes running around in courts, dealing with Investigating agencies and mostly with the criminal if you are defending them. However, over a decade MZM Legal has focused on this changing this perception by adopting the following practices: We have made it a point to induct and train young female lawyers in its litigation team and more specifically in its criminal litigation team. They are personally mentored by senior partners, partner and other senior lawyers and are encouraged to the take point in interactions with law enforcement and clients.
- The firm actively coordinates with its HR to manage the workload of married female colleagues. Though we aspire for change – customarily, in Indian society, the responsibility of house chores and childcare majorly (an in many cases exclusively) falls on women. The onset of the pandemic and work from home has reduced the division of work and personal time. Consequently, the mental and physical pressure on our female colleagues has increased substantially. As such, the firm has, as a matter of policy, worked towards managing workloads and workhours of our married female colleagues.
- Mental health issues in India are a taboo, especially in professional circles. MZM as a matter of policy encourages disclosure of mental health issues to the firm and the firm actively assists colleagues in clinical diagnosis, treatment of issues.
- Lawyers have also been allowed to shift practice areas internally to manage their long-term workloads.
- The biggest advantage of working at MZM Legal as disclosed by the team members over the years is the ability to reach out with the problems to the senior most member of MZM Legal be it the Managing Partner or the Senior Partner and prompt redressal of all issues and concerns. This kind of inclusion of every single member with the senior most members have helped in developed a very strong working ecosystem.
- HDIL, SARANG WADHAWAN, RAKESH WADHAWAN
Ocean Deity – 16 Suits. These suits arise from an investor – Ocean Deity Investments against the erstwhile directors of a company called Mack Star that was involved in real estate development, construction and sale thereof. Ocean Deity is challenging the sale of approximately 25 units as inconsistent and has brought about an action to cancel and invalidate such sale. MZM Legal is leading the defence by representing the main disputing defendants and is involved in key advisory and strategic planning.
MZM Legal is involved in drafting replies and strategic affidavits whilst also appearing in the High Court in house opposing several high-profile senior advocates.
- SARANG WADHAWAN, RAKESH WADHAWAN, AND THE WADHAWAN GROUP OF COMPANIES
Arbitration proceedings have been filed by Banks / FIs against the Clients, related to very high value multi crore rupees financial transactions. Also, the Client is being investigated by the EOW, ED, SFIO and CBI for the much-publicized PMC Bank scam and Group Company transactions involving other Banks. Further, the Group Companies are the subject of insolvency proceedings initiated by various Banks.
We have been engaged to defend the Clients in the Arbitrations / Recovery Proceedings brought against them by Banks and FIs seeking recovery of debts. We have also been instructed to defend them in the criminal prosecution related to the above-mentioned fraud qua the investigations by the EOW, ED, SFIO and CBI. We also act in a general advisory capacity on litigation and transactional matters involving the Clients and members of their family.
This matter involves the much-publicized PMC Bank scam, which has had significant effect on the NBFC sector in India. Indeed, the investigation into this scam has seen some stringent and rather rare measures being adopted by the RBI to protect the interests of the depositors which has created unforeseen challenges in the criminal investigations and related bail matters.
- SARANG WADHAWAN, RAKESH WADHAWAN
Matter summary and our role – MZM Legal is representing the promoters (Managing Director and Chairman) of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (“HDIL”), in a high-profile criminal investigation by the elite Economic Offences Wing, Mumbai (“EOW”) in relation to allegation of financial fraud and embezzlement arising out of their and the groups alleged outstanding to the tune of more than INR. 6000 crores with PMC Bank.
The alleged irregularities have led PMC Bank to be placed under the control of an RBI administrator and a consequent moratorium on withdrawal and banking operations. The matter has been subject of significant national attention.
Advocates on Record before the EOW and the Trial Court and Bail proceedings in superior courts. MZM as advocates on record are responsible for all drafting, appearance, strategy, negotiations and retaining & instructing appropriate senior counsels in the client’s best interest.
Importance of the matter – One of India’s foremost banking scams as on date. The moratorium on the banking operations and the withdrawal limit imposed on the depositors caused significant depositors and deaths of over 50 depositors have been attributed to the moratorium imposed by the RBI.
- SARANG WADHAWAN, RAKESH WADHAWAN
MZM Legal is representing the promoters (Managing Director and Chairman) of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (“HDIL”), in a high-profile criminal investigation by the Directorate of Enforcement (“ED”) (one of india’s premier criminal investigation agencies) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (“PMLA”) arising out of the First Information Report (“FIR”) registered Economic Offences Wing, Mumbai (“EOW”) in relation to allegation of financial fraud and embezzlement arising out of their and the groups alleged outstanding to the tune of more than INR. 6000 crores with PMC Bank.
The alleged irregularities have led PMC Bank to be placed under the control of an RBI administrator and a consequent moratorium on withdrawal and banking operations. The matter has been subject of significant national attention. MZM is also representing the Clients in the Adjudication proceedings under the PMLA.
Advocates on Record before the ED, Trial Court and Bail Applications before Superior Courts. MZM as advocates on record are responsible for all drafting, appearance, strategy, negotiations and retaining & instructing appropriate senior counsels in the client’s best interest.
One of India’s foremost banking scams as on date. The moratorium on the banking operations and the withdrawal limit imposed on the depositors caused significant depositors and deaths of over 22 depositors have been attributed to the shock caused due to the moratorium imposed by the RBI.
- KOTAK SECURITIES LIMITED
MZM Legal is representing, in a highly contested Domestic Arbitration on behalf of one of India’s leading finance and alternate investment entity against the Claimant who is a renowned Pharmaceutical Company in India.
The Arbitration is seated in India under the India Arbitration & Conciliation Act 1996. The Tribunal consists of a panel of three Arbitrators all former Chief Justices of India. The dispute arises out of the Deed of Adherence and the subsequent supplemental agreements where Kotak Securities Limited obtained certain Optionally Convertible Redeemable Preference Shares in the Claimant Company. The Dispute arises from within these agreements where the Claimant has breached the Agreement by not providing the agreed rate of return on the date of redemption as Kotak securities opted to redeem the shares rather the convert them. MZM Legal is the advising and representing Counsel for Kotak Securities Limited in India in this Arbitration and has successfully assisted and advised them on how to proceed with the disputes in question and the Arbitration involving a number of complex and multifaceted issues arising out of the investment made by Kotak Securities Limited and other related Kotak investment entities.
Team MZM is working round the clock in helping the clients appreciate the nuances of interacting with multiple parties involved in an interconnected Arbitration, the culture of dispute resolution, appointing an expert, settling the procedural steps of the Arbitration. The matter is now at the preliminary stage where the Arbitral Tribunal has set the procedural steps for the Parties to this Arbitration.
- TATA POWER COMPANY LIMITED
The Client is one of Mumbai’s leading producer and distributors electricity. It has recurring disputes with other distributors operating in the same geography. We represent the Client before the Electricity Commission in such disputes and also advise it on other transactional matters.
The matter involves interesting questions under the Electricity Act and corresponding policies and regulations by the Central and State Governments.
- DINESH PANDEY
A well-known international businessman having interests in shipping, real estate, and e-commerce through his companies Saamag Realty Pvt. Ltd. and other group companies (collectively called “Saamag Group” of Companies).
Mr Pandey is in custody pursuant to his arrest by the Special Investigation Team (“SIT”) instituted by the State of Uttar Pradesh in relation to his alleged involvement in the “Bike Bot” scam. Mr Pandey is being prosecuted for offences under the Indian Penal Code, Reserve Bank of India Act and the Companies Act. 10 criminal cases are registered in the State of Uttar Pradesh and 1 criminal case is active in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (“NCT”).
“Bike Bot” scheme (“scheme”) was floated by M/s Garvit Innovative Promoters Ltd. (“GIPL”) and it is alleged that the advertisement was widely published to lure the public to invest a lump sum of Rs. 62,100 /- for the purchase of motorcycle which would be used on the pattern of Uber and Ola in various cities and that every person, who invested the said amount, would receive 12 monthly payments of Rs. 9,765/- (per month) amounting Rs. 1,17,180 /-. It is alleged that GIPL, its sister companies and Independent TV (earlier known as Reliance Big TV Ltd.) opened total 21 bank account in different bank accounts and received INR. 2976.52 crores from 2,46,462 investors.
MZM as advocates on record are responsible for all drafting, appearance, strategy, negotiations and retaining & instructing appropriate senior counsels in the client’s best interest.
The matter has caused shock waves across North India and is a matter of significant public interest. It is alleged that that around 2.46 lakh innocent investors have lost INR. 2976.52 crores. MZM is representing Mr. Pandey in all prosecutions and investigations in relation to “Bike Bot” scam across the country.
- AADHUNIK METALLICS LIMITED (THE LIBERTY HOUSE GROUP)
Advising and acting on behalf of the successful Resolution Applicant for implementation of the Resolution Plan and negotiate various hindrances and objections to expeditious implementation of such Plan.
Team MZM’s gruelling efforts, to represent the global industrial and metals company and successfully received immediate interim orders in favour of the Company wherein the NCLT was pleased to direct the Electric Company which the resolution applicant acquired through a successful bid in the corporate insolvency restricting process to restore electricity which it was mandated to do under the accepted resolution plan. As such, we are advising and acting for the Company and the successful Resolution Applicant in over-coming these hurdles through negotiation, as well as, proceedings before NCLT/NCLAT to achieve successful implementation of the Resolution Plan. However, the electricity company contested and objected that the electricity would be restored only after the payment of the previous dues and payment of the CIRP costs. The matter is due for hearing on the application in the meanwhile the interim order continues. Counsel briefed in the matter Ratanko Banerjee
- KARAMTARA ENGINEERING PVT LTD
MZM Legal is representing the Client an International Commercial Arbitration under the aegis of ICC Paris; on behalf of one of India’s leading supplier and manufacturer of Transmission Towers against a Respondent Company involved in handling Electricity Transmission Line Projects based out of Uruguay and is a subsidiary of the reputed company in Italy in the Electricity and Power sector for over 20 years.
This Arbitration is seated in Montevideo, Uruguay, and conducted as per the ICC Rules of Arbitration. The dispute herein arises out of the breach of the Tower Supply Contract for construction of a major electricity tower transmission line in Uruguay entered into between the Parties and the Respondent’s patently illegal invocation of the former’s Performance Bond. Being such a large project, the dispute also involves a number of other entities contributing to its highly technical nature. MZM Legal is currently assisting Karamtara, as their lead counsels in India, in this complex and multifaceted dispute, and presenting the claim before a highly esteemed panel of arbitrators appointed by the ICC from all over South America. Team MZM is working round the clock in helping the clients appreciate the nuances of interacting with firms used to a foreign culture of dispute resolution, appointing an expert and leading this multinational team towards successfully achieving the common goal which resulted in filing a concise yet precise Request for Arbitration and a detailed statement of Claim.
Further, MZM has been successful in receiving rulings from the Tribunal in its favour in the Redfern Disclosure where the Tribunal has directed the other party to produce documents. The next stage now is to prepare the Replica to the Statement of Defence and counter claim of the Respondent. The challenges have increased since a substantial amount of time in preparing the claim memorial in consultation with legal and technical experts in Uruguay and collation of the necessary documents is disrupted due to the far-reaching effects of the second wave of the Covid-19 Pandemic. However, with the Teams gruelling efforts the claim memorial has reached at an advance stage of drafting. The Replica is due for its submission in the month of June 2021.
- BENNETT, COLEMAN COMPANY LIMITED (“BCCL”)
BCCL had entered into a co-investment agreement with one Orios Advisors LLP for making strategic investment into Pharm Easy Co-Investment and thereafter a strategic Divestment. A dispute arose as to the fees payable to Orios as their portfolio managers and market analysts and thus Orios sought to stall a significant divestment deal of BCCL with Temasek, Singapore.
MZM Legal played a pivotal role in Advising on Path of divestment and avoiding any interim reliefs being granted against the Clients. MZM Legal’s spontaneous conclusion of assignment and drafting led to the Plaintiff Company being cornered into settling the dispute as the fundamental document which resolved the dispute was suppressed and this was discovered by MZM Legal. Involves key aspects of Contractual Law and Arbitration Law
- BENNETT COLEMAN & COMPANY LTD. (“BCCL”)
MZM Legal is representing BCCL in relation the TRP Scam (concerning Republic TV and other channels) being investigated by the Crime Branch, Mumbai Police on account of the illegal and fraudulent viewership manipulation and tampering of Television Audience Measurement and Television Rating Points (“TRP”) particularly, of BCCL’s channel “Times Now” by Broadcast Audience Research Council (“BARC”).
MZM Legal on behalf of BCCL (Times Group) sent a legal notice to BARC alleging that it “deliberately reduced” Times Now’s viewership (from first to second position) to illegally benefit a rival channel launched in 2017 and demanded, inter alia, damages to the tune INR. 450 crores. MZM as advocates on record are responsible for all drafting, appearance, strategy, negotiations and retaining & instructing appropriate senior counsels in the client’s best interest.
- NATIONAL SPOT EXCHANGE LTD (NSEL)
NSEL case relates to a payment default at the National Spot Exchange Limited that occurred in 2013 involving Financial Technologies India Ltd, when a payment default took place after a commodities market regulator, the Forward Markets Commission (FMC), directed NSEL to stop launching contracts. This led to the closure of the Exchange in July 2013.
Investigations led by Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Economic Offences Wing (EOW) revealed the role of brokers and defaulters in the NSEL case. The brokers mis-sold NSEL products to their clients by assuring them fixed returns. The defaulters hypothecated stocks and produced fake warehouse receipts and siphoned the entire default money.
Prosecuting various brokers and defaulters in the landmark NSEL Scam case on behalf of NSEL by initiating several criminal proceedings under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act and conducting trial on behalf of NSEL. Representing NSEL in various criminal proceedings initiated by investigating agencies before Sessions Court, Special Courts (MPID/ED) and Bombay High Court. Eruption of fraud due to the regulatory negligence of government, auditor’s inability and lack of corporate governance.
- ESSAR SHIPPING LIMITED
The Client is one of India’s leading shipping companies, and a part of one of India’s leading industrial conglomerates. It is currently facing debt recovery and insolvency proceedings from a number of its creditors. It is also involved in a global restructuring exercise aimed at reducing its debt and streamlining its business. We advise the Client on the restructuring exercise currently underway and represent in legal and insolvency proceedings.
The matter involves interesting question of the debt recovery, insolvency and contract law; not only from the litigation perspective but also from the transactional perspective.
- KKN HOLDINGS PVT LIMITED
MZM Legal has represented and defended KKN in an extremely challenging and multi-faceted case filed by BIL under Section 7 of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code.
Beacon Trusteeship Limited (BIL), a Purported Financial Creditor has filed a Section 7 Application under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code 2016 (IBC) in NCLT, Chennai alleging a Financial Debt on part of KKN in lieu of the Debenture Trust Deed and other Transaction Documents executed by and between KKN, BIL and other obligors. The primary issue was that the Purported Financial Creditor, prior to filing the Section 7 Application had already invoked the pledge on all equity shares under all the Deeds of Pledge, which was created in favour of BIL to secure the issue of the debentures. The value of the total security invoked was significantly higher than the debenture outstanding. As such, there was no existing debt as contemplated in Section 2 Sub-section 11 of the IBC in view of the above-mentioned invocation of the security by the Purported Financial Creditor. Thus, there was no default as contemplated in Section 2 Sub-section 12 of the IBC. The said Section 7 Application was merely an illicit attempt of BIL to make wrongful gains at the behest of KKN by abusing the process of law. In light of the same, it has been rightfully contended that the Application is untenable and ought to be dismissed under Section 65 of the IBC.
Despite the matter being heavily contested by both the parties, they have arrived at an amicable settlement of the matter and the settlement amount is paid in entirely. The matter is now pending to be withdrawn from the NCLT. Counsel engaged in the matter Sr. Adv Mr PS RAMAN.
- CINEMA 24 X 7 PVT. LIMITED
MZM Legal has represented and defended an E-Commerce Company in all its high-profile cases filed by various Corporate Entities under Section 9 of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code.
Asianet Satellite Communications Pvt. Ltd., an Operational Creditor has filed a Section 9 Application in the NCLT claiming an operational debt arising from the channel carriage Agreement with Cinema 24 x 7 Pvt Ltd. These claims of the Television Satellite Company largely arose by placing its reliance on a “mutually consenting termination clause as a ground of illegal termination and the consequent non-payment of the amounts under the lock in period. MZM Legal has argued the matter at length on the points of prior existing dispute, in addition to violation of TRAI Regulations and fundamental breach of the Channel Carriage Agreement by Asianet.
This case is very challenging as it involves the inclusion and interpretation of the contract in terms of common law and requires evaluation of the authenticity of the Exemption Clause in a contract in the presence of continuous breach of fundamental terms by a party to the contract in terms of its obligations.
The Pleadings have been completed between the parties and the matter is posted for hearing. Counsel engaged in the matter Sr. Adv Mr. Janak Dwarkadas. Currently engaging Sr Adv Mr. Ravi Kadam.
- NAAPTOL ONLINE SHOPPING PRIVATE LIMITED
MZM Legal has represented and defended an E-Commerce Company in all its high-profile cases filed by various Corporate Entities under Section 9 of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code.
KSK BPO, an Operational Creditor has filed a Section 9 Application in the NCLT claiming an operational debt arising from the Merchant Agreement with Naaptol. The primary issue has been proving the prior existing disputes between the parties and the fundamental terms of the Agreements that have been abhorrently violated by the Operational Creditor whereby no dues, least the alleged operational debt, is payable to the Creditor under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code 2016. The Pleadings have been completed between the parties and the matter is posted for hearing. Counsel engaged in the matter Sr. Adv Mr. Sharan Jagtiani
- OGD SERVICES LIMITED
MZM is advising and representing the Client in a highly complex section 7 Application filed by a National Bank in India arising out of the alleged claims towards financial debt under an SBLC facility.
Punjab National Bank filed a Section 7 Application before the NCLT, Mumbai Bench as a financial creditor for an aggregate amount of Rs 253,50,07,485/- as on 05.12.2018 due to continuous events of default and invocation of the Standby Letters of Credit Facility by the Bank of India (BOI), New York Branch and thus PNB was under an obligation to honour the demand made by the BOI as per the terms of the SBLC. MZM is now defending OGD Services before the NCLT on a number of complex points of law relating to the legality of SBLCs as per RBI Circulars and the provisions of the Contract Act which may render the SBLC impossible to perform. All pleadings in the matter are completed and the matter is posted for hearing. MZM Legal has been successful in defending the Client being the corporate debtor for a period of over years by filing a strong defence before the NCLT. The matter is pending final hearing. Counsel engaged in the Matter Sr Adv Mr. Venkatesh Dhond.
- ANCHOR; MEHUL JADAVJI SHAH
The criminal prosecution arises from Anchor Group of companies investing in various real estate projects comprising of Redevelopment and SRA projects. Pursuant to investment Anchor Group of Companies realized that their investments had been jeopardized into several criminal and fraudulent activities thereby threatening returns of principal itself let alone any profits or appreciation to the investment.
MZM Legal conducted all remand hearings, appeared in court (Sessions & HC) to oppose ABAs. MZM Legal lead in strategizing the filing of complaints and follow up with the police machinery. MZM Legal conducted to place the complainant’s objections and appear under 482 jurisdictions to Oppose Quashing Petitions. Involves key aspects Criminal Law and Fraud investigation of Cheating, Forgery and Misrepresentation. Involves large amount of Civil Litigation that is adopted to create a façade over the criminal mischief orchestrated by various accused who have duped Anchor Group.
- NAGARAJ SETTY
MZM Legal is representing the Client in a Domestic Arbitration, under the Arbitration & Conciliation Act 1996 against the Respondent who is a Partner in the firm of the Client.
This Arbitration is seated in Mumbai and Tribunal consists of a sole Arbitrator who is a reputed Former Chief Justice of one of in India. The disputes arise from a Deed of partnership entered between the parties and related to the duties of a partner under the partnership business. The present Arbitration has been a highly contested arbitration by both parties and finally after MZM Legal’s relentless efforts before the High Court of Bombay, under its section 11 application filed on behalf of the Client, the Arbitrator was appointed. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic MZM Legal has successfully filed all first pleadings, submissions and authorities before the Learned Sole Arbitrator in response to the Section 16 application of the Respondent challenging the Jurisdiction of the Learned Sole Arbitrator.
The Arbitration stage is currently for hearing the arguments of our Client in the Section 16 application before the Learned Sole Arbitrator.
Waseem Pangarkar, Senior Partner
What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability?
My greatest achievement in a professional capability has been the progress and growth of MZM Legal in reaching greater heights each passing year, and my involvement as a key contributor to the same.
I distinctly recall that when I joined MZM Legal in the year 2010 as an “intern”, it was a boutique law firm having just three (3) lawyers with its main focus on White Collar Crime Litigation. However, over the years MZM Legal has only made its way up on the graph in the legal industry and I can say with utmost pride that we have not only grown in numbers but also in our approach, and today we stand as one of the leading Full-Service Law Firms in India with over 50 lawyers. We have our offices in Mumbai and Delhi, and one of the biggest Associate Lawyer Network throughout India and across other continents.
In relation to my greatest achievement in a personal capability, I believe the recognition and appreciation that I have received from my peers, legal fraternity and international legal ranking bodies and most importantly from my clients over a decade of my career has been overwhelming. We regularly hear about the debates on nepotism and the biasedness that surrounds most industries, however, being a first-generation lawyer, I feel that everyone gets an opportunity to excel and grow, contingent only upon how an individual deals with the same and makes the best out of it.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
According to me, International Arbitration is a realm we need to watch out for in the next twelve (12) months. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India through its recent judgements on Enforcement of Foreign Awards has set a stage for India to be recognized as an International Arbitration hub and therefore, I believe it will only encourage foreign parties to choose India as an apt jurisdiction for enforcing foreign awards leading to a resultant boost in dispute resolution, and more specifically the International Arbitration practice. Over the years MZM Legal has also seen immense growth in its International Arbitration practice and today we handle multiple International Commercial Arbitrations in European and South American countries such as Switzerland, France, London, Chile, and Uruguay.
I also strongly believe that Mediation is one of the most effective forms of Dispute Resolution with the Indian Statutes bringing in Mediation as a mandatory step in commercial matters. Especially during the pandemic, mediation has stood out as one of the most preferred modes of dispute resolution. From my experience I can say that on an average, five out of ten clients have preferred to adopt the Mediation route due to the uncertainty that was introduced by the pandemic and the anticipated delays in the redressal of disputes through Arbitration or the customary litigation route.
Another area of practice that has seen significant growth in last few years is White-Collar Crime Disputes and Litigation. MZM Legal are the pioneers of White-Collar Crime Litigation in the country. As a Senior Partner at MZM Legal routinely handling White Collar Crime Litigation, I can say that this practice has tremendous potential considering the steep rise of White-Collar Crimes globally. Some of the biggest driving factors for the growth of this practice is the change in the approach of the Enforcement and Investigating Agencies, the enactment of stringent laws, and subversive amendments to the existing laws.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
I believe that one of the most important elements missing in today’s time is providing a sense of ownership to each member of the team towards the Client and the matter at hand. At MZM Legal the scenario is completely different. I may not call it a change but a culture which we have developed at MZM Legal since inception that enables even the junior most member working with us to take ownership towards the Client and his matter.
It is important to understand that the Client benefits only when he has ample trust in the team he is working with, and we ensure that our team members are not just on the matter but actively involved and interacting with the Client for a holistic indulgence, participation, and perspective on the table.
What do you see as the main points that differentiate MZM Legal from your competitors?
Our guiding light is maintaining our core generalist strength, while advising on disputes and transactions, covering almost the entire gamut of Laws e.g., from complex Commercial Disputes to multifaceted White Collar Crime Litigations, from High Profile Matrimonial case to highly technical electricity and construction matters.
At MZM Legal, all our team members are capable of successfully advising, handling and representing Clients, irrespective of the nature of the legal query or dispute involved. This conscious decision to go the extra mile, learn and practice a wide variety of laws, has time and again served our Clients immensely well, as today’s interconnected world means that the solution of a matrimonial problem often lies in a commercial transaction and so on.
Indeed, in terms of differentiating us from other firms, this core strength prevents the siloed approach found in conventional law firms, where internal teams operate as mini-firms, hindering an integrated and comprehensive solution to the Client’s predicaments. By contrast, our generalist approach coupled with a flat and open organizational structure ensures clear communications, honest debate while bringing all possible veins of law to address the Client’s complications, ensuing a time and cost-effective solution for the Client, while also benefitting the firm.
In addition to this, MZM Legal provides a platform for each member to explore their entrepreneurial dreams in collaboration with the firm. One of the best examples is the formation of MZM Analytics Pvt. Ltd, a Forensic Investigation Firm incorporated by Zulfiquar Memon, Managing Partner of MZM Legal and myself. The idea is to strengthen the sense of ownership in every team member and also provide an additional option to the Client to get all services under one roof.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Certainly, technology had started to influence attorney-client interactions even before the pandemic began and lockdowns prevented the classic face to face meetings. MZM Legal has been impacted by the same significantly, but in a positive way. The reliance on technology has ever increased with the year-long lockdown, the technological evolution accelerated, pervading our attorney client interactions with unprecedented speed. It has made us realize that we could have constructive and effective meetings with Clients, situated anywhere in the world, without the necessity of in-person meetings. These realizations have truly revolutionized the way we approach our Clients and literally opened the world – especially for advisory and transactional work at MZM Legal. Today, our team members are well equipped to provide legal solutions on multi-jurisdictional issues concerning Indian or foreign Clients. Additionally, we have started looking at technology as an enabler, which has resulted in radically new service delivery models, in which Attorney and Clients do not have to ever meet, and the entirely solutioning is done remotely with the help of advanced computing software including representing your Clients before different courts in different jurisdiction without travelling to those locations.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
The Clients are indeed looking for stability and strategic direction from law firms, especially in view of ever-evolving regulatory landscape – which is still reverberating from the aftershocks of the pandemic. Therefore, I strongly believe that constant legal guidance is an acute need for Clients, especially in relation to commercial ventures.
As such, Companies of all shapes and sizes are increasingly turning to formal and reliable legal resources for regulatory guidance to ensure that they remain compliant with all relevant laws. In view of such developments, the firm is actively seeking to increase its national and international footprint over the next three years. The idea is to develop and become a one-stop solution provider for all kinds of legal support be it litigation, transactional, or advisory services.
What advice would you give to your younger self and others young lawyers?
Success comes to those who are invested in their goals no matter what the challenge is. I would advise young lawyers to keep abreast of the latest legal and commercial developments at all times. There is no substitute for knowledge, both for the Client’s benefit and for one’s own career progress. Also, choosing a specialisation early on, in my view, curbs growth, if not fatal in the long run. So young lawyers should learn as much as possible about different areas of law for the first five to ten years of their practice, and if necessary, then decided on a specialisation. After all, there is no harm in being a Jack of all and master of some.