Firm Profile > Amicus > New Delhi, India

Amicus
I-1 Jangpura Extension New Delhi – 110014
India

Tax Tier 3

Initially established as a transfer pricing boutique (and still predominantly working in this field as a member of global network Altus Alliance), Amicus now acts on a wider set of mandates including GST compliance, international taxation, corporate advisory and niche tribunal representation concerning angel tax. Sole partner Ashutosh Mohan Rastogi is regularly instructed through the High Court on transfer pricing litigation for clients in sectors such as media, entertainment, manufacturing, IT, electronics and textiles. The team also helps to implement transfer pricing policy and risk mitigation strategy.

Practice head(s):

Ashutosh Mohan Rastogi

Key clients

Cinestaan Entertainment

Denave India

Carter-Radley

Takenaka Group

Pentax Gruop

Angus Group

Bene Group

Takenaka Group

ICRA

Alchem Group

Lemontree Group

Dabur India

Estee Group

DE Diamond Electric India

Corbus Group

Pyramid IT Consulting

 About the Firm 

The Firm was set up by Ashutosh Mohan Rastogi (LLM, New York University School of Law) in August 2011 as a boutique Transfer Pricing Practice. The Firm has since then expanded to become a Full Service Law Firm with 5 partners and 30 other fee earners (including support staff). The Tax Practice also though still known more for its Transfer Pricing expertise, today has become an end to end Tax Practice which covers all areas of taxation ranging from Direct Tax, International Tax, Transfer Pricing and GST (Indirect Tax).

Tax Division – The Tax Division is headed by Ashutosh Mohan Rastogi along with others  at senior associate/ associate levels.

Practice Leader Profile – Prior to founding Amicus in 2011, Ashutosh worked with Big Four specializing in Transfer Pricing and Valuation aspects of cross-border transactions. With more than 15 years of experience in International Tax and Transfer Pricing, Ashutosh has successfully represented clients before all dispute resolution forums including Higher Appellate Courts (Tax Tribunal and High Court). Ashutosh has to his credit multiple Tax/ Transfer Pricing wins including recent Landmark Ruling in the case of Cinestaan Entertainment Private Limited on Angel Tax Issue, Pyramid IT Consulting (High Court Matter) on when accept-reject of comparables can constitute a ‘substantial question of law’, De Diamond Electric (Delhi Tax Tribunal) case on corporate expense allowability test for commencement of manufacturing business, Corbus Limited (Commissioner, Appeal) on Transfer Pricing of receivables and several other appellate wins on vexed Tax/ Transfer Pricing issues.

Amicus Practice is best known for:

1) Tax/ Transfer Pricing Litigation – Firm’s services are regularly sought for representation on Tax/ Transfer Pricing matters at higher appellate forums including Tax Tribunal and High Court – for financial year 2018-19, amongst others, of special mention are the following two landmark wins (Delhi Tax Tribunal and Delhi High Court):

(i) Pyramid IT Consulting Delhi High Court matter:

Recently, Amicus – Advocates & Solicitors, has secured a Landmark Transfer Pricing Win before Delhi High Court in a Transfer Pricing Case. The High Court Order assumes significance in light of recent High Court Rulings (Karnataka, Chennai and Delhi) holding that no question of law arises in case of inclusion or exclusion of comparables (these being mainly factual matters). The Delhi High Court Order in case of Pyramid IT Consulting is path breaking and constitutes an exception on its specific facts as the High Court admitted that a ‘Substantial question of Law’ arose even though the case involved adjudication on accept-reject of comparables as there was perversity in the findings of the Tribunal. The matter was admitted, heard and remanded to Transfer Pricing Officer with specific directions by the High Court on how to deal with specific comparables challenged by the Appellant.

(ii) Cinestaan Delhi Tribunal Ruling on Angel Taxation:

In the last couple of years, there has been a wave of angel investment taxation in India creating panic amongst start-ups and angel investors as the Government is invoking certain draconian provisions to deem capital receipts as income. The angel tax controversy in India has been widely reported in the news with experts and taxpayers criticizing the high handed approach of the Indian Tax Department towards start-ups which require angel funding to survive and grow.
Recently, in the case of Cinestaan Entertainment Private Limited, Amicus succeeded in deleting the entire tax demand on issuance of share at premium under section 56(2)(viib) of Income Tax Act – the decision itself is a modern milestone in “Income Tax Jurisprudence” on Angel Taxation as it addresses all and sundry issues pertaining to share valuation ranging from the objective of the valuation provisions, the conditions for applicability, role of valuer, relevance of hindsight in valuation as well role of Tax Officer in questioning commercial wisdom of investors and start-ups, interpretation of deeming provision etc. The landmark ruling which is now publicly available in public domain (https://racolblegal.com/no-addition-under-s-562viib-for-issue-of-shares-at-a-premiumangel-tax/) shall provide guidance to other investors/ multinational companies in India grappling with the complex issue of Angel Tax.

The firm has also secured several Tax wins at appellate forums in past including wins at appellate levels for De Diamond Electric India Pvt Ltd. (High Court), Rollatainers (Delhi High Court), Renu Creation (Tax Tribunal), Rice India and Diamond Electric MFG Co. Ltd. (Transfer Pricing Officer).

So far the Firm has not lost any appellate matter. It is a matter of immense pride for the Firm that it has been able to secure relief for clients in every case where it has undertaken representation.

For Financial Year 2018-19 itself the Firm has won as many as 10 Tax/ Transfer Pricing litigation matters at different forums. A summary of these 10 litigation matters is provided below:

 (i). Pyramid IT Consulting India Pvt. Ltd (Delhi Tax Tribunal): Tax Tribunal ruled in favour of client and deleted the additions made on account of arm’s length price for software services (Tax Tribunal committed mistake apparent on face of record made in case of staffing services segment against which Amicus filed a miscellaneous application for correction)
 (ii). Pyramid IT Consulting India Pvt. Ltd (Miscellaneous Application before Delhi Tribunal : for correction mistake apparent on face of record): Tax Tribunal partially accepted the mistake apparent on face of record and directed Transfer Pricing Officer to exclude one comparable which was not-adjudicated in Tribunal order. However, Tribunal still did not provide complete relief and therefore, client moved the High Court (through Amicus)
(iii). Pyramid IT Consulting India Pvt. Ltd (Delhi High Court): Delhi High Court admitted the appeal on the issue of inclusion or exclusion of one comparable which in view of the Court constituted a ‘substantial question of law’ and remanded back the matter to the Transfer Pricing Officer with specific directions in favour of client. Delhi High Court held that the Tribunal had erred in not taking into account evidence placed by assessee on record.
(Iv). Cinestaan Entertainment Pvt Ltd (Delhi Tribunal)[ Stay Proceedings]: Tax Tribunal granted stay on demand raised by Revenue Authorities on the Angel Tax issue involving pricing of equity shares issued at premium.
(v). Cinestaan Entertainment Pvt Ltd (Delhi Tribunal): In connection with the above matter, in the detailed merit appeal hearing, Tax Tribunal deleted the entire tax demand raised by Revenue Authorities laying down extremely important principles on the issue of valuation and the related deeming provisions of the Indian Income Tax Act making this Ruling a landmark ruling on the subject.
(vi). Renu’s Creations Pvt. Ltd (Delhi Tribunal): The Tax Tribunal ruled in favour of client and the entire tax liability as determined by the lower authority was deleted. Held that the Assessing Officer had failed to demonstrate the conditions for best judgement assessment and was therefore wrong in setting aside assessee’s books and adopt an ad-hoc approach.
(vii). De Diamond Electric India Pvt. Ltd.(Delhi High Court): High Court dismissed the appeal by Department on the basis of assessee’s arguments which principally revolved around the low tax effect of department’s appeal.
(viii). Diamond Electric MFG, Co. Limited (Transfer Pricing Officer): Transfer Pricing Officer ruled in favour of the client and adjudged all international transactions in relation to royalty, interest and fee for technical services to be at arm’s length.
(ix). Rubber Skill Development Council (Assessing officer): The Assessing Officer granted stay on tax demand raised by Revenue Authorities on the issue of treating assessee’s income as taxable income and denying benefit of an exemption provision under Income Tax Act.
(x). M/s Innovative Textiles Ltd (Authority of Advance Ruling): The Authority of Advance ruling pronounced an order in favour of client and held that since all assets and liabilities were contemplated to be transferred under the business transfer agreement it amounted to a slump sale and was therefore not subject to GST.

2) Transfer Pricing Expertise- The Firm is now well known for its cutting edge Transfer Pricing solutions that span advisory and documentation to full blown controversy management services at higher appellate levels.

3) Transfer Pricing Planning and Advisory- The Firm not only designs and implements Transfer Pricing policies with comprehensive documentation support but also offers Transfer Pricing risk mitigation advice from overseas perspective leveraging on its global network of Transfer Pricing Specialists (Altus-Network – https://altustpnetwork.com/). Notable for year 2018-19 are Transfer Pricing advisory assignments on Master-file preparation for Phoenix Contact India Private Limited (Major Electronic Equipment Manufacturer) and Pisces eServices Private Limited (online food portal) under the recently introduced Indian Law seeking to incorporate BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifiting) recommendations by OECD.

4) Transfer Pricing Documentation and Compliance- Invariably clients that seek Transfer Pricing Planning Advice from the firm also engage the firm for annual documentation and compliance work. ICRA Group, Pyramid Group, De Diamond, Corbus Group, Bene Group, Pentax Group are select clients for whom the Firms undertakes annual Transfer Pricing Documentation.

5) Global Transfer Pricing Alliance- Amicus is the exclusive Indian Member of Altus- Alliance (Global Network of Transfer Pricing Specialists – www.altus-alliance.com ) which has members across the globe covering all key jurisdictions such as US, UK, Canada, Japan, China, Australia etc. Amicus is the only Law Firm in India that has a global Transfer Pricing network that can assist clients on overseas Transfer Pricing implications and documentation on need basis. This is another critical distinguishing feature which makes Amicus a preferred choice when it comes to complex cross-border advisory work involving contentious Transfer Pricing issues.

6) Recently Launched GST Practice – In 2017, the Firm launched its GST practice assisting multinational clients to come to terms with India’s new indirect tax regime as rather complex amalgam of central and state levies were replaced with a single Goods and Services Tax (‘GST’). The firm not only assisted clients in transitioning to the new regime through effective training and implementation but is now providing GST Advisory services on retainer basis to tide over legal issues arising from the new GST Regime. The Firm is currently assisting a number of clients from Services and Hospitality Industry in complying with the ever-changing GST Regulations which are constantly being amended and articulated to cater to evolving business needs and exigencies. These include Lemon Tree Hotels – India’s largest Hotel Chain, Yumcha Group of Restaurants, Denave, Pyramid IT Consulting Ltd, JK Cement Ltd (India’s Largest Cement Manufacturer) and Innovative Textiles on securing an Advance Ruling in relation to GST. The Firm has been advising clients on re-structuring of businesses for rationalization of the number of GSTINs, streamlining cash flows, optimising Input Tax Credit, reducing compliance cost etc apart from assisting them in ensuring that their routine day to day transactions are GST Compliant.

PARTNER PROFILES:

1. Ashutosh Mohan Rastogi | Tax, GST & Transfer Pricing Services

  • Co-founder and tax lawyer with more than 15 years of experience in Tax/Transfer Pricing, consulting and advisory.
  • Ashutosh has successfully represented several multinational companies before tax authorities in Transfer Pricing/ International Tax audits and advised companies on several complex Transfer Pricing matters. He has been instrumental in advising and shaping the Transfer Pricing policies of Corporates including a telecom major and an e-learning giant. His International Taxation experience encompasses all aspects of Transfer Pricing advisory, GAAR, POEM compliance and litigation services (including representation at higher appellate levels).
  • Ashutosh regularly serves as tax counsel on Tax/ Transfer Pricing matters at higher appellate forums including Tax Tribunal and High Court.
  • Ashutosh is currently providing end to end GST advisory services ranging from Training to in-depth planning and impact analysis. Assisted by a team of Lawyers, Ashutosh is assisting companies in evaluating implications of the new GST law, analysing the legal/ financial impact, and devise systems, process and control framework for successful migration to GST.
  • Ashutosh has been rated as the Transfer Pricing Lawyer of the Year by Finance Awards and Tax Law Firm of the Year (2016) – Acquisition International Awards. He is highly recommended by Legal 500 (2016, 2017 & 2018, 2019) for Transfer Pricing advisory and dispute resolution services.
  • He has authored dozens of articles for leading tax journals such as BNA Bloomberg, IBFD and Tax sutra (online portal).
  • BA (Hons) Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University; LLB, Delhi University; LLM, New York University School of Law.

2. Shivi Agarwal | Partner, M&A and Private Equity

  • Co-founding partner of the Firm, Shivi Agarwal leads the Firm’s private equity and corporate finance practice.
  • She is applauded by clients for her understanding of commercial issues and her ability to find solutions.
  • Shivi has been recommended by leading independent legal rankings such as IFLR and Legal500 for her legal advice and business acumen.
  • She has advised investee and investors on private equity transactions, including exits and strategic sales, across various sectors, including infrastructure and financial services.
  • Shivi has also worked extensively with debt funds and non- banking finance companies on various lending transactions, including corporate and mezzanine funding, retail and Fintech lending, where she has advised on compliances, lending structures, documentation and strategic tie-ups with service partners assets. She also often works with lenders for strategizing resolution of distressed situations.
  • BA (Hons), Lady Sri Ram College, Delhi University; LLB, Delhi University.

3. Madhav Rastogi | Partner, Corporate Finance & Regulatory

  • Madhav Rastogi leads the Real Estate and Project Finance practice of the Firm, with experience on a wide range of secured financing including external commercial borrowing, listed debt and consortium finance (including infrastructure financing).
  • Clients also look to him for guidance on regulatory issues, particularly under company and foreign exchange laws and he has been recommended by Legal 500 for his responsiveness and knowledge.
  • Madhav has previously worked with Khaitan & Co. and Dhir & Dhir, Associates.
  • Madhav’s engagement with the real estate sector has also given the Firm in depth knowledge and understanding of real estate laws across various states in including title and development issues, which is readily accessed by clients for real estate transactions.
  • Madhav has been actively involved with corporate social responsibility initiatives of clients and has also been spearheading the Firm’s pro bono practice by assisting non- governmental organisations such as Youth Football Club and Gift a Tree Network on various legal issues and compliances.
  • BA (Hons), Delhi University; LLB, IP University.

4. Kinshuk Chatterjee | Head, Litigation and Disputes Resolution.

  • Kinshuk heads the disputes and litigation practice in Amicus. He has over 10 years of experience, in India and London in representing clients in arbitration proceedings as well as litigation in recovery suits and writs, financial fraud litigation and consumer complaints.
  • He has represented corporates and high net worth individuals in international arbitration under ICC, LCIA and LMAA in disputes arising out of joint ventures, construction contracts, aircraft and drilling rig agreements.
  • In addition, over the last 18 months he has been focusing on insolvency laws and practices extensively in the NCLT and NCLAT, representing insolvency professionals, committee of creditors, banks and home buyer associations in petitions and ancillary proceedings arising out of avoidable transactions and non-cooperation by promoters.
  • In addition, he has represented resolution professionals in corporate insolvency litigation against corporate entities operating in real estate, energy sector, steel and textile and consumer goods.
  • He was previously also engaged as General Counsel for a NASDAQ listed telecom software company, where he advised the company on their day-to-day affairs and concluded deals on behalf of the company with telecom giants, in India and overseas.

5. Joyeeta Banerjee | Associate Partner, Debt

  • Joyeeta handles the debt practice of the Firm specializing in the issuance and listing of debt instruments.
  • She is involved, as the lender’s counsel, in the structuring, negotiating and drafting of lending documentation in the real estate as well as other sectors.
  • She also works extensively with various non-banking financial companies and Alternative Investment Funds guiding and advising them on their day to day legal issues.
  • Joyeeta also advises clients in the Fintech ecosystem including structuring of different types of modes being used by fintech companies to tap into the financial service space. She has been with the Firm since 2013 joining the Firm as an Associate.

 

 

 

Department Name Email Telephone
Tax, GST & Transfer Pricing Ashutosh Mohan Rastogi ashutosh@amicusservices.in +91 9818084707
M&A and Private Equity Shivi Agarwal shivi@amicusservices.in +91 9999775630
Corporate Finance & Regulatory Madhav Rastogi madhav@amicusservices.in +91 9818117517
Litigation & Disputes Resolution Kinshuk Chaterjee kinshuk@amicusservices.in +91 8744911519
Debt Joyeeta Banerjee joyeetab@amicusservices.in +91 9953959776
English (fluent)