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The best of law firms' pre-Christmas deals, wrapped upThe best of law firms' pre-Christmas deals, wrapped upAs 2013 year-end approaches and law firms send out a flood of press releases to ensure they make it into the annual deals league tables, Legally India has wrapped up the most interesting ones in one tidy package.

Bharti sells out to JV-partner Walmart, AZB, JSA do paperwork and clear CCI

The Competition Commission of India has given the nod for the Bharti group to sell its nearly 50 per cent stake in the Cedar Support Services joint venture to the US retail giant Walmart, which had a majority stake in the venture [Moneycontrol: Details of transaction & CCI]

Bharti: AZB & Partners Delhi partners Gautam Saha and Samir Gandhi

Walmart: JSA partner Amitabh Kumar, senior associates Reeti Choudhary and Gautam Shahi, and associate Lagna Panda.

AMSS, Luthra, S&R, CC, Latham sell 27% Medanta-Medicity stake to Carlyle for Rs 960 crore

PE firm Carlyle Group invested 27 per cent in Gurgaon-based multi-specialty Medanta Medicity Hospital for Rs 960 crore ($155m), buying from US-based PE firm Avenue Capital [Financial Express / Livemint]

Carlyle: Luthra & Luthra Mumbai private equity partner Shishir Vayttaden, supported by competition law, regulatory and IP teams; International advisers: Clifford Chance Hong Kong, and Latham & Watkins Brussels on anti-trust

Avenue Capital: S&R Associates partner Rajat Sethi, and associates Radhika Iyer and Neha Goyal.

Medanta Medicity: Amarchand Mangaldas

Invus Group invests in Capital Foods, Biyani exits with AMSS, AZB

Kishore Biyani-owned Future Consumer Enterprises sold its 44 per cent stake to European family office Artal Investments and its affiliate PE fund Invus Group [ET]

Invus: Amarchand Mangaldas Delhi partner Raghubir Menon, principal associate designates Ekta Gupta and Natashaa Shroff, senior associate designate Anirban Bhattacharyya, associates Neha Udeshi and Niti Chatterjee, and consultant Shaun Star.

Capital Foods & promoter Ajay Gupta: AZB & Partners Mumbai partner Alka Nalavadi and senior associate Jasmin Karkhanis

Amarchand, S&R, DLA bag Power Grid $1.13bn public equity offering

Power Grid Corporation, which owns and operates more than 90% of India’s inter-state transmission systems, raised Rs 6,900 crore through a follow-on public offer, which it would use to invest in 27 transmission projects. Book running lead managers (BRLM) were Citigroup, ICICI Securities, Kotak Mahindra Capital Company, SBI Capital Markets and UBS Securities India [ET]

Power Grid: Amarchand Delhi partner Prashant Gupta, principal associate Sayantan Dutta, senior associate Agnik Bhattacharyya, associates Rishika Sengupta, Akanksha Mahapatra and Medha Kumar

BRLM: S&R Associates partners Juhi Singh and Venkatesh Vijayaraghavan, with associates Mohit Gogia, Ganeev Dhillon, Priyanka Mehta, Rohit Anand and Dhruv Agarwal

DLA Singapore acted as international counsel to the deal

A&M, Dua help Dutch start-up fund insert $5m into EPS ATM services business

Mumbai Electronic Payment and Services (EPS), managing end-to-end ATM operations for Indian commercial banks, raised Rs 33 crore ($5m) from Asia Participation, which is an affiliate Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO NV [VCCircle]

FMO: A&M Law Offices New Delhi partner Viral Mehta and associates Prachi Goel and Kinnari Sanghvi

EPS: Dua Associates Mumbai partner Vinod Joseph, senior associate Sugandha Kamal and associate Rajat Agarwal

AMSS, JSA, Luthra help Gillette shareholders Poddar, P&G divest for SEBI, with Jones Day, OMM

The promoters of Gillette India (The Poddar Group and Procter & Gamble (P&G)), sold off 2.8m shares worth $91.52m, to reduce their stake to comply with SEBI’s minimum public shareholding norms [Dealcurry]. DSP Merrill Lynch and ICICI Securities were the brokers.

Brokers: Luthra & Luthra partner Manan Lahoty and senior associates Surya Bala and Komal Mehta, with O’Melveny & Myers Singapore partner Pooja Sinha

P&G: J Sagar Associates partner Kaushik Mukherjee, and Jones Day Singapore partner Manoj Bhargava

Poddar Group: Amarchand Mangaldas partner Prashant Gupta

Khaitan, BakerMacs get $500m BNP Paribas loan to Bharat Petrol

BNP Paribas granted $500m in external commercial borrowing to Bharat Petroleum Corporation to finance its crude oil imports

BNP Paribas: Khaitan & Co partner Devidas Banerji, with Baker & McKenzie Wong & Leow Singapore-based principal James Huang on English law

ELP, Tempus structure D-Link’s F1 Networks purchase through SEBI Chapter VII share swap

Networking company D-Link Group in India and with its Mauritius holding company is set to acquire Team F1 Networks, which specialises in embedded software engineering and R&D, with expertise in networking and security. The acquisition will be made through a preferential issue of equity shares in a share swap, under Chapter VII of the SEBI (ICDR) Regulations.

D-Link: ELP partner Suhail Nathani, associate partner Vinayak Burman, consultant Yogesh Chande and associate manager Archana Khosla

Team F1 Networks: Tempus Law partner Sundari R Pisupati and associate Sambit Das

AMSS, AZB, ELP do complex $110m Blackstone takeover of Agile Electric

PE firm Blackstone bought a 97.9 per cent stake in auto parts maker Agile Electric Sub Assembly for around Rs 650 crore ($110m) via an open offer, including stakes in Agile shareholders HBL Power Systems from Hyderabad and in Igarashi Motors, which was bought by HBL in 2010. Padmanaban Mukund also sold shares to Blackstone, according to Livemint.

“Through its acquisition of shares in Agile, including the subscription of OCDs by the resident individual as a [Blackstone and Padmanabhan Mukund], Blackstone will exercise indirect control over [Igarashi], resulting in an indirect trigger of an open offer to the public shareholders of IMIL in terms of the SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011.” said ELP in a statement. Mape Advisory Group was the manager to the offer.

Agile & Igarashi Motors India: ELP partner Suhail Nathani, consultant Yogesh Chande and associate Tomu Francis

Blackstone: Amarchand Mangaldas partner Raghubir Menon

Selling shareholders & Mape Adivsory Group: AZB & Partners

JSA acts in Red Fort Capital 49% sale of Godrej Developers

Red Fort Capital sold its 49 per cent stake in Godrej Developers to Godrej Properties

Red Fort: JSA partner Vivek Chandy and associate Siddharth K Vedula

Godrej: In-house

JSA, KPMG help France’s GDF Suez buy into Rs 6,000 crore Meenakshi AP power project

French energy company GDF Suez bought 74% in a 1,000 megawatt, Rs 6,000 crore Meenakshi Energy and Infrastructure Holdings coal-fired power project in Andhra Pradesh [Livemint]

GDF Suez: J Sagar Associates M&A partners Upendra N Sharma and Nitesh Bhasin, and Associates Udhav Gulati & Mudita Roy; Projects & project finance partners Sumanto Basu and Pallavi Bedi, senior associate Deepak Thakur and associate Kartikeya Dar; Regulatory partner Vishnu Sudarsan and associate Kartikeya GS, and Hyderabad real estate partner Sanjay Kishore and associate Mohan Kumar.

Meenakshi: KPMG partners Manish Aggarwal and Hitesh Sachdeva

Luthra, AMSS get French Indian solar foothold with $50m EDF-ACME deal

The French government-run renewables company EDF Energies Nouvelles has entered India with a $50m investment into ACME Solar Energy to produce solar power cells [Mint]

EDF: Luthra & Luthra partners Sudipta Routh and Tarun Govil

ACME: Amarchand Mangaldas partners Jatin Aneja and Vidyut Gulati

Khaitan helps Tech Mahindra & Engineering on strategic merger

Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Engineering Services merged through a scheme of amalgamation and arrangement under sections 391 to 394, read with sections 78, 100 to 104 of the Companies Act 1956, in order to strengthen its engineering offering [Mint / Mahindra press release]

Mahindra companies: Khaitan & Co corporate partner Vaishali Sharma and competition partner Avaantika Kakkar

If you would like your deals reported in Legally India, please send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details of the transaction and lead partners.

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1
 
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Recommend! +2 Objection! -0 Rabbit 2013-12-26 15:59
Can't help but note the number of deals that have been cornered by Amarchand, AZB, Luthra and JSA. Good going by the big guns!
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Guest 2013-12-27 02:09
The Indian magic circle (or top 5) comprising AMSS, KCo, AZB, JSA and Luthra remain untouchable. There is of course a chasing pack of 20 - but those remain largely behind the magic circle.
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Recommend! +2 Objection! -2 Yeh bhi 2013-12-27 12:29
I agree. Luthra is untouchable.
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3
 
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Recommend! +3 Objection! -4 p 2013-12-27 10:48
There is obviously no comparison - all marquee top deals are swallowed by AMSS, AZB, Luthra, Khaitan and JSA. There is clearly a magic circle formed by these top five law firms in India.
There is no doubt that AMSS is the leader. AZB is good in PE/M&A but not that full service since they are not reckoned as a Project Finance, IPR or litigation Firm.
Khaitan, Luthra and JSA are full service, but not upto the league of AMSS.
Of course, there is a huge gap between the "magic circle" of India and the rest of the firms who are playing "catching up"!
I would say that Wadia Ghandy is inching closer.
Others like TTA, Platinum, S&R, Tatva, Samvad, Lexygen, HSA, are nowhere near the top - though they may be good in their own fields but not large full service firms.
Fox, Dua, Mulla, Crawford, Little etc must have retired hurt by now.
But I like Wadia, though a traditional old school firm, they have rediscovered and reinvented themselves under Ahuja's leadership. But they should increase their fees. Apparently, they charge half of what the Indian "magic circle" firms charge.
I would rank the top firms as below:
1. Amarchand
2. Khaitan
3. Luthra
4. AZB
5. JSA
9. Wadia Ghandy
15. Others
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3.1
 
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Recommend! +3 Objection! -0 Scooter 2013-12-27 18:08
Luthra? No. 3? Hahaha, don't try being funny.
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3.2
 
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Tangent 2013-12-28 16:27
Fairly honest assessment of the law firms on which I largely agree.
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Recommend! +2 Objection! -3 Lex 2013-12-28 18:31
Quoting p:
There is obviously no comparison - all marquee top deals are swallowed by AMSS, AZB, Luthra, Khaitan and JSA. There is clearly a magic circle formed by these top five law firms in India.
There is no doubt that AMSS is the leader. AZB is good in PE/M&A but not that full service since they are not reckoned as a Project Finance, IPR or litigation Firm.
Khaitan, Luthra and JSA are full service, but not upto the league of AMSS.
Of course, there is a huge gap between the "magic circle" of India and the rest of the firms who are playing "catching up"!
I would say that Wadia Ghandy is inching closer.
Others like TTA, Platinum, S&R, Tatva, Samvad, Lexygen, HSA, are nowhere near the top - though they may be good in their own fields but not large full service firms.
Fox, Dua, Mulla, Crawford, Little etc must have retired hurt by now.
But I like Wadia, though a traditional old school firm, they have rediscovered and reinvented themselves under Ahuja's leadership. But they should increase their fees. Apparently, they charge half of what the Indian "magic circle" firms charge.
I would rank the top firms as below:
1. Amarchand
2. Khaitan
3. Luthra
4. AZB
5. JSA
9. Wadia Ghandy
15. Others


You mentioned lexygen?
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Recommend! +5 Objection! -3 Scooter 2013-12-27 11:03
Luthra is hardly magic circle. and KCO only if ure counting aggression.
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Inside AMSS 2013-12-27 11:14
KCO, while has market share, last pitched for a deal for 30USD/hour for partner rates. With partners like [...], what do you expect!
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Anon 2013-12-27 12:37
Did KPMG advise on legal work? How?
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6
 
Recommend! +7 Objection! -1 Biglaw 2013-12-27 14:01  interesting
All desperate Biglaw associates seem to be gathering round and praising each other.

Re the so called Magic Circle, they get deals because of connections and longevity, not quality. You just have to listen to their clients to appreciate this.
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 ginger 2013-12-28 10:54
Well sir, the top law firms must be doing something right to continue getting these deals. We tend to keep saying that the top law firms get deals because of connections, etc. Well, the CEOs/CFOs/GCs and promoters are not fools. They would not be going to top law firms if they were getting shitty advice and quality.
Admit it... there has to be a reason that top law firms keep getting the best deals in the market.
The "magic circle" Indian law firms also charge (mostly) double the rates of most other law firms. Are you trying to say that the promoters/GCs and CEOs are dumb to pay premium rates to these top firms for not-so-good advice and quality?
Lets face the reality guys.
And I don't work for a tier I law firm
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6.1.1
 
Recommend! +5 Objection! -0 Biglaw 2013-12-29 11:00  interesting
Ginger, your points are well made, I would like to respond as follows:

- 80% of Indian Biglaw revenue is generated through connections. Some of these connections (including with MNCs) are so entrenched that GCs find it difficult to change them even though they are very unhappy with the service- there is no doubt that people like Zia and Cyril give excellent one on one advise to the Promoters and hence they are happy engaging with them, and always turn to them for the big deals- however, on the ground the work is done by first year associates and the quality is pathetic (correction, now the work is fought over between the new partners who have zero rainmaking skills, the quality remains pathetic).

- Biglaw spends a lot of money in events, advertisements, maintaining top tier ranking etc. Its evident therefore that at the higher management level, CYA is best achieved by hiring Biglaw, so they can turn back and say "Look we hired the best, its not our fault they f****d up"

- The higher prices are a reflection of the above. It may also be noted that some of the smaller Firms, who are establishing a niche for quality- Platinum, Talwar Thakore, SNR, charge equivalent rates. Further, if you follow the market- all of the "magic circle"- AMSS, JSA, Kco, Luthra (except perhaps AZB), have significantly slashed their rates

- The market is seeing a correction that is reflected in the fact that a lot of the mid-tier are doing excellent transactions (because people are looking at a lawyer and not at the firm when giving deals), and this will continue.

-
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6.1.1.1
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2013-12-30 11:29
Quoting Biglaw:
Ginger, your points are well made, I would like to respond as follows:

- 80% of Indian Biglaw revenue is generated through connections. Some of these connections (including with MNCs) are so entrenched that GCs find it difficult to change them even though they are very unhappy with the service- there is no doubt that people like Zia and Cyril give excellent one on one advise to the Promoters and hence they are happy engaging with them, and always turn to them for the big deals- however, on the ground the work is done by first year associates and the quality is pathetic (correction, now the work is fought over between the new partners who have zero rainmaking skills, the quality remains pathetic).

- Biglaw spends a lot of money in events, advertisements, maintaining top tier ranking etc. Its evident therefore that at the higher management level, CYA is best achieved by hiring Biglaw, so they can turn back and say "Look we hired the best, its not our fault they f****d up"

- The higher prices are a reflection of the above. It may also be noted that some of the smaller Firms, who are establishing a niche for quality- Platinum, Talwar Thakore, SNR, charge equivalent rates. Further, if you follow the market- all of the "magic circle"- AMSS, JSA, Kco, Luthra (except perhaps AZB), have significantly slashed their rates

- The market is seeing a correction that is reflected in the fact that a lot of the mid-tier are doing excellent transactions (because people are looking at a lawyer and not at the firm when giving deals), and this will continue.

-

Whole-heartedly agree. These big law firms now provide discounts of 10-20%.
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6.1.1.1...
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Biglaw 2013-12-30 15:26
Actually Guest- 10-20 percent was the norm even in 2007-2008. Now its more 40-50%
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6.2
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2013-12-30 11:26
Quoting Biglaw:
All desperate Biglaw associates seem to be gathering round and praising each other.

Re the so called Magic Circle, they get deals because of connections and longevity, not quality. You just have to listen to their clients to appreciate this.

Agree!

Hear, hear!
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7
 
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Recommend! +2 Objection! -0 Guest 2013-12-27 22:39
With A and O gone...
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8
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -1 Anon 2013-12-28 12:15
Why is there no mention of the Strides-Mylan deal? It was one of the biggest deals of the year wasn't it? Kian, while I understand the bias towards a few firms please don't let that affect the reporting standards of Legally India.
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8.1
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2013-12-29 18:52
Hiya - we actually covered the Strides-Mylan deal in February:

www.legallyindia.com/201302283476/Corporate-/-MA/hsf-dsk-legal-skadden-slaughters-platinum-inject-strides-1-85bn-agila-into-mylan

I believe it only closed recently, but there'd be no point in covering it again...
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8.1.1
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anon 2013-12-30 10:54
Wasn't this article a flashback on the biggest deals of the year? At least that is the way I read your first paragraph of this article.

And even if you have covered a deal, Strides or otherwise, if it is of a much higher value than most other deals mentioned herein, I would imagine it deserves a mention.

It seems a little ridiculous to me that I come to read an article on the 13 deals of the year and a deal of well over $1 billion doesn't figure on the list. And honestly, it makes me doubt how many other deals you have missed out which are bigger than the ones chosen by you.
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8.1.1.1
 
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 kianganz 2013-12-30 11:25
Ah, maybe the lead was unclear. This was just a round up of the most recent deals of the last month or so, summarising the pre-Christmas press releases...
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Legally wierd 2013-12-29 15:56
@ Kian/Priyanka,

You have not included the buyback of Bayer Cropscience Limited for Rs 455 Crores...any news on that....
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9.1
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2013-12-29 18:52
Do you know anyone who advised on that by any chance?

Ps: Who's Priyanka? :)
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9.1.1
 
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Recommend! +2 Objection! -0 Legally wierd 2013-12-29 20:36
Kian as per BayerCropscience Limited's investor relations page Crawford Bayley & Co. is their Solicitors.

Follow the link: www.bayergroupindia.com/investor_new.html

PS: Sorry i mean Prachi..
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9.1.2
 
Recommend! +4 Objection! -0 dude 2013-12-30 12:38
Quoting kianganz:
Do you know anyone who advised on that by any chance?

Ps: Who's Priyanka? :)


Kian, how many years have you spent in India by now. Don't you know Priyanka??? She belongs to a "royal" family with full dynasty rights and her husband is an extremely shrewd businessman having interests in land (the value of which appreciates multiple times the moment he acquires it)
How can you ask this question. Sacrilege !!
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9.1.3
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -1 Guest 2014-01-13 15:58
Quoting kianganz:
Do you know anyone who advised on that by any chance?

Ps: Who's Priyanka? :)


Mr. Sanjay Buch, Partner Crawford Bayley & Co. advised Bayer Cropscience Limited in the buyback of shares
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10
 
Recommend! +4 Objection! -0 Guest 2013-12-30 18:01
where is trilegal?
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10.1
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Guest 2013-12-31 15:25
Refer to comment no. 7
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