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Luthra & Luthra tops 2010 projects ranking, chased by AMSS, SJ Law, ILS, AZB

transportation engineering
transportation engineering
Exclusive: Luthra & Luthra has maintained its lead in the project finance domain as the top Indian and second-ranked law firm globally by deal volumes. Amarchand Mangaldas, S J Law Advocates, India Law Services and AZB & Partners followed up in the domestic rankings, where 163 projects worth $81.4bn were completed in India in 2010, according to data provider Dealogic.

Those top five firms together were involved in more than 50 per cent of India-related project financing work in 2010 according to the data released by Dealogic.

Axon Partners and R&A Legal Associates, which made it to the rankings in the third quarter of 2010, failed to secure a place in the full 2010 year rankings however.

In terms of volume Luthra added 15 new projects to its tally in the final quarter of the calendar year finishing with 25 total mandates worth $22.4bn by year-end while Amarchand won 11 more project deals from its earlier 8 in quarter four of the calendar year raising $11.0bn in the process.

S J Law Advocates is the runner-up by volume after more than doubling its project mandates by adding 14 mandates in the last quarter of 2010 worth a total of $6.1bn.

Global rankings

Global project finance projects were valued at a record $354.6bn in 2010, according to Dealogic.

Some of the leading international law firms which acted on Indian project finance deals were Praxis Partners Solicitors, Baker & McKenzie, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance LLP and Linklaters.

Luthra & Luthra has retained its position in the category of public private partnerships (PPPs) and Private Finance Initiative (PFI) as the top legal advisers for two years in a row globally while the only other Indian firm to figure on this list was Indian Law Services.

Luthra & Luthra Delhi-based project finance partner Sameen Vyas told Legally India: “Ten years ago there were half as many deals getting signed but not too many getting financially closed. The chances of deals seeing the light of the day are quite high.”

Indian Law Services partner Tushar Desai said that ILS had acted on many deals in 2010, some of which could not be shared due to client confidentiality issues.

Both Luthra and Amarchand figured in the top ten global projects finance legal advisers category amid a host of international law firms with the UK-based Linklaters at number one.

India’s State Bank of India led the mandated arranger rankings with $25.3bn from 69 deals.

Top 10 India Project Finance Transactions - Full Year 2010

The highest volume of transaction brought on record for the projects signed came from Asia witnessing a 31 per cent increase from the previous year to reach $ 129.8bn mark in 2010.

India accounted for the highest number of projects as a leading nation globally reflective of an overall economic growth.

Luthra & Luthra advised on a total of five of the largest Indian transactions including India’s largest and world’s seventh largest - KSK Mahanadi Thermal Power ($3.4bn) - followed by Videocon Telecommunications ($3.1bn), Krishnapatnam Ultra Mega Power ($2.8bn), Prayagraj Thermal Power Plant ($2.4bn) and Centennial Steel ($1.8bn).

Vyas said: “It’s just another example of how India is moving in the direction of being the largest infrastructure market. Unlike a few years ago these are deals which have financially closed so I would say a bulk of them but not all actually see the light of the day.”

AZB & Partners placed fifth on Dealogic’s annual ranking received instructions on two domestic projects 3G Telecom Bharti Airtel ($1.9bn) and Jaypee Nigrie Super Thermal Power ($1.8bn) while S J Law Associates for Chhattisgarh Thermal Power Plant Project ($2.2bn) and Indian Law Services for Taj Expressway PPP Project ($2.1bn) being the third and fourth busiest projects firm advised on one transaction each listed in the top Indian projects league.

India Project Finance Legal Adviser Rankings - Full Year 2010

Pos. Legal Adviser Amount($m) No. %share
1 Luthra & Luthra 22,497 25 36.6
2 Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co 10,995 19 17.9
3 SJ Law Advocates & Solicitors (India) 6,038 20 9.8
4 India Law Services 5,641 15 9.2
5 AZB & Partners 3,119 6 5.1
6 Khaitan Jayakar Sud & Vohra 1,796 3 2.9
7 Trilegal 1,117 5 1.8
8 Khaitan & Co 1,112 3 1.8
9 Fox Mandal Little & Co 1,095 1 1.8
10 S N Gupta & Co 988 1 1.6
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