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Record: Amarchand, Luthra top half-year's IPO rankings; Fastest climbers: AZB, DLA and newcomer Zenith

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Exclusive: Amarchand Mangaldas has reclaimed the top rank in Legally India’s 2010-11 first-half-year initial public offering (IPO) league table ahead of Luthra & Luthra, with AZB & Partners winning third place after doubling its IPO mandates compared to the same period last year as Khaitan & Co dropped four ranks.

New league table entrant Zenith India Lawyers won the fourth spot with five IPOs ahead of Crawford Bayley & Co with four in the first six months of the 2010-11 financial year (1 April 2010 to 30 September 2010) slipped a notch down.

A resurgent economy and a return of investor appetite led to a drastic increase in the number of companies that took the capital markets route to raise money, almost matching the levels of late 2007 and 2008, according to the Deccan Herald.

In the July to September financial quarter alone a total of 50 prospectuses were filed with the market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), including a mix of initial and follow-on public offers. In comparison 45 IPOs were filed last year between the half year from April and October 2009.

While Luthra & Luthra and Amarchand were neck-on-neck in the first quarter of this year 2010-11, Amarchand made up ground in the second quarter with 13 mandates, on eight of which it acted as domestic legal counsel while five came from the underwriters.

Amarchand advised manufacturer Virgo Engineers (which aims to raise Rs 3.4 bn), retailer Future Ventures India (Rs 750 crores), national bank Punjab & Sind Bank (Rs 500 crores), realty firm Lavasa Corporation (Rs 2000 crores), follow-on offer of state-owned Hindustan Copper (Rs 18.39 crores), edible oil producer Tara Health Foods and auto component firm Endurance Technologies.

Amarchand acted for the underwriters on the IPOs of mobile company Micromax Informatics Limited ($150m), real estate group Kalpataru Limited (Rs 1008 crores), IOT Infrastructure & Energy Services, the disinvestment of Coal India (over Rs 15,000 crores) and Embassy Property Developments (Rs 24 bn).

Amarchand is now at a total of 18 IPOs this financial year - two more mandates than over the same period in 2009-10.

Luthra & Luthra's total is now nine mandates, of which four IPO drafts were filed in the past quarter. In total this is an increase of 50 per cent as against the same period last year, and puts Luthra firmly into the runner-up spot.

In the last quarter Luthra & Luthra rendered legal advice to the issuing companies on Coal India – a record and the largest issue of the year - and Tara Jewels public issues while the firm led for the underwriters on domestic laws pertaining to the share offerings of Moil India and the Rs 800 crore Muthoot Finance issue.

AZB & Partners and S&R Associates both bagged four IPOs in the last quarter, with AZB having acted as corporate counsel on all four, while S&R advised two companies and two banker each.

For AZB its total numbers of IPO mandates this first half of the financial year has increased to six, from only three in the same period last year, propelling it to third place from sixth place in H1 2009-10.

AZB & Partners advised Embassy Property Developments and L&T Finance Holdings (Rs 1,500 crore) on their IPOs, opposite best friend Clifford Chance which advised the bank on international laws. Amarchand and S&R Associates respectively acted for the bankers on those deals.

AZB also led for realtor group Kalpataru’s IPO with Jones Day acting for the underwriters on foreign laws alongside the Bangalore office of Amarchand on national laws. AZB was also company counsel to Kerala-based NBFC Muthoot Finance with Luthra & Luthra as the legal counsel to book running lead managers in the issue that plans to raise Rs 8000 crore through public offerings. Legal advice on international laws was rendered by DLA Piper.

Gurgaon-based Zenith India Lawyers was the surprise entrant in fourth place, having in the last quarter advised on four of the smaller IPOs of Omkar Speciality Chemicals, PG Electroplast, Aravali Infrapower and Rama Medicares.

Zenith was set up in 2006 by former SEBI deputy legal adviser Raj Rani and California attorney Mukesh Advani.

Khaitan & Co, however, dropped from second place in H1 2009-10 with seven mandates to only four mandates and sixth place. Nevertheless, the firm bagged three IPOs in the second quarter of this year.

Khaitan was instrumental on the public issue of Betul Oil and Blend Financial Services as company counsel as well as on the Rs 18.3 crore disinvestment of shares by state-unit Hindustan Copper as legal advisors to underwriters on domestic laws. Dorsey & Whitney LLP advised the underwriters on the Hindustan Copper IPO.

S&R Associates was the company’s legal counsel on the public offerings issued by A2Z Maintenance & Engineering Services and Emaar MGF Land, which had previously made two attempts to launch its IPO.

The Mumbai office of Trilegal received instructions from the merchant banks on the IPO of A2Z Maintenance which took DLA Piper’s help for understanding foreign laws on their Rs 350 crore issue.

The other IPO on which Trilegal received an underwriter’s mandate was that of media company Nimbus Communications which hopes to raise Rs 350 crores in public offerings.

Dua Associates and Linklaters LLP were the other law firms hired by the underwriters of Emaar for work on the domestic and international law aspects. Dua Associates acted on one more IPO mandate – IOT Infrastructure – where it helped the issuers as company counsel along with Amarchand and international firm Ashurst on the underwriter’s side.

International firm DLA Piper has had a remarkable head start into the league tables with six IPO advisories after an insignificant performance in the last financial quarter and also last year, surpassing Jones Day and Dorsey & Whitney LLP which were in the lead amongst international firms until now but still occupy a safe second and third place respectively with five and four mandates this year.

Clifford Chance mopped up thee IPOs in the second quarter of 2010-11 putting the firm into fourth position. The firm acted opposite its best friend AZB on two deals, and together with Amarchand and J Sagar Associates on the Lavasa Corporation IPO.

Indian domestic firm IPO mandates H1 2010-11

Rank
(H1
2010-11)

Rank
(H1
2009-10)

Firm

Total mandates (H1
2010-11)

Company mandates
(H1
2010-11)

Bank mandates
(H1
2010-11)

Total mandates (H1
2009-10)

1 1 Amarchand Mangaldas 18 12 6 16
2 3 Luthra & Luthra 9 5 4 6
3 6 AZB & Partners 6 6 - 3
4 - Zenith India Lawyers 5 5 -
5 5 Crawford Bayley & Co. 4 4 -
6 2 Khaitan & Co 4 3 1 7
7 7 S&R Associates 4 2 2 3
8 - ALMT Legal 2 2 -
8 - Alliance Corporate Lawyers 2 2 -
8 4 Vaish Associates Advocates 2 2 - 3
8 10 Rajani Associates 2 2 -
12 - Dua Associates 2 1 1
12 - J Sagar Associates 2 1 1
14 - Trilegal 2 - 2

Source Legally India

International firm IPO mandates H1 2010-11

Rank
(H1
2010-11)

Rank
(H1
2009-10)

Firm

Total mandates (H1
2010-11)

Company mandates
(H1
2010-11)

Bank mandates
(H1
2010-11)

Total mandates (H1
2009-10)

1 - DLA Piper Singapore Pte. Ltd. 7 7
2 2 Jones Day 5 5 4
3 1 Dorsey & Whitney LLP 4 4 5
4 3 Clifford Chance CC Asia Limited 3 3 3
5 - Ashurst 2 2
5 3 Linklaters LLP 2 2 3

Source Legally India

Methodology: legal advisers to all draft prospectuses filed with SEBI in the period 1 April – 30 September 2010. Ranked by total mandates, followed by company mandates, listing all firms that advised on more than two IPOs.

Read the first quarter 2010-11 IPO rankings and the first half 2009-10 IPO rankings.

Read the full 2009-10 financial year QIP rankings for more top capital markets firms.

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