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Khaitan & Co goes Easy Rider India

Khaitan & Co has advised motorbike maker Harley Davidson on its entry into India after a US firm's referral of the iconic client.

The Indian legal advice for Harley Davidson was led by managing partner Haigreve Khaitan in Mumbai and Delhi partner Bharat Anand, who was hired by the firm from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer this year.

Haigreve Khaitan said that advising Harley Davidson was great partly because of the brand's history and associated nostalgia.

However, he added that the legal work was challenging too: "Even if it wasn't a transaction which has huge monetary value, there were a lot of complexities in terms of how a business in India can be set up, what are the different models and what are the different channels."

He said that advice involved a variety of areas, including competition law issues, automotive sector specifics and intellectual property advice.

Details of how Harley Davidson's wholly-owned Indian subsidiary is structured are not yet public.

To date, the company has imported around 18 of its bikes into India, although this number will increase before its full retail outlet launch in 2010.

Khaitan & Co won the instruction around eight months ago after US firm Covington & Burling referred its close client Harley Davidson for its India launch to Khaitan & Co.

Harley Davidson formally announced its entry into the Indian market last Thursday (27 August).

It held a launch party in Delhi over the weekend (pictured), which was attended by several Khaitan & Co lawyers, numerous Indian Harley enthusiasts and a small number of bikes.

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