Foreign firms grab the reins to fuel India Inc’s rising ambitions. Vandana Chatlani reports

The past year has been one of renewed optimism. India overtook the UK to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, with the Reserve Bank of India predicting that the country’s GDP will surpass USD3.7 trillion this year. Investments have reached new peaks as foreign investors place capital in everything from agile startups and new economy industries to tried and tested sectors such as energy, projects and manufacturing.

Businesses are feeling buoyant, reassured by the appeal of a stable government, an arbitration regime they can trust and the infinite opportunities of catering to the world’s most populous nation. Recent landmark deals are evidence of this.

International and Indian legal advisers helped close blockbuster transactions including the planned USD10 billion merger of Sony Pictures Networks India and Zee Entertainment, green-lighted by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) last October.

The coming together of Mindtree and Larsen & Toubro Infotech – both subsidiaries of Larsen & Toubro – to create the USD3.5 billion LTI Mindtree, India’s sixth-largest IT services company, was another example of market bullishness.

In some cases, business combinations weren’t necess arily the biggest or boldest, but they were notable firsts, setting benchmarks and paving the way for more activity in untapped areas.

Tech giants Samsung, Apple and Google demonstrated their faith in India’s market by pouring in billions of dollars to establish manufacturing bases and employing technical talent to foster greater innovation.

Indian investors are making their own strides by striking partnerships with foreign entities, raising capital for future expansion, and exporting products, services and ideas.

Last November, in one of the largest outbound acquisitions by an Indian pharmaceutical company, Biocon Biologics purchased the global biosimilars business of Nasdaq-listed Viatris in a USD3.33 billion mega deal.

DreamFolks, India’s largest airport service aggregator platform, raised INR5.6 billion (USD70 million) in an IPO that was oversubscribed 56.68 times, while Sula Vineyards raised INR9.6 billion in the first public offering of a wine business in India.

Foreign firms have worked hard to lend their expertise on many of these matters, while also handholding Indian parties in investigations, restructurings, and the navigation of thorny disputes across courts and arbitral institutions.

As the Russia-Ukraine war grinds on, law firms have been saddled with risk mitigation work. They are advising Indian clients on the impact of sanctions imposed by, and against, Russia, the implementation of measures required to ensure compliance, and the effect of sanctions on the rights and obligations of any further co-operation with Russian entities in ventures and projects that preceded the conflict.Abhijit Joshi

Interest in IT and e-commerce continues to be strong as the quest for digitalisation drives businesses to tighten their grip on emerging technologies to stay ahead of the curve. Such trends are propelling law firms to hone their offerings, touting specialisations in areas of demand like healthcare, artificial intelligence (AI), aerospace and environmental and social governance (ESG), among others.

Law firms are also making strategic moves to edge out competition. Allen & Overy is in talks with Shearman & Sterling to create A&O Shearman, another behemoth transatlantic partnership with nearly 4,000 lawyers including 800 partners across 49 offices and a combined revenue of USD3.4 billion.

Meanwhile, in May, Dentons and Link Legal formalised their partnership in the first official combination between an international and an Indian firm, giving Dentons a presence in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Dentons Link Legal Indian lawyers will represent clients inside India and Dentons lawyers will represent Link Legal’s clients outside the country. This exciting announcement came just before one from the Bar Council of India, which stated that India’s legal market would finally open for foreign participation.

Norton Rose Fulbright calls it “a pivotal milestone for India” which, with the emphasis on expanding capabilities and reach in corporate and arbitration work, “will help to position India as a centre of expertise and excellence in these practices”.

According to Herbert Smith Freehills, the legal market opening “is the latest hot topic amongst our team and clients” and the firm is “actively considering the strategic opportunities that liberalisation brings”.

King & Spalding is “very excited”, and “keeping a keen eye on the developments” to “make a well-considered decision in due course”.

In the same vein, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto says the announcement is “enormously exciting”, and that it plans to “closely monitor the situation and make a decision as soon as there is clarity”.

But many foreign firms appear hesitant to take the plunge immediately. They cite a variety of reasons, including: the desire for detailed clarification of rules; the question of whether an Indian office is necessary when the fly-in-fly-out model is proven; and issues around ensuring a cultural fit, and the consistency and quality of legal advice.

For Mayer Brown, “there is no plan to open a local office as of now, but we see this significant change as a chance for [the firm] to deepen its ties with local best-friends Indian law firms”.

For Appleby, the prospect of opening an office in India is “intriguing”. However, the firm notes more broadly that “there will be challenges to address, such as balancing the needs of foreign firms with those of Indian lawyers, ensuring compliance with local regulations and safeguarding the interests of consumers”.

Cooley believes that, while many firms may be closely assessing a decision, it will take time before the market sees a large influx of foreign firms opening an office in India.

Hengeler Mueller says only time will tell how liberalisation will impact the Indian legal market, “but we are not expecting a big wave of changes … we have witnessed, in the past, similar developments in Germany as well as in other European countries”.

Elias Neocleous & Co (ENC) believes the opening of India’s legal market “is something to be taken seriously by any international law firm wishing to compete on the global stage”. A shared common law background between Cyprus and India makes the prospect of a venture in India “additionally enticing”, says the firm.

ENC predicts the arrival of foreign firms will “intensify competition in the Indian legal sector and offer access to global knowledge and skills”.

This is a positive step as India moves to the front and centre of international affairs. Pundits are stating that we are entering the “Indian Century”.


Law firms will no doubt be weighing their options to determine how best to stay relevant and competitive in India’s vibrant market. It is against this backdrop that India Business Law Journal reveals the India-related achievements and activities of law firms around the world.

Our report, now in its 17th year, draws on an analysis of more than 600 law firms from every continent. All have documented transactions and disputes with an Indian angle in the past 12 months. Our results are based on meticulous research, deep editorial experience and extensive consultation with corporate counsel and Indian law firms.

As in previous years, we received hundreds of submissions from law firms. These were painstakingly scrutinised against public and other records, along with reports in Indian and international media, to ensure the accuracy of our information.

Based on this research, India Business Law Journal is pleased to present its selection of the top 15 foreign law firms for India-related work. We also list 15 firms that are considered key players for India-related deals and an additional 20 firms that are listed as significant players.

Each year we closely examine the work of regional and specialist firms in key economies such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and Singapore, along with regions such as sub-Saharan Africa and offshore investment hubs such as Mauritius and the Cayman Islands. We highlight 16 firms in this category that are sophisticated, dedicated and experienced to attract roles on India-related assignments.

We further identify 20 firms to watch and another 14 firms in the same regional category. Some are colossal operations, providing Indian clients with access to multi-jurisdictional services and a wealth of practice area expertise. Others have cultivated specialist knowledge, creating unrivalled capabilities across industries and establishing regional networks to assist India-focused clients.

All lists are in alphabetical order. Beyond deals, Indian clients also have an abundance of legal choice for containing disputes, as illustrated by the growth of litigators and arbitration specialists with Indian experience across all our categories.

Our Top 15 law firms retain their positions from last year. With multidisciplinary practices, these firms have taken charge of sophisticated matters, complex projects and contentious cases, guaranteeing the loyalty and trust of clients and peers.

Meanwhile, strong performers have secured spots in the key players position because of their dynamic and blossoming practices, not to mention the respect clients show for their India experts. Cooley, Covington & Burling, Gunderson Dettmer, and K&L Gates impressed Indian corporate counsel with their practice specialties, efficient pace and knowledge of the subtleties and nuances of doing business in India.

Many firms in this report have devoted resources, talent and energy to the Indian market for more than two decades, crafting strong relationships with Indian corporate counsel, senior company executives, financial institutions and law firms.

Indian businesses are increasingly taking calculated risks, venturing far and wide to develop products, services and projects, capture new markets, and invest in meaningful collaborations. Their ambition, experience and maturity keeps the floodgates open for any adviser, large or small, who can showcase their legal finesse, cultural understanding and business acumen.

This hunger for development, growth and innovation will no doubt keep foreign lawyers on their toes as Indian clients search for the best commercial minds and legal intelligence on offer.

TOP 15 Foreign firms

  • Allen & Overy

  • Baker McKenzie

  • Bird & Bird

  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

  • Clifford Chance

  • DLA Piper

  • Freshfields

  • Herbert Smith Freehills

  • Jones Day

  • Kirkland & Ellis

  • Latham & Watkins

  • Linklaters

  • Norton Rose Fulbright

  • Sidley Austin

  • White & Case


ALLEN & OVERY (A&O) maintains its preeminence thanks to the depth and breadth of its India group, chaired by partners Pallavi Gopinath Aney and Sheila Ahuja. A&O advised the mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners of a USD10.5 billion debt financing for the leveraged buyout of Ambuja Cements and ACC in the largest M&A transaction in India’s infrastructure and materials sector to date.

In addition, it advised the mandated lead arrangers, underwriters and bookrunners on a USD1.2 billion senior term loan facility for Biocon Biologics, and the Vedanta Group, Sterlite and Serentica Renewables on a joint venture with KKR to fund India’s largest platform for supplying renewable power to commercial and industrial customers. Pascal Unger, corporate counsel at Hapag-Lloyd, says A&O provides “excellent service” and is “pragmatic and solution orientated, with a high degree of commercial understanding”.

BAKER MCKENZIE’s multijurisdictional presence and expertise has earned loyalty from Indian companies exploring business opportunities around the world. “They are old hands at it and have a lot of partners working on matters in India from various jurisdictions,” says Veritas Legal founder and managing partner Abhijit Joshi.

The firm assisted Jain Irrigation Systems on a USD750 million merger of its international irrigation business with Temasek-owned Rivulis; various arrangers, co-ordinators and lenders in a USD1.1 billion syndicated social loan facility to Housing Development Finance Corporation; and the founder of in Singapore Court proceedings to resist an anti-suit injunction. Pujarini Guha Maulik, senior vice president of legal and head of privacy at InMobi, recommends “Ashish Chugh for disputes and Alex Toh for tech, as they are very solid yet pragmatic in their approach”.

BIRD & BIRD profits from strong relationships with Indian companies and law firms under the leadership of partners Nipun Gupta and Nicholas Peacock. Gupta has worked on India M&A since 1992, with a focus on developing and emerging markets, while Peacock is an international dispute resolution expert who arbitrated India-related disputes in London and Singapore for more than 15 years.

The firm has expertise in life sciences and technology. It assisted Infosys’s GBP110 million (USD136 million) acquisition of Danish technology and consulting firm BASE life science; and advised Safex Chemicals India (Safex) on its EUR83 million (USD102 million) acquisition of UK-based Briar Chemicals. Other India specialists at the firm include Jane Owen (intellectual property), Simon Fielder (M&A/private equity) and CEO Christian Bartsch (tech).

Clients appreciate CLEARY GOTTLIEB’s deep understanding of the Indian legal and regulatory regime and its well-considered strategies that anticipate specific hurdles. Cleary is “one of the best international law firms for India-related investments,” says one client. Raghubir Menon, a partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, says the firm is “exceptional”, and endorses partner Nallini Puri, who “understands the market very well and is pragmatic and attuned to the nuanced requirements of deals in India and Indian market practice”.

The firm recently worked on the restructuring of a sovereign wealth fund and TPG Capital’s Investment in UPL Corporation, and an acquisition of a minority stake in UPL Sustainable Agri Solutions. It also advised British International Investment on a USD250 million investment in an electric vehicles joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra.

CLIFFORD CHANCE has guided marquee clients on their India-related business for more than 50 years. Recent highlights include advising HSBC on financing Airbus and Boeing aircraft for TATA SIA Airlines; and a Japanese energy company on investing in a Karnataka greenfield hybrid renewable power project by ReNew Power.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas partner SR Patnaik says working with the firm is “an extremely fulfilling and enriching experience”. Clifford Chance developed “brilliant transactional steps” while ensuring “compliance with various regulatory requirements,” he says. Khaitan & Co partner Ajay Bhargava says partner Kabir Singh “is always focused on providing quick and solid solutions … his knowledge and experience are unmatched.” Last August, the firm hired partner Vasu Muthyala, one of the few former US Department of Justice prosecutors and US Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement lawyers in Asia.

DLA PIPER has a thriving India practice that is advising: Indus Gas on refinancing USD150 million of existing notes through an exchange tender; Kalpataru Power Transmission on its entry into the Australian market; lender MUFG Bank on a USD300 million financing transaction for the Export-Import Bank of India; and Nomura Securities and Axis Capital on a proposed IPO of Asianet Satellite Communications.

On the disputes side, DLA acted for Wipro on three significant ICC arbitrations against ATCO, arising from IT services contracts in Australia and Canada. “DLA has a dedicated India-oriented practice which is one of the best among its peers,” says Soumya Banerjee, Yes Bank’s group executive vice president of legal risk management. “[Their advice] is extremely well-researched and immaculate, which enables us to resolve various transactional and business deadlocks.”

Blue-chip companies routinely seek FRESHFIELDS counsel on complex India-related M&A and dispute resolution matters. The firm’s India team, led by Arun Balasubramanian and Piusha Bose, has more than 50 lawyers across different sector groups and practice areas.

Last year, it advised Holcim Group on divesting its stake in Ambuja Cements and ACC for USD10.5 billion. It was also counsel to: Foxconn on a proposed spin-off and IPO in India of Bharat FIH; Carlyle on its majority stake acquisition in beauty and wellness business VLCC and operations across India and the Middle East; and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board on acquiring Goldman Sachs’ entire interest in ReNew Energy. Freshfields is also representing Deutsche Telekom in an UNCITRAL bilateral investment treat (BIT) arbitration against the Government of India over satellite capacity and spectrum.

 Amit Aggarwal

HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS’ (HSF) India commitment extends into community contribution and education, having taught more than 1,600 law students at more than 10 Indian law schools since 2008. It advised OneWeb on a proposed combination with listed French satellite and telecoms company Eutelsat Communications to create one of the world’s largest satellite operators, with a USD7 billion combined value. OneWeb is backed by India’s Bharti, the UK and French governments, Japan’s Softbank and South Korea’s Hanwha, among others.

Long-time client Bharti turned to the firm for advice when it sold its telecoms business, Airtel-Vodafone, in the Channel Islands to a Bahrain telecoms company. Meanwhile, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC sought HSF’s expertise in a proposed funding round in Indian renewables platform Greenko. HSF is “A class”, says Zydus Group senior VP of legal, Mukund Thakkar.

JONES DAY has advised clients on India-related deals worldwide for more than 25 years. Sushma Jobanputra co-ordinates the firm’s India practice from Singapore, supported by 60 lawyers in several jurisdictions. The firm acted for Vibrant Energy Holdings and its Indian subsidiaries on the review, analysis and identification of key issues for corporate, land, finance and project documents. It assisted Infinite Computer Solutions’ acquisition of Fiserv’s India-based systems integration services unit and Costa Rica operations.

“Jones Day helps us in a variety of matters, mostly M&A and corporate financing,” says UPL’s global counsel, Anant Desai. The firm also played an important role in UPL’s recent corporate realignment. “Their lawyers are organised and always on standby during a deal. We have never faced any challenges with execution … closing is always smoother with Jones Day.”

KIRKLAND & ELLIS handles challenging disputes for India-based companies and provides regulatory and government investigations defence to private equity and asset management firms’ operations and investments in India. Kirkland is leading and co-ordinating Dabur’s defence in product liability litigation for hair care relaxer products. More than 120 litigation suits have been filed across the US and Canada since a 2022 study alleged a link with reproductive illness.

Kirkland’s transactional expertise is equally impressive. It represented KKR on its exit from Max Healthcare, and a global private equity firm on refinancing a margin loan backed by its shares in Mannapuram Finance. Kirkland “is the preferred law firm for all FCPA [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act], anti-corruption and sanctions-related transactional advisory and diligence matters,” says Blackstone’s Anindita Bhowmik, senior vice president of legal and compliance.

LATHAM & WATKINS is a trusted expert adviser on capital markets but also has proven capabilities on M&A deals, private equity, banking and project finance, restructuring, shareholder activism, technology and commercial outsourcing transactions. Notable accomplishments in the past 12 months include: advising Adani, through Endeavour Trade and Investment, on USD4.5 billion of financing to acquire Ambuja Cements and ACC; assisting Baring Private Equity Asia to sell a partial stake of India-based IT healthcare services company CitiusTech Healthcare to Bain Capital; and acting for Hyundai Motor India on acquiring assets from General Motors India’s Talegaon plant in Maharashtra. Another highlight was representing Delhivery on its USD676 million IPO on the National Stock Exchange of India and the Bombay Stock Exchange – the largest technology IPO in India in 2022, and the second-largest Asia-wide IPO.

LINKLATERS regularly captures roles in award-winning deals with its knowledge of international market practices and India’s local laws and regulations. The firm advised on five of India Business Law Journal’s Deals of the Year 2022 – more than any other international law firm. Under partner Amit Singh, Linklaters’ capital markets credentials are undeniable.

Last year, it advised: the bookrunning lead managers of IPOs including those of India’s largest wine producer and seller, Sula Vineyards; India’s largest and fastest growing logistics courier, Delhivery; and Inox Green Energy Services. On the debt side, the firm advised Export-Import Bank of India on USD1 billion of 5.5% senior notes due 2033 under its USD10 billion global medium-term note programme. In May, debt finance specialist Rahul Chatterji joined to focus on the fast-growing India and Southeast Asia leveraged finance market.

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT has demonstrated its clout from banking and project finance to M&A, joint ventures and dispute resolution. In the past eight years, it has advised a joint venture between the Hinduja Group and Spanish construction company Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos on appointing Accor Hotels to run part of London’s Old War Office redevelopment as an ultra-luxury five star hotel under the iconic “Raffles” brand.

Zydus Group’s senior VP of legal, Mukund Thakkar, says the firm is “excellent” and endorses Sherina Petit, Raj Karia and Heiko Bertelmann. Mrinal Jain, a managing director at Secretariat, applauds Petit as “one of the most well respected counsel in the country today. I would recommend her for her diligent and meticulous work … and a pragmatic approach towards dispute resolution and settlement.”

SIDLEY AUSTIN wins praise for capital markets clout and partner attention. “There is a lot of personal attention from the senior partner into the nuances and details of each IPO,” says Marathon Edge partner Prakash Chellam. “They exhibit consistency in their position regarding regulations and how they are applied … and their turnaround times are quick.” Akash Aggarwal, Axis Capital’s executive director of investment banking, notes Manoj Bhargava’s “ability to handle difficult clients and deals and provide solutions to complex situations”.

Sidley advised on 12 India equity offerings in 2022 for companies such as Macrotech Developers, Adani Wilmar and Vedant Fashions. This year, the firm acted on a USD1.5 billion sale of Sembcorp Energy India led by partner Charlie Wilson, to a consortium led by Oman Investment Corporation and the Ministry of Defence Pension Fund, Oman.

WHITE & CASE brings extensive experience in cross-border M&A and private equity deals, high-stakes and sensitive disputes with an Indian nexus, and energy and infrastructure mandates. It advised Reliance Industries and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company on a USD4 billion petrochemical complex in Abu Dhabi – Reliance’s first deal in the region. Another standout was advising Adani on partnering TotalEnergies in the world’s largest green hydrogen ecosystem, which plans to invest more than USD50 billion over 10 years.

White & Case is defending India in an UNCITRAL investment arbitration against three shareholders of Devas Multimedia. Devas’ shareholders are contesting India’s actions after previous arbitration proceedings, including winding up the local company in which they had shares, criminal investigations against Devas for fraud and corruption, and related legal proceedings.


  • Ashurst

  • Cooley

  • Covington & Burling

  • Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

  • Goodwin Procter

  • Gunderson Dettmer

  • Hogan Lovells

  • K&L Gates

  • King & Spalding

  • Mayer Brown

  • Milbank

  • Reed Smith

  • Ropes & Gray

  • Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

  • Stephenson Harwood


ASHURST attracts a regular stream of investment and financing business by combining specialist Indian market knowledge with a regional and global reach. It earned roles on several deals, including acting for Continuum Green Energy on a USD400 million private placement of senior high-yield floating rate notes through private placement with three international institutional investors.

Ashurst was counsel to Barclays, DBS, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan as the initial purchasers of USD750 million 5.5% senior notes due 2025, issued by Greenko Wind Projects (Mauritius). Jefferies India also used the firm for its USD1.87 billion placement of shares in four Adani Group companies. Ashurst is “very competitive and always exceeds expectations,” says a legal manager at Jefferies. “Deal team members are available 24/7, and never hesitate to go the extra mile.”

COOLEY is a prominent adviser in India’s venture capital ecosystem, assisting high-value India startups at every development stage. The firm’s partnership with high-growth technology and life sciences companies leads seamlessly into representing those companies in M&A, capital markets and other strategic transactions in India.

Highlights in the past 12 months include advising: PhonePe in its partial spinoff from e-commerce giant Flipkart; English-learning platform Open English on its acquisition of India’s leading mobile language-learning platform, enguru; and Zepto (formerly KiranaKart) in its USD200 million series D funding round. “We have worked with Cooley … from our initial investment into companies all the way through to exit,” says Owl Ventures managing director Amit Patel. “Cooley has been an incredible partner [with] a deep understanding of the local context [and] a thoughtful approach to managing relationships.”

COVINGTON’s clients are a rich mix of India’s most prestigious companies and well-established US and European businesses. It has forged strong ties with senior business leaders on both inbound and outbound matters, thanks to its grasp of Indian commercial and regulatory realities.

Accomplishments this past year include acting for Reliance New Energy on its USD20 million purchase of 20% of Pasadena-headquartered solar technology company Caelux Corporation. The firm provided bankruptcy law advice to Piramal Critical Care, and advised Balkrishna Industries on a proposed commercial arrangement with Finland’s Black Donuts Engineering Oy. “Reliance has … over 20 years [with Covington] and hence they are one of our ‘go to’ tried-and-tested law firms,” says Reliance Industries senior VP of legal, Rajagopal Venkatakrishnan. “While we do use other international laws firms, we consistently use Covington.”

GIBSON DUNN has deep transactional experience from decades of counselling financial institutions, private equity investors and multinational companies in India. The firm has assisted on investment structuring in sectors including manufacturing, FMCG, telecoms, retail, energy, information technology, real estate, aviation and infrastructure.

Recently, Gibson Dunn represented Vahanna Tech Edge Acquisition I Corp, a special purpose acquisition company, on its USD965 million business combination with automotive insurance technology provider Roadzen. Bodhi Tree used the firm when it invested in Indian media and entertainment company Viacom18. The team is “extremely knowledgeable and provides top-shelf advice,” says one client who depends on the firm’s M&A and capital markets expertise, and its understanding of Securities and Exchange Board of India rules and related compliance. “I particularly value their international and client-focused approach versus other local firms.”

GOODWIN is a force in private equity and venture capital deals involving Indian parties. The firm’s understanding of new-economy sectors makes it a trusted adviser to longstanding clients like Alkeon, Bessemer Venture Partners, Coatue Management, Germini Investments, Iconiq, Tybourne Capital and USD1.2 trillion global asset manager AUM.

Last year Goodwin represented TA Associates in its strategic growth investment in Chennai-headquartered Zifo RnD Solutions, which provides scientific informatics services. “We’ve worked with several international and local firms in India and Goodwin seems to possess the highest level of expertise in the growth equity market,” says a GC from a leading internet investment firm.

GUNDERSON DETTMER has 25 years of dedication to the venture ecosystem and has served emerging growth companies and investors in India and Southeast Asia for more than 15 years. Recent accomplishments include representing: Tiger Global in Zomato’s USD570 million acquisition of delivery company Blinkit (formerly Grofers; FreshToHome, a Bengaluru-based fish and meat delivery e-commerce platform, in its USD104 million series D financing led by Amazon’s India-focused Smbhav Venture Fund; and Prosus Ventures as it co-led the USD37 million series A financing of India-based fashion-tech startup Virgio.

Lightspeed India Partners general counsel Vinayak Mishra seeks Gunderson’s counsel for most of the high-value India companies in its portfolio, as well as US-headquartered companies with business operations in India. “Gunderson understands Indian law and the Indian market better than other foreign firms we work with,” says Mishra.

A whirlwind past 12 months saw HOGAN LOVELLS’ India team execute dozens of capital markets deals, close corporate transactions, and handle litigation, labour and employment matters, and banking mandates.

The firm was counsel to bookrunning lead managers on equity offerings like the USD77 million reg S/rule 144A IPO by Keystone Realtors; the INR8.8 billion reg S/rule 144A IPO by Bikaji Foods International; and the INR8.36 billion reg S IPO by Uniparts India. PhonePe selected Hogan Lovells to advise on its separation from Flipkart in India, while Motherson Group used the firm when acquiring SAS Group from Faurecia. Capillary Technologies head of legal, Aruna Subramanian, says the firm was “very helpful and went out of their way to provide services within the minimal timeline that we had during the DRHP [draft red herring prospectus] filing”.

K&L GATES has invested heavily to build longstanding relationships with prominent Indian companies, financial institutions and businesses. In the past 12 months, K&L was counsel to Microsoft on its investment in the largest digital payments platform in India, and advised a Bengaluru-based tech company on acquiring a Texas-based IT solutions and software business.

On the intellectual property front, the firm assisted an Indian pharmaceutical company to defend against an antitrust litigation involving a patent settlement on HIV products. Azure Power general counsel Akriti Gandotra says K&L’s Sreenivasan Narayanan is “an excellent litigator who understands the brief in depth, prepares well and always delivers”. Varun Kalsi, director of legal and head of business solutions at Lighthouse Canton, calls Narayanan “a seasoned and experienced lawyer who understands both the Singaporean and Indian legal systems”.

KING & SPALDING’s (K&S) India practice had an outstanding year on headline deals and complicated disputes, continuing to represent Reliance Industries, Vedanta and Cairn Energy Hydrocarbons on high-stakes arbitrations; advising Dallah Albaraka on its series D investment in FreshToHome; and assisting SoftBank Vision Fund in a proposed IPO of Oravel Stays.

“King & Spalding is an exceptional firm with expertise across a wide range of sectors and the hire of Amit Kataria [from Morrison & Foerster last September] has supercharged their India practice,” says George Kanelos, a senior deal consultant at ARM. Kanelos points to Kataria’s “extremely formidable commercial knowledge of India” and his willingness to “proactively defend his client’s interests”. Other India experts are Rahul Patel, Thomas Sprange KC, Sajid Ahmed, John Savage KC, Andrew Brereton, Parveet Singh Gandoak, Mark Davies, Sunandini Das and Soumya Bhagavatula.

MAYER BROWN was busy on capital markets corporate and M&A transactions this past year. In a memorable deal, the Mayer Brown team advised the trustee and common collateral agent for a USD-denominated private placement issuance of senior high-yield floating rate notes guaranteed by Continuum Green Energy. The bonds were raised by the company’s subsidiary, Continuum Energy Aura.

The firm also runs a robust dispute resolution practice and is “one of the world’s pre-eminent law firms, fully integrated and has always provided us with the highest-quality advice and legal insight”, according to Ajay Bhargava, a partner at Khaitan & Co. JSA partner Sandeep Mehta applauds India practice co-chair Soumitro Mukherji for “demonstrating a good understanding of client matters and Indian cultural issues, and articulating these well so as to provide precise advice”.Amit Patel

Indian and international companies routinely use MILBANK to close multimillion-dollar deals. India practice head John Dewar led a team that advised the facility agent and participating commercial banks on USD750 million in facilities for Reliance Jio Infocomm’s Pan-India 4G-LTE Telecom Network Project. The deal forms part of a landmark USD30 billion telecoms project operated by Reliance Jio Infocomm to expand India’s 4G wireless network.

In another deal led by partner Neeraj Budhwani, the firm advised Singapore-based Trustroot Internet on its fundraising of up to USD250 million for business operations in India trading under the brand Udaan, India’s largest business-to-business e-commerce platform. Another highlight saw a team led by James Grandolfo advise JSW Infrastructure on its debut rule 144A regulation S offering of USD400 million 4.95% senior secured notes due 2029. The notes are sustainability-linked bonds.

Led by partner Gautam Bhattacharyya, REED SMITH secured roles in a string of significant and high-stakes disputes. Standout examples include: acting for ICICI Bank, and four other Indian banks in a syndicate, in a claim for more than USD1.3 billion in England’s Commercial Court, against 10 entities in the GVK Group; representing a major US pharmaceuticals company in its defence of an LCIA arbitration seated in London, brought by a leading Indian pharmaceuticals company; and advising an Asia-based automotive supplier in USD180 million of complex multi-jurisdictional disputes in Singapore, India and England arising from a failed joint venture.

Reed Smith attracted interesting corporate mandates, too, such as its role as counsel to Inbrew Beverages on the private credit financing for 32 liquor brands from United Spirits, the Indian arm of Diageo.

ROPES & GRAY’s India client base includes many of the world’s leading private equity sponsors, their portfolio companies, and leading entities in life sciences, energy and natural resources. Last year, it represented EQRx in a strategic development and commercialisation collaboration with Aurigene Discovery Technologies to develop drug candidates for oncology and immune-inflammatory diseases using Aurigene’s small molecule drug discovery platform.

In December, the firm represented GHO Capital portfolio company Velocity Clinical Research in acquiring Meridian Clinical Research, making Velocity the largest dedicated research site organisation in the world. Assets include a technology hub in Hyderabad and 80 sites in Europe and the US. In addition, the firm enjoys a stellar reputation for government enforcement and investigations into anti-bribery, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering violations, and issues relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

SIMPSON THACHER is a heavy hitter in big-ticket private equity transactions. When Blackstone announced its majority stake acquisition in Indian IT firm R Systems International for USD359 million, it used Simpson Thacher for legal advice. Blackstone will launch a conditional, composite open offer and delisting offer. Blackstone is also working with the firm on its Lumina CloudInfra platform with 600MW planned capacity, which it aims to use to build data centres across India, with projects potentially scheduled for Mumbai and Chennai.

Bhavi Sanghvi, general counsel of KKR India Private Advisors, has consulted the firm for private equity matters including KKR’s investments in Advanta Seeds, Serentica, Ness Technologies and Hero Future Energies. “Simpson Thacher is excellent and has a highly regarded private equity practice,” he says.

STEPHENSON HARWOOD maintains a thriving India practice with specialists in arbitration, aviation, finance, M&A, projects, infrastructure, private wealth and shipping. Its deals and disputes in the past 12 months include: advising Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank and MUFG Bank on a USD500 million social loan to State Bank of India for social projects; representing ICICI Bank on its claim against Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty over NMC Healthcare’s widely reported financial issues in the DIFC courts; and assisting Indian-headquartered online education platform Physicswallahto acquire Knowledge Planet Centre Group, Dubai.

Luthra & Luthra Law Offices partner Faisal Sherwani says Stephenson Harwood’s India group head, Kamal Shah, “is a master strategist. He is able to foresee, even predict, multiple complexities and issues in long-protracted proceedings, while providing workable solutions to mitigate and guard against risks.”


  • Addleshaw Goddard

  • CMS

  • Cravath Swaine & Moore

  • Debevoise & Plimpton

  • Eversheds

  • Foley Hoag

  • Kelley Drye & Warren

  • Kilpatrick Townsend

  • McDermott Will & Emery

  • Morgan Lewis

  • Orrick

  • Penningtons Manches Cooper

  • Shearman & Sterling

  • Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton

  • Simmons & Simmons

  • Skadden

  • Slaughter and May

  • Sullivan & Cromwell

  • Taylor Wessing

  • Three Crowns


With more than 1,600 lawyers around the world, ADDLESHAW GODDARD (AG) provides Indian clients with services from company incorporation and data protection advisory to setting up business joint ventures and resolving disputes. It is acting for one of India’s largest conglomerates in multiple contract disputes over the design, construction and operation of a power plant in Bangladesh.

It is also advising a major Indian energy company over a claim enforcement by a consortium of lenders, and acting for an individual director of a dissolved Indian agricultural company in insolvency proceedings. In banking and project finance, the firm is counsel to an Emirati multinational logistics company on project financing for a warehousing zone and logistics park for one of its Indian subsidiaries. AG’s India business group is co-chaired by partners Richard Wise and Jaya Gupta.

Partners Bill Carr and Babita Ambekar, in London and Singapore, respectively, lead the India practice at CMS. CMS has supported clients on M&A and joint ventures, commercial contracts, commercial disputes, arbitration work and investigations. The team also advises on infrastructure and projects in India. Recently it advised: Dalmia Bharat Refractories on selling German subsidiary Dalmia GSB Refractories to RHI Magnesita Group; Results CX, backed by private equity firm ChrysCapital, on acquiring Bulgarian-based customer experience manager 60K; and Indian company Crimson Interactive (Enago) on acquiring the Charlesworth Group.

CMS provided counsel to a large Indian manufacturing group on Russian trade sanctions connected to its European operations, and represented an India-headquartered construction contractor in construction defects claims at a petrochemical complex in Saudi Arabia.

CRAVATH SWAINE & MOORE helps Indian companies navigate US-related capital raising transactions, M&A, joint ventures, disputes, and related compliance and reporting advice. Equally, it works with US companies on business in India.

This year, the firm was counsel to Viatris in its USD750 million acquisitions of Oyster Point Pharma and Famy Life Sciences to create an ophthalmology franchise. It advised Airspan on the USD60 million sale of Mimosa Networks to Jio Platforms subsidiary Radisys on a debt-free, cash-free basis. Airspan provides software and hardware for 5G networks, and Radisys offers a full spectrum of services from open access and core solutions to immersive digital applications and engagement platforms. In January, Cravath opened an office in Washington DC, staffed with lawyers with government experience.

DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON’s India team are primarily drawn from the firm’s London, Hong Kong and New York offices. The law firm has worked with international investment banks, private equity firms, international strategic investors and Indian corporates looking to raise capital or acquire companies outside India.

Last year, it advised India-based private equity firm True North on acquiring a significant minority stake in Accion Group Holdings – a Pittsburgh-based digital and innovation engineering company – from TA Associates and other shareholders. Meanwhile, partners Andrew Ahern, Peter Furci and Gavin Anderson led their teams in advising Lightspeed on the closing of four funds valued at USD7.1 billion. This included providing advice to Lightspeed India Partners on the formation of a USD500 million early-stage fund, LSIP Fund IV. Lord Goldsmith KC and Geoffrey Burgess are India experts.

With offices in more than 30 countries, EVERSHEDS is well equipped for multi-jurisdictional assignments. Clients like Microsoft, Fiserv, Rolls-Royce, ReNew Energy Global, JAS Worldwide, Nokia and Croda International have used it for legal advice concerning India and other countries. Eversheds advised Meritor’s acquisition of Siemens’ commercial vehicles business and its operations in India and 12 other jurisdictions. On another deal, it assisted Chandigarh-based The Ideaz Factory on a blockchain-based trading venue for securities in growth companies.

The firm is also regularly instructed by companies for employment law advice. Eversheds advised DuPont on employee transfer agreements, pre-signing consultations, work councils, and unions and employee vacations for Indian staff; and GoDaddy on pay gap reporting, and compulsory discrimination and harassment training for Indian employees. Parmjit Singh and Ankit Chhabra are key contacts.

FOLEY HOAG this year advised on employment, immigration, corporate and securities for emerging company and venture capital matters. It provides business and human rights advice in Asia and assists international companies on ethics reviews, impact assessments and counselling. It supports Premji Invest, a private equity fund owned by Indian businessman and philanthropist Azim Premji, most recently advising on the USD108 million series B financing of Bicara Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing dual-action anti-tumour biological medical products.

The firm advised Kalpataru Power Transmission on an UNCITRAL award against an African state-owned entity before a US court. Jay Thakkar, CFO at Chanakya Capital Partners, has consulted Foley Hoag for US SEC compliance matters and US state regulatory matters, and describes the team as “very hands-on and pragmatic with their approach and advice”.

KELLEY DRYE provides Indian clients with expert advice on investment, fundraising and disputes across the US. With its international trade and export controls practice group, the firm also guides clients on regulations around defence procurement. Many of Kelley Drye’s India practice clients are technology companies that ramped up their US presence in 2022 by acquiring targets with the firm’s assistance. In addition, the firm helped Indian companies merge their subsidiaries, complete bankruptcy filings, manage contract disputes, and handle labour and employment issues in the US.

Kelley Drye supports community initiatives and continues to provide pro bono legal services to charities like the Indian Head Injury Foundation and the Centre for Inner Development. Partner Deepak Nambiar chairs the firm’s India practice; other contacts are partners Tim Lavender, Andrew Pillsbury, Wendy Clarke and Jennifer Norkus.

Clients speak enthusiastically about KILPATRICK TOWNSEND & Stockton’s India-related competencies. India practice lead Sonia Baldia is dual qualified in the US and India and, according to GLS Capital principal Lauren Rabinovic, “has remarkable qualifications and skills … her wealth of experience in business transactions make her a valuable adviser”.

B Kelly Kiser, Sinch America’s vice president and head of legal for North America, says Kilpatrick’s services are “excellent, effective and based on that cutting-edge knowledge and ability”. Kiser calls Baldia “a top ‘go-to’ lawyer for India matters, especially in technology and IP”. Meanwhile, Shalini Devasahayam, CEO of Tech Flairs says: “Kilpatrick’s presence in the key US markets and its strong team of lawyers for US-India related work is a distinct advantage for the firm.”Rabindra Jhunjhunwala

Partner Ranajoy Basu heads the India practice group at MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY, which is staffed by 50 lawyers across 23 offices. The firm takes on matters from banking and project development to life sciences and health and white-collar investigations. Last year, it advised Innovative International Acquisition on merging with Zoomcar, India’s largest car renting marketplace. The merger will result in Zoomcar’s public listing and a combined company value of about USD456 million. Other India-related work included corporate insolvency resolution, trademark prosecution, arbitration and tax planning.

McDermott contributed to social impact causes, recently advising the British Asian Trust on a first-of-its-kind impact bond to address Indian youth unemployment. The bond aims to invest USD14.4 million to provide work skills to 50,000 Indian youths, especially women and girls.

MORGAN LEWIS & Bockius this year advised on privacy and payments issues, patent prosecution, litigation and antitrust, and the launch of private equity funds. The firm represented Red Ventures in the series A financing of India-based, a technology startup that uses synthetic media technology to create digital avatars for personalised video campaigns. It assisted former NXP Semiconductors executive VP David Reed on his agreement to join Vedanta as CEO of its semiconductor business.

The firm strengthened its India team with three new partners: investment funds specialist Divya Thakur; disputes specialist Pardeep Singh Khosa (Singapore); and aviation finance expert Sidanth Rajagopal (Dubai/London). Rustam Mulla, a partner at Desai Desai Carrimjee and Mulla, describes Morgan Lewis as “better than most, if not all, firms that I have interacted with over the years”.

ORRICK’s India practice of more than 25 lawyers is co-ordinated from its Singapore office and works closely with offices in key financial cities like London, New York, Tokyo, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Houston and Dusseldorf. In a recent deal, Orrick advised California-based, event analytics platform developer Hubilo in its USD125 million series B financing from investors including Alkeon Capital Management, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Balderton Capital.

It also acted for Goodwater Capital in its USD30 million investment in the USD65 million series C financing of Pocket FM, an India-based company that developed a social audio platform for audiobooks and podcasts. Last September, partner Karthik Kumar joined from Jones Day. Kumar is well respected for his work on energy and infrastructure projects, M&A, regulatory issues and financing transactions.

PENNINGTONS MANCHES COOPER has a long history of work in the Indo-European corridor, particularly in banking, financial, commercial and technology. For Indian nationals, especially the internationally mobile and their families, the firm’s fully integrated service includes immigration, employment, international private wealth and capital, family law and tax structuring.

Its activities in the past year ranged from advice on due diligence to the acquisition of media assets, university partnerships and bankruptcy proceedings, handling product liability claims, data protection and disputes over a digital distribution agreement. Saraf and Partners partner Arjun Rajgopal engaged the firm for a joint venture matter and for real estate work. “Their advice has been detailed and on point, and delivered in a responsive manner,” he said. In January, Penningtons welcomed corporate and commercial partner Mona Patel.

SHEARMAN & STERLING’s India practice consists of a network of lawyers well versed in capital markets, M&A, private equity, project finance, international arbitration, real estate and fund formation. Last July, they advised Greenko Energy Holdings and Greenko Wind Projects (Mauritius) on the offering of USD750 million in 5.5% senior notes due 2025 by Greenko Wind Projects (Mauritius), unconditionally guaranteed by Greenko Energy Holdings. The deal was the first international green bond issuance to fund the construction of an energy storage project in India.

In November, the firm represented underwriters in ArcelorMittal’s offering of USD2.2 billion in fixed rate notes. Key contacts include partners Lorna Chen and Kyungwon Lee (Hong Kong), Masahisa Ikeda (Tokyo), Sanjeev Dhuna and Ben Shorten (London), and Richard Porter, David Clinch and Emmanuel Jacomy (Singapore).

SHEPPARD MULLIN represented Indian multinational IT company HCL Technologies to become a cornerstone partner and official digital transformation partner of the New York Giants, New York Jets and MetLife Stadium. Sheppard Mullin negotiated the sponsorship deal – HCL’s first in the US – and a component of the company’s recent global rebranding campaign.

The company’s new name and logo, HCLTech, will be prominently displayed in key areas of the stadium during all Giants and Jets home games, as well as other events hosted at the stadium. Mphasis executive vice president, Eric Winston, says: “Sheppard Mullin is our go-to firm for the intersection of India–US commercial, dispute, licensing and government work. The firm has a deep understanding of cross-border implications and legal issues and, as important, cultural sensitivities.”

SIMMONS & SIMMONS has an India group that includes lawyers qualified in India, and prides itself on keeping abreast of the latest legal and regulatory developments in the country. Some recent achievements include: acting for an Indian pharmaceutical company on an investment by a UK sovereign wealth fund backed investor; assisting Eternis Fine Chemicals with its UK business; and advising the National Payments Corporation of India on projects in the UK, Europe and Singapore.

“The level of client service is superb and regularly exceeds our expectations,” says Khaitan & Co partner Rabindra Jhunjhunwala. “Their excellent attention to detail and seamless service on even the most complex cross-border transactions, including in relation to India-related work, is a key factor in our decision to work with them on a long-term basis.”

SKADDEN’s integrated India group consists of lawyers in Chicago, Hong Kong, London, New York, Palo Alto, Singapore and Washington DC. The firm has an excellent reputation on contentious matters and has handled disputes for and against the Indian government. Recently, it successfully represented large Middle Eastern property group Emaar Properties in an ICC arbitration against MGF Developments over one the largest investments made in the Indian property sector.

It continued to advise long-time client Vodafone in follow-on matters from its multibillion-dollar dispute with India after Vodafone’s landmark arbitration victory in 2020. Skadden earned roles as counsel to SP Plus Corporation when acquiring the intellectual property assets of DIVRT, and Coforge (formerly NIIT Technologies) in its proposed US IPO and Nasdaq listing.

SLAUGHTER AND MAY cherry-picks work with top-tier Indian and international companies on blockbuster transactions. The firm has assisted companies like Vodafone, GE Capital, Reliance Communications, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Star India, TVS Motor Company and Standard Chartered in high-profile M&A and financings involving Indian parties.

This year, it advised Tata Steel UK on a fourth and final buy-in transaction for the British Steel Pension Scheme by Legal & General Assurance Society. The deal insures the scheme’s remaining 40% of liabilities, totalling GBP2.7 billion. Legal & General has now insured GBP7.5 billion of the scheme’s liabilities, securing the benefits of 67,000 retired and deferred members of the scheme through a series of phased buy-ins since November 2021. Slaughter and May also advised Tata Steel on these previous buy-ins.

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL secured roles in two of the meatiest M&A deals of the past year. First, the merger of India’s largest private-sector bank with the nation’s largest housing finance company, HDFC, in a USD40 billion deal. India’s competition regulator gave approval last August. The deal is expected to close in 2024, giving HDFC a 41% stake in HDFC Bank. New York partner Steve Kotran led a team that was international legal counsel to Bank of America Merrill Lynch Securities.

In a second victory, the firm advised Mindtree on its combination with Larsen & Toubro Infotech to create a USD3.5 billion IT services provider, LTI Mindtree. The merger created India’s sixth-largest IT services company, with more than 750 leading global enterprises as clients and nearly 90,000 professionals across five continents.

TAYLOR WESSING’s India team concentrates life sciences, technology, private wealth and real estate. It continues to win mandates from prominent Indian companies like Lupin, acting for the pharmaceutical company on multiple patent licensing deals with other pharmaceutical majors that opened the European market to Lupin’s products. A Canadian pharmaceutical company sought Taylor Wessing’s expertise for a large dispute with the Indian manufacturer of the active ingredients for a leading chemotherapy drug.

In another dispute, the firm is representing an Indian real estate company in an ICC arbitration against a major Middle Eastern real estate company over their joint venture vehicle. InMobi practice counsel Alimpan Chatterjee endorses Laurence Lieberman and Graham Hann for “their willingness to help InMobi achieve its objectives in a streamlined and cost-effective manner”.

THREE CROWNS has triumphantly built a name in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations with an Indian connection. The firm’s lawyers handle disputes in telecoms, private equity, energy, real estate, infrastructure and financial services. It now has Indian-qualified lawyers in its London, Washington DC, Singapore and Paris offices.

Three Crowns continues to represent one of India’s largest conglomerates in a New York-seated ICC arbitration over a technology licence agreement for glass manufacturing. It is also acting in ongoing proceedings in a Geneva-seated LCIA arbitration between a private equity firm and the majority owners of a leading manufacturing company headquartered in India; more than USD700 million is at stake. The arbitration arises out of an English law-governed shareholders’ agreement and involves satellite litigation proceedings in domestic courts across numerous jurisdictions. Manish Aggarwal spearheads the India practice from London.


  • Allen & Gledhill (Singapore)

  • Appleby (Mauritius)

  • Clyde & Co Clasis (Singapore)

  • Corrs Chambers Westgarth (Australia)

  • Dentons Rodyk Davidson (Singapore)

  • Drew & Napier (Singapore)

  • Duane Morris & Selvam (Singapore & Myanmar)

  • Elias Neocleous & Co (Cyprus)

  • ENSAfrica

  • Gianni Origoni (Italy)

  • Hengeler Mueller (Germany)

  • Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (Japan)

  • Rajah & Tann (Singapore)

  • Shook Lin & Bok (Singapore)

  • TLT (UK)

  • WongPartnership (Singapore)


Singaporean firms such as ALLEN & GLEDHILL stand to profit from last year’s Singapore-India MOU on co-operation in science, technology and innovation. The firm’s India-related activities in the past year showcase the mushrooming of deals across these sectors. Last May, Partner Nicolas Soh advised venture capital firm Wavemaker Pacific 4 on a USD4 million investment in Shikho, an India-based education technology startup aiming to make supplementary education more accessible and affordable.

Another private equity deal saw partner Julian Ho advise Sequoia Capital India’s Surge on a USD3 million seed financing of Grupin, an Indonesia-based social commerce platform. Soh, along with partners Christian Chin and Shalene Jin, also advised AirPower Technologies on its share acquisition of Smart-Gas, a Singapore-based cross-border industrial gases distributor in the Asia-Pacific region.

APPLEBY is an authority on Mauritius law. Since 2015, it has represented issuers and underwriters in more IPOs than any other Mauritius offshore law firm. The firm focuses on serving India’s high-growth sectors. Appleby was selected as one adviser to the Adani family’s USD4.5 billion financing and acquisition of Ambuja Cements and ACC. It also advised on Azure Power Solar Energy’s US dollar notes issue of 5.65% senior notes due 2024.

The notes qualified as green bonds, certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative, a non-profit organisation working to mobilise debt capital markets for climate change solutions. Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow principal, Kah Chin Chu, usually works with Appleby when handling India-related matters with a Mauritius law element and labels them as “ good, practical, commercial and reasonable”.

CLYDE & CO Clasis runs a well-established disputes practice and regularly represents Indian entities in disputes across South Asia. The firm has secured wins for clients at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), representing companies and high net worth individuals. Partner Prakash Pillai leads the India practice and focuses on dispute resolution and international commercial arbitration. Pillai is “an excellent strategist in litigation and arbitration matters”, says DSK Legal managing partner Anand Desai.

Recently, the firm represented a consortium of private equity funds in an SIAC arbitration of a shareholders dispute and emergency arbitration order. The dispute involves alleged material breaches of a shareholders’ agreement, and alleged failure to follow a buy-out clause. The firm is also advising on a high-profile debt restructuring across multiple jurisdictions including the UK, Singapore and India.

CORRS CHAMBERS Westgarth is building relationships with Indian companies doing business in Australia, and Australian investors seeking a footprint in India. Corrs worked with National Australia Bank (NAB) on its technology capability centre in India, a base for digital, technical and IT functions. The firm provides ongoing support to Indian companies like Interglobe, Persistent Systems and Ramco on employment law, contractual arrangements, construction and property-related matters in Australia.

In addition, Corrs is assisting Tata on an Australian tax matter, and Basmati on Australian and New Zealand trademark applications. Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas partner Bharath Reddy worked with Corrs on NAB’s India centre. “While some international law firms tend to micromanage projects, Corrs was highly respectful of others and created an environment where we could focus on delivering quality advice,” he says.

This year, DENTONS RODYK DAVIDSON formalised its combination with Indian law firm Link Legal, becoming the first international law firm to join hands with an Indian law firm. The combination gives Dentons a physical presence in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. Dentons Link Legal Indian lawyers will represent clients in India and Dentons lawyers will serve Link Legal’s clients outside India.

A recent memorable matter saw the firm draw up a sustainable finance and ESG policy framework for IDBI Bank, including green bonds and sustainability-linked loans. Leo Capital managing partner Rajul Garg says the firm is “knowledgeable, responsive and relationship-oriented”. co-founder Ajay Bulusu, says: “Ray [Chiang] and Edric [Pan] have been our partners for funding and litigation, respectively, and I would recommend both any day for any matter. They are fantastic.”

Cavinder Bull heads the India practice at DREW & NAPIER, renowned for its dispute resolution capabilities. The firm also brings vast experience in funds work, M&A and cross-border expertise for Indian companies investing in Singapore and Indonesia. Recent accomplishments include advising South Korea’s Daelim Industrial Company on a dispute over an aborted L+EPC (license plus engineering, procurement and construction) contract for Asia’s largest petrochemical plant, in India. Both partner Mahesh Rai and senior counsel Jimmy Yim were involved on the matter on behalf of the firm.

On the funds side, the firm represented Singapore-registered FnO, which operates intra-day options-only trading platform MarketWolf, on a series A funding round led by Singapore-based Jungle Ventures and Mumbai-based Dream Capital. Eric Hopmann, chief commercial officer at DyStar Colours Distribution, won two competition cases against one of DyStar’s Indian shareholders with Drew & Napier’s expertise. He appreciates the firm’s good knowledge of Indian and Singapore law.

DUANE MORRIS & SELVAM (DMS) regularly assists international clients in India including banks, companies, foreign governments and financial institutions, as well as Indian companies doing business in Asia, the US, UK and Europe. Statistics indicate the firm’s dominance in the capital markets space under the leadership of partner Jamie Benson.

Duane Morris advised on seven of the 40 main market IPOs/FPOs in India that closed in the year to 31 March, representing a market share of about 48% of raised funds and 17.5% of the number of deals. Sushmita Gandhi, a partner at IndusLaw, uses the firm for most India outbound work and applauds its ability to commit partner time to matters. “This is rare to find in other international law firms,” she says.Anand Desai

With a heritage of more than 50 years, ELIAS NEOCLEOUS & CO is an unrivalled leader in Cyprus legal circles. The firm assisted a Cypriot client’s investment in national food and grocery retailer More Retail in India, and a Cyprus-based, Scandinavian client with continued investment in popular Hyderabad-based biryani restaurant chain Paradise Food Court.

“When it comes to Cyprus, Elias Neocleous & Co is head and shoulders above other law firms, and their corporate and commercial department is assuredly very capable and efficient,” says Debasish Roy, a consultant solicitor at David Wyld & Co. Corolla Fashion CEO Saif Mahmud says Elias Neocleous “has a great network internationally, including in India”. He rates Marina Joud as “a great business litigator”, and Motaher Chowdhury for “immaculate know-how in corporate matters and his knowledge and connection in India”.

The India practice at ENSAFRICA grew substantially in the past 12 months, supporting Indian corporates in Africa and facilitating foreign investment by African corporates into India. Much of its work centres on managing the trademark portfolios of Indian companies across Africa, including Cipla, Havells, Relaxo Footwears, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, LT Foods and Mysore Deep Perfumery House.

In 2020, ENSafrica assumed responsibility for the African trademark portfolio of UPL, one of the world’s largest agrochemical companies with more than 25,000 trademarks. It has assisted UPL with trademark oppositions in several African countries, and will become more involved in enforcement. ENSafrica also handled bankruptcy, aviation, M&A, distribution arrangements and funds work for Indian parties. Pooja Basu, ICICI Venture Funds Management’s director of legal, compliance and secretarial , relies on the firm for Mauritius-based litigation.

Italian law firm GIANNI & ORIGONI’s full-service offering and presence in Rome, Milan, Bologna, Padua and Turin make it an attractive proposition for Indian companies doing business in Italy. Last year, the firm advised on two Court of Milan proceedings on alleged infringement of a European patent; the acquisition and setup of an Indian joint venture in Italy; and a manufacturing partnership.

JSA partner Sandeep Mehta says India desk lead Rosario Zaccà and partner Kathleen Lemmens “understand the client’s requirements, cultural issues, cost consciousness and personal approach very well. They are very knowledgeable, capable and good persons.” Khaitan & Co partner Rabindra Jhunjhunwala describes partner Gabriella Covino as “a brilliant corporate and M&A lawyer with a wide international exposure … a focused, pragmatic problem solver.”

HENGELER MUELLER excels in providing India-related legal advice on corporate and M&A, labour and employment law, dispute resolution and arbitration, intellectual property, and restructuring and regulatory matters. The firm advised an Indian aerospace manufacturing company’s build-to-print contract for a customer; represented an Indian conglomerate’s German subsidiary in a lawsuit against its insurer over automotive product liability claims; and continues to advise companies such as Lupin and Bharat Forge on routine matters.

Hinduja Group’s president of legal and general counsel, Abhijit Mukhopadhyay, has consulted Hengeler Muller for eight years and says it is “one of the best local law firms” in Germany. “They are comparable with any other top global law firm,” he says, noting partners Carsten van de Sande and Daniela Favoccia “are good at legal strategy, international negotiations and international disputes”.

MORI HAMADA & MATSUMOTO is one of Japan’s most trusted firms for business with Indian parties. It has advised Chiyoda Corporation’s exit from its Indian joint venture with Larsen & Toubro (L&T). L&T purchased Chiyoda’s 50% stake for INR750 million. The firm also guided Japanese e-commerce company Mercari’s launch of an India centre of excellence in Bengaluru.

Mercari intends to recruit more talent from India and leverage its network between Japan and India. DSK Legal partner Abhishek Singh Baghel has worked with the firm on everything from company incorporation and competition law to acquisitions and arbitration. “[The firm] provides a very hands-on and practical approach to each assignment. Besides an extremely sound knowledge base, they also are very upfront and communicative. The quality remains top-notch irrespective of the team.”

RAJAH & TANN has forged strong bonds with Indian business leaders, general counsel and leading legal practitioners for decades thanks to a deep cultural affinity and a breadth of expertise. It has a track record of advisory on investment and M&A deals, restructuring and insolvency, financing, arbitration and litigation, fraud and misrepresentation, and shipping, among others.

Recent roles as counsel include: to Grofers on its USD570 million acquisition of Blink Commerce; to Defi Payments on its restructuring; and to the founders and promoters of a leading India-headquartered global payments company in the Singapore High Court. The firm also acted for the Malaysian and Singaporean local entities of Indian multinational hospitality chain OYO Rooms in Malaysian court proceedings over an alleged breach of contract. Avinash Pradhan and Vikna Rajah co-head the South Asia desk.

SHOOK LIN & BOK is an accomplished adviser on banking and finance matters, corporate deals and dispute resolution. The firm saw a flurry of banking activity, with counsel roles to: a leading Japanese bank as the mandated lead arranger on USD100 million in facilities granted to an Indian private sector bank; an Indian private sector bank on its USD150 million guarantee facility to a gear equipment company in Singapore; and a Singapore-based fintech company on its USD75 million loan to an Indian non-banking financial institution.

The firm was equally in demand on contentious cases, providing insolvency-related advice to several subsidiaries of IL&FS in Singapore as part of the company’s restructuring in India, and acting for a major Indian agriculture and fertiliser co-operative in arbitration proceedings against its Australian joint venture partner.

TLT scored prime positions as advisers in the UK-India corridor. The firm showcased its banking and finance prowess by advising a leading Indian public sector bank on its term loan facility to the UK subsidiary of an Indian multinational conglomerate. It also acted for IDBI Bank in the enforcement of a USD200 million loan facility for oil rig constructions. It provided legal expertise on a high-profile restructuring exercise, a global piracy review project, a disposal of shares, and a proposed IPO.

Ankur Bansal, a Bank of India manager in London, hails the firm’s “professionalism, document drafting, turnaround time, guidance and ability to ensure compliance”. SNG & Partners senior partner Amit Aggarwal notes “the ability to approach partners at TLT with ease. They ensure [a subject expert] connects with us in the shortest possible time.”

WONGPARTNERSHIP’s international arbitration practice holds great appeal for Indian businesses eager to resolve knotty cases in Singapore and beyond. Recently it was counsel to an Indian state-owned company against a South Korean company in a Singapore High Court dispute over the construction of a high-value petrochemical complex. The firm advised KKR on its USD400 million investment into Serentica Renewables India, a decarbonisation platform that provides clean-energy solutions for energy-intensive industries.

SBS Holdings’ deputy GM of corporate planning, Genta Fujimaki, relies on WongPartnership for SIAC arbitration proceedings, execution and enforcement of awards in Singapore and overall strategies for dispute resolution. “They are experienced and confident in co-ordinating with Indian law firms as necessary, while understanding the unique and time-consuming nature and other difficulties of legal proceedings in India,” says Fujimaki.


  • Arnold & Porter

  • Baker Hostetler

  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

  • Davis Polk

  • Dechert

  • Faegre Drinker

  • Fieldfisher

  • Gowling WLG

  • Hughes Hubbard Reed

  • Inventus Law

  • Kennedys

  • King & Wood Mallesons

  • Maalouf Ashford & Talbot

  • Morrison & Foerster

  • O’Melveny & Myers

  • Osborne Clarke

  • Squire Patton Boggs

  • Watson Farley & Williams

  • Winston & Strawn

  • Withers


BAKER HOSTETLER has a niche in intellectual property, however it complements this with strong regulatory, business, corporate and tax capabilities. The firm represented Hyderabad and Washington-based Soham (Zenoti) in a USD50 million senior secured credit facility from JPMorgan Chase Bank. Soham provides cloud-based software for salons, spas and med spas to 12,000 businesses in 50 countries.

Baker Hostetler is the lead tax counsel in Moore v United States, a tax refund action in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals with implications for US-owned businesses in every country outside the US. In addition, it represented an India-based online gaming joint venture with its tax and technology transactional work, and provides ongoing IP and regulatory assistance to mid-level pharma companies looking to expand into the US market.

In the past year, the 30-lawyer India group at BRYAN CAVE LEIGHTON PAISNER (BCLP) advised AGS Health on acquiring Availity, an affiliate of RealMed Corporation. Under the deal, AGS Health (tech-enabled revenue cycle management solutions) purchased Availity’s India-based patient access outsourcing business unit.

DSK Legal managing partner Anand Desai has worked with Bryan Cave’s lawyers in the US, London, Paris and Singapore. He says the firm is “very proactive, responsive and sound in their advice. They are also efficient with their time and understand Indian clients”. JSA joint managing partner Vivek Chandy has worked alongside the firm on several international M&A matters. “BCLP is as good as any of the magic circle firms in London, and their London office is particularly strong,” he says.

DAVIS POLK assists clients with capital markets deals, acquisitions and disputes. In January, it advised Sun Pharmaceutical on acquiring Concert Pharmaceuticals through a USD8 per share tender offer, or USD576 million in equity value. The deal offers Concert stockholders an additional USD3.50 per share if a potential baldness treatment achieves sales milestones within specified periods.

Chindata Group sought the firm’s counsel when issuing USD300 million 10.5% notes due 2026. Chindata is a hyper-scale data centre solution provider in Asia-Pacific emerging markets, focusing on China, India and Southeast Asia. Chindata’s specialised centres are used by clients to analyse, manage and store important data, business systems and processes. Davis Polk partner Martin Rogers is esteemed for his capabilities in litigation and his strong relationships with securities and banking regulators across Asia, including in India.

DECHERT’s lawyers have worked across practice areas to serve India-focused businesses seeking legal advice on corporate and securities issues, private fund formation, regulatory enforcement and compliance, government and internal investigations, energy and natural resources, tax and international arbitration. While the firm’s level of activity in this space is not as high as its peers, it has worked with notable clients like Biocon, Tech Mahindra, Apollo Health Street, Air Liquide, Citigroup Venture Capital and Darling Group, illustrating its experience and potential offering to entities with Indian interests.

Most recently, partners Derek Winokur and Allie Wasserman advised One Equity Partners and Rizing, an SAP-focused provider of IT systems integration and implementation services, in the sale of Rizing to multinational IT services and consulting company Wipro.

FIELDFISHER’s core India group consists of partners Shivani Sanghi and Priyanka Kapoor, and directors Reeta Gill and Elora Mukherjee. The firm has proven credentials in the disputes space, and members of its international arbitration team appear as counsel and sit as arbitrators under the rules of most major arbitration institutions. Sanghi is dual qualified in England and Wales and India and specialises in international arbitration and commercial litigation, while Kapoor specialises in commercial disputes, civil fraud and white-collar crime.

Vineet Vij

The team has assisted diverse clients around the world on deals and disputes with Indian parties including French development agency Proparco, German automotive parts supplier LINDE + WIEMANN, UK-based sodium-ion battery technology company Faradion, and UK-based manufacturer of electric motors and components, Saietta.

HUGHES HUBBARD REED routinely works with Indian companies with interests in outsourcing, software, technology and pharmaceuticals in the US. Wipro turned to the firm for advice on selling part of Wipro Opus Risk Solutions, as well as acquiring two companies – Convergence and Rizing.

Veritas Legal managing partner Abhijit Joshi rates the firm for M&A and private equity work. “Hughes Hubbard is quite bespoke and a top-of-the-line firm,” says Joshi. “Ken Lefkowitz is very senior, extremely knowledgeable, and he and the team have worked with a lot of Indian companies.” Joshi also commends Chuck Samuelson for his substantial India experience. Infosys corporate counsel Abhishek Sharma consults the firm for M&A in the US. It advised on Infosys’ acquisitions of Simplus, Kaleidoscope and Blue Acorn.

INVENTUS LAW’s global technology boutique supports high-growth startup companies, founders, angel investors, incubators, accelerators, venture capital and private equity investors on their India-related investments worldwide. Founded by lawyer Anil Advani, Inventus was conceived in San Francisco to provide experienced legal counsel to startups. The team includes India-qualified lawyers and an on-ground presence in Bengaluru and New Delhi through Inventus Law India, led by managing partner Ashitha Bhagwan.

In May, Payal Chawla, the founder of Delhi-based, all-women law firm JusContractus, joined Inventus Law India as counsel. Clients include payments processing platform Cashfree, MoEngage, Netradyne, ION Energy, Pixxel, and Living Food Company. Last year, Inventus advised YCombinator on funding for the Kaagaz app, which offers document scanning, PDF reader, PDF editor, design creator and cloud storage options.

Full-service interdisciplinary law firm MAALOUF ASHFORD & TALBOT has offices in New York, Dubai, Beirut, Riyadh, London, Zurich, Cairo, Athens, Amman, Erbil, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. In the past 12 months, it guided companies on their investments, funding and lending. Maalouf represented a private equity real estate fund that obtained a USD450 million portfolio loan secured by nine properties with multi-family, industrial and retail use in India, and assisted a real estate opportunity fund in obtaining USD325 million in annual construction loan originations for multi-family and senior housing/assisted living facilities throughout India.

On the M&A front, the firm represented a US chemicals company in its purchase of an India-based company’s textile chemicals division, and advised an insurance company on acquiring a development parcel in India and USD185 million of construction financing.

OSBORNE CLARKE (OC) offers advice on investment, employment law, M&A, restructuring and immigration to Indian clients keen to access the European markets. The firm recently advised Elegant Textile Industry on a majority stake in Spinnerei Lampertsmühle, and assisted Wipro with employment and data protection across multiple jurisdictions.

Since 2005, the firm has assisted Tech Mahindra around the world, particularly in Europe, across areas of law including IT, corporate and commercial, M&A, employment, competition and compliance. “We see OC as a one-stop global law firm that provides integrated, seamless support via a dedicated SPOC [single point of contact] model,” says Tech Mahindra group general counsel Vineet Vij. OC clients also enjoy the perks of the firm’s close relationship with Indian firm BTG Legal, led by former Osborne Clarke lawyer Prashant Mara.


  • Al Tamimi (Middle East)

  • Anderson Mori & Tomotsune (Japan)

  • Atsumi & Sakai (Japan)

  • Bowmans (Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia)

  • Collyer Law (Singapore)

  • Frost Brown Todd (US)

  • Gleiss Lutz (Germany)

  • Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek (Germany)

  • Irwin Mitchell (UK)

  • Kegler Brown Hill & Ritter (US)

  • Levy & Salomao (Brazil)

  • Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu (Japan)

  • Nishimura & Asahi (Japan)

  • Oon & Bazul (Singapore)


Tokyo-based firm ATSUMI & SAKAI operates as a foreign law joint venture, allowing the firm to admit foreign lawyers as partners and giving clients the benefit of both Japanese and international expertise. The firm is currently: assisting a Japanese listed company on its exit from its Indian joint venture partner; advising various Indian companies in the manufacturing sector on their acquisitions in Japan; and working with a Japanese company in the healthcare space to manage the Indian operations of its subsidiaries while further expanding its Indian business. Miho Niunoya, Ashish Jejurkar and Kentaro Minato are the firm’s main contacts for India-related matters.

With seven offices across five African countries and 500 specialist lawyers, BOWMANS works with Indian entities to unlock opportunities across Africa. The firm has demonstrated experience in corporate, finance, competition, taxation, employment, technology and dispute resolution matters.

Bowmans recently advised on the competition law aspects in Africa relating to the creation of a chemical plant joint venture between Abu Developmental Holding Company, Abu Dhabi National Oil and Reliance Industries. Last year, the firm welcomed new partners Rajiv Gujadhur (Mauritius) and Michael Strain (Tanzania), who enhance Bowmans’ offering on the India-Africa circuit with their Indian multinational client base. Managing partner for Kenya, Paras Shah, and Bowmans chairman Ezra Davids are active on India deals.

Managing partner Azmul Haque drives COLLYER LAW’s India group, which represents Indian technology companies in their Singapore externalisations, venture financing and M&A transactions. The firm advised Singapore-based Skuad, a platform for building, paying and managing globally distributed teams, on its USD15 million series A funding. It also advised Skuad on acquiring India-founded, data-driven talent assessment platform Codejudge, which automates the tech interview process.Nalini Mishra

Other highlights include: advising Razorpay on legal due diligence and reviewing documents for acquiring Poshvine Systems; assisting a non-resident holders’ shares sale in Vogo Automotive to Chalo Singapore, a bus transport technology company; and representing Near and Near Intelligence Holdings on its reorganisation and business combination with KludeIn I Acquisition Corp, through which it will gain access to up to USD100 million from Blue Torch Capital.

With 16 offices across the US, FROST BROWN TODD has the bench strength to handle large and complex mandates for Indian clients needing counsel on corporate and commercial issues, financing, intellectual property, dispute resolution, labour law, international trade, and tax. Last year, the firm advised on complicated tax and IP issues for a US software company with an Indian holding company, which was being acquired by an Israeli public company with significant US operations.

In another deal, the firm acted in ongoing private equity investments that transformed the client from a traditional manufacturer into a technology-enabled manufacturer of mobility products. The presence of both US and Indian investment funds in the target’s capital stack required extensive negotiation with multiple parties. I. Bobby Majumder heads the India desk.

British firm IRWIN MITCHELL has 17 UK offices and is working to grow its India reach. The firm has acted for Indian-parented borrowers and lenders on matters including institutional lending, cross-border acquisition finance and external commercial borrowings. Its practitioners are experienced in insolvency and restructuring.

It assisted: Axis Bank and India Infrastructure Finance Company (UK) on restructuring each of their English law-governed senior secured external commercial borrowing facilities to Essar Oil & Gas Exploration with Indian, Mauritius and English based guarantors; State Bank of India as the mandated lead arranger and agent on an English law-governed senior secured syndicated loan facility to Vedanta Resources; and a syndicate of Indian banks with the real estate development facilities to 57 Whitehall, which is redeveloping London’s Old War Office as a hotel and luxury apartments.

Brazilian full-service firm LEVY & SALOMAO has advised Novelis, a subsidiary of the Aditya Birla Group, on finance-related deals for almost 17 years. The firm has assisted with financing and refinancing through the execution and amendment of revolving and term loan credit agreements, and the offering of notes on international capital markets.

Last August, Novelis amended a 2014 credit agreement (ABL facility) to increases commitments by USD500 million to USD2 billion, and extend the maturity of the facility. The facility also conditionally permits an additional USD750 million increase. Novelis Brasil legal counsel Rafaela Barboza recommends the firm to any large company seeking a trusted legal vendor. Levy & Salomao “is always … bringing good concepts and updates that have potential or real impact on the company,” she says.

Singaporean firm OON & BAZUL brings strong experience in managing complex cross-border commercial disputes, transactions, oil and gas matters, fraud and asset recovery, shipping and international trade. Singhania & Co partner Nalini Mishra consults the firm on issues from international trade and shipping to arbitration, litigation and banking and finance. “We highly appreciate the firm’s efficiency in promptly responding to our needs, their professionalism, effective communication, accessibility and, most importantly, their commitment to client satisfaction,” says Mishra.

She compliments partners Bazul Ashhab and Prakaash Silvam for their “expertise, experience and track record … as evidenced by the favourable outcomes achieved in our cases”. Crawford Bayley & Co partner Prashant Asher says: “Oon & Bazul is our go-to choose for arrest of vessels in Singapore. [It is] more cost-effective without compromising on speed and quality.”