Baker McKenzie has won "International Law Firm of the Year" at the Asian Legal Business's ("ALB") inaugural India Law Awards held on 27 February in Mumbai.
The ALB India Law Awards recognizes the excellence and outstanding achievements of India's leading law firms and in-house legal teams, and celebrates top deals and dealmakers over the last year. Baker McKenzie was well-represented at this year's awards and was nominated in three other categories: "Equity Market Deal of the Year"; "M&A Deal of the Year (Midsize)"; and "M&A Deal of the Year (Premium)."
Commenting on the wins, Ashok Lalwani, Global Head of Baker McKenzie's India Practice and who received the award on the behalf of the Firm, said: "We are thrilled to be recognized by in-house counsel, industry peers and ALB as the leading international law firm for India-related work, which is built over many years of working with our valued clients."
"This award is a testament to the hard work, tenacity and innovation of the 300 lawyers in our India Practice — for the seamless transactional and advisory legal solutions they provide. I would like to thank our clients for the trust they placed in us, and also to each and every member of the Baker McKenzie India Practice team for their contribution to this wonderful accolade," Ashok continued.
The ALB award follows the Firm's recent achievements in the India Business Law Journal's (IBLJ) Deals of the Year 2018 report, in which several Baker McKenzie deals were named "Deals of the Year" in recognition of "the novelty and complexity of the transactions, and for any precedents that may have been established".
The recognitions include:
India Business Law Journal's "Deal of the Year 2018" - India's first Toll Operate Transfer Project
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow, member firm of Baker McKenzie in Singapore, acted for YES Bank as Singapore law counsel in relation to its USD 800 million acquisition financing loan to Macquarie Group, which won the maiden bundle of nine highway projects from the National Highways Authority of India under the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) Concession Agreement. The deal is one of the largest foreign investments ever in India’s public infrastructure and entitles the Macquarie funds to manage a little less than 700 kilometers of national highways in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. The deal team was led by Principals Emmanuel Hadjidakis and Martin David in Singapore.
India Business Law Journal's "Deal of the Year 2018" - Infosys Limited's Shares Buyback
Baker McKenzie acted for Infosys Limited as French and UK law counsel on its INR 13,000 crore (USD 2.03 billion) acquisition of approximately 20% of the aggregate paid-up equity share capital and free reserves of the company through buyback arrangement. The deal had to comply with the buyback regulations of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and receive clearances from the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext London and Paris, where the company is listed.
India Business Law Journal's "Deal of the Year 2018" - Jaiprakash Associates' Exchange Offer
Jaiprakash Associates exchanged its USD 150 million foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCB) due in 2017 with those maturing in 2020-2021. The bonds were issued in September 2012 with a coupon rate of 5.7%. According to IBLJ, it is one of the rare instances where substitution of the existing convertible bonds with a series of convertible bonds and a series of amortizing bonds took place through a vote of the bondholders in accordance with a consent solicitation exercise. The Journal further added that these are the first amortizing bonds listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading that were not issued pursuant to any debt issuance program.
India Business Law Journal's "Deal of the Year 2018" - Hindustan Aeronautics USD 649 million IPO
Baker McKenzie advised Hindustan Aeronautics and the Government of India on matters relating to US securities law in connection with the initial public offering of equity shares of Hindustan Aeronautics’ equity shares. This was the first IPO in the promising Indian defence sector. According to IBLJ, the deal was unusual in the sense that several aspects of Hindustan Aeronautics’ business were confidential given their sensitive nature, and required “co-ordination with and relief from the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, and the Securities and Exchange Board of India”. The deal took up to seven years to bring to market and heralded the opening up of the India defence sector. The deal team was led by Ashok Lalwani and Kyle Pilkington in Singapore.