Dispute resolution
Agrud Partners

The dispute resolution team at Agrud Partners represents clients at all levels of courts in India. The firm has a deep understanding of procedural and substantive laws and is skilled at strategising highly complicated litigations. Clients include development and investment financial institutions, Ultra-high-net-worth individuals, non-banking financial companies, public sector banks, brokerage firms, technology and outsourcing model businesses, biotech and manufacturing companies.

The key contacts for disputes are managing partner Sajid Mohamed and partner Sumit Raghani.

One recent highlight was the team’s representation of Bank of Baroda in a suit pertaining to a one-time settlement and damages. This long-running case was launched in 2007 and was settled only recently, after the client withdrew its action following advice given by the Agrud team. In another interesting case, the firm defended an individual for alleged fraudulent transfer of shares of Juhu Hotel Private. The team also represented Zee Entertainment in an arbitration proceeding.

Other recent clients include Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar, Pooja Diam and Vihaan Direct Selling.

Ahlawat & Associates

Ahlawat & Partners is a full-service firm that was established in 1978. Since its launch, the firm has been primarily a litigation practice. Is disputes strengths lie in labour and employment, and insolvency. The insolvency team handles cases for and against financial creditors as well as operation creditors. It is among the few law firms in India that has represented its clients across all 11 benches of the National Company Law Tribunal and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal. The employment litigators have deep experience working with clients on the challenges they face in complying with labour laws in India – and when contentious matters arise, the Ahlawat team is ready to assist. The firm has offices in Delhi and Mumbai.

The team is led by founding partner Avnish Ahlawat and managing partner Uday Singh Ahlawat.

The firm recently represented Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board in an interesting case where the petitioner was aggrieved by the action of the client in not permitting her to appear in an examination until she removed her metallic kara. BCP Technologies engaged the firm for advice on the recourse available for the recovery of their debt and drafted and filed the application to initiate Corporate Resolution Insolvency Process.

Other recent clients include Apollo Fiege Integrated Logistics, Dixon Technologies, Origo Commodities and Watsons Services.

AKS Partners

The litigation and arbitration team at AKS Partners has been covering the full spectrum of dispute management for the past three decades. The firm has carved out a strong presence for contentious government and regulatory-related matters – for example, scoring wins for the Ministry of Aviation. It works regularly with national and international clients such as major corporates, banks, financial institutions, private equity houses, investors, high-net-worth individuals and brand owners. This year the firm climbed up a notch in the commercial and transactions, and government and regulatory rankings.

The principal contact is managing partner Sonal Kumar Singh. He is a dispute resolution specialist with expertise in domestic and international arbitrations. Anish Jaipuriar is another name to note for commercial litigation.

The team secured a judgment in favour of the Ministry of Aviation before the High Court of Delhi in a tender-related dispute. The firm has also successfully represented a leading infrastructure company in a writ petition filed before the High Court of Delhi. Other submitted matters are confidential.

Alaya Legal

Established in 2003, Alaya Legal celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The dispute resolution offering spans the full range of practice areas, but it has a particular expertise in contentious labour and employment matters. The lawyers are experienced working at all levels of the court in India, from district courts to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal. Its caseload includes contract, real estate, insolvency and labour disputes, as well as construction and infrastructure arbitration matters.

The key partner leading the disputes practice is Divjyot Singh. Singh is a labour and employment specialist, but also handles civil and commercial litigation and arbitration.

Singh and his team are acting for a public sector undertaking as the respondent in an arbitration involving disputes relating to the construction of a wind farm. They are also representing Zomato Private as the plaintiff in proceedings seeking an injunction and damages from the defendants for uploading a video containing incorrect and disparaging comments on YouTube. The team was successful in procuring interim orders, including an order directing YouTube to disable the URL containing the video.

In an employment-related matter, the firm represented a software company in a petition filed by a workmer before the High Court of Delhi challenging the ruling of the Labour Court refusing reinstatement and backdated wages to the worker. On the flip side, the litigation team assisted a worker as the petitioner before the High Court of Delhi in a writ petition filed against an order of the Labour Court dismissing the application of the worker for amendment of pleadings.

In another labour-related case, the team is assisting the client in a petition filed before the High Court against an award passed by the Labour Court. This case raised several novel questions, such as whether a person performing administrative, managerial and supervisory duties can be said to be a ‘workman’ under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 and the principles governing the grant of backdated wages as the same cannot be claimed by the ‘workman’ as a matter of right.

Anand and Anand

As an intellectual property powerhouse, Anand and Anand needs no introduction. The firm is widely praised by the market across all practice areas and sectors for having the top IP litigators, particularly on the patent side. It routinely features in landmark decisions and its lawyers are highly sought after for novel, high-stakes and complex IP cases. The firm is a trusted name in court litigation, mediation, arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution methods. The stats speak for themselves, with the firm handling more than 150 customs cases for the world’s top brands – a record number of trademark opposition victories – and having a patent grant rate of more than 93%. The firm is spread out across four offices – New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Noida – and comprises 400 professionals, including 29 partners and three directors. The firm recently promoted four women to the partnership.

The firm’s western practice has collaborated with Naik Naik & Co in Mumbai to form Anand and Naik. The joint firm offers corporate commercial litigation and international commercial arbitration, in addition to contentious IP work. There is a strong focus on media and entertainment, films, television, social media, e-commerce, sports and gaming, fantasy sports. The teams are actively exploring emerging areas such as OTT, broadcasting, digital media, internet, convergence and tech-based hybrid areas such as fintech, rdtech, agritech and healthtech.

Managing partner and IP litigation specialist Pravin Anand and partner Vaishali Mittal are key contacts. Other names to note are partners Dhruv Anand, Saif Khan and Shrawan Chopra.

The firm represented plaintiffs Sholay Media and Entertainment in a landmark order holding the title of a film as well known[JD(1] . The client had sued US-based company, another company named and its three directors, as well as three other controlling entities of the domain name The defendants were publishing a magazine using the name “Sholay” and was selling various merchandise, using scenes and names from the movie Sholay. The High Court ruled that Sholay, an iconic film, cannot be held devoid of protection and restrained the defendant and others from misappropriating the film name.

The team also acted for Renaissance Hotel Holdings in a case where the judgment has wide ramifications on strengthening India’s role in globalisation and investment. The Supreme Court ruled that the legislative intent of the Trademarks Act should be upheld while deciding against the misuse of trademark. A three-justice bench held that the use of an identical (registered) mark has to necessarily be restrained through injunction and that no further inquiry is required regarding reputation of the mark in India, likelihood of confusion or honesty of adoption by the infringer. This was the first decision from the apex court distinguishing between two sections of the Trademarks Act.

Recent disputes clients include Interdigital, Nokia and Novartis.

Client feedback

“Excellent service, great legal knowledge, excellent pleadings.” – Intellectual property

Pravin Anand

“Great leader, good oversight, great in court.”

ANM Global

ANM Global expanded its contentious IP capabilities when it merged with Mumbai-based IP boutique Literati Juris last April. The firm’s clients in this area range from individuals to Fortune 500 companies across a multiplicity of sectors such as media and entertainment, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, e-commerce, infrastructure, transportation and technology. The firm is keen to help protect and enforce IP rights. All the submitted cases are confidential, but the team has been especially active in litigation for media and entertainment-related players to protect their trademarks and copyrights.

The key contacts for disputes are managing partner Nidhish Mehrotra, Rahul Dhote, Anushree Rauta and Suresh Amesar. Dhote, who joined last year from Literati Juris, is the head of the firm’s IP group, while Rauta heads the firm’s media and entertainment practice.

Archeus Law

Boutique firm Archeus Law specialises in dispute resolution in the construction, projects, insolvency, and mining and exploration areas. Notably it excels in the areas of project advisory and contract management. Its litigators have solid experience with energy, highways, bridges and urban infrastructure clients. For example, most of its cross-border disputes relate to the energy and infrastructure industries and pertain to projects in thermal power, renewable energy, highways and bridges, metro rail, rapid transport, smart cities and logistics. It has an active Chinese client roster in these sectors.

The firm has alliances in multiple countries to provide seamless advice to clients, including China, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Singapore, Bangladesh and Malaysia. The firm bolstered its ranks last year with the hiring of five associates to cover insolvency and construction disputes as well as international arbitration, and it opened up a new office in November in Bengaluru.

Founding partner Ranjit Prakash leads a disputes-focused team that includes partners Arun Mani, Rajdeep Choudhury and Anshuman Pande. Their practices cover arbitration and commercial, construction and insolvency disputes.

In an international arbitration case, the team is acting for an engineering firm in a dispute related to the development of a steam turbine. Chinese companies SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Corporation and Shandong Tiejun Electric Power Engineering have instructed the firm as operational creditors of the subsidiaries of IL&FS Group to help recover monies.

Other notable insolvency clients of the firm are SEPCO Electric Power Construction Corporation and Shanxi Tianbao Group.

Argus Partners

The disputes group at Argus Partners continues to win marquee instructions with its sizeable team of experienced litigators and arbitration experts. Its clients are some of the best-known companies and brands in the global marketplace. The offering is primarily focused on commercial, contractual, insolvency, arbitration, regulatory, banking and taxation disputes. Peers have nodded to the visibility of Argus Partners on a number of the country’s higher-profile insolvency matters. The litigators have a long track record of advising clients on strategies in ongoing litigation, potential disputes, recovery and enforcement proceedings, arbitration, conciliation and mediation, and a host of regulatory matters. The team has advocated before all levels of the court, quasi-judicial authorities and various tribunals. The arbitration group is active in domestic cases and international proceedings, with experience in matters before the SIAC and ICC. The team has helped clients enforce or challenge awards and foreign decisions in sectors such as energy, banking and finance, construction and infrastructure, power, automation and engineering. This year, the firm climbed up a notch in the government and regulatory, insolvency and international arbitration rankings.

The practice has 10 partners covering primarily commercial, contractual and regulatory disputes, and it is active in domestic and international arbitrations. The firm has offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.

Key figures within the team are senior partners R Sudhinder, [JD(1] Abeezar Faizullabhoy and Ranjit Shetty. Seven other disputes partners round out the group, including Soorjya Ganguli, Murtaza Kachwalla and Pooja Chakrabarti.

The team is representing Sociedade de Fomento Industrial Private before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against a shareholder who had filed a petition claiming oppression and mismanagement. Skoda Auto Volkswagen India has instructed the firm for its special leave petition that is pending before the Supreme Court, challenging the decision of the Delhi High Court. The client had challenged the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Competition Act, including the composition of the Competition Commission of India and the manner of conducting proceedings before the Delhi High Court. The Delhi High Court, while striking down some of the provisions of the Competition Act, has upheld the other provisions.

The firm acted for the Adamjee Peerbhoy Sanatorium Trust and several other Dawoodi Bohra trusts before the Supreme Court in a dispute related to the categorisation of public trusts. The State of Maharashtra and the Waqf Boards filed more than 57 special leave petitions challenging the order of the Bombay High Court in 2011, setting aside the incorporation of the Maharashtra State Wakf Board and the lists of Wakfs prepared under the Wakqf Act. More than 20,000 Muslim public trusts would be categorised as wakfs and would be unable to alienate their properties except as provided under the Waqf Act.

The insolvency team is acting for the liquidator in the liquidation process of Concast Steel & Power. This is one of the first large accounts that was unsuccessful under the resolution process and was directed by regulators to be liquidated. It is also the first case where the resolution professional obtained an order from the NCLT for appointment of the Special Frauds Investigation Office for investigating the affairs of the company, even though the Companies Act does not confer any specific power on the NCLT to appoint the same.

In a landmark matter, the firm continues to act for a client in the seminal Sabarimala matter, which deals with the entry of women in a temple. This has been one of the most significant constitutional cases in the country deciding on the equal rights of women. This case judgment, which will be decided by a rare nine-judge bench, will have a significant impact on all religions. It will settle the law as regards the interpretation of two articles of the constitution. It will clarify the rights of religious denominations and the extent to which they can manage affairs of religion.

Last year, the firm welcomed disputes partners Bhavya Mohan and Namitha Mathews from Arista Chambers and Algo Legal, respectively. It bid farewell to Maneesha Kongovi, who left for IndusLaw.

The firm counts ABB, Edelweiss, ICICI Bank, IL&FS Investment Managers, HDFC Group, KKR, Tata Group, Volkswagen Group and Volvo as loyal clients.

Ashwathh Legal

Intellectual property boutique Ashwathh Legal recently celebrated its second birthday after being established in December 2020 by a group of senior IP practitioners. The firm’s focused practice areas include IP rights, litigation, investigation and enforcement, data privacy and security, trade compliance and legal metrology. The group’s contentious portfolio cuts across a variety of industry sectors such as life sciences and pharmaceuticals, media and technology, transportation, FMCG, apparel and e-commerce. The firm’s lawyers collectively have worked on an extensive array of civil, commercial and criminal litigation for domestic and offshore clients.

Managing partner Prabhu Tandon is the key contact among a group of five partners that also includes Kripa Pandit, Sumit Sharma, Kanika Aeri and Lalima Tandon.

A highlight matter for the firm saw it acting for Zee Entertainment Enterprises in a high-value dispute involving copyright ownership of certain movies against Satish Tandon Productions. The team was recruited by Dabur India for the takedown of defamatory videos posted by the defendant on social media platforms, namely Facebook, Google and Twitter.

Axiom5 Law Chambers

Established in September 2022, Axiom5 Law Chambers is a specialist competition boutique firm that was founded by ex-AZB & Partners senior partner and head of competition Samir Gandhi. His esteemed credentials and the fact that he has been a leading lawyer in this space over the past two decades have given him a ringside view of the development of antitrust law in India. Gandhi was a counsel to the CCI in its earliest litigation; later, back in private practice, he worked on pioneering antitrust cases and merger filings. He has been an powerful voice in the formulation of competition policy in India since its inception, including as a member of ad hoc group the competition authority on the formulation of its merger regulations and also as a special government invitee to the Competition Law Review Committee. The team at his new firm advises on the full range of issues related to competition law, including litigation and enforcement, complex merger filing advice, counselling and compliance, and competition policy and advocacy. Its sector strengths include media and entertainment, and technology.

In addition to Gandhi, the firm’s leadership includes partner Rahul Rai and counsels Shivanghi Sukumar and Shruti Murali.

The team advised Google in a writ challenge to the CCI’s decision to initiate interim relief related proceedings in the inquiry against its client’s business practices in relation to its app store and payment services. It is also assisting Super Cassettes Industries on its appeal against the CCI’s order holding its revenue share terms with HT Media for licensing of copyright-protected content as abusive before the NCLAT.

SG Projects and UFO Moviez are two other recent clients.


Client feedback

“They provided clear, measured and thoughtful advice. They often grappled with challenging issues and produced top-quality work against tight deadlines.” – Competition

Rahul Rai

“Rahul has a tremendous knowledge of Indian antitrust law, coupled with a very practical, client-focused approach. In my experience, he is one of the smartest lawyers in his field in India, but one who can also distil complex issues into a clear, measured and client-focused solution. Even in the most high-stakes matters, he remains calm, measured and works extremely well as part of a wider team.”

AZB & Partners

The formidable AZB & Partners has a seasoned and respected dispute resolution team comprising some of the leading practitioners in the market. The firm has offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, with no less than 16 disputes partners covering the full range of practice areas. Its core strength is corporate disputes, stemming from its top-tier M&A, competition and private equity transactional practices. Increasingly, clients are generated by the disputes team independent of the firm’s other transactional areas. Arbitration is another key strength for the team: it played leading roles in landmark decisions that have sculpted the domestic arbitration landscape. Recently, the firm has expanded into emerging areas of practice – for example, handling disputes in new technology areas such as high-frequency trading technology, fintech, privacy and technology regulation. It has been gaining experience also in third-party litigation and arbitration. This year the firm moved into the top tiers in the construction, international arbitration and white-collar crime rankings.

Noted partners include Rajendra Barot, Vijayendra Pratap Singh[JD(1] , Aditya Vikram Bhat, Roopali Singh, Kamal Shankar, Anindita Roychowdhury and Priyanka Shetty. Market legend and rainmaker Zia Mody specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, regulatory and white-collar crime.

The team is representing BSR and Associates and its partner in special leave petitions filed by the Union of India and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). The client challenged the actions taken by the government the SFIO in connection with its sole joint audit of IL&FS Financial Services for the financial year that ended in 2018. In another high-stakes matter, the team is defending a majority shareholder and its company against allegations of oppression and mismanagement and other connected litigations. The case involves complex issues of determining whether oppression and mismanagement disputes are arbitrable or not. In this matter, the AZB team will apply a legal test to determine when a shareholder dispute can be reduced to a contractual dispute that is arbitrable, and when a claim of oppression is maintainable.

Another marquee litigation has the team championing for its international arbitration against the Future Group. The case spotlights the first Emergency Award under Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) arbitration enforced in India. The matter involved various issues inter alia, legal status of an emergency arbitrator and its order, validity of incorporating institutional rules that provide for emergency arbitration while the governing law is silent on the issue, the doctrine of group of companies and non-signatory as a party to an arbitration. The Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the Emergency Award. The verdict of the land’s top court has altered India’s arbitration landscape as the determination of validity and the legal status of emergency arbitration is a first of a kind and a landmark judgment in the Indian arbitration jurisprudence, with far-reaching effects internationally.

The AZB team continues to assist HSBC in the enforcement proceedings of an SIAC award before the High Court of Bombay, proceedings for interim reliefs and the contempt proceedings before the Supreme Court of India. The SIAC award grants HSBC’s claim of $60 million against Avitel Post Studioz and its promoters. The enforcement proceedings have been resisted by the counterparty, inter alia, on grounds of the inarbitrability of issues settled by the arbitral tribunal, violation of the principles of natural justice, a bias of members of the arbitral tribunal, and on the grounds that the enforcement of the SIAC award would violate the public policy of India. This Supreme Court decision on the critical issue of fraud and arbitrability is a landmark arbitration-related judgment.

The firm has some of the corporate world’s biggest stars as loyal disputes clients, such as Amazon, Facebook, Credit Suisse, IHH Healthcare, HSBC, KKR, KPMG, Nissan Motors, Standard Chartered and Tata Steel. Recent clients include Aapico Hitech, Ambuja Cements, Cloudtail India, Solar Industries India and WNS Care Foundation.

Client feedback

“The firm’s partners spend a lot of time understanding the case in detail, going through the minutest intricacies, and then recommending an overarching strategy to the client. This may also include taking the advice of third-party experts, which may fall on the borderline of legal experts. So, while many other law firms or partners may be hesitant to recommend third parties to the clients, the partner handling our case in particular is very confident in her dealings and does not suffer any insecurity. She would advise what’s best in the client’s interest. And the best part is that the firm would stand beside her.” – International arbitration


Rajendra Barot

“He has great knowledge and experience, gives practical advice, is super-responsive and leads a great team.”

Roopali Singh

“She is very dedicated. She works extra hard to understand the client’s side, the business and the industry, and the specific circumstances of the case. In our case, she was at the forefront of framing the entire legal strategy around the case, encompassing several geographies (India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka) and several areas (criminal breach of trust, international arbitration, IP infringement) as a partner to our in-house legal team. As an important stakeholder, I felt as comfortable talking to Roopali as to my in-house legal head.”

Bharucha & Partners

Bharucha Partners has a widely respected disputes team, with its partners boasting a proven track record of successfully handling complex commercial disputes. A review of its submitted and publishable cases from last year revealed no fewer than 10 precedent-setting matters. The partners have more than five decades of litigation experience collectively and the firm adopts a strategy of creating lean teams of skilled lawyers to meet the needs of its clients. The firm has offices in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru, and has represented clients in more than 30 different courts, including the Supreme Court of India and the High Courts around the country. The team has also made frequent appearances before various specialist tribunals, such as the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), and the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity. This year the firm was elevated into the top tier for its white-collar crime prowess.

Senior partner MP Bharucha is well respected by market watchers. He leads a seven-partner-strong dispute resolution group that includes DP Singh, Karthik Somasundaram, Sneha Jaisingh and Sonam Gupta.

In a unique matter that may serve as a test arbitration case, the firm is representing AES Engineers in various proceedings initiated by and against the client under the IBC and criminal proceedings under the Indian penal code. The disputes relate to the bill discounting facility extended by lender NBFC to a manufacturer to ensure smooth delivery of raw materials from various suppliers. The transactions were captured under two agreements, the Master Service Agreement between the lender and the manufacturer, and the Facility Agreement between the lender and the supplier. The questions involved are of determination of liability and composite arbitration. The case requires adjudicating the important question of law of whether a non-signatory to an arbitration agreement can invoke the arbitration agreement and whether the non-signatory is deemed to be a party to the agreement vide “incorporation by reference”.

The team is representing the former chairman of CG Power and Industrial Solutions, Avantha Holdings and other affiliates in a matter pertaining to fund diversion and criminal conspiracy. The board of CG Power reported an alleged fraud to the SEBI and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, based on a purported forensic report by a law firm engaged at the behest of CG which alleged serious accounting anomalies and non-compliances. The client ex-chairman was removed in 2019 and various government agencies are probing charges. The matter is being heard in multiple forums, including the SEBI. It is significant before the SEBI since it involves the veracity of related party transactions between listed and unlisted entities as well as the SEBI’s jurisdiction to determine liability of bankers.

Inox Wind and its directors engaged the firm for representation after they had a First Informative Report (FIR) issued against them before the Madras High Court levelling allegations of rioting, obscenity and criminal intimidation. The Bharucha & Partners team moved quickly to quash the FIR, sought stays on further proceedings, and ultimately secured a win for its clients by having the criminal prosecution completely closed.

The firm welcomed partner Sudeshna Guha Roy from Vidhii Partners last April. Her practice is varied and she covers commercial litigation, arbitration, insolvency and real estate disputes.

Key disputes clients include ATC Infrastructure, Diageo, HSBC, ITC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Sony Pictures and Vodafone Idea.

BMR Legal

Boutique tax firm BMR Legal Advocates is led by the highly esteemed Mukesh Butani. Peers and clients acknowledge that he is a true tax litigation star. The firm’s seasoned lawyers cover corporate international tax, transfer pricing, GST, customs and trade, tax litigation, tax controversy management, strategic tax advisory and policy. The firm also acts as an expert witness on treaty and transfer pricing law. Butani has led on multiple landmark tax-related judgments – for example, playing a key role in the country’s most significant transfer pricing dispute on a share issuance transaction. The firm is often called upon by independent research organisations, including the Ministry of Finance, for consultation on tax policy and administration.

Butani leads the firm alongside partners Seema Kejriwal Jariwala and Shankey Agrawal. Kejriwal Jariwala focuses on international tax, transfer pricing and tax controversy management, while Agrawal specialises in tax disputes, indirect tax and trade and customs.

The firm has been instrumental in many high-profile tax dispute cases that end up setting case law. For example, Butani and his team are acting for Canon India Private in a matter that revolves around marketing intangibles, wherein it is alleged that the advertisement, marketing and promotion (AMP) spend of an Indian company is applied towards enhancement of the brand value of the intellectual property of its overseas parent company. The Supreme Court’s decision is likely to settle the issue of whether excessive AMP expenses would constitute an “international transaction”. There are diverging views from various tribunal and High Court judgments, which do not provide a clear guidance on the issue. This is an all-industry and cross-jurisdictional issue and more than 50 matters are tagged before the Supreme Court. Its authoritative pronouncement would be a significant milestone for international tax jurisprudence.

The team is assisting Eaton Technology, Glaxosmithkline Consumer and Godaddy India on challenging the retrospective denial of benefits before the High Courts after these benefits were curtailed through a government notification capping the incentive amount and redacting certain service categories. The matter is likely to affect various services exporters covered and aggrieved by the above-mentioned scheme. This will be a landmark judgment on the extent of central government’s power to amend the benefits granted under the notification with retrospective effect. The matter is pending for hearing before the courts.

Anand NVH Products, CLSA, Lionbridge Technologies, Marvell India and Spencer Stuart International are some of the firm’s recent clients.

Client feedback

“Strong team, dedicated to customer needs.” – Tax

Tarun Jain

“He is very pro-client. He understands our needs thoroughly, and articulates the matter very well before judiciary.”

Chambers of SS Pujari

Chambers of SS Pujari founder Sachin Pujari is a qualified Advocate on Record (AoR), practising before the highest courts in India. He specialises in special leave petitions, transfer petitions, writ jurisdiction, and matters pertaining to constitutional, election and service laws. He also advocates for clients before the NCLT and NCLAT for managerial disputes and insolvency proceedings. Pujari is acting for the ex-director of Tashee Linux Services before the NCLT in Hyderabad and the NCLAT in Chennai for a management dispute in relation to the client’s former company. He is also assisting HBD Direct as its counsel before various courts and appellate tribunals, securing several successes in obtaining required reliefs in compliance matters.

Chandhiok & Mahajan

Chandhiok & Mahajan is a respected name among the legal fraternity for its antitrust work. With a leading contentious competition practice, the firm is regularly instructed by clients for leniency, merger control, cartel investigation and abuse of dominance matters. Its clients in this space include blue-chip companies such as Google and Intel, Global 100 conglomerates such as Samsung, Honda and Hyundai, and Fortune 500 companies. The firm debuted in the insolvency rankings this year, demonstrating increased activity in this competitive market. The insolvency practice has seen exponential growth in recent years, acting for lenders, investors, insolvency professionals, liquidators, creditors, promoters, and guarantors in various insolvency proceedings in India.

Competition specialist Karan Chandhiok leads the disputes team, which includes partners Vikram Sobti, Deeksha Manchanda, Avinash Amarnath and Lagna Panda. Managing partner Pooja Mahajan heads the restructuring and insolvency team.

The team assisted Google in an investigation before the CCI in relation to Google Play Store’s payments policy and Google’s UPI payment app. Throughout the inquiry, Chandhiok & Mahajan lawyers strategised Google’s defence, successfully arguing that the service fee charged by Google was not excessive. This matter was the first competition law challenge to the service fee charged by app stores from app developers in the country.

In one insolvency case, the team is acting for the successful resolution applicant for Jet Airways, the consortium of Murari Lal Jalal and Florian Fritsch. The team had successfully represented the resolution applicant in proceedings for approval of the resolution plan for the beleaguered airline, which was approved by NCLT Mumbai in mid-2021. There were some unique issues involved in the matter as it was the first case of insolvency resolution in the aviation sector.

Intel, JCB India, Meta and UFO Moviez are recent clients.

Client feedback

“They blend legal advice with practicality and commercial wisdom.” – Insolvency

Pooja Mahajan

“She is very prompt in responding. She provides advice with a blend of practicality and commercial wisdom.”

Clasis Law

Full-service firm Clasis Law is experienced with contentious commercial and insolvency matters. It has two offices, in New Delhi and Mumbai, and has a diverse domestic and international client base across numerous sectors. In addition to its litigation offering, the team is active on international commercial arbitration matters. Clasis lawyers are representing various financial institutions, companies in the hospitality sector, shipping companies and information technology companies before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for initiation of the insolvency resolution process against corporate debtors. This year the firm climbed up a rung in the commercial and transactions and insolvency rankings.

Partners Mustafa Motiwala and Shwetabh Sinha are the key figures for general commercial disputes, contentious shipping issues and insolvency matters. Motiwala’s practice also focuses on competition, intellectual property, estate, and technology, media and telecommunications.

In one recent case, the firm is representing a Singapore-based company as the majority shareholder of an Indian power generation company before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal against an order passed by the NCLT regarding a case of oppression and mismanagement that was filed by the client. On the maritime front, the team is defending an international shipping company in a commercial suit filed by a consignee with respect to the refund of a claim of demurrage and detention. A Delaware-incorporated client has instructed the firm for representation before the High Court of Bombay for the enforcement and execution of a foreign arbitral award. The team is also assisting a wireless solutions company to initiate proceedings against Tubelight Communication over outstanding debt.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

As one of the country’s largest and most successful full-service law firms, it’s not surprising that Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has a well-honed and experienced dispute resolution team. Its pan-India practice has secured the trust of its clients and counsel in India and across the globe. The litigation team has vast experience in handling complex litigations involving commercial and corporate disputes, including arbitration, infrastructure, companies law-related matters, insolvency and bankruptcy, competition, government action, electricity laws, intellectual property, mining laws, white-collar and criminal law, telecoms and data privacy. The firm has experienced an uptick in contentious insolvency work and it has a panel of senior retired regulatory experts specialising in key sectors. This year the firm reached the top tier in the construction rankings and was up one more notch into the second tier for government and regulatory disputes.

The key figures for dispute resolution are managing partner Cyril Shroff and department leaders Indranil Deshmukh and Shaneen Parikh. Partner Lomesh Nidumuri joined last year from IndusLaw, while George Varghese, Radhika Dubey and Gauri Rasgotra departed. The latter two left to start their own practices.

The team is representing the Board of Control for Cricket in India in its arbitration dispute with Rendezvous Sports World regarding the furnishing of bank guarantees under franchise agreements. In a constitutional challenge, the firm acted for IndusInd Bank before the Telagana High Court with regard to an executive action taken by the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty. The local government body had directed various police authorities within the state to file chargesheets against the client and its officers for allegedly causing borrowers to commit suicide. The CAM lawyers successfully represented the client and obtained a quashing of the said executive action.

Recent clients of the firm include Bank of Baroda, BCCI, Fortis Hospitals, IDBI Bank, IFC, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, Narang Group, Piramal Group and State Bank of India.

Dhir & Dhir Associates

Full-service law firm Dhir & Dhir Associates is famed for its market-leading insolvency practice. It also has an active dispute resolution group. Its core dispute specialities, in addition to insolvency, are commercial, construction and government and regulatory. The firm has handled more than 60% of all cases before the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction and its Appellate Authority, and currently handles more than 25% of total non-performing assets in India. A review of the firm’s regulatory highlights demonstrates it has been very active for the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India in recent years, appearing on behalf of the regulator in multiple cases. The firm has five offices across the country – in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru – and a representative office in Japan.

Managing partner Alok Dhir leads the disputes offering, which includes partners Sachin Gupta, Rahul Tyagi, Varsha Banerjee, Karan Batura and Ashish Pyasi.

The firm’s dominance in insolvency and restructuring is evidenced by its heavy caseload. It acts for various parties before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) with their resolution plans. For example, it represented Trident Infra Homes and Romano Infrastructure before the NCLT, seeking approval of its resolution plan, and assisted Jain Irrigation Systems on its restructuring proposal with its lenders. In a unique matter, the team has appeared before the NCLT for client Lucky Holdings as the successful bidder in the ongoing liquidation proceedings of PSL. The tribunal, in a first of its kind case, passed a detailed order approving the sale in favour of the client while also elaborately dealing with and interpreting the provisions of the IBC equating sale of the company as a going concern in liquidation as an approved resolution plan.

The firm’s key clients include Avantha Holdings, Binani Industries, Essar Steel India, IDBI Bank, Jaypee Infratech, Jindal Steel & Power, Moser Baer India, Punjab National Bank, Metalyst Forgings, Soma Enterprise, Rural Electrification Corporation and Trident Infrahomes. Recent panel wins for the team include the State Bank of India, India Infrastructure Finance Company and National Fertilisers.

DSK Legal

Last year, DSK Legal significantly bolstered its disputes team by winning over the litigation arm of Luthra and Luthra Law Offices (L&L) and several partners from Dua Associates. Twenty-one new partners joined DSK from L&L with their teams and four from Dua, bringing a total number of 63 fee earners to the litigation and arbitration group. This massive influx of top-level talent necessitated new offices across India in New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai. This growth has ushered in a new era for the dispute resolution offering, expanding the firm’s contentious capabilities across the full spectrum of practice areas and industry sectors. The team now has expertise in commercial, IPR, regulatory, securities, shareholder, blue and white collar crime, constitutional, employment, construction, tax, and regulatory disputes, as well as domestic and international arbitrations. With a team led by high-profile and experienced litigators across multiple areas and at all levels of the courts, the firm consistently finds itself on complex, novel and landmark matters. For example, the team was successful in winning one of the first arbitrations conducted under the rule of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce. This year the firm climbed up a notch in the construction, government, and regulatory and international arbitration rankings and debuted in the contentious competition, IP and labour tables.

The disputes team is led by managing partner Anand Desai and senior partners Bobby Chandhoke and Sudhir Sharma. Other key partners to note include Nirav Shah, Jatin Pore, Kirat Singh Nagra, Dinesh Pardasani, Samir Malik, Kartik Yadav, Parag Khandhar and Samit Shukla.

The team is assisting Yum! Restaurants in proceedings against the Directorate of Enforcement (DoE). The client had commenced business in the country on the basis of approvals granted by the Secretariat of Industrial Approval (SIA). Then, the DoE passed an order against the client, alleging contravention of the terms and conditions of the approval granted by SIA and imposing a hefty penalty. The firm also successfully represented CREDAI-MCHI in a Supreme Court case related to the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around a national park and sanctuary area. The client filed an interim application seeking clarification on specific notifications, and the court ultimately passed an order giving answers to ESZ boundary questions that the client had raised.

The firm is acting for the Minister of Women and Child Development and Minister of Minority Affairs in a defamation suit against various leaders of an opposition party and several social media intermediaries. The court passed an ad-interim injunction against the defendants in the civil suit. This case highlights that the right to freedom of speech for one person ought to be balanced with the right to dignity for another.

In a case that reads like fiction, the DSK team represented its clients in a suit filed by someone claiming to be the adopted son of Gangubai Harjivandas. This individual alleged in a suit that the contents of the chapter of book The Mafia Queens of Mumbai – on which the movie Gangubai Kathiawadi is based – are defamatory and constitute an infringement of his right to privacy, self-respect and liberty. The top-tier media lawyers were able to have the suit rejected by the court. 

Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) engaged the firm for its high stakes dispute with KCM Petrotech (KCMP) over a commercial contract pertaining to polymer manufacturing. KCMP had challenged an arbitral award in favour of the client and the DSK lawyers successfully defended against the petition and had it dismissed. It additionally secured directions for KCMP to pay the arbitral award amount within six months. This is an interesting matter because DSK secured attachment orders against the judgment debtor based out of Hyderabad with no assets within the jurisdiction of the executing court and despite objections from the judgment debtor regarding execution proceedings being non-maintainable on grounds of territorial jurisdiction.

On the competition front, the antitrust litigators represented Tamarai Technologies before the Supreme Court against a judgment passed by the Guwahati High Court which set aside ongoing proceedings before the competition regulator. In an international arbitration matter, Bharti International Singapore enlisted the firm for SIAC arbitration proceedings in a case arising out of non-payment of satellite services that is based in agreements with Philippines entities. The DSK lawyers successfully secured orders for conduct of arbitration under expedited procedure of SIAC rules and secured an award for $2.5 million in favour of its client.

Other significant clients that worked with the firm over the past year include Aditya Birla Finance, Air India, Alstom System India, Hitachi Rail, IL&FS, Mallika SA Investments, Nabinagar Power Generating Company and Sterlite Technologies.

Client feedback

“The team is very responsive and concise at drafting. The lawyers provide great insight into the Competition Commission of India.” – Competition

Abhishek Baghel

“Innovative, hungry for success. Astute knowledge.”

Abdhullah Hussain

“Very responsive.”

Jatin Pore

“Strategic thinking around case solutions.”

Dua Associates

Dua Associates has a respected, experienced and truly pan-Asia dispute resolution practice that provides a full suite of services. In particular, the team is adept at complex and high-stakes disputes involving the environment, constitutional and administrative laws, contracts, white-collar and regulatory matters, intellectual property, international trade, and corporate and commercial litigations. The team is active daily before various judicial and arbitral forums in India, including state courts, the Supreme Court and numerous judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals. The group itself comprises more than 100 lawyers across India, located in offices in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune.

A unique feature of the firm is that it has a robust and dedicated Supreme Court presence through Dua Associates AoR, a firm of Advocates on Record (AoR) registered with the Supreme Court. The current AoR of the firm form the bulk of the Supreme Court practice, ably supported by other partners who appear in court as well as assisting senior counsels with their teams. The AoR firm is based in Delhi.

Senior solicitor and partner Shiraz Patodia is a key figure on the disputes team. The sizeable practice features 14 other partners, including Angad Varma, LK Bhushan, Amit Dhingra, Ganesh Chandru and Ashish Singh.

In an example of the complex and novel work the firm handles, the team is representing a fund management company in a petition challenging an arbitral award before the High Court of Delhi. The case involves allegations of fraud and misrepresentation committed by a portfolio manager, in relation to a discretionary portfolio management agreement entered into with the petitioner. The case involves interpretation of various provisions of the Indian Contract Act and the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. This case is likely to clarify the position of law on the limited powers of the court to interfere with an arbitral award under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

The team assisted an oil and gas conglomerate client to file a writ petition before the High Court of Karnataka challenging the denial of a No Objection Certificate for setting up a retail petroleum outlet. In another high-level case, the firm is acting for a Residents Welfare Association of a registered residential society in a petition filed by one of the residents before the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, challenging the constitutional validity of the rule book and bylaws of the society.

Dua Associates continues to counsel Dow Chemical in an extremely complex and contentious litigation before the Supreme Court. The dispute emanates from a toxic industrial disaster that occurred in Bhopal in 1984, wherein the union of India and certain NGOs have sought enhanced compensation by filing a curative petition. The matter is of great importance as the country’s highest court is likely to opine on the civil liability of a successor operation and vicarious liability of a corporation in a mass environmental tort action, as well as deliberating on amenability to jurisdiction.

Construction specialist Shikha Ginodia joined the firm mid-2022 from Piramal Capital & Housing Finance.

Client feedback

“They are proactive, they know the law well and can get the work done on speedy basis.” – Commercial and transactions

Shiraz Patodia

“She is always reachable, very proactive and action-oriented.”

Economic Laws Practice

The dispute resolution group at Economic Laws Practice excels in competition, international arbitration, regulatory and tax work. Its white-collar crimes practice is maturing and the team has seen increasing work in this space. These practices are regarded as some of the best in the country, with many peers and clients affirming their dominance in these areas. The team is proud of its in-house advocacy capabilities, which enable its lawyers to provide clients with a holistic review of all relevant matters in a dispute. In the past year, the team has been active in multiple shareholder, and oppression and mismanagement disputes, as well as handling large private client and intellectual property disputes. The firm recently opened a new office in GIFT City, Gujarat to complement its six other offices across India.

Ten senior lawyers are focused purely on litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution, including partners Naresh Thacker, Jitendra Motwani, Dinesh Pednekar, Mumtaz Bhalla, Shailesh Poria and Alok Jain.

The team represented the CEO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) in a litigation matter against Invesco on its requisition notice for the removal of three executive directors of ZEE and the appointment of six independent directors. After considering the requisition notice and receiving legal opinions from retired judges, the Supreme Court declined Invesco’s request and refused to act upon the notice, as it was in contravention of various regulations. This matter has been one of the most widely reported in India, not only because of the high-profile individuals involved but also because it involves a key issue on corporate governance. This case deals with the important question of law: the ability of a shareholder of a publicly-listed company to call for an EGM. This matter is being closely monitored as it will set a precedent.

Thacker and his team were engaged by JM Baxi Ports and Logistics for a challenge raised by an unsuccessful bidder, Bollore Africa Logistics, assailing the award of the tender for a large terminal container port project to the client. The ELP team had the writ petition dismissed before both the single judge and division bench of the Madras High Court.

The team is also representing several clients in defending allegations by India’s National Green Tribunal and Endowments Tribunal. Adani Enterprises has instructed the firm for a matter pertaining to coal mines in Chhattisgarh in an auction held under the Coal Mines Act. The team is representing the client before the Coal Mines Tribunal against a decision from the Government of India appropriating the bank guarantees given by the client.

The tax controversy team advised Kotak Mahindra Group right from the investigation stage to obtaining a stay on the proceedings from the Hon’ble High Court with respect to the demand of service tax on an average monthly balance maintained by customers of the bank. The matter is an all-industry issue affecting various banks. This would have an impact on the entire banking industry and would indirectly affect all customers having savings in banks. The outcome of this issue would affect past transactions as well as ongoing transactions under the GST regime.

Partners Ashish Prasad and Mukta Dutta left last June to establish their own firm, Acara Law. Associate partner Abhay Chattopadhyay and counsel Ashishchandra Rao joined early last year after being independent practitioners.

Notable recent clients of the firm include All Cargo Logistics, Advanced MedTech Solutions, Cargo Motors, Coca-Cola, Duff & Phelps, INX Media, Lex Sportel Vision and Tata Sons.

Client feedback

“They are simply excellent.”– Commercial and transactions

“ELP has a niche practice in indirect taxation and handles all related matters very efficiently and successfully.” – Tax

“The approach, dedication towards work and the timely, effective advice sets them apart from other firms.” – White-collar crime

Mumtaz Bhalla

“I find her solutions proactive and she provides advice that is in the long-term interest of the client. She doesn’t buckle under pressure and cut corners for short-term solutions. She is brilliant in her approach and explains the situation well.”

Alok Jain

“He is a problem solver, with innovative ideas to come out with solutions. He tackles issues very well.”

Jitendra Motwani

“Prompt responses, excellent knowledge of indirect taxation and very good results in most of our litigation matters.”

Fidus Law Chambers

Intellectual property specialist firm Fidus Law Chambers is rising in prominence for its handling of several landmark cases last year. Peers and clients have attested to the quality of its work and this year the firm climbed into the second tier in the IP rankings. Its litigation offering encompasses the full scope of intellectual property, such as trademark domain disputes and infringement actions, and disputes relating to patent, copyright, design, trade secret and geographical indication. The team has a success rate in the high 90s.

For all IP contentious matters, the main contacts at the firm are managing partner Shwetasree Majumder, and partners Diva Arora, Tanya Varma, Prithvi Singh and Astha Negi.

In a one-of-a-kind matter, the team assisted client Adobe on its lawsuit against a typo-squatter for registering deceptively similar domain names as that of the client’s trademark. The lawyers were successful in securing an injunction order against the infringer.

Century 21 Real Estate instructed the team for a trademark infringement lawsuit against a sub-franchisee for continued use of the mark, even after the franchise agreement had ended. The Delhi High Court granted a permanent injunction with respect to the trademark “Century 21” in favour of the client. Not only did the client secure the injunction, it was also awarded damages and full legal costs, and one of the defendants was ordered to change its company name since the trademark was included within. While the courts do not usually grant damages while proceeding ex-parte in summary proceedings, the court noted the peculiarity of the case and the wilful disobedience by the defendants, and granted damages in favour of the client.

Key clients of the firm include Agoda Company, Air Canada, Google, Mattel, NBC Universal, Oracle, Philip 66, Tata Digital Private, Xerox and Yum! Brands.

Client feedback

“Practical legal advice, solid strategy, and amazing results.” – Intellectual property

Shwetasree Majumder

“Smart, commercial, practical and efficient.”

Fox & Mandal

Fox & Mandal was founded in 1896 and is one of the oldest continuing law firms in the country. The full-service firm has an experienced dispute resolution team based in Kolkata, with a network of associates across India. It recently expanded its litigation footprint into Delhi by collaborating with BlackRobe Chambers, an existing full-service lawyers’ chambers.

The key contacts for disputes are partners Debanjan Mandal and Kunal Vajani.

Mandal and his team recently defended TechChef India in an employment dispute. The client was started by former employees of the plaintiff company, Stellar Information Technology. The ex-employees started a competing company six months after leaving the plaintiff. The ultimate judgment reaffirmed the settled position that non-compete clauses in employment contracts are void. This matter was important because, in the Indian legal context, the employees are still exploited by the employers and made to sign one-sided and unilateral clauses. This matter also reaffirmed that employees cannot be restrained from starting independent business post-employment.

The firm is also acting for Keventer AGro in a public interest litigation. The dispute surrounds an investigation into the transfer of shares of Metro Dairy by the client to Mandala Capital at a higher valuation than when the shares were transferred by another industry company. The complainants alleged the auction process was not transparent and not sufficiently advertised or notified to the public. The Fox & Mandal team secured a win for its client by successfully arguing against all their contesting points.

NBCC India engaged the firm after an application was filed against it by Biosafe Lab India, stating that payment was outstanding by our client towards Biosafe for work rendered by it on behalf of our client. The petition was dismissed by the NCLT. Had it not been, an IRP would have begun and insolvency proceedings would have commenced against one of India’s largest construction companies.

Other recent disputes clients of the firm are Fabworth Promoters, Gupta Powers Infrastructure, Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage, MPJ Jewellers and Southwinds Projects.

Debanjan Mandal

He provided us with a strategy and road map for the case. He was fast and intuitive, friendly and encouraging.”

Fox Mandal & Associates

The pan-India litigation team at Fox Mandal handles a broad range of disputes. Key areas of specialism include intellectual property, employment, insolvency, real estate and banking. In addition to these strengths, the team covers matters across a broad spectrum, such disputes related to banking and non-banking financial transactions, writs, arbitration, contracts, economic offences, consumer law, property, and family law. The team’s domestic and international clients come from sectors such as hotels, retail, manufacturers, non-banking financial institutions, public sector undertakings, infrastructure companies and media houses, to name a few. This year the firm went up a notch in the insolvency and IP rankings.

The core partners for contentious work include Kaustuv Chunder, Jeevanandham Rajagopal, Arindam Guha, ST Prashantha Kumar and Sumit Dhar. Insolvency specialists Orijit Chatterjee, Sathya Prasad and IP litigators Santosh Vikram Singh and Rajesh Vellakat are also names to note.

The team assisted the RP of Rohit-Ferro-Tech as it went through the CIRP, and is working with Sarus Marketing on its voluntary liquidation. The construction litigators are acting for Alfresco Renewable Energy in an ongoing litigation seeking cancellation of agreement for sale and government procurement in respect of land for a wind power project. The IP team is representing Wickedride Adventure Services to initiate an infringement and passing-off action against a conflicting trademark for one of its subsidiary companies.

Gaggar & Partners

Gaggar & Partners is widely recognised for its expertise in competition and antitrust matters. The disputes team is also experienced in several other areas, such as advising clients in civil commercial disputes, white-collar crime, personal laws including divorce, custody, estate management, real estate disputes and arbitrations.

It represents on all sides of the competition spectrum – sometimes for the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and at other times for domestic and international private clients. It has also been engaged separately by the investigative arm of the antitrust regulator for representation in certain sensitive cases relating to the evolving jurisprudence on investigation. The firm has been involved in most of the high-stakes and jurisprudence-setting cases in the genre across various fora. For instance, the competition team has handled the largest case in Indian competition history relating to cartels and worked on the largest penalty imposed in a case for abuse of dominance. Similarly, the firm has pioneered in cases relating to the leniency regime in India.

The key individuals for dispute resolution are managing partner Monica Lakhanpal and partner Sumedha Dang. Vaibhav Gaggar is a market-leading counsel for contentious competition matters, notably for anti-competitive agreement and abuse of dominance cases.

Recently, the firm obtained a favourable order for Mega Corporation in an SEBI appeal to examine the appeal’s scope before the Supreme Court. It is also acting for Krishna Buildestate Private in multiple writ petitions by Jaiprakash Associates challenging, inter alia, the powers of the Delhi MSE Facilitation Council to refer cases to the Delhi International Arbitration Centre. The Central Association of Private Security Industry has instructed the team for its challenge against the Department of Revenue for making amendments in the notification relating to the taxation of security services.

Key clients include Citibank, Denso Ten, Fastway Transmission, Haicheng Vivo Mobile, Hyatt Hotel, Intex Technologies, Orris Infrastructure and Toyo Tire Corporation.

Gravitas Legal

Founded in 2015, and with offices in Delhi and Mumbai, Gravitas Legal has robust contentious insolvency, commercial litigation and white-collar crime practices. The firm has climbed up a notch in the commercial and transactions, and insolvency rankings. Its team is experienced with civil writ petitions, public interest litigation, special leave petitions, family matters, recovery suits, insolvency proceedings, corporate litigation, consumer matters and medico legal cases, writs pertaining to criminal complaints, bail applications, interim applications and revision petitions.

Partners Rajeev Aggarwal, Tanuj Sud, Rahul Gaikwad and Varij Sharma are the main contacts of the disputes practice.

The team acted for the promoters of Asian Ispat FZC and Asian Colour Coated Group in a writ petition resulting in Lookout Circulars (LOCs) issued at the behest of banks and investigating agencies being quashed and right to free travel being upheld. This case raised the question of law in relation to the jurisdiction of foreign entities to have LOCs issued in India based on defaults committed by borrower companies in payment of debt of the banks. The lawyers challenged the vires of actions of the banks and investigating agencies.

The team defended two women against claims of fraud through an online loan application. The magistrate granted bail to the clients. Similarly, after the Gravitas team submitted the criminal bail application for its client, the valuer of Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank, he was granted bail. The client was arrested in 2019 in connection with an alleged scam. On the labour front, the firm is acting for 89 Mathadi workers challenging the Mathadi Board and Khandala Taluka Mathadi and General Kamgar Union over their low pay scale.

Other recent dispute clients include Balaji Telefilms, the Bank Depositors Protection and Welfare Society, More Retail and Restaurant Brands India.

GSL Chambers

Dispute resolution boutique GSL Chambers was founded by two Advocates on Record (AoRs) and it is an AoR-registered firm. It is headquartered in Delhi, with offices in Indore and Bengaluru. The lawyers represent clients across all forums in India and have experience in various sectors. The team is passionate about the law and serving society, and has a thriving pro bono practice. It has an impressive client roster of leading names, such as Axis Bank, Bajaj Finserv, HDFC Bank, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly Clark and Tata Housing Services.

Co-founding partners Arjun Garg and Abhinav Shrivastava are the main figures handling the firm’s disputes matters.

The team acted for a unitholder in the Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund insolvency, raising issues with respect to rights of unitholders during winding up. The lawyers filed a writ petition on behalf of the client raising the issues with respect to the rights of unitholders in the fund giant’s wind-up. Since the petition raised substantial issues of constitutional importance and was also supplemented with adequate factual material, it was treated as the lead petition by the High Court. This matter is a first-of-its-kind, as never before has any mutual fund scheme been wound up in India. This would settle the Securities Law on the topic of the winding up of mutual fund schemes in India.

In a public interest challenge, the firm represented the petitioner in a case filed against the Union of India before the Supreme Court in relation to the lack of fire safety measures in India. The impact of this litigation would be to have better infrastructure for firefighters and to have more accountability at every level with the introduction of a uniform stringent Fire and Emergency Safety Act by all state governments.


The dispute resolution group at IndusLaw comprises seasoned professionals handling all matters of corporate litigation and arbitration. The firm aims to build strong, stable and competent litigation teams equally across all offices to provide true pan-Indian service. IndusLaw has offices in Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai. The advocacy-focused team handles a diverse range of matters, such as international and domestic arbitrations, commercial disputes, intellectual property, real estate, insolvency, writ petitions, constitutional law, recovery suits, public interest litigations and pro bono work. At present, the lawyers are handling about 2,000 live cases before different courts and judicial forums. This year the firm went up a notch in the construction, and government and regulatory rankings.

Nine partners lead the litigation and dispute resolution department, including noted lawyers Amit Jajoo, Mayank Mishra, Palecanda Chinnappa and Sushmita Gandhi. There are more than 40 disputes-dedicated associates across the three offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

The team represented PhonePe Private in arbitrations that were commenced by an investor against the client, its founders, shareholders and other investors for various breaches of the shareholders agreement. This matter is significant because it examines the rights of shareholders inter se and qua an acquirer post-execution of a term sheet by a majority of shareholders, and considers the question of whether certain rights enshrined in the shareholders agreement can be considered waivable by consent of majority shareholders.

In an international arbitration case, the team is acting for Animall Technologies and its co-founders in a shareholders’ dispute before the SIAC.

Telearc Technologies enlisted the firm for a writ petition filed before the High Court of Telegana against an Adjudication Order passed by the Enforcement Directorate alleging foreign exchange violations. The resulting decision will clarify the jurisdiction of the Adjudicating Authority under the FEMA Act. Moreover, the court will also adjudicate upon whether the Adjudication Authority can conduct proceedings that are hit by delay and laches in cases where no period of limitation is prescribed under statute.

On the contentious labour front, the team is representing Laxmi Dental Export in High Court proceedings against counterparties for breach of non-compete, non-solicitation clauses and infringement of confidential and proprietary data.

The construction arbitration team acted for BGR Energy Systems as the EPC contractor in disputes arising out of an EPC contraction for the construction of a coal-fired thermal power plant in Rajasthan.

CTR Manufacturing Industries instructed the litigation team for a commercial IPR suit that it filed against Parulex Fire Protection Systems. The dispute is a patent infringement suit for injunction and damages after the client learnt that a competing entity was penetrating the market with goods manufactured directly in violation of the client’s registered patent. The matter is significant for the development of non-pharma patent law litigation, which is still at a nascent stage in Indian jurisprudence.

Key clients of the disputes group include an enviable range of domestic and international conglomerates and financial institutions, such as Arvind Mills, BGR Energy Systems, Big Basket, DBS, Diageo, Finolex Cables, ICICI Bank, JM Financial, Mahindra & Mahindra, PhonePe, Tata Communications, Unacademy, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation and YES Bank.

Client feedback

“The team brings global expertise.” – Commercial and transactions

“They do well in litigation and handling labour advisory work.” – Labour and employment

Avimukt Dar

“Great experience and articulation skills.”

Inttl Advocare

Intellectual property-focused firm Inttl Advocare is a well-known name among peers and clients for its heavyweight litigation practice. It is headquartered in New Delhi with a branch office in Mumbai. Eminent IP litigator Hemant Singh runs the firm and has handled more than 2,000 cases over his three decades of experience in all elements of IP, from trademarks and patents to copyrights and industrial designs. He is currently the President of the India Group of AIPPI (the Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property) and he played a pivotal role in the matter where the Supreme Court extended the term of Justice Manmohan Singh as the chairman of IPAB for another year. The firm has featured in several landmark IP judgments delivered by the Indian courts.

Managing partner Singh and senior partner Mamta Rani Jha are the firm’s key intellectual property litigators.

The firm is representing Société Des Produits Nestlé, Anadolu Efes Biracılık ve Malt Sanayii, Kia Motors and LG Electronics in their respective trademark infringement suits. Nail Alliance and Pernod Ricard India have instructed the firm for their separate trademark objection suits.

The team is counsel for TTK Prestige in a case concerning the infringement of the client’s registered trademark and its logo, and unauthorised advertisement for sale of products bearing TTK’s trademark on an online website and mobile application. Other claims include misrepresentation, passing off, inducement to breach of contract, unfair competition and facilitating of sale of counterfeit products by the defendants on their websites. The courts laid down strict guidelines to be followed by e-commerce portals so that there is no unchecked sale of counterfeit, infringing and non-genuine sale of products. The landmark judgment underscored the protection of genuine products, particularly in online marketplaces.

In another precedent-setting matter, the partners are defending Nestlé against ITC allegations that it was passing off, under common law, the use of instant noodles sub-brand name ‘Magical Masala’. Nestlé in 2013 had launched ‘Magical Masala’ as a sub-brand for its well-known Maggi instant noodles. ITC claimed that ‘Magical Masala’ was deceptively similar to its own noodle brand, ‘Magic Masala’, and that ‘Magical Masala’ was only a slightly tweaked version of ‘Magic Masala’. The court, after going into the pleadings and evidence of the parties and the witnesses, discarded the claims of ITC and observed that, as per ITC’s own documents, ‘Magic Masala’ was never used as a trademark nor intended to be used so and the fact that no trademark application was filed further fortifies the same. The judgment by the single judge of the High Court of Madras clarifies the law concerning sub-brands used along with other well-known trademarks. It held that neither of the sub-brands could have acquired the distinctiveness to distinguish one product from the other based on the facts and circumstances of the present case. The court further reaffirmed this and held that even the law cannot come to the rescue of the brand owner if the mark adopted is inherently weak.

Bharti Airtel, Fena Private, Novartis, Sulphur Mills and Zee Entertainment also enlisted the firm during the research period for contentious IP matters.

Jerome Merchant + Partners

Renowned for its banking and finance prowess, it’s no surprise that one of Jerome Merchant + Partners’ core contentious strengths is in bankruptcy matters. The team has a deep bench of expertise and experience in the country’s insolvency laws. It works with investors and lenders in restructuring of their debt exposures, enforces their rights under the IBC, advises sponsors on actions brought against them and challenges proceedings or resolution plans that have been prejudicial to such sponsors. In addition, the team is well versed in commercial litigation matters, providing clients with pre-litigation advice, negotiation capabilities, and effective use of court and arbitral processes. The team is experienced in general corporate, joint venture, lender, labour, contractual, IT and technology disputes, among others.

The main contacts for disputes matters are Murtaza Somjee, Kalpana Merchant, Rhia Marshall, Palash Gupta and Yashvardhan Roy.

In a typical instruction for the team, it successfully defended Jet Skyesports Gaming Private against proceedings initiated by Stoughton Street Tech Labs. The plaintiff was seeking interim reliefs for alleged non-performance of exclusivity provisions in relation to an online gaming platform. In another matter, the firm is representing Millenna FVCI in litigation strategies for a shareholder dispute against Mitsui & Co. The team is also assisting KKR in a restructuring and recovery litigation against Willamson Magor Group. Finally, it continues to act for plaintiff Deutsche Bank, in relation to defaults under a credit facility made by it to Uttam Galva, a listed Indian entity.

The group’s active insolvency clients include Horse Shoe Capital, India Infoline, Kirloskar Group, SSG Capital, Tata Motors and Videocon Group.

K Law (Krishnamurthy & Co)

Krishnamurthy & Co (K Law) has an active dispute resolution practice staffed with seasoned litigators. Its intellectual property expertise is well known. The team is experienced in resolving commercial, civil, criminal and constitutional law matters for clients across many sectors. Its members have advocated in various judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative forums around the country. This year the firm moves up a rank in the commercial and transactions table.

The key dispute contacts are senior partner Ayush Agarwala and partner Shujath Ahmed. Agarwala is an insolvency and projects specialist, while Ahmed is a contentious IP expert. Nikhil Krishnamurthy is the firm’s IP guru.

In a significant highlight, the team continues to represent the Material Recycling Association of India in a writ petition filed in the Supreme Court seeking strict implementation of the orders and directives passed by the government for non-levy of demurrage, detention charges and other penal charges from importers across India by shipping lines and container freight stations. When the case concludes, it will have a nationwide impact on all importers in the country who have been forced to pay penal charges to shipping lines, container freight stations and inland container depots.

The IP group is acting for Peel-Works Private in a trademark infringement matter against GTS Bullet Rice. The proprietor of GTS Bullet Rice obtained an ex-parte order of injunction against the client on the ground that selling GTS products on its mobile app, Taikee, would amount to infringement of the proprietor’s trademark and copyright. The contention was raised that GTS products having been lawfully acquired by Peel-Works, they were entitled to sell them on Taikee, as provided for under the Trademarks Act. The Bangalore civil court, upon considering the defence raised by Peel-Work, vacated the ex-parte order and held that since the client was using the Plaintiff’s registered trademark only for the purpose of identification of goods or services as those of the proprietor, the same does not amount to infringement.

Litigation partner Aditi Mittal departed for Kochhar & Co mid-2022.

The firm’s key clients includes Axis Bank, Bank of India, Caterpillar India, Edelweiss, Flipkart Internet, IL&FS Engineering and Construction, L&T Finance Holdings, Mahindra & Mahindra, TTK Prestige and Xander Finance.

K&S Partners

K&S Partners is a top-tier intellectual property specialist firm that excels in handling contentious matters. Its dispute resolution practice has highly experienced litigators equipped to handle all aspects of enforcement of IP rights through civil and criminal proceedings, as well as border enforcement measures. It also has a niche expertise in geographical indications. Its patent litigators all have technical qualifications, providing them with an edge in complex patent cases. The firm represents both domestic and international clients across all sectors of business and has been involved in landmark, precedent-setting IP cases. Last year, the firm was successful in attaining a 90% grant ratio.

The criminal enforcement team regularly deals with enforcement agencies and is known among clients for its capabilities in internet monitoring, investigations and surveys, filing cyber complaints with cyber cells, actions against online counterfeiters, conducting raids, negotiations in plea bargaining proceedings and obtaining successful judicial convictions. The firm has acted for both domestic and international clients in enforcement matters across sectors such as pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, automobiles, software, clothing, footwear, electrical and electronic products. The team also has the bandwidth to advise clients on trademark enforcement matters in some of India’s neighbouring countries – namely, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.

Its five offices in Gurgaon, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad house 120 legal professionals. It has boosted its teams with the hiring of two new senior associates and five new associates. The firm is affiliated with a leading corporate law firm, J Sagar Associates, both having been founded by Jyoti Sagar.

The IP disputes team has 15 partners, including trademark experts Prashant Gupta and Ashish Marbaniang, and patent partner and litigation chair Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari. Firm founder and legal fraternity stalwart Jyoti Sagar still plays an active role on the team, along with counsel and senior adviser Rajendra Kumar.

In one case highlight, the team is acting for a Chinese technology company in a suit filed by a competitor for alleged infringement of its patent that covers and claims a method for scheduling terminals in a radio communication network and corresponding base station.

The lawyers are also defending a domestic electric bus manufacturer in an alleged infringement dispute, where an individual researcher claims his patent was being used for the client’s innovative and popular electric buses. The action has been filed on the basis of a non-worked patent.

Karanjawala & Co

Delhi-based Karanjawala & Co is a leading exclusive boutique litigation firm based in New Delhi, where it has three offices. It was founded in 1983 and now has about 100 lawyers. It has a stellar reputation in the market as a go-to for precedent-setting, landmark matters. The firm features in more than 625 reported judgments of the Supreme Court and has filed and dealt with more than 25,000 matters to date. Though the firm began its practice with a predominantly Supreme Court and High Court emphasis, it has now expanded to have a presence in all the subordinate courts and tribunals in the National Capital Region and routinely handles litigations on a pan-India basis. The leadership team comprises 10 partners who are all respected and seasoned litigators.

Karanjawala’s criminal practice has grown substantially in the past five years, with its teams appearing in a number of high-stakes and high-profile matters. This year, the firm climbed into the top tier for its white-collar crime prowess. Recently, the firm has also carved out a niche practice for itself in the fields of consumer protection and real estate regulatory authority litigation. The group’s practice focuses not only on general consumer litigation but also on medical negligence and real estate, with the firm representing a wide range of clients before various tribunals, ranging from the district fora to the National Commission. There is also a consumer team that has filed more than 1,000 cases in the National Commission, with a high success rate. The firm’s insolvency group has extensive experience in dealing with high-profile matters while appearing for corporations and financial institutions.

Managing partner Raian Karanjawala serves as the head of the 10-partner-strong disputes department. Other key figures are founding partner Manik Karanjawala and senior partners Nandini Gore, Ruby Singh Ahuja, and Sandeep Kapur.

The types of cases the firm is known for include its representation of an individual against Ivory Hotels and Properties and Ferani Hotels before a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India. This was a landmark case, as it involved the interpretation of “jurisdiction” used in a section of the Code of Civil Procedure as applicable in the State of Mahrashtra. Answering the reference in favour of the client, the bench held that the issue of limitation, being mixed cannot be decided as a preliminary issue of jurisdiction under Section 9A.

In another highlight, the team defended the Bombay Hospital and Medical Research Centre against a complaint alleging medical negligence. The Supreme Court ultimately dismissed the complaint, wherein it was held that even after providing necessary and best care, if the patient does not survive, the fault cannot be fastened on the doctors as a case of medical negligence.

The firm counts domestic powerhouse corporates and multinational banks and companies as loyal clients. It has recently worked with Adani Group, Ambuja Cement, Astro, Coca-Cola, Colgate, Disney Broadcasting, Morgan Stanley, Procter & Gamble, Star TV, Tata Steel, Twitter, Unilever, Vodafone and Wadia Group.

Keystone Partners

Dispute resolution boutique Keystone Partners was formed by a group of first-generation lawyers who specialise in commercial litigation, international arbitration, construction disputes and contentious regulatory matters. Each partner has a particular focus, allowing the team to cover a varied suite of disputes practice areas, and one partner is an Advocate on Record of the Supreme Court. The firm also routinely handles contentious energy, technology and trade sector matters. In the past year, its instructions grew in the technology, media and telecommunications law arenaand it boasts multiple panel appointments representing the state of Karnataka in the Central Sales Tax Appellate Authority at New Delhi, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Competition Commission of India. Keystone has offices in Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi. This year, the firm climbs up a notch in the construction, government and regulatory, and international arbitration rankings.

Senior partner Pradeep Nayak leads a seven-partner strong disputes group that includes notable names such as Sita Kapadia, Pritha Srikumar Iyer, Arun Sri Kumar, Sulabh Rewari, Anupama Hebbar and Vikas Mahendra.

One highlight is the firm acting for a global power conglomerate in arbitration proceedings against a contractor in relation to a solar power project in Tamil Nadu. In another matter, the construction experts are representing an Indian and Spanish joint venture company in a dispute arising out of the termination of an EPC contract for the construction of an LNG import, storage and regasification terminal in Maharashtra. The dispute involves complex issues of parties’ intent to construct such an integrated terminal, confidentiality obligations, claims for costs incurred by parent companies of a joint venture, and reference of technical disputes to a sole expert.

A domestic electricity regulator has enlisted the firm for several writ petitions filed by electricity distribution licensees in a major city aggrieved by matters relating to fixation of electricity retail tariff and recovery of costs incurred by the licensees. The petitioners have challenged the actions of the client, alleging that tariff fixation over time has not been cost-reflective, resulting in accumulation of a revenue gap. The matter is of immense public importance as the final outcome will influence the determination of retail electricity tariff in the affected city – which will affect consumers — and will have a significant impact on electricity tariff regulation in the country. The team is additionally representing one of India’s largest automobile manufacturers in proceedings seeking to challenge caps on the number of autorickshaws permitted to ply in Delhi.

Client feedback

“The lawyers give quick and clear advice. They are always available and able to break down the issues in a simple manner to give clarity on next steps.” – Energy

“They know the jurisdiction and the local courts well, and are very timely in their responses and updates.” – Intellectual property

Anupama Hebbar

“She is well versed in the subject and extremely attentive to our needs.”

“We appreciate her availability, ability to simplify the problem and that fact that she gives clear strategy.”

Khaitan & Co

Khaitan & Co sits on top of the tables in all the core commercial and corporate areas of dispute resolution. It has won many plaudits from the market for its consistency and deep bench strength across all practice areas, from commercial and transactions, and competition to international arbitration, construction and government and regulatory. Key to the firm’s success is its expertise in different practice areas, with its market-leading transactional teams supporting its advocacy and disputes lawyers, particularly in competition, tax and intellectual property. This year the firm’s tax practice moves into the top tier of the tax controversy table.

The firm has more than 30 disputes partners and there are 150 lawyers in the group. Key practitioners guiding the teams across four offices in Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi include leading lawyers such as IP specialist Ajay Bhargava, commercial litigation expert Sanjeev Kapoor, competition expert Manas Kumar Chaudhuri, tax specialists Sanjay Sanghvi and Arvind Baheti, and construction specialists Anchit Oswal and Sudip Mullick. Other notable contacts are commercial litigation specialists Vanita Bhargava, Atul Shanker Mathur, Chakrapani Misra, Kingshuk Banerjee, Raj Panchmatia and Tomu Francis.

The team is representing an individual petitioner in an oppression and mismanagement case against ABP Private, an Indian media conglomerate. The decision in this case would provide clear guidance on jurisprudence on whether a change in managerial position of a promoter of a company, whose growth can be directly attributed to the said promoter, may be subject to oppression and mismanagement proceeding or not. This decision will also have an impact on the scope and nature of a binding family settlement agreement in a company.

The firm also successfully represented the founder and director of Oyo Hotels & Homes (OYO) and other senior management officials of OYO before a Bangalore High Court. The matter involves quashing an first information report (FIR) lodged pursuant to a criminal complaint filed against the clients by a hotel partner alleging offences of criminal breach of trust, cheating and forgery. The Khaitan team managed to persuade the court to quash the FIR. The court observed that the criminal complaint had evidently been filed with a view to harass the petitioners in respect of some purported dues owed to him.

On the construction front, the litigators acted for the Indian subsidiary of an Italian engineering company regarding a dispute arising out of a work delay. This led to an additional amount being incurred by the client, as owner, in order to complete the works under the contract in relation to an integrated refinery expansion project in Kochi. In another matter, the team was enlisted by a British international architecture studio for a proposed arbitration relating to a dispute with Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority in relation to architectural design contracts.

In a seminal tax case, the team is acting for a large Japanese MNC before the Indian appellate authorities on a unique withholding tax dispute that has no precedent. IDP Education India instructed the tax litigators for representation before the Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal on the issue of scope and meaning of “intermediary” for the purpose of export-linked benefits. The Khaitan team was successful in defending the client’s tax position as the core issue had been fraught with litigation since its inception and assessors have had to litigate to quash tax demands. The judgment helped clarify the definition of “intermediary” and will continue under GST. 

Last year the firm welcomed partners Thriyambak Kannan, Mayuri Tiwari and Kartikey Mahajan. Kannan joined from Assentio Legal, while the other two came from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Antitrust specialist Anshuman Sakle was hired from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, while IP expert Nirupam Lodha joined with his team from Luthra and Luthra Law Offices.

Aditya Birla Group, Bennett Coleman & Company, Blue Dart, Cosmo Foods, Fidelity International, ICICI Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Mahindra & Mahindra, Sapphire Foods India, Reliance and Standard Chartered all recently instructed the firm on contentious matters.

Kochhar & Co

Kochhar & Co provides the full suite of dispute resolution services and has one of the largest litigation practices in the country, with 60 dedicated litigators. The pan-India litigation practice, with teams in Delhi, Gurgaon, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai, handles more than 300 cases annually. It recently established its seventh domestic office, in Chandigarh, and expanded its footprint in the US with the opening of an office in Chicago. The group’s mainstay is corporate and commercial litigation, with notable expertise in more specialist areas such as white-collar crime and intellectual property. The Kochhar lawyers often work in tandem on criminal cases and parallel civil proceedings. The firm’s litigators regularly argue cases themselves before courts and arbitral tribunals rather than instructing senior counsel in most matters. The firm has recently seen an uptick in debt restructuring litigation, joint venture and shareholders disputes between foreign corporations and their Indian partners, and complex trade and customs-related battles.

The robust dispute resolution team is led by chairman and managing partner Rohit Kochhar and includes senior partners Krishna Vijay Singh, Dhruv Wahi, Reena Khair and Rajarshi Chakrabarti.

In a landmark trade remedies matter, Khair and her team acted for Jubilant Ingrevia in an appeal filed before the Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (the Tribunal) against an office memorandum issued by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) that decided not to impose anti-dumping duty even after a positive recommendation from the Directorate General of Trade Remedies. The Tribunal ruled in favour of the client and remanded the matter back to the MOF to reconsider its decision. The MOF preferred a writ petition before the High Court of Delhi. The Kochhar team was successful in obtaining an interim order form the High Court for the client, directing that all imports be provisionally assessed until the disposal of the writ. The Tribunal’s decision was landmark as it laid down the proposition that the decision of the central Government to impose or not to impose anti-dumping duty is subject to appeal and must be based on reasons. This is the first judgment passed by any court in India where the legislative functions of the central Government have been made subject to review in an appeal. It effectively curtails the power of the central Government to take decisions without following due process and removes any arbitrariness in the decision-making process of the central Government.

Skyline Innovation instructed the team for a delicate and sensitive matter involving Chinese loan mobile apps which were allegedly used to circumvent Indian laws to furnish online loans to thousands of Indian borrowers. The Indian police raided a call centre owned by the client and arrested a gang, which they said was responsible for the loan fraud. A Skyline director, a Chinese national, allegedly led the operation, used Skyline facilities to conduct the fraud, and threatened defaulters through Skyline call centres. On behalf of Skyline, the Kochhar team filed a writ petition in various High Courts and were able to secure the release of all employees who had been arrested.

The white-collar crime team was bolstered by the additions of partners Vaibhav Joshi, Samiron Borkataky and Ramasamy Santhanakrishnan and senior partner Christopher Manoharan last year. Santhanakrishnan arrived from Krishnan & Krishnan, Borkataky joined from Desai & Diwanji and Manoharan came from Sivanandaraaj & Partners. Former litigation partners Inder Raj Gill and Ankur Khandelwal left for an in-house role at One97 Communications and Saraf & Partners, respectively.

Law Offices of Panag & Babu

Established in 2018, the Law Offices of Panag & Babu has roots in white-collar crime, compliance and investigations. It has one of the largest dedicated white-collar crime teams in the country, acting for sophisticated clients at both the preventative and prosecution stages. It has specialities in defence against law enforcement, criminal proceedings defence stemming from anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws, securing pre-trial bail on behalf of those accused of criminal conduct under India’s anti-financial crimes, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws, and conducting criminal trials on behalf of those facing allegations of criminal wrongdoing under the same framework of white-collar offences.

The white-collar crime defence team has a 100% success rate of obtaining pre-trail bail in each and every case where a client required such a relief. Over the past 12 months, it has successfully obtained pre-trial bail on behalf of 11 clients facing criminal prosecution and ensured that all such clients facing threat of arrest were released on bail. The firm has offices in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, and more than 65 lawyers. Thirty-five of these practitioners belong to the white-collar crimes team.

Dispute resolution specialists Samudra Sarangi and Shruti Raina lead the team.

In one notable highlight, the team successfully acted for Matrix Cellular and its directors and senior management employees after they were arrested by the crime branch of the Delhi police on charges of black marketing, hoarding and cheating the public at large by selling deficient-quality oxygen concentrators. Proceedings were also initiated by the Directorate of Enforcement for alleged violations of the anti-money laundering laws in India. The lawyers assisted in obtaining pre-trail bail for the CEO and three other senior managers and no chargesheet has been filed to date.

The team was also instructed by a director and senior management employees of Coda Singapore to assist after their arrest by the Economic Offences Wing as part of criminal proceedings initiated in Hyderabad. The lawyers obtained the necessary orders to defreeze the company’s bank accounts and secure the release of the employees.

Core clients of the firm include Cashgrail, Fortive Corporation, Gilbarco Veeder Root, ICICI Prudential, JM Financial Asset Reconstruction, Nipro Medical and Wirecard.

Legacy Law Offices

Legacy Law Offices has a disputes practice focused on construction and infrastructure-related litigation and arbitration. It also has an active contentious labour practice. Its partners are leading counsels for construction arbitrations and have advocated in several landmark matters in this space. Managing partner Gagan Anand is a highly sought-after arbitration counsel. The firm has some impressive statistics with regard to construction project disputes. It also has a high success rate in obtaining stay orders against contract terminations, encashments of bank guarantees and debarring from arbitral tribunals, from courts and also in writ jurisdiction. The law firm has offices in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Solan and Kurukshetra, an associate office in Mumbai, and representative offices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UK and the USA. This year the firm climbs up a ranking in the construction and labour and employment tables.

The core leaders are Anand, senior partner Sadiqua Fatma, and partners Parveen Moudgil and Satyendra Kumar. Labour specialist Ramanjit Singh was hired last summer from N South Advocates as a partner in its Chandigarh office.

The team successfully represented Sadbhav Engineering in a litigation matter before the Delhi High Court against National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). The client is suing NTPC for the recovery of an amount of 2.4 million, which was forfeited by NTPC by way of wrongful encashment of the bank guarantees of the client. In another high-stakes case, the firm acted for Centrodorstroy Infra Projects in a blacklisting suit against the Government of Madhya Pradesh and the National Highways Authority of India. The dispute surrounds alleged irregularities in the client’s application for an EPC tender for the construction of a four-lane highway on the outskirts of Bhopal. This suit was prepared, filed and successfully argued within 48 hours of the blacklisting order. 

On the employment side, the labour team represented a respondent real estate and construction company in a case before the Employee Compensation Commissioner, where a case was filed alleging work related accident and death. The Legacy team successfully pleaded that its client had no role in the incident and was added as a party only as an afterthought. The court, after hearing the submissions, ordered the deletion of the client from the array of parties listed on the case.

Recent client wins include KK Chhibber Construction, Mecwell Constructions, UP Twiga Fibergladd, School of Planning and Architecture, SWECO International and Usha Breco.

Client feedback

“Professional, efficient and personable are a few adjectives which can be used for the team of lawyers at Legacy Law Offices. They have the ability to execute their work expeditiously and fairly. Every advocate of the law firm is very prompt and responsive when it comes to deliverables.” – Construction

“Legacy Law Offices is the best Indian law firm practising in the field of litigation. The Legacy team also possesses rich experience in advising the state governments as well as appearing on behalf of the private clients. The Legacy team is very efficient and hard working in every endeavour.” – Construction

“The quality of the work, the clarity in getting the strategy right, adhering to strict timelines and advising the client clearly on where they stand are some of the admirable points about the lawyers of Legacy Law Offices.” – Construction

“They excel at everything. They know their clients very well and make sure that every need is fulfilled. Their supreme aim is to serve the clients diligently.” – Construction

“I must say they are good at everything. They are the best when it comes to client satisfaction and taking care of all our needs.” – Real estate

“The law firm makes it a point to deliver smooth services to all its clients, including myself.” – Real estate

“The most beautiful thing about Legacy Law Offices is their client handling and case management. The way they utilise technology and human capital to provide an excellent results-oriented approach is absolutely fantabulous. I honestly wouldn’t choose anyone else over them.” – Real estate

Gagan Anand

“Gagan Anand is a highly qualified lawyer and a seasoned corporate lawyer. He practises nothing but best customer service and highest ethical standards. My team and I are extremely satisfied by his legal expertise.”

“Mr Gagan Anand is, without a speck of doubt, the ‘go-to’ man for all matters in the Indian legal market. He is highly knowledgeable, creative and an excellent leading individual in the practice area of projects and energy. He is also very humble and kind.”

“He is devoted to his clients and the firm. He works relentlessly to obtain favourable orders for his clients.”

“Gagan Anand, the managing partner, is a delightful and a highly competent personality. His ability to draw reasonable and logical conclusions in deals concerning infrastructure projects is highly appreciated. Our company has a great experience of working with such a seasoned and well-read advocate.”

“He always takes personal interest in arbitration and court cases for our construction company. His legal strategy for dispute resolution has benefited our company a lot.”

Sadiqua Fatma

“Sadiqua Fatma gives personal attention to every client and is very soft-spoken and considerate. The legal knowledge she possesses is unmatchable and unbeatable.”

Link Legal India Law Services

Link Legal India Law Services has a disputes practice covering a wide range of sectors, including aviation, banking and financial services, construction and energy. It is respected in the market as a leading construction, energy, projects and infrastructure player, and has strong aviation and power sector expertise. The team has been very active the past year, and a specialised arbitration group was created with work in this sphere on the upswing. Its contentious insolvency and aviation groups have expanded alongside its construction arbitration practice. The firm’s commitment to maintaining its construction pre-eminence is demonstrated through its retention of an engineer with substantial construction and project management experience as part of the team. The firm climbs into the second tier for commercial disputes this year. Link Legal celebrated the opening of a new office in New York City in 2022 and its China desk goes from strength to strength each year, having advised well over 100 Chinese clients.

Co-managing partners Atul Sharma and Nusrat Hassan lead a team of 17 partners that run the dispute resolution group. Other partners include Anand Srivastava, Milanka Chaudhury, Ravi Varma, Abhishek Sharma, Sanjay Gupta, Sidhartha Srivastava, Prasad Dhande, P Ravi Charan, and Abhinav Agnihotri.

In an aviation matter, the team is acting for Delhi International Airport in a writ petition filed against Union of India, Delhi Cantonment Board and others, wherein the client has challenged the constitutional validity of a section of the Cantonments Act while also seeking directions of the court for declaring that the land forming part of the IGI Airport is not a “cantonment” within the meaning of another section of the Cantonments Act.

The firm has been instructed by India Infrastructure Finance Company and IFCI for representation before the Supreme Court. The clients have challenged the judgment of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal where the Appellate Tribunal, while adjudicating on the alleged mismanagement of IL&FS, adopted a procedure where a Resolution Framework was approved with respect to IL&FS and its group companies.

In a high-profile antitrust matter, Link Legal lawyers are representing SpiceJet for an investigation by the Director General and in proceedings by the competition regulator with respect to alleged concerted action by various airlines in a fuel surcharge fixing scheme. The client, and other airlines, preferred appeals against the order of the CCI before the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT). After considering the matter, the COMPAT remanded the matter to the CCI and held that the CCI violated the principles of natural justice in that the airlines were not given sufficient opportunity to present their case.

The firm welcomed partners Nitin Kaushik, Jinni Sinha and Sayantani Dutta last year, the latter two coming from Ortis Law Offices and Wadia Ghandy & Co, respectively. Several members left, including managing partner Ananda Chaudhuri, Kashish Arora and Bhalchandra Palav.

Key clients of the firm are Axiom Cordages, Drake & Scull Water and Energy India, Indus Towers, Ramky Infrastructure, Spicejet and Vestige Marketing.

Client feedback

“Excellent handholding and detailed analysis in the pre-dispute stage. They were good at expanding the scope of our claim and providing ground-level support of evidence analysis. Finally, there was excellent legal support before the tribunal.” – Commercial and transactions

“Prompt, good understanding and thorough with legal issues.” – Insolvency

Sanjay Gupta

“Good analytics and great professional legal support.”

Luthra & Luthra

Since the former litigation arm of Luthra and Luthra Law Offices India split off, the firm has been keen to rapidly rebuild its existing disputes infrastructure and remain a choice firm to clients seeking disputes representation. It still has one of the largest teams, with 16 dedicated litigation and arbitration-focused partners, and is led by legal luminary Rajiv Luthra. The arbitration practice is active in handling and representing Public Sector Undertakings in complex and high-stakes commercial arbitrations and disputes arising out of EPC contracts. The firm works with clients in both a preventative and responsive role in anti-corruption and white-collar defence work.

Founder and managing partner Luthra leads the disputes team. Other key partners to note include Venancio D’Costa, Gurdev Bhatia, Nakul Sachdeva and Sanjeev Kumar.

In a high-stakes antitrust case, the team defended GMR Hyderabad International Airport and GMR Aero Technic in a proceeding initiated by Air Works India Private alleging abusive practices against the clients, before the CCI. The firm also represented the RP of Crest Steel & Power Private in the corporate insolvency resolution process.

The team secured a first round litigation win for Godrej Properties Development in an environment-related dispute before the Supreme Court. The residential project floated by Godrej properties was challenged by a private party and the environmental issues at play pertains to climate change. The outcome of this matter will decide some very important aspects of environment law concerning wetlands, eco-sensitive zones and zones of influence. 

ATC Telecom Infrastructure, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation and PNB Housing Finance were recent disputes clients.

Majmudar & Partners

The Majmudar & Partners dispute resolution practice has a 75-year heritage and is well regarded in the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court of Delhi. The firm prioritises quality over quantity and regularly engages in novel, complex disputes matters. It specialises in litigation strategy for civil and criminal actions across the country, as well as injunctive actions, banking disputes, ad hoc and institutional domestic and international arbitrations, intellectual property suits, testamentary matters, debt recovery, commercial claims and breach of contract disputes. In the wake of the pandemic, the team has experienced an uptick in commercial litigation, debt recoveries, breach of contract disputes and insolvency-related court work. This year the firm moves up a rung in the commercial disputes table, and it debuts in the construction and government and regulatory rankings.

The key dispute resolution contacts are partner Neerav Merchant, senior partner AK Hirani and counsel Fraser Alexander.

In a recent international arbitration highlight, the firm acted for First Climate Markets on a dispute related to the breach of commercial contract governed by German Law. The matter involves important questions of facts and law, primarily pertaining to part performance of the contract, anticipatory breach of contract and specific performance. This matter also holds importance as the subject matter of the dispute covers carbon credits, which is a unique commodity, governed under the laws of Germany. The Majmudar team was challenged to make out a cogent case enforceable in India.

SABIC UK Petrochemicals enlisted Merchant and his team for its winding-up petition against Punj Lloyd before the Delhi High Court. This matter has some interesting legal issues, including those relating to jurisdiction of the court pursuant to the newly enacted Commercial Courts Act, and relating to simultaneous prosecution of a winding-up petition and an execution petition. In a complex cross-border case, the firm is assisting Access Bank in relation to outstanding debt owed to it by Mauria Udyog.

The firm won Arneg India, Corob India and EqualizeRCM as new clients last year.

Mansukhlal Hiralal & Co

The dispute resolution offering at Masukhlal Hiralal & Co excels at high-stakes securities, commercial and government litigation. It has a long history stretching back to 1910 and has a disputes practice with a deep bench of experience. It focuses on arbitration and mediation, civil litigation and works on contentious matters spanning insolvency, real estate, tax, intellectual property rights, banking and employment. The firm comprises 25 fee earners and has offices in Mumbai and Delhi.

The firm was empanelled in 2021 with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and has represented the regulator in multiple cases before the High Court and Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT). The team secured another impressive empanelment with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in early 2022. It has also been advocating on behalf of the resources giant before arbitral tribunals, the High Court and the Supreme Court. The firm climbs up a notch in the commercial and government rankings, and debuts in several others on the back of its caseload activity, which features complex matters and top-tier clients.

The main contact for the disputes practice is partner Bhushan Shah. He has expertise in securities, white-collar crime and insolvency litigation.

The team represented NSEL Investors Action Group in the Supreme Court in a litigation related to the NSEL scam, and it is acting for Mitsubishi HC Capital Asia Pacific in initiating insolvency proceedings against Bilcare.

Shah is representing SEBI before the SAT in recovery proceedings against Aakruti Nimriti, which issued and allotted equity shares and raised funds without complying with the provisions of the Companies Act. The same client has instructed the firm for its case against Aditya Birla Money after it was found to be violating norms after a joint inspection. A favourable order from the SAT would encourage intermediaries to be cautious and to have adequate infrastructure to manage trades and not be allowed to operate without adequate systems and international controls.

Last year, of counsel and IP specialist Bhavin Shah joined from Mirandah Asia in Singapore.

Recent clients that have engaged the firm include IGL Finance, Kyrus Industries, Pride Hotel and Travel Blue.

Client feedback

“We have worked with the firm on a number of cases, including trademark and various dispute resolution cases and commercial transactions. We would strongly recommend them for their dispute resolution practice. They have provided the most comprehensive end-to-end solutions. However, the firm provides a wide range of services, including real estate, corporate commercial, policy regulation, alternative dispute resolution, litigation, and so on. Knowing the goodwill and service they provide, we would like to collaborate with them in various other practice areas in the near future.” – Commercial and transactions

“The firm has a wide array of services. However, I have been dealing with the firm on quite a few cases, which include white-collar crime disputes and commercial litigation matters related to insolvency. I would definitely recommend them for their insolvency bankruptcy practice and their government and regulatory work and white-collar crime practice, having had first-hand experience with them.” – Government and regulatory

Bhushan Shah

“Bhushan is noted for being able to comprehend important concerns and for contributing to the mitigation of potential risks. He contributes to the best of his ability and has a distinct perspective. His dedication and results-oriented approach are his greatest assets. Client care and devotion are extremely high. No matter how busy he is, we have never noticed a difference in the service he provides.”

Mason & Associates

Mason & Associates is a specialist intellectual property boutique. Focused on handling all matters of IP, the firm has strengths in contentious IP matters, litigation strategy, anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy enforcement, patent litigation and competition matters. It has a market-recognised speciality in copyright and IT matters.

Intellectual property specialist Neel Mason is the main contact at the firm for disputes work. The team was bolstered recently by the arrival of two associate partners and four new associates.

The team successfully defended Eros International Media in a trademark infringement suit against Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. The opponent is the plaintiff and it holds the registration for the trademark “DRL” that it claims was infringed by the client in a movie it produced. The plaintiff’s application was dismissed and the film was released as scheduled.

The team continues to act for Super Cassettes Industries (T-Series) in proceedings before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board concerning fixed royalty rates. This case examined, for the first time, a section of the Copyright Act for the broadcasting of a sound recording and underlying literary and musical works over radio. The lawyers helped present at the proceedings and made a submission in regard to which model should be followed for fixation of rate as well as legal submissions regarding the need for rates to be fixed for underlying works when a sound recording is broadcast over radio.

HiTone Electronics had engaged the firm for its defence in a trademark infringement suit. The plaintiff has held the trademark registration for “BOSS” since 2004, while the client held the registration for “Boss (Device)” since 1979, and the dispute revolved around prior use in India and market recognition. The court ruled in favour of HiTone, a decision which the plaintiff appealed. Ultimately, the matter was settled between both parties.

MSA Partners

MSA Partners has a focused dispute resolution team that is noted for commercial litigation and arbitration in the electricity, telecoms, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. Apart from these specialisms, the team also actively represents and advises clients across a broad range of civil, commercial, regulatory, corporate, intellectual property rights, and other issues. The lawyers regularly appear before the Supreme Court, various High Courts, electricity regulatory commissions and the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL), the National Company Law Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, and other quasi-judicial tribunals and appellate tribunals.

Partners Anand Ganesan and Swapna Seshadri are the key contacts for disputes. They both specialise in contentious energy, commercial and government and regulatory matters.

One highlight saw the firm acting for Sai Wardha Power Generation against the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission in appeals filed before APTEL. The outcome of the matter would have far-reaching consequences, as the interpretation of a rule of the electricity regulations is an issue being adjudicated upon. Before the same tribunal, the team is assisting Kamal Encon Industries in an appeal regarding right to inter-state supply without there being a separate feeder to identify the power generation.

Charotar Gas Sahakari Mandali, DNH Power Distribution,KSK Mahanadi Power Company andMahindra & Mahindra also engaged the firm last year.

Naik Naik & Co

Naik Naik & Co is a full-service firm with an experienced litigation and arbitration department. The litigation team comprises more than 40% of the firm’s fee-earner numbers. While the firm is best known in the market as a pre-eminent firm for media and entertainment matters, its industry expertise also includes financial services and oil and gas. The firm’s disputes offering is expansive and covers everything from commercial disputes, corporate litigation, white-collar crime, frauds and scams, cybercrimes, consumer protections disputes, debt recovery matters, and domestic and international arbitrations. A key recent development was its new alliance with Anand and Anand that focuses on bolstering its IP litigation expertise. This year, the firm climbs up a notch in the commercial and IP disputes rankings.

Managing partner Ameet Naik is the key contact for disputes work. Other notable practitioners include deputy managing partners Abhishek Kale and Madhu Gadodia, and associate partners Deepak Deshmukh and Avdhoot Prabhu.

One highlight has the firm representing Hardy Exploration & Production in an arbitration proceeding initiated by Aban Offshore. This is a unique case as the contract obligates the client to pay compensation to Aban in case of force majeure event when the unit is inoperative. The outcome of the case would have repercussions upon the government and other entities on whose behalf Hardy is acting as operator under a Joint Production Agreement.

In a widely publicised matter, the team defended the writers of the book “Mafia Queens of Mumbai” against defamation claims. The clients were battling against an individual who claimed to be the son of the late Gangubai, a real-life character in a movie that was based on the clients’ book. The matter scaled up from the civil court to the Supreme Court.

Super Cassettes Industries enlisted the team for its battle against a plaintiff who claimed he had legally acquired a personality’s life rights for producing a film based on him. The Naik team helped its client settle at every stage and the film was released without demur objections in early 2022. The ruling from the Telegana High Court is a rare one, discussing the critical question of copyright and personality rights in real-life stories. By essentially holding that facts already in public domain continue to be a proprietary concern, the decision expands the scope of copyright and personality rights. The decision takes copyright protection a step further from the ‘expression’ dimension towards the ‘plot, story and idea’ dimension.

Recent disputes clients included Aashit Realtors, Anand Rathi Wealth, One Point One Solutions, Pooja Entertainment and Viacom 18 Media.

Client feedback

“The lawyers understand the issues at hand perfectly. The provide excellent legal research and advice, and they help to bring about resolution to our disputes.” – Intellectual property

Madhu Chaudhary

“My experience with Madhu Chaudhary was stupendous. She knows her craft and walks the extra mile for you. I have consulted with her on various crucial occasions and she handled each matter with the utmost care and professionalism. I also appreciated working with people that care for you on a personal level, instead of just handling you as a “case”. Highly recommended.”

“She is extremely knowledgeable, knows her craft and is responsive.”

Nishith Desai Associates

Nishith Desai Associates offers a full range of dispute resolution services. The firm has a distinct international flavour, with ample dispute-related experience for clients from around the globe. Its government and regulatory litigation, tax litigation and international arbitration practices rank among the best in the market, and the firm has an enviable roster of technology, media and telecoms clients. The firm has a specialist international dispute resolution and investigations team, as well as a bilateral treaty investment arbitration team. Its new sub-practice groups for construction litigation, technology disputes and white-collar crimes and investigations have had a busy past year. As cryptocurrency and blockchain technology matters gain prominence, Nishith Desai lawyers have advised multiple clients on related contentious issues. The members of the international disputes team are spread across Mumbai, New Delhi and Singapore, and the firm has dedicated European and Japan desks. The firm has been present in Singapore for more than a decade and was the first Indian registered foreign law firm there.

Two senior leaders run the disputes groups: Vyapak Desai chairs the international litigation and dispute resolution group, with Sahil Kanuga as the co-head. Partners Kshama Loya, Ashish Kabra and Alipak Banerjee are also noted figures within the team.

In a complex international litigation, Allcripts India engaged the firm for criminal matters before the Indian courts. This adjudication in the case involved jurisprudence on the principles of quashing a charge-sheet, where similar allegations are also the subject matter of dispute before a foreign court, to what extent foreign court orders and pleadings can be relied by the High Court in a quash matter, and the police’s right to continue with further investigation during while the quash proceedings are pending. The court has examined whether criminal liability can pass by applying the principles of alter ego and, finally, whether the police can array individuals as accused persons where the company has not been made a party in the charge-sheet. Ultimately, the favourable order pronounced by the Supreme Court helped in amicably resolving the case.

The team is representing Zanmai Labs Private in a show cause notice issued by the enforcement directorate, and before two different High Courts. This novel case resulted in a decision that sets an important precedent for all crypto-currency exchanges offering crypto-currency transfers to foreign accounts. The applicability of the Foreign Exchange Management Act in relation to crypto exchanges will also be settled in this case at some point. Another important point of law that will be explored and settled through this case is on the extent of liability of a crypto platform that merely acts as an intermediary and is not an user, and is not directly related to any contravention.

The resulting judgment is a landmark one, possibly the first comprehensive one globally by an apex court on crypto-assets. The Supreme Court quashed the contested Reserve Bank of India circular that prohibited regulated entities from dealing in virtual currencies, holding that it was unconstitutional. The judgment in this case opens the door for millions of Indians to invest, buy and sell crypto-assets via bank accounts and allowing crypto-currency exchanges to use banking facilities. This is also one of the few cases where a RBI circular has been set aside by the Supreme Court.

Domain registrar Go Daddy is using the team in more than 80 contentious matters across India.

In a bitcoin-related case, the firm is represented the founders of Unocoin Technologies Private in filing a petition before a High Court seeking to quash criminal proceedings relating to the installation of a bitcoin kiosk. The company installed a crypto-asset kiosk in Bengaluru, India, which was to act as a vending machine for crypto-assets. However, owing to the lack of a regulatory regime over such an activity, a section of the media and the police proceeded on the basis that the activity was illegal, and the police initiated criminal proceedings against the founder-directors. This is the first and only case relating to the legality of a bitcoin kiosk in India.

Clients that engaged the firm in the past 12 months include Align Technology, Aniket Investments, Euroschool Education Trust, Federation of India Airlines, Infosys, Interglobe Aviation, Maynards Europe, SWAMIH Investment Fund and Swan LNG.

Numen Law Offices

Two-year-old firm Numen Law Offices focuses on corporate advisory, dispute resolution and criminal litigation at present. The firm handles all contentious matters relating to commercial disputes at all levels of the courts and has a dedicated arbitration team. For criminal matters, it offers prompt representation in relation to the full spectrum of criminal conduct, from road traffic offences to murder and money laundering. Expertise includes defending and initiating criminal proceedings, white-collar crimes, economic offences, cybercrime and data theft, drug-related offences, sexual offences and harassment, serious fraud investigation and organised crime. Its clients include individuals and Fortune 100 companies. This year the firm climbs up a notch in the commercial and white-collar crime disputes rankings.

The four key disputes partners are Arush Khanna, George Thomas, Chaitanyaa Bhandarkar, and white-collar crime specialist Lakshmi Raman.

One highlight saw the firm act as the Advocate on Record (AoR) for the petitioners, a set of students in Maharashtra in a dispute before the Supreme Court of India. The case was against the State of Maharashtra regarding a government order that was set to hand out university degree certificates to students without conducting final-year examinations because of of Covid-19, which is in contravention of the UGC Guidelines. The Supreme Court set aside the order.

In a case pending before the Supreme Court, Thomas has been engaged as counsel representing Peace Party of India in a petition seeking directions from the highest court to ensure that sections of the media do not publish unverified reports, especially with regard to the Muslim community.

In real estate, the team represented Ansal Properties and Infrastructure in an appeal against an order passed by the Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority revoking the registration of Ansal’s projects in Lucknow.

The team defended Bistro Hospitality Private in a civil suit for damages relating to a road accident which involved a TGI Fridays vehicle.

Archana Shopping Arcade Society has instructed the firm for its writ petition to cancel the liquor licence of one of the individual respondents who were illegally operating a wine and liquor store out of the client’s complex in New Delhi.

In a white-collar crime case, the firm is defending an individual against allegation of fraud and cheating by various investors of Futurmaker Lifecare. The client is one of the company directors.

Obhan & Associates

While best known for its intellectual property, technology and media practices, the litigation team at Obhan & Associates is also adept at handling complex commercial disputes. It has represented clients on a range of disputes relating to equity and debt investment, corporate laws, intellectual property laws, employment laws, competition laws and on bilateral investment treaty disputes. Lawyers also provide key pre-litigation strategies to clients in industries such as media, entertainment, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, franchising, machinery and equipment manufacturing, outsourcing and financial services. The firm has offices in New Delhi, Pune and Bangalore.

Key contacts for contentious matters are managing partner Essenese Obhan and partner Ashima Obhan.

The team acted for Huntsman Advanced Materials in an infringement suit against Jay Chemical Industries before the Delhi High Court and was successful in securing an injunction. Ultimately, the suit was decided in the client’s favour. The firm also continues to defend domestic merchant platform unicorn Pine Labs against Innoviti Payment Solutions (IPS) before the High Court of Karnataka. IPS has sued its client for allegedly using its patented technology related to unified payment interface-based payments at point-of-sale terminals.

The firm is acting for Bolt Technology in a trademark infringement suit. It has been successful in identifying and taking civil action against a third party that has adopted an identical mark in an identical colour combination for identical services. The third party is evidently attempting to dilute the client’s trademark and riding on its hard-earned reputation and goodwill. The client has instituted a passing off claim against the third party, with the case being referred for mediation since the infringer has claimed to amend its logo. The matter is pending before the High Court for adjudication.

Key clients include Aditya Birla Science & Technology, G4S Security Solutions, HarperCollins Publishers, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Penguin Random House India, Steer Group and Tata Chemicals.

P&A Law Offices

P&A Law Offices has an experienced and established dispute resolution practice that is multi-jurisdictional and sector-agnostic. Market watchers laud the firm for its stellar client roster and involvement in some of the country’s meatiest corporate fights. The litigation and arbitration team comprises more than 40 lawyers who work with clients across a variety of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, financial markets, telecommunications, automotive and consumer goods. The P&A team are known for their leading roles in high-stakes and complex disputes for household name clients, particularly in international arbitration. The firm is also proud of its lengthy track record of acting for the Indian government in contentious investment treaty matters. The firm climbs up into the second tier of the government and regulatory table owing to its strength in this area.

Managing partner Anand Pathak leads a team of 13 active disputes partners, including Amit Mishra, Akshat Hansaria and Shashank Gautam.

The firm continues to act for NV Investment Holdings in an SIAC arbitration against the Future Group concerning breaches of shareholder agreement and related Indian court proceedings. The lawyers obtained a favourable interim award by an SIAC-appointed Emergency Arbitrator and a favourable landmark judgment by the Supreme Court of India in August 2021. Recently, the Arbitral Tribunal upheld the interim award of the Emergency Arbitrator and, in a separate order, dismissed the jurisdictional objection raised by Future Retail, holding that it had to be a party to the arbitration.

In another high-stakes arbitration, the team acted for Schneider Electric in proceedings against its shareholders on the issue of breach of non-compete under the shareholders agreement and has sought relief from various wilful and calculated acts of omission and commission. Some of these acts also constituted a violation of good faith and fiduciary obligations under contract and law. The case has been settled between the parties, but the final award is still pending.

In other triumphs for the team, it represented the Republic of India in two investment disputes. The first was initiated by a Japanese investor under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between India and Japan. The firm was responsible for making submissions before the tribunal for the defence of India. In the second, the dispute was initiated by a UAE investor under the Promotion and Protection of Investments between India and the UAE. Both cases ended successfully for the Republic of India with the assistance of the P&A lawyers.

Angul Energy has instructed the firm for its defence in a case against ISGEC Heavy Engineering before the Arbitral Tribunal, presided by a former Chief Justice of India. The client is challenging claims worth more than Rp900 million ($11 million). The proceedings arose out of alleged non-payment under contracts and work orders for sale, purchase, and erection of industrial boilers. The issue also involves consequences and effects of insolvency proceedings on claims of operational creditors.

The team assisted the Republic of India in an international dispute with UAE-based Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA). The IDRC in London had dismissed a claim by RAKIA alleging the non-supply of bauxite from the city of Visakhapatnam was in breach of the bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between India and the UAE. The Republic of India, by virtue of being party to the BIT, was party to the dispute and, through this landmark judgment, was able to avoid a penalty of $273 million.

Key clients in the past 12 months include Axis Bank, Altico Capital India, Bhushan Steel, Diageo, General Motors, ICICI Bank, Ikea, KKR, LG, Mercedes, Sanofi, Schneider Electric, Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Transunion. 

Client feedback

“Excellent legal strategy, deep subject matter knowledge and practical execution.” – International arbitration

Shashank Gautam

“He has in-depth subject matter knowledge and is results-oriented.”

Phoenix Legal

The dispute resolution team at Phoenix Legal have pan-India capabilities and are “crisis management specialists” with experience handling complex and sensitive contentious matters. It works on various constitutional, public interest, corporate, civil, corporate crimes and criminal matters before multiple forums across India, from the small causes courts up to the Supreme Court of India. The firm’s arbitration offering is experienced in domestic and international ADR processes covered under various forums such as SIAC, HKIAC and LCIA. The team has been busy in insolvency-related matters in the past 12 months.

Co-founding partners Abhishek Saxena, Manjula Chawla and Saket Shukla lead a disputes group that includes partner Gautam Bhatikar.

The firm is assisting the CM Shah Consortium as the resolution application in strategising, structuring and drafting the resolution plan for revival and rehabilitation of the corporate debtor. It also acted for Samsung Engineering in its dispute with VRC Constructions in relation to works the client had contracted out at the Dahej Petrochemical Complex. In a maritime matter, the firm represented Russian M-Shipping before the Calcutta High Court for a claim arising out of an assignment agreement.

Other clients that engaged the firm recently include Mersen, MV Nordlake, Shipowners Protection and UAB Garant Service.

Pioneer Legal

The litigation offering at Pioneer Legal covers a diverse range of dispute matters, including complex commercial disputes, project execution disputes, corporate frauds and white-collar crimes. The team provides strategic litigation advice, including during the pre-arbitration and pre-litigation stage, representation in all levels of the courts and arbitration forums, draft communications and pleadings, assists in mediation and settlement, and works on insolvency code-related matters. This year the firm moves up a notch in the commercial disputes ranking.

The key lawyers for disputes are managing partner Satish Kishanchandani and partner Narendra Dingankar.

In one highlight, the firm represented CG Power and Industrial Solutions before the Securities Appellate Tribunal in relation to the fraud perpetrated by its promoters and group companies.The lawyers assisted Degustibus Hospitality in proceedings before the NCLAT, impugning the order of the NCLT to its client to initiate the insolvency resolution process. The team is challenging that there were pre-existing disputes between the parties and, as such, the initiation of the CIRP counters good law.

Client feedback

“They were on top of the arbitration, always providing good advice to experts and counsel with backup research.” – Commercial and transactions

Prosoll Law

Delhi-based Prosoll Law is a respected criminal law boutique, featuring three experienced advocates. Within the criminal law space, the firm handles all cases, ranging from anti-corruption matters, money laundering issues, regulatory disputes, white-collar crimes, frauds and economic offence-related litigation, constitutional challenge disputes and civil litigation. The firm works with a range of clientele that includes leading bureaucrats, politicians, government officials, former judges, high-net-worth individuals, business conglomerates, educational institutions, NGOs and start-ups.

Founder of the firm Harsh Sharma is the main contact. He is a respected criminal lawyer with several landmark judgments under his belt. His practice focuses on anti-corruption, economic offences, constitutional remedies, conventional crime, tort, service matters and alternative dispute resolution. Advocates Vaibhavi Sharma and Lakshya Parasher round out the team. The firm welcomed associate partner Arjit Benjamin in February 2023 from Law Offices of Panag & Babu. Prior to his stint there, he was a senior associate at Karanjawala & Co.

One ongoing work highlight has the team defending the co-founder and managing director of Micromax Informatics. Its client is accused of accepting a bribe for the unauthorised construction of a banquet hall. The team devised a unique litigation strategy to put forth crucial issues of law with reference to the allegedly incriminating telephone conversations between the client and others accused, being the primary evidence. Three petitions were filed, two of which the High Court decided in favour of the firm’s client. The third is still pending adjudication.

Sharma has been engaged by a former Delhi High Court judge for his defence against allegations of bribery. The charge sheet registered against the client alleges his involvement in a land deal where he was believed to have misused his official capacity as a judge by accepting illegal gratification to pass a judgment. Challenges of the case included its high-profile nature as well as the numerous debates around the working pattern of judges and the immunities bestowed upon them under the Judges Protection Act.

Rahul Chaudhry & Partners

Rahul Chaudhary & Partners is an IP specialist firm and its experience stretches back four decades – it was first known as Lall Lahiri & Salhotra. The team spans two offices and comprises 68 lawyers and 15 partners. The litigation team has represented a wide range of rights-holders from across the globe in multiple industries. The anti-counterfeit and enforcement team is also highly active. The disputes team has handled more than 1,000 cases and claims a success rate of 95%.

The key contacts for contentious IP are managing partner Rahul Chaudhry, founding partner Anuradha Salhotra, and litigation partners Sumit Wadhwa and Naval Kastia.

In one highlight, the team represented domestic electronics brand AIWA on its lawsuit against entities making use of deceptively similar names as that of their registered mark – and used them for a range of goods, including identical products. The primary defendant, AIIVA Homeappliances,misused the AIWA registrations to create its brand and trading style. The court granted an order of seizure, allowing the plaintiff client to seize a sizeable quantity of the impugned products.

The team also assisted Hero Investcorp to secure the rights on its trademark, “HERO”, with respect to counterfeit oil products.The defendants were found to be selling counterfeit oil products using the mark “HERO” in packaging that misappropriated and was identical to the HERO-branded products.

Purple Innovation, Reckitt Benckiser India, The Coca-Cola Company, US Green Building Council and Zed Lifestyle Private are on the firm’s client roster for contentious IP issues.

Regius Legal

Multi-service law firm Regius Legal has a special focus on dispute resolution and civil and criminal litigation. The firm was established in 2018 with dispute resolution as the core pillar of its offering. Now, the Mumbai-based firm has more than 40 lawyers. The team has a solid track record of handling high-profile and media-sensitive cases involving serious criminal charges for a wide range of clients. On the commercial disputes side, the team is experienced in all stage of commercial litigation, handling a variety of transactional, real estate, commercial, shareholders disputes, and liabilities such as debt collections, fraud, procurement claims or administrative battles. In the past 12 months, the firm has taken on 13 new complex high-profile cases with an accrued value of more than $74 million at stake. This year, the team moves up a notch in the rankings for its commercial and construction disputes.

The main disputes contacts are founder Kiran Jain, senior partner Ish Jain and partner Heenal Jain. All three specialise in dispute resolution and white-collar crimes.

In a widely reported matter, the firm defended a client that is a shareholder of KS Chamankar Enterprises in relation to a slum and non-slum project involving the government of Maharashtra. The Anti-Corruption Bureau filed charges against the firm’s client and others for corruption and money laundering. The point raised in litigation is that the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) cannot issue notice and terminate the right of development since in the agreement with the government of Maharashtra, a non-slum project is developed and handed over to the government of Maharashtra. Since this case concerns a combined project of slum and non-slum plot, the SRA, which is a planning authority under the state of Maharashtra, is bound by the agreement. Since KS Chamankar Enterprises and its shareholders have already handed over the constructed area in lieu of giving them development rights of the slum and non-slum plot, the termination of the project by the SRA authorities is unjust.

The team is also representing an individual and Royal Developers against the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act (SAFEMA) authority, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the disputing land owners as well as the property current occupants. The dispute is in relation to the forfeiture of a property after the development rights were granted to the client. This case entailed some distinctive questions of law that are pertinent to the real estate sector, including whether a property can be forfeited if the third-party, right, title, and interest is already created before the notice under SAFEMA is issued.

Jainam Realtors, Prabhav Gruh Nirman, Shubh Enterprise and Snowcem Paints also engaged the firm last year for their contentious matters.

Client feedback

“The firm has a wide array of services and experience and its main strength lies in the litigation world. They are known to provide the best service in any aspect of dispute resolution. Their commitment and results-driven approach is a key strength. They will never give up on the case until all remedies are exhausted, which is a very important factor for a client who entrusts them with all their matters. Client care and client commitment are very high and I have never felt a difference in the service offering, no matter how busy the partners are.” – Real estate

Ish Jain

“I would recommend Mr Ish Jain. My interaction with him has been converted into a longstanding relationship due to the excellent quality of service provided by the team of lawyers. He has handled several complex issues in a very tactful and strategic manner and I have continued to channel all my legal matters to him.”

RK Dewan & Co

Leading intellectual property law firm RK Dewan & Co has been in the market for more than 80 years. It has a very active IP litigation practice that is present pan-India and houses more than 180 IP specialist practitioners. The team is in a position to file and defend suits in nearly all district courts across the country, not including its regular presence before the various High Courts and the Intellectual Property Appellate Board. It is currently the top PCT filer from India and more than two-thirds of its clients are domestic. During the review period, the firm was handling more than 100 ongoing litigations in India and had expanded its practice with the hiring of seven new associates. The firm recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of the establishment of its liaison office in Dallas, Texas, in the US, and its China office in Dalian celebrated its fourth anniversary recently. Its Chinese outpost has led to an increase in China-related business by 30%. 

Five senior lawyers lead the disputes-related group, including principal Mohan Dewan, head of patents Niti Dewan, Delhi head Nirbhay Bhardwaj, and partners Disha Dewan and Dinesh Nair.

In a trademark infringement litigation, the team is representing Emerson Electric in filing a criminal complaint for infringement of its trademark “Emerson and Copeland” logo. The defendants had adopted the trademarks and were selling counterfeit products. The lawyers worked with the crime branch unit to conduct raids at two places simultaneously and the investigating officer aims to file a charge sheet in the matter.

In a patent highlight, the firm continues to act for plaintiff Indofil Industries against Coromandel for infringing the client’s granted fungicidal patent.

Captain Tractors, Daikin Industries, Electronica Hitech Machine Tools, Finolex Cables, Joy Ice Creams, Nilkamal and Regeneron are among its notable disputes clients.

RPV Legal

Founded in 2015 through the restructuring of an 85-year-old commercial law chambers, RPV Legal is a boutique firm with a broad commercial and white-collar defence and investigations practice. The lawyers have long track records acting on commercial disputes across a number of sectors such as aviation, banking, construction, infrastructure, real estate, energy, life sciences and technology. They have acted as counsel in multiple landmark litigations and complex domestic and international arbitrations. In particular, the team specialises in high-value international and multi-jurisdictional arbitrations under ad hoc and institutional rules. The firm’s roster of clients comprises sovereign states and state corporations, business conglomerates, non-governmental organisations, trusts, banking and financial institutions and several high-net-worth individuals in India. The firm is headquartered in New Delhi and has a strong presence in the appellate courts and the Supreme Court.

The key contacts for disputes are co-managing partners Shashank Verma and Kunal Verma, senior partner Yugandhara Jha, and partners Sooraj Sharma, Jatin Kochhar and Vipul Agrawal.

Client feedback

“We have interacted with the team for financial matters and they have proved to be very well conversant with laws of this area.” – Commercial and transactions

“The team is highly motivated, hard-working and responsive while handling the cases and delivers on time.” – Commercial and transactions

“The lawyers at RPV Legal are very dynamic in their approach and adept in the field of commercial law. They offer innovative strategies and arguments, be it for court litigation, arbitration or advisory work. They are very communicative with their ideas, give due regard to our feedback on their work and advisory and only give their most honest and rational opinions. It makes their legal advice very credible and reliable. Their fees are very reasonable as per industry standard while the quality of their work and level of effort is much superior, in our experience, compared with other individual lawyers or law firms which we engaged in the past.” – Commercial and transactions

“They have an excellent team of young and dynamic professionals with a very sound understanding of international business. I like the fact that the legal advice that I have been receiving is realistic, practicable and makes business sense. I am also impressed by their international network, particularly in Europe and North America.” – Commercial and transactions

“RPV Legal is a professional law firm with high standards in research and advocacy. Their advice is practical and rooted in years of rich experience in commercial law. The level of partner involvement in matters is something outstanding and rare to see these days in law practice. I also like their focus on specialised work and their very smart team of associates from top law schools in India and abroad. In my eyes, they are already a top-tier legal service provider in India.” – Commercial and transactions

“They are very good advocates with talented lawyers working for the firm. They can handle cases from lower courts to the Supreme Court with great expertise. Their domain knowledge of mining is also very impressive.” – Commercial and transactions

“They are good in almost all legal work. They draft, plead and argue well.” – Commercial and transactions

“RPV Legal is composed of very competent and knowledgeable lawyers and they always offer very practicable solutions. They are also able to anticipate possible opposing arguments and plan the course of action in advance so that there are high chances of success.” – Commercial and transactions

“We have been associated with this law firm since the beginning of our dispute with NHAI and it has always delivered on its promises. The team working on our matter is very hard-working and has been able to achieve good results in all litigations arising out of this arbitration as well as the arbitration itself. The team is very thorough with its research and up to date with case laws and various legal principles. It is a huge dispute, with claims and counter claims worth a lot, and we are positive that the team at RPV Legal will again deliver in the form of a favourable arbitration outcome.” – Commercial and transactions

“The lawyers at RPV Legal are up to date before every discussion, easily accessible and get the work done in time. The firm has in-depth knowledge of the laws relating to the construction and arbitral process in India. The lawyers are always helpful and make the clients feel at ease.” – Commercial and transactions

“Lawyers at RPV Legal are always prompt and they efficiently provide strategies for the future course of action. Partners at the firm are young – however, they possess a level of knowledge that can easily be compared to many senior lawyers. RPV makes the client feel at ease with their methodological approach.” – Commercial and transactions

“They are very efficient in advising on all aspects of and stages in the commercial dispute. The team has exceptional knowledge of construction law and industry and were adept at managing the high volume paperwork involved in the project.” – Construction

“They are detail-oriented and specialists in commercial and construction law. The team is dynamic and professional. They also bring to the table excellent court craft and deep knowledge of the arbitral process, both domestically and internationally. We were also impressed by their international network during a work assignment related to enforcement of an ICC award in the GCC region.” – Construction

“They are collaborative, professional and specialists in Supreme Court litigation and international arbitration work.” – Government and regulatory

“The firm has domain knowledge in mining and minerals and offers excellent advice that makes commercial sense.” – Government and regulatory

“My experience with the team at RPV Legal has been exceptional. The depth of their knowledge on international commercial law and arbitration is nothing short of stellar. They are also one of the best in white-collar crime and have a powerful team with outstanding experience of working in some of most high-profile financial crime cases in India.” – International arbitration

“They are very responsive and highly knowledgeable in disputes with cross-border element. They pay remarkable attention to detail and provide very effective strategy in international litigations. The firm’s white-collar defence team excels in cutting through the complex web of regulations from various jurisdictions and provides a very strong defence. In fact, they were the only firm I found in India with extensive experience in dealing with international financial crime matters in global forums such as Interpol.” – White-collar crime

“They are very experienced and adept in commercial law as well as white-collar crime cases. The lawyers are brilliant in strategy and arguing skills. The team is also highly talented and driven. They are always available for discussions and easy to work with.” – White-collar crime

Vipul Agrawal

“Vipul’s ability to provide innovative solutions to any problem is unmatched. Even when backed up against a wall in any given situation, he is able to come up with creative strategies and novel legal arguments which have worked well for us in many tough litigations. What is most impressive about Vipul is that he works hard on any given assignment and is so cover-to-cover thorough with the case briefs that he is able to cite any given paragraph on any given page number and can argue so confidently without even looking at case files. He listens keenly and is very humble and polite during our case preparation conferences and yet so assertive and charmingly persuasive before courts and arbitration tribunals.”

“Good in drafting, pleading and arguments.”

“Vipul Agrawal is very results-oriented. His in-depth knowledge of various areas of law and insights into the interplay of various commercial laws are very impressive. He is very precise and yet convincing in his arguments and that’s why he was able to win in the arbitration and the appeal.”

“Vipul is a bright young mind who brings fresh ideas to the table in any adverse situation. He has excellent research skills and is an eloquent counsel while arguing any case. He is sharp and can think on his feet and his confidence is quite praiseworthy.”

“Vipul is undoubtedly a rising star at the commercial and construction law bar. He is stupendously talented, a master strategist and a charming advocate.”

Jatin Kochhar

“Jatin is a very smart and knowledgeable lawyer. He has in-depth knowledge of complex legal problems. He is very diligent and serious in his field of work. He is always promptly responsive and very helpful as a partner. As a client, I felt at ease knowing that Jatin is handling my work.”

“Jatin is a young, intelligent lawyer who deals with all the issues in detail. He has an eye for detail and has excellent research skills apart from having in-depth knowledge of various sub-streams of law.”

Sooraj Sharma

“He is energetic, helpful, and good with strategy and delivery.”

“He is a young and dynamic lawyer with a keen eye for detail. I have been mightily impressed by his responsiveness and understanding of international business and commerce.”

“He is extremely sharp-witted, hardworking and thorough. He is truly an outstanding lawyer of his generation.”

“Sooraj is in a class of his own. He is exceptionally talented, incredibly sharp, and possesses encyclopaedic knowledge of law from different jurisdictions.”

Kunal Verma

“Kunal is an excellent Supreme Court lawyer. His advice is measured, focused and practical.”

“Kunal is extremely easy to work with and has first-rate experience in litigations before the Supreme Court of India. He is patient, hard-working and razor-sharp in identifying the relevant issues.”

Shashank Verma

“He has very good involvement in matters whenever assigned and has total control over the issues – and comes up with a solution.”

“Shashank has extensive experience in mining matters. He is a very dependable lawyer who always gives mature advice.”

“Shashank is analytically and strategically brilliant. He is incredibly patient and responsive, and – most of all – a pleasure to work with.”

“His advice is very mature, concise and cuts to the heart of the matter. Top-notch in legal strategy and court room advocacy.”

“Shashank is a stellar advocate. He is our first choice in all complex legal matters.”

S&R Associates

S&R Associates has offices in Delhi and Mumbai. With market-leading capital markets and corporate practices, its dispute resolution offering aligns with that strength and routinely works with clients on complex commercial and transactional, regulatory and intellectual property disputes. It also handles investor-state arbitration and bilateral investment treaty claims, and anti-corruption and internal investigations. The team values quality over quantity and is sought after for complex, high-value disputes. The disputes lawyers have appeared extensively before all levels of the courts and various international arbitration forums. It recently promoted two counsels to the partnership and the team is now led by four partners and 10 other lawyers.

Key figures in the disputes practice are partners Niti Dixit, Shahezad Kazi, Abhishek Tewari and Raunaq Mathur. Dixit is known for her commercial litigation, arbitration and regulatory work.

The team represented Cairn Energy and Cairn UK Holdings in a major investment treaty claim against India arising out of retrospective amendments to India’s tax laws, a vexed issue that has been the subject of considerable attention within and outside India. The Indian Parliament ultimately amended its tax legislation and framed regulations to enable the repayment of the amounts recovered from Cairn UK Holdings.

The team continues to act for F Hoffmann-La Roche and Genentech in their civil claims against the Drugs Controller General of India and certain Indian manufacturers of purported biosimilar versions of the client’s blockbuster breast and gastric cancer drug, Trastuzumab. The claims filed by Roche and Genentech in this regard were the first of their kind in India. This is the first set of matters in India where a claim of biosimilarity to a drug has been challenged under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and India’s Guidelines for Similar Biologics. Several of Roche’s contentions in these proceedings have contributed, in part, to the enactment of new rules relating to clinical testing of biosimilar drugs in India. These are also the first matters in which the Delhi High Court constituted a confidentiality club for the disclosure of confidential and proprietary documents relating to the manufacture and clinical testing of the purported biosimilars.

The team represented AM Mining India Private, an ArcelorMittal group company, as a resolution applicant for Uttam Galva Steels under the Indian insolvency code.

Medha Servo Drives Private engaged the firm in a dispute related to a tender for the monorail train project in Mumbai. Other bidders challenged the tender process and the award to the client on the grounds of unfairness, arbitrariness and loss to exchequers. The S&R team successfully prevented grant of any interim orders in proceedings filed by the contesting party before the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court of India.

Active clients include ArcelorMittal Group, Capricorn Energy, Cipher-Plexus Capital Advisors, InterGlobe Aviation, McDonald’s, Nine Rivers Capital and Rocksource.

Client feedback

“They are very good in understanding the core litigation issue and advising the client on what pertinent arguments would be material for the adjudication of issue at hand. They are driven to ensure all materials are passed over to the arguing counsel and that they are up to speed on the matter with limited briefing.” – Commercial and transactions

Shahezad Kazi

“He is very proactive, solutions-oriented, clear in his conceptualisation and expression and very attentive to all details of the litigation. He is pro-client and does a lot of thinking on his feet.”

Saga Legal

The dispute resolution practice at Saga Legal offers services across litigation, regulatory and pre-dispute advisory assignments. The team has an impressive caseload at the Supreme Court level. It is experienced at advocating for clients through all the stages and forms of dispute resolution, from the initiation or defence of proceedings before forums to settlement negotiations, and from representation during arbitral proceedings to enforcement of awards.

Founder and managing partner Gaurav Nair is the key contact for disputes. Partner Sanika Mehra is another practitioner to note.

In one highlight, the firm acted for the appellant individual before the Supreme Court of India in relation to a dispute over stamp duty refund. In another commercial matter, the team represented one of the petitioners, a jewellery trading company, before the Delhi High Court. It filed a writ petition challenging the alleged illegal freezing of the accounts of the petitioner pursuant to the arbitrary action taken by the Directorate of Enforcement. The related judgment was crucial in shining a light on various grey areas with respect to the procedure and practice under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Mumbai Nasik Expressway Private instructed the Saga team as the petitioner company before the Supreme Court in a litigation arising from the concession agreement it had entered into with the National Highway Authority of India for the construction of a four-lane highway on a build-operate-transfer basis.

Recent clients include Auto Hangar India, National India Assurance Company, Ornate Multi Modal Carriers, Shamji Optima Private and Shantivijay Jewels.

Client feedback

“They have been highly professional and have done all their work to a high standard.” – Government and regulatory

Sanika Mehra

“She is very well versed with legal concepts, excellent at client management, and has built a great team around her.”

Sagus Legal

Sagus Legal is a full-service boutique that just celebrated its third birthday. The commercial litigation practice handles a plethora of disputes, such as shareholder disputes, partnership disputes, antitrust bankruptcy avoidance actions, and conflicts related to securities, commercial contracts, lender liability, real estate, labour and trade and customs. It has a strong power and electricity speciality, as evidenced by its impressive power company client roster. At the time of submission, the firm was handling disputes worth a cumulative value of more than $7.5 billion. The disputes team has grown rapidly in the past few years and now has 14 lawyers. It has offices in New Delhi, Bhubaneshwar and Gurugram. This year the firm ascends a notch in the commercial and government disputes rankings.

Commercial litigation specialists and partners Anand Shrivastava and Shruti Kanodia are the main contacts for disputes-related work. Both partners are empanelled with REC and the firm is empanelled with PFC (two government organisations in the power sector).

In a notable matter, the firm is representing TP Central Odisha Distribution (TCOD) in a dispute that arose out of distribution franchisee agreements entered into between Riverside Utilities, Seaside Utilities and Central Electricity Supply Utility, for non-compliance of the terms of the agreement and for not being able to reduce aggregate technical and commercial losses.

The Tata Power Company has engaged the firm for its dispute before APTEL, challenging the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission’s refusal to amend the licence of the Transmission Licensee. This matter has a far-reaching impact on the sector as it goes to the root of distinction between the scope of operations of a Transmission Licensee and Distribution License under the statutory framework.

Key clients of the firm include Bihar State Power Holding, Coastal Gujarat Power, Jindal Stainless Group, Jubilant Bhartia Group, Maithan Power, Petronet LNG, PowerFinance Corporation, REC and West Bengal State Electricity Distribution.

Saikrishna & Associates

Saikrishna & Associates is a top-tier firm for contentious intellectual property and technology, media and telecoms matters. In particular, its copyright litigation team is regularly recognised and name-checked by peers and clients. The firm has featured in numerous first-of-its-kind litigations that helped shape the landscape of industries such as media and entertainment, sports broadcasting, standard essential patents (SEPs), pharmaceuticals and life sciences, intermediary liability, publishing, information technology and new media and online anti-piracy.

Key contacts for disputes include managing partner Saikrishna Rajagopal and partners Ameet Datta, Sidharth Chopra, Thomas George, Himanshu Bagai, Nitin Sharma and Sneha Jain.

In a historic matter, the team represented Xiaomi against Interdigital in relation to a case that involved allegations of FRAND licence infringement for SEPs relating to cellular and High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) technology. Two judgments rendered in this case in the past year have revamped the jurisprudence on SEP infringement cases in India and globally.

For yet another high-profile case, the firm defended Amazon Seller Services and its senior executives. The firm is helping its client to navigate complex legal issues arising from multiple criminal actions filed pan-India against its senior executives. Issues involved related to the balance between free speech and hurting of religious sentiments and ensuring personal liberty and avoiding arrest. This case poses important questions of personal liability of company executives who are involved in production of content that could contain any religious overtones, and significant issues relating to technology overtaking the entertainment business. The ruling would also have an impact on sectors such as media and e-commerce, which also regularly face risk of actions for publishing content that could have religious implications.

Key clients include Apple TV, Adobe Systems India, Audible Singapore, Bytedance, Fox Star Studios, HarperCollins, Panasonic, Penguin Books, Star India, Walt Disney Company and WeWork.

Samvad Partners

Samvad Partners is a multi-specialist law firm with a market-approved dispute resolution offering. The firm’s core litigation areas encompass commercial, employment, competition, intellectual property and financial disputes. The team regularly appears in high-stakes cases before the High Courts, the Supreme Court and all relevant tribunals. The litigation and arbitration team comprises four partners and 17 associates spread across the firm’s five offices in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. It is rapidly developing its mediation and insolvency and debt recovery practices in the wake of Covid-19. Another interesting feature is the firm pioneering and advocating for more online dispute resolution. This year, the firm climbs up one notch in three rankings categories: commercial, government and regulatory and insolvency disputes.

Four partners round out the disputes team: Arjun Krishnan, Poornima Hatti, Rohan George and Savani Gupte. Collectively, they cover antitrust, construction, government, insolvency, IP, labour and international arbitration dispute matters. Founder Harish Narasappa stepped down last year to become an independent counsel as a senior advocate.

In one highlight, the team represented BWCI Pension Trustees in litigation for enforcement of a scheme of compromise whereby the group companies of Estra would buy back the client’s shares in Estra, providing an exit to the client for its investment. The matter raises questions of law regarding the enforceability of a court-ordered scheme of arrangement through the courts when an arbitration clause governs disputes between the parties. The matter is also one of the few recent cases dealing with the court’s powers to enforce a scheme of arrangement that was voluntarily entered into between the parties. It involves important questions regarding the enforcement of schemes of arrangement under the Companies Act 2013, which may be an alternative to costly arbitration proceedings.

The team is a trusted counsel for the competition authority and one of its recent mandates was acting for the CCI before the Supreme Court in a dispute with several automobile manufacturers. The case relates to the validity and composition of the CCI. The automakers had challenged the constitutional validity of the Competition Act (the Act) before the Delhi High Court in a bid to stall investigation into alleged anti-competitive conduct. The case is of vital importance because it involves the constitutional validity of the Act. It has a bearing on the day-to-day functioning of the CCI. The Delhi High Court held that the Act was constitutionally valid, except for a particular section which permitted the CCI to take decisions through “voting” at meetings. The High Court reasoned that this form of decision-making was constitutionally impermissible in view of the adjudicatory functions performed by the CCI. The High Court imposed certain requirements for the composition of the CCI. It directed that a member with judicial experience should be a part of the final deliberations before a decision. Both the client and the carmakers have challenged this order before the Supreme Court of India.

The firm’s client stable includes Delhivery, Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction, Healthmap Diagnostics, MGH Group, Phasorz Technologies, QD Seatoman Designs, Society for Informal Education and Development Studies, Tata Projects, Yes Bank and Zetwerk Manufacturing Businesses.

Sanctum Law

Dispute resolution is a core business for Bengaluru-based Sanctum Law. Apart from this, the firm is focused on real estate and general corporate law. In the south, the firm is recognised for its expertise in construction agreement-related arbitrations and agreement negotiations, and regulatory litigation against the government. The team’s experience covers sectors such as commercial, regulatory, real estate and intellectual property litigation, domestic arbitration and contentious matters relating to company, family, competition, consumer, service, labour, trade and criminal law. In the past 12 months, the firm has been proud of the 86% success rate of its construction and real estate cases, winning 78 out of 90 matters that were completed. There are still 160 matters pending. One of its major successes recently was spearheading the arguments in several writ petitions in challenging the constitutional validity of a draconian piece of legislation, which led to several modifications and interpretations of the Act and its implementation. The firm’s founder, Sammith S, is the sole empanelled legal adviser on the board of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India for Bengaluru and Karnataka.

The key contact at the firm is Sammith S. His practice spans government, tax, construction, labour, white-collar crime and commercial disputes. Senior consultant Shivanand S is another name to note for contentious regulatory matters.

The team secured numerous wins for its clients, such as successfully advocating for contractors in relation to criminal prosecution for negligence arising out of the accidental collapse of a retaining wall of an under-construction building. In another triumph, the team successfully represented an individual landowner against the Department of Revenue in relation to refund of illegally collected conversion penalty at the time of conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. It also, in a pro bono matter, helped farmers win their challenge on a land grant made to a powerful religious institution in violation of all due process.

The firm continues to represent more than 90 leading real estate developers in Bangalore city against the retrospective levies under a validating legislation. It is additionally acting for an affordable housing developer in obtaining an ad interim stay against demand of pro rata charges by the Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board at the time of provision of water connection. Although several matters challenged the levy of advance probable pro rata charges at the stage of no objection certificate, this was the first matter challenging the levy of pro rata charges for sewerage connections at the time of seeking water supply connection.

Disha Garden View, Keerthi Estates and Navami Developers are recent disputes clients of the firm.

Client feedback

“The folks at Sanctum are well versed in matters pertaining to real estate, hospitality, contractual disputes and more.” – Real estate

“I appreciate their interaction with clients and knowledge of the subject. They are good at litigation.” – Real estate

Sammith S

“He is extremely easy to speak to, quick on the uptake, clear and concise.”

Saraf and Partners

Saraf & Partners was established mid-2021 and it has a fully fledged dispute resolution offering that encompasses litigation, domestic and international arbitration, and other forms of dispute settlement. The firm’s formidable corporate transactional capability dovetails nicely with its contentious practice. Its seasoned litigators joined with impressive backgrounds, having worked at top-tier firms such as Luthra and Luthra Law Offices, HSA Advocates, Kochhar & Co and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. The practice has been active in high-stakes commercial and disputes around India, as well as specialised advisory and representation in international and cross-border challenges. The firm also brandishes a skilled and experienced white-collar crime team. It has specialities in energy, contractual, consumer, insurance, competition, anti-suit and defamation cases.

The nine-partner-strong dispute resolution team is led by founder Mohit Saraf. Other core members include Manmeet Singh, Sanjeev Sharma and Abhishek Swaroop.

The insolvency team represented the former RP of Bhushan Steel against claims of hundreds of creditors, both secured and unsecured, finally leading to resolution of disputes with all creditors. This is a precedent-setting matter on the primary jurisdictional issue of validity of an application filed under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to set aside certain preferential and fraudulent transactions entered into by a corporate debtor prior to commencement of insolvency proceedings, continuing beyond the successful culmination of insolvency resolution process.

In another highlight, the team is acting for a consortium of 26 Indian and foreign banks that lent money to Future Retail in its bid to recover dues owed. The key issues in this matter were whether the writ jurisdiction could be invoked to seek directions against the Reserve Bank of India and commercial banks for giving relaxations under its various directives in light of Covid-19 and whether the rights of lenders as third parties to the arbitration between Amazon and Future retail in the main dispute could be made subject to the arbitration proceedings.

The team successfully represented Fortis Healthcare and Fortis Hospitals (Fortis Group) against Daiichi Sankyo (Daiichi) in several petitions stemming from the enforcement petition of an arbitral award. Certain disputes arose between the parties in relation to an alleged misrepresentation in the sale of the business Ranbaxy to Daiichi. As a consequence, Daiichi initiated arbitration proceedings in Singapore and secured a foreign arbitral award in its favour. The Supreme Court decision rendered in the Ranbaxy-Daiichi feud was a landmark one and has become precedent in the context of the enforcement of foreign awards, as well as the scope of contempt proceedings in India.

The team also assisted the RP of South-East UP Power Transmission Company in various litigations before the NCLT and the High Court of Delhi initiated by multiple stakeholders, such as financial creditors and operational creditors, in relation to their claims.

Active disputes clients of the firm include Abbott Healthcare, GMR Bajoli Holi Hydropower, Lite Bite Foods, Pristine Malwa Logistics.

Sarthak Advocates & Solicitors

Delhi-based Sarthak Advocates is a full-service firm with a robust commercial litigation and arbitration practice, particularly in the infrastructure and construction sectors. It has offices in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Lucknow, and has expanded its presence in Japan. The group’s insolvency practice is also highly recognised and has had an active past year. The firm also serves as a legal panel adviser to government companies the Shipping Corporation of India and Bharat Heavy Electrical. This year the firm climbs up a notch in the commercial dispute rankings.

The main practitioners to contact include dispute resolution specialist and senior partner Mani Gupta and managing partner Abhishek Tripathi, who is known for insolvency work.

The team represented TASPL in a dispute arising out of a contract for consultancy services for State Wise Authority Engineer for the supervision of works in the state of Bihar. The Patel Engineering – Ujjain Engicon India joint venture has engaged the firm for a dispute concerning claims arising out of the non-fulfilment of an agreement by the respondent during the construction of a national highway. It is also assisting Bharat Heavy Electricals in several litigations.

Ongoing clients for disputes include Amber Enterprises India, Minni Katariya and Sthapati Associates.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (SAM) is a leading firm in dispute resolution. It has unparalleled strengths in core corporate and commercial dispute practice areas and has a truly pan-India presence, with offices in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurugram, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. The disputes practice has more than 145 lawyers, including market-leading senior litigators who cover diverse sectors and industries such as financial services, banking, telecoms, construction, energy, heavy industries, oil and gas, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, media and information technology. In addition to these, it has robust arbitration and white-collar crime and investigation practices. The firm regularly features in some of the country’s most high-stakes and complex disputes. This year the firm moves into the top tiers of the government and regulatory and white-collar crime rankings.

Managing partner Pallavi Shroff leads the dispute resolution group, whuch has 25 partners. Apart from Shroff, leading lawyers from the group include Tejas Karia, Ameya Gokhale, Manu Nair, Ajit Warrier, Ajoy Roy, Anirudh Das, Misha, Smarika Singh and Binsy Susan.

The team is acting for Punjab National Bank (PNB) against two jewellers and their affiliate firms, companies and entities, for defrauding PNB out of more than $3 billion – in what has been called India’s largest banking fraud. In addition to advising PNB on various regulatory issues connected to banking laws and regulations of the Reserve Bank of India, the SAM team is assisting on the overall dispute resolution strategy for recovering the losses incurred by PNB, and to safeguard the client’s interests in court proceedings currently ongoing in India and the US.

The team is representing Facebook India Online Services in arbitration proceedings initiated by Parsvnath Estate Developers. The dispute pertains to payment of outstanding monthly sub-licensing fees and damages, and refund of security deposit, arising out of the sub-licence agreement and maintenance agreement entered into between the parties. This matter is interesting as it involves pertinent questions of law, including interpretation of a force majeure clause during Covid-19.

In another commercial case, the firm is acting for JK Tyre & Industries in a high-value arbitration against an Indian conglomerate. The dispute relates to breach of key representation and warranties given under a share purchase agreement, including non-compliance with applicable laws by the share transferor and the consequent third-party claims and financial impact on the client.

PayPal Payments instructed the firm to challenge an order of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), claiming it wrongly declared PayPal a “reporting entity” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The order of the FIU also subjects the client to a series of regulatory compliances that would have serious ramifications on its business operations. This matter is of great significance as it raises substantive legal question qua the definition of payment system operators under the PMLA and whether the definition can be expanded to bring within its ambit entities that are functioning as online payment gateway service providers.

The firm is assisting Resilient Innovations Private, which operates popular fintech brands BharatPe, PostPe and Payback, in a case pertaining to an internal inquiry into issues related to gross negligence, wilful misconduct, abuse of position and fraud by the founder and other employees of the client.

On the antitrust front, the team advised and successfully represented a confidential complainant who filed a case against Google before the CCI, alleging that Google was abusing its dominance in the smartphone ecosystem, including in relation to digital payment services.

The firm recently welcomed white-collar crime partner Samarth Gupta from Luthra and Luthra Law Offices, as well as general disputes specialist Shally Bhasin from Agarwal Associates. Partner Anuj Berry left for Trilegal last year.

Recent disputes clients include Axis Bank, FIS Payment Solutions & Services India, Hilton Worldwide Management, PayPal Payments, PVR, Tata Communications and Yes Bank.

Client feedback

“Fantastic discussion, reasoning and out-of-the-box thinking.” – Commercial and transactions

Ajoy Roy

“He has an amazing ability to extract instructions during briefing sessions.”

Singhania & Partners

Singhania & Partners is an established full-service firm with a sizeable and experienced dispute resolution team. Its core litigation and arbitration areas are commercial, construction, and government and regulatory. The firm has developed specialities in disputes related to contracts with government authorities, consulting agreements, construction projects, building contracts and road construction. It is part of the TerraLex and IR Global law firm networks, and it sits on the legal advisory panels of Abhyudaya Housing & Constructions, Bawana Infra Development, Ramky Infrastructure, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation, National Hydropower Corporation and Shapoorji Pallonji & Company. This year the firm moves up one rung in the commercial and construction disputes rankings.

The disputes teams are led by senior lawyers, including managing partner Ravi Singhania, senior partner Shilpa Shah, and partners Vikas Goel, Shambhu Sharan, Madhu Sweta and Abhishek Kumar.

The firm is defending Krypton Progressive Educational Trust before the Delhi High Court in a suit initiated by Delhi Public School for a permanent injunction restraining the infringement of trademarks and copyright. The issue concerns the illegal termination of a contract and the matter is pending to arbitration.

Dish Media Network in Nepal has engaged the firm for its dispute with Viacom 18 Media over a broadcasting licence agreement with regard to the telecast La Liga football matches in Nepal.

The construction team was able to secure interest for client, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation, in receiving the desired relief before the Appellate Authority. The client was seeking the extension of bank guarantees against a construction project in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The firm is additionally representing Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) in three arbitrations before a common Arbitral Tribunal, wherein the contractor has raised cumulative claims towards prolongation costs.

Active clients of the firm for contentious work include ABS Industrial Verification, Aksh Optifibre, Fortuna Skill Management, Isgec Heavy Engineering, Khare & Tarkunde Infrastructure, McGraw Hill Education, McNally Bharat Engineering Company, PNC Infratech and Sikka Associates Architects.

Client feedback

“They render time-bound and efficient services.” – Commercial and transactions

Singularity Legal

Six-year-old Singularity Legal has a unique business model, billing itself as an Asia and Africa-focused law firm specialising in international dispute resolution. Unlike conventional domestic firms that focus on legal services governed by Indian law, Singularity handles only international cross-border disputes and acts based on the various countries’ governing laws and transnational laws. The boutique law firm has developed a strong track record for handling transnational disputes, unearthing frauds, obtaining injunctive reliefs and assisting in debt recovery. This year the firms climbs up a notch in the commercial disputes ranking. The most significant development in the past year was that the firm received its licence to practise before the courts at Dubai International Financial Centre, becoming the very first Indian firm to be Part-I registered solicitors at this forum. Lead partner Prateek Bagaria has also been registered as a Part-II lawyer with full rights of audience before the DIFC Courts.

Since its inception, the firm has handled claims of more than $4 billion in cross-border conflicts across various sectors, including energy and resources, construction and infrastructure, international trade, and sports and entertainment. It is a cross-disciplinary, one-stop dispute resolution shop for high-stakes, complex international litigations and arbitrations. To date, the firm has worked on contentious matters in India, Israel, Indonesia, Nigeria, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Turkey and the UAE. The firm hopes to shift its headquarters in the near future to Singapore and provide end-to-end transnational dispute services. The firm is a pioneer in frontier areas of dispute resolution, such as digital asset dispute resolution, recovery and enforcement and litigation finance.

The firm is additionally very active for global litigation funders, including one on its investments in an Indian-related construction portfolio, and another on its investment in a dispute relating to the construction of a Saudi Arabia-based oil and gas facility.

Bagaria is the key contact. His practice focuses on international arbitration, construction disputes, and commercial and corporate litigation.

Although nearly all the firm’s submitted mandates are highly confidential, one disclosable matter is a pro bono case involving Indian athletes. Bagaria and his team recently successfully assisted three Indian powerlifters and a retired coach in overturning an illegal provisional suspension that was based on flagrant violations of international testing norms. The impact on the athletes was significant, as they had been prevented from competing in sports for almost two years in the prime of their careers, without even an opportunity to represent against such provisional suspension. The effect of the constitutional challenge to the rules will also be felt across Indian sports. The rules apply to athletes and athlete support personnel across the country.

SNG & Partners

SNG & Partners is well known for its strength in the banking and finance arena. Its dispute resolution offering complements this with a wide-ranging arbitration and litigation offering that covers banking and finance, competition, criminal, foreign exchange, human resources, employment and industrial laws. The firm also represents clients in economic offences, conciliation and arbitration work. It also routinely handles matters relating to the Economic Offences Wing and the Enforcement Directorate. Litigation work for the firm is handled by the group entity, SNG Consultants. This year the firm moves up one tier in the commercial disputes rankings.

Five senior lawyers lead the disputes group, including senior partner Sanjay Gupta and partners Navneet Gupta, Ajay Monga, Ateev Mathur and Rajnish Gaur. Their practices focus on a wide range of areas such as arbitration, banking disputes, insolvency battles, labour disputes and criminal litigation.

The team acted for a brokering company in an arbitration involving the legal issue of power of the court to modify an award passed by the Arbitral Tribunal. It also assisted a large private bank defending against a writ petition that challenged certain clauses of a bank guarantee issued by the client. Various foreign banks engaged the firm recently as counsel before the Supreme Court in matters relating to alleged violations of foreign exchange regulations.

Client feedback

“SNG & Partners have sound knowledge in the relevant area of law and are able to represent clients effectively in the legal proceedings. They also have a good commercial sense and are sensitive to clients’ needs. In terms of turnaround time, SNG & Partners are responsive and prompt in answering clients’ queries.” – Commercial and transactions

“They take a holistic view of the problem at hand. They respond in a timely fashion. Good at communication of legal challenges in language understandable by lay people.” – Commercial and transactions

Ajay Monga

“Ajay is responsive, prompt and efficient. He is able to provide sound legal advice in a highly specialised area of law and to manage the volume of files effectively. He is professional, courteous, and helpful.”

Ajay Sathyanathan

“He has good communication skills and a holistic approach to issues.”

Solomon & Co

Solomon & Co, with offices in Mumbai and Pune, was founded in 1909 and brings rich history and experience to its dispute resolution offering. Its disputes team has more than 25 lawyers dedicated to the practice and the group averages eight to 10 proceedings per day in Mumbai alone. Jonathan Solomon, who heads the dispute resolution team, has more than 50 years of experience and has specifically been appointed by the Bombay High Court to assist in several high-stakes litigations in the past. The firm’s commercial, construction, insurance, insolvency, intellectual property and arbitration work has kept the team busy.

Senior partners Jonathan Solomon and Aaron Solomon lead the disputes team, which includes partners Michelle Solomon Le Page, Soniya Putta and Shruti Maniar.

In one highlight, the firm successfully represented Pigments and Allieds in an arbitration dispute in the Bombay High Court for appointment of an arbitrator on the basis that the photocopy of the arbitration agreement was insufficiently stamped and the original agreement was unavailable. In another commercial matter, the team defended several IDBI group entities before the arbitral tribunal – it rejected a claim for refund of a forfeiture amount, which was held to be valid.

Partner Anagha Subramaniam departed last year to set up her own practice as an advocate.

Notable clients of the firm include Baroda Pioneer Mutual Fund, Gammon Infra, Genting Energy, Godrej Foods, HSBC, ING Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Shapoorji Pallonji Group and Yahoo India.

SPN Legal

SPN Legal is a full-service law firm based in New Delhi and Bangalore. Its dispute resolution team regularly provides pre-litigation strategy advice and opinions to its clients, and represents them before all court levels and tribunals across India. It has a track record acting on cases related to corporate, commercial, labour, IP rights, trade secrets, constitutional, criminal, family and debt recovery disputes, among others.

Partner Karan Nagrath is the key contact for dispute resolution.

In one highlight, the team is acting for World Class Automobiles Private against the Reserve Bank of India before the High Court of Delhi. The dispute revolves around the arbitrary and unlawful actions taken by the state bank and its Central Fraud Monitoring cell for reporting the name of the petitioner client for inclusion on to its fraud list without allowing the client the opportunity to show cause.

The firm is representing a wealthy family in a property dispute that involves cross-suits for recovery of money arising out of an agreement to purchase the property owned by the clients.

Stratage Law Partners

Stratage Law Partners came on to the scene in the summer of 2020 and has primarily focused on corporate, private equity and real estate matters. It is now growing a commercial disputes practice that aligns with its transactional strengths. The lead partner for disputes, Bhavin Gada, is also a VC and funds specialist, so he is adept at drafting, reviewing and strategising for shareholder, commercial and regulatory disputes. The team has experience on investor-promoter disputes, specific performance of investor rights, corporate governance and actions taken by regulators and tribunals including SEBI, RBI, ED and other enforcement agencies.

The key figure for disputes is founding partner Gada. Associate partner and litigation specialist Ameya Deosthale was hired last spring from Lexicon Law Partners.

In one highlight, the team assisted Sotefin in a patent infringement suit where the client aimed to restrain the defendants from China from infringing on its patents. The Delhi High Court passed a landmark judgment in this case, its ruling relying heavily on the principle of mapping of the essential elements of the patent claims. This is a landmark precedent for patentees, as the injunction was granted even when the patent was set to expire in March 2022, making it a first of its kind injunction. Also, this is the first case in India where the court has held that an infringing item will remain infringing even after expiration of the patent and cannot be used after the patent expires.

Sujata Chaudhri IP Attorneys

New Delhi-based intellectual property boutique Sujata Chaudhri IP Attorneys has been in operation since 2014. The firm provides services for all contentious IP matters, be it prosecution, litigation or enforcement. Its clients span multiple sectors, such as fashion, fast-moving consumer goods, luxury and pharmaceuticals. The team has a steady success record of handling infringement, passing off, and counterfeit disputes before several district courts and the Delhi High Court, in addition to handling domain name disputes and other enforcement-related matters.

Principal Sujata Chaudhri is the main contact at the firm and she is supported by partners Urfee Roomi and Deeksha Anand, who were promoted to the partnership in 2022.

In one notable matter, the firm assisted a leading US denim brand as the plaintiff in filing a trademark infringement suit against defendants who were using the mark. The court provided a detailed opinion on the concept of tradition and non-trademarks in India, while declaring that the client’s design was a well-known trademark in India. The team also helped a sporting shoe brand obtain interim relief in relation to the single letter mark of the client, when a similar mark was being used by a defendant. This was one of the few instances where court has considered the rights of a party in a single letter mark and has granted interim relief in favour of the plaintiff.

Client feedback

“They are great at everything, especially IP litigation. We have had great success with favourable decisions for challenging matters.” – Intellectual property

Sujata Chaudhri

“She is a strong leader, excellent communicator and thoughtful advocate.”

Tandon & Company

The core disputes speciality at Tandon & Co is intellectual property, though it does offer a range of services in the areas of commercial litigation, real estate, product liability and recall, and contentious banking and project finance matters. This year the firm climbs up a notch in the commercial, government and regulatory, and insolvency rankings. The firm has offices in Delhi and Mumbai. In addition to representing clients before all national court levels, the firm has also appeared before the Delhi International Arbitration Centre, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration. Last year, the firm was very busy acting on multiple insolvency-related matters for national clients.

Founding partner Kunal Tandon is the main contact.

The firm continues to represent Bennett Coleman & Company to enforce its intellectual property rights in the series mark “Times” in relation to its television channels, print and digital media. The opposing party, Brand Value Communications, sought to misuse and encash the mark by adopting a similar name for a similar genre of television channel.

Sony Pictures Networks engaged the firm to challenge the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India on its amendment to the new regulatory regime that was implemented in 2019. The changes as introduced were challenged by the client and various other broadcasters before the Bombay High Court on the ground of lack of transparency, violation of fundamental rights of the broadcasters and other grounds.

Tandon and his team are assisting Fullstack Education on an IP rights case. The client’s mark is “INSAID”, while the petitioner’s mark is “INSEAD”. The firm argued on behalf of the client that there is no deceptive similarity between the two marks and defended the client against the grant of any kind of stay in the matter. The matter is pending before the Delhi High Court and it was the first matter lodged in the IPD division before the high court after the abolition of Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

Key clients of the firm include Bank of Baroda, Central Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Step by Step Junior School Society.

Tempus Law Associates

Hyderabad-based Tempus Law Associates was founded by seasoned Indian and New York-licensed lawyers. Its dispute resolution practice has a long track record of working on contentious insolvency, competition, employment, corporate and private client-related matters. Apart from court litigation, the firm regularly handles arbitration matters in commercial disputes.

Co-founders P Raviprasad and Sundari Pisupati lead the disputes team alongside litigation partner Gautam Busi. All are corporate litigation specialists, while Raviprasad additionally has expertise in real estate, employment, immigration and estate planning disputes.

Recently, the team acted for the claimants in an arbitration matter related to the cancellation of a development agreement. It additionally helped a client gain a stay order in a case of provisional attachment of immovable properties and helped quash an order to freeze the client’s bank accounts. A leading MNC technology giant enlisted the firm for its defence against an NCLT IBC petition filed against it.

Sundari Pisupati

“Good subject knowledge.”

TLC Legal

TLC Legal is a sophisticated indirect tax-focused boutique that brings together lawyers, tax consultants and chartered accountants. Many on the legal side have additional accounting qualifications. The firm specialises in advisory and litigation relating to indirect tax, covering goods and services tax, customs, central excise, service tax, VAT, foreign trade policy, the Foreign Exchange Management Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The firm has offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bengaluru.

The main contacts at the firm are all indirect tax specialists: managing partner Vipin Jain, and senior partners Vishal Agrawal and Aqeel Sheerazi.

In a first-of-its-kind tax case, the team represented Reliance SEZ before all quasi-judicial authorities and the Service Tax Tribunal (STT) in a case for a refund claim. The issue before the STT was whether a Unit in the SEZ (SEZ Unit) was governed by the time limitation of one year for claiming refund of taxes paid on input services received by it when the claim filed by it was on the strength of an internal invoice issued belatedly by the head office located in the Domestic Tariff Area. The matter was a first inasmuch as it departed from the law laid down in a catena of judgments, which has consistently held that the time limit of one year was applicable to an SEZ Unit, and delays, if any, were to be condoned on a case-to-case basis. In this particular matter, the STT held that the time limit of one year was not at all applicable to SEZ Units, when seeking refund of tax credits availed on the strength of ISD Invoices. The Tribunal’s findings in this regard were founded on a strict interpretation of the provisions and an appreciation of the overall scheme of the applicable rules.

The team successfully assisted appellant Larsen & Toubro in its challenge to the customs authorities relating to import duties. In another highlight, the firm acted for Jio in a matter before the Tax Appellate Tribunal. The matter is unique as it is the first time a decisive law has been laid on the aspect of a portion of the Cenvat Credit Rules, which warrant that reversal of taxes paid on inputs and input services cannot come in to play in situations where a certain quantum of inputs and input services are in any case required in the manufacturing process and the emergence of by-product cannot be averted by using a lesser quantity of inputs and input services.


Trilegal is a prominent full-service firm with a sizeable team of seasoned dispute resolution experts. The firm excels in all traditional corporate areas but has particular disputes strengths in competition, complex commercial litigation, international arbitration, insolvency, tax, and white-collar crime. The group has grown in the past year with the onboarding of a sizeable cohort of partners and counsels from leading rivals. This year the firm moves up into the top tier in the white-collar crime rankings.

The team has a track record covering a broad spectrum of litigations across all forums, including the Supreme Court, various high courts, lower courts, tribunals, and other regulatory and quasi-judicial commissions. A substantial portion of the firm’s case load has a major international component – for instance, sensitive M&A-related disputes and complex commercial transactions. The firm consistently features in extremely complex high-stakes disputes and multi-jurisdictional mandates.

Trilegal has deep and long-standing relationships with a vast network of top-tier foreign law firms. With its place locked in among the best global disputes firms, the international arbitration team is a go-to choice for various international and domestic clients, including the 3i Group, DE Shaw, Alibaba, EIG, Abu Dhabi National Energy Co, Cairn Energy, Tata Communications and Axiom Telecom.

Dispute resolution head and partner Shankh Sengupta leads a team of disputes-focused partners that includes Jafar Alam, Ashish Bhan, Tine Abraham, Pallav Shukla, Siddharth Ranade, Anuj Berry, and Nitesh Jain. Other key figures are partners with practice specialities that overlap with the disputes group, such as competition specialist Nisha Kaur Uberoi, white-collar crimes investigation specialist Kunal Gupta and tax specialists Himanshu Sinha and Samsuddha Majumder.

The firm is acting for CDC India Opportunities before the NCLT in an oppression and mismanagement dispute. The action was initiated by a group of minority shareholders in one of the client’s investment companies, Blue Sapphire Healthcare. The case is interesting because it concerns an undesirable scenario often faced by investor shareholders in Indian companies, where the shareholder rights and investment are likely to be jeopardised on account of infighting among the promoter shareholders.

Trilegal stepped in to assist NCR Corporation India in seeking interim protection orders for its officials after an FIR was filed against company employees after an electrocution incident occurred at an ATM. The firm successfully obtained the protections for its client’s managing director and other senior and mid-level employees during the pendency of the police investigation. An outsourced employee to the company was electrocuted to death as a wire at the site had not been secured properly and an FIR was registered against three generic positions of the company, two of which did not actually exist. The interesting legal point involved was the question of who the police could have acted against if no such positions existed within the company.

The competition team is defending Vodafone Idea in relation to litigations arising out of alleged violation of exclusive media rights awarded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to Star India Private (Star India). The latter initiated the suit as it believed it had won exclusive rights to broadcast cricket matches from BCCI. The outcome of the litigation is expected to determine if private parties by way of a contract can claim exclusive rights over the information emanating from publicly broadcasted events. The case also represents a first-of-its-kind case in Indian law for applying the American “hot-news” doctrine and tortious liability. The case also raises questions as to whether rights that are not recognised under the Indian Copyright Act stand “pre-empted” where no common law remedies can be sustained.

In an international arbitration matter, the team successfully represented EIG Mauritius in the enforcement of a foreign award before the Calcutta High Court and Supreme Court and advised on Indian law-related aspects in a challenge to the foreign award before the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) that was dismissed by SICC. This dispute will have a significant impact on the scope of enquiry of an enforcing court over a foreign award. It will also affect the legality of put option clauses, given the lack of clarity on aspects relating to the enforcement of foreign awards upholding put options and public policy objections grounded in arguments of illegality under the Securities Contract Regulation Act and the Foreign Exchange Management Act that are often resorted to by the respondent shareholders. This dispute will also throw light on various aspects that foreign investors should consider while negotiating exits from their investments in Indian companies.

The disputes group has expanded through the hiring of four partners from some of its closest competitors: Anuj Berry joined from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (SAM), Vishrov Mukerjee came from J Sagar Associates (JSA), Shalaka Patil was hired from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, and Rajat Jariwal joined from Khaitan & Co. Additionally, six more counsels were hired from JSA, SAM and Dua Associates. Partner and international arbitration specialist Anuradha Agnihotri left for Herbert Smith Freehills in London, where she is now a counsel.

Trilegal is known for its loyal international client base, though it also has many heavyweight domestic clients. Some recent clients are ArcelorMittal, Mitsui & Co, Nippon Steel India, Wipro Enterprises and Zee Entertainment Enterprises.

Client feedback

“They are good at strategy and detail.” – International arbitration

“We appreciate their litigation skills, good co-ordination of enforcement agencies and negotiation abilities.” – White-collar crime

“The advice provided by the Trilegal is very pragmatic, and they have end-to-end solutions in every situation. The team handles the assignment in a very proactive manner and with utmost degree of care and detailing.” – White-collar crime

Kunal Gupta

“He is very talented and knowledgeable and always up to date with the laws. In terms of giving legal advice, he is one of the best.”

Nitesh Jain

“He excels at strategy and team empowerment, and has correct oversight.”

“Nitesh is approachable and has great industry knowledge and sector knowledge. He gives pragmatic advice.”

Trust Legal Advocates and Consultants

New Delhi-based Trust Legal has a robust dispute resolution and arbitration practice. It currently is handling more than 1,600 active cases for clients across various courts, tribunals and forums in India. The team focuses on commercial and corporate disputes, and has TMT sector speciality. It has an excellent track record in representing its clients for broadcasting regulatory concerns before specialised legal forums such as the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) and is well versed on working with the News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority, and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It also has experience in litigation related to regulatory challenges against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and various other petitions including broadcasting petitions filed by or against various sector participants. The firm’s clients in this space include leading production houses, television channels, multi-system operators and direct-to-home operators.

Partners Sudhir Mishra, Ritwika Nanda and Petal Chandhok lead the commercial disputes practice. Mishra and Chandhok are also specialists in contentious IP matters.

The team defended Oil India against a civil appeal filed before the Supreme Court of India pertaining to the complex enviro-litigation arising out of the blowout in a gas well in the state of Assam in 2020. It also acted for Kakade Infrastructure Private against the State of Maharashtra in a contentious dispute over the wrongful withholding of the tender amount of the client upon cancellation of the tender. Zee Entertainment Enterprises relied on the firm in a contentious dispute against Indiabulls Housing Finance revolving around four loan transactions. The same client additionally instructed the team for its defence against a copyright infringement suit filed by a leading Indian novelist.

Recent disputes clients include Essel Lucknow Raebareli Toll Roads, Exploring Infinities, Forty-Five Positive Tech, SITI Networks, Tetra Pak India, Yuccabe Italia and Zapped Technologies.

Veritas Legal

Boutique commercial firm Veritas Legal has steadily grown since its establishment in 2015. Its dispute resolution team handles contentious corporate and commercial matters across all practice areas, offering litigation and arbitration services, and this work accounts for almost a third of the firm’s entire law practice. It has developed an active white-collar crime practice and has strong reviews for its real estate offering. To date, the firm has completed more than 500 filings across different forums in India. This year the firm climbs up a notch in the government and regulatory rankings.

Head of litigation and dispute resolution Rahul Dwarkadas leads the group that includes partners Neveille Mukerji and Prachi Dhanani.

The firm is assisting the co-founder of People Interactive India in various disputes with other shareholders and directors of the company. The client has filed an oppression and mismanagement proceeding in the NCLT after attempts were made by other shareholders to take over the board and sell shares of the company to a competitor. The judgment passed in the proceedings in Singapore decided the point of law as to whether the law of the seat of arbitration or proper law of the arbitration agreement should be applied to determine the arbitrability of disputes. There is little jurisprudence on this point of law and the judgment is one of first few precedents that deal with and decide on such issue.

The team is acting for Deloitte regarding a criminal complaint filed before the Special Court by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). It is also representing Sanofi India before the Bombay High Court in a civil writ petition filed against the company. Forbes Technosys has engaged the firm for a matter relating to financial fraud and the lawyers are representing the client in an insolvency petition before the NCLT.

The firm counts Armstrong, Bombay Stock Exchange, Central Depository Services, Honeywell, Lodha Group, Schloss Hma Private and Tata Group as key disputes clients.

Neveille Mukerji

“He is very diligent.”


ZBA is a boutique firm best known for its banking, shipping, dispute resolution and debt capital markets capabilities. The firm specialises in complex commercial disputes, with a focus on maritime law. It works with owners, offshore contractors, banks, mortgagees, charterers, cargo underwriters, insurers and reinsurers, protection and indemnity clubs, shipyards, commodity traders and financial investors. Managing partner Zarir Bharucha is a respected figure for shipping disputes. He is often nominated as an arbitrator for shipping-related arbitrations in the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and he is a member of the maritime sub-committee of the International Bar Association.

The lead partners running the disputes group are Bharucha and Niloufer Lam.

The team assisted IDBI Bank in an admiralty suit to enforce its mortgage over the vessel DLB Nand Gaurav. The vessel was sold by a judicial sale and the sale were to be be distributed by the court under the waterfall mechanism provided in the Admiralty Act. The client had priority as a mortgagee and the ZBA team helped it to fast-track its claim before the Bombay High Court. It successfully obtained a decree in favour of its client against the sale proceeds of the vessel.

ICICI Bank and State Bank of India are recent insolvency clients of the firm.