Law firms bid to work on India’s LIC IPO as government sweetens terms

Four law firms, including two of India’s biggest, have bid to advise the state-run Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) on its mega stock offering, after New Delhi made the fee payment structure more attractive.

LIC, a household name in India, is aiming to list by March in an initial public offering estimated at $12 billion, set to be the country’s biggest. But the government had struggled to attract law firms to advise on the sale, partly because they are stretched due to a corporate stock listing boom but also because of the low fees on government mandates, Reuters reported last week.

After the law firms showed no interest, the government revised its offer twice this month, limiting the timeline of the LIC’s IPO work and offering a part payment during the IPO process, not just at the end.

Now, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, India’s largest law firm, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Crawford Bayley and Link Legal have bid to work on the IPO and will make presentations to a government committee on Friday to qualify, a government notification said on Thursday.

LIC’s IPO plans have attracted a lot of interest from investment bankers and the government has chosen 10 investment banks to work on it.

The lawyers are key to the process as they work on everything from drafting the IPO papers to fielding regulators’ queries.

India’s finance ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

The financial bids from the law firms will be opened after they make their presentations on Friday. Typically, work for the government is allotted based on the lowest bid.

LIC has a 66% market share of new premium collections in India’s crowded insurance market. It manages assets of more than $450 billion.

Lex Mundi names Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas as exclusive member from India

MUMBAI: Lex Mundi, world’s leading association of independent law firms, has appointed Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas as its exclusive member firm for India.

The association has over 160 member firms across the globe, representing approximately 21,000 lawyers. Membership in Lex Mundi provides member firms with a trusted network of law firms that share similar values and a focus on quality through which they can access global legal resources that enable them to serve their clients better and to continuously improve all aspects of their firms.

“As Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas looks forward to engage with clients to bring innovative thinking and business solutions to legal issues, our Lex Mundi membership will provide our clients access to the best legal minds in cities around the globe. We look forward to contributing to Lex Mundi and build strong work relationships with the Lex Mundi and its member firms in the years ahead,”said Shardul Shroff, Executive Chairman of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

Member law firms are located throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Through Lex Mundi’s non-profit affiliate, the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, Lex Mundi member firms provide pro bono legal assistance to social entrepreneurs around the globe.

Somasekhar Sundaresan of JSA leaves the firm to begin counsel practice

MUMBAI: Somasekhar Sundaresan (43), partner and head of capital market practice at law firm J Sagar Associates or JSA has put in his papers to start an independent counsel practice. The final date of his departure is yet to formally announced. However people familiar with the development says he will continue till end of 2016.

A business journalist turned lawyer Somasekhar had worked with the firm Udwadia, Udeshi & Berjis for four year before joining JSA along with Berjis Desai in the year 2002.

“Somasekhar Sundaresan an equity partner for 13 years as well as member of Executive committee of the firm, beginning his journey as an independent counsel, with a focus on securities and financial sector regulations,” said the firm in it’s announcement.

This is second high-profile exit from JSA’s Mumbai office after Akshay Chudasama, who joined Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas as managing partner Mumba in the May 2015.

“There is a transition period of more than nine months during which appropriate and suitable arrangements will be put in place,” said Jyoti Sagar, chairman and founder of JSA to ET in an email response.

This announcement adds up to growing trend among litigation lawyers who are switching to counsel practice. Last month, Trilegal co-founding partner Anand Prasad had also left the firm to become a counsel. While, in late 2014, Vikram Nankani, co-founder of law firm ELP also choose counsel gown over partnership practice.

Somasekhar is currently serving on a task force of the Ministry of Finance to set up a Financial Sector Appellate Tribunal in India.