Source: Bar and Bench

In spite of various disruptions, it has been a good year for Indian law firms. 2016 has been the Indian legal market’s most prolific year ever in terms of M&A deals, according to the Mergermarket M&A League Tables for last year.

Over the past twelve months, India has seen 388 deals worth $64.5 billion in 2016, almost twice as much as the $33.9 billion generated by 421 deals in 2015. Though the number of deals seems to have reduced, it is the highest annual total deal value on record.

A sizeable chunk of this $64.5 billion was generated in the last six months of the year; a second half deal value of $46.2 billion is also the highest ever half year value on record for the Indian market. Another record was broken with respect to Inbound M&A, with 176 deals worth $30.8 billion going through in 2016.

Deal Value

A year after the much talked about Amarchand split in 2015, the two new entities seem to have found their footing in the market. Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas topped the table in terms of deal value, with $40.4 billion from 60 deals. AZB & Partners was second with $30.05 billion from 63 deals, while Khaitan & Co was third with $16.7 billion from 54 deals.

The other Indian firms in the top ten are Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas in fifth, with 44 deals at $10.2 billion, J Sagar Associates in seventh, with 32 deals at $8.1 billion and Talwar Thakore & Associates in ninth with 4 deals at $7.2 billion.

The international law firms in the list include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Slaughter and May, Linklaters and Herbert Smith Freehills.

Rank Firm Deal Value (in $ billion) Deal Count
1 Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas 40.4 60

Deal Count

AZB & Partners recorded the highest number of deals for the second year in a row, with 63. Cyril Amarchand is close behind with 60 deals, followed by Khaitan & Co with 54, Shardul Amarchand with 44 and Trilegal with 33 deals.

The other firms in the top ten include JSA, HSA Advocates, Bathiya Legal, Veritas Legal and Luthra & Luthra.

Rank Firm Deal Value (in $ billion) Deal Count
1 AZB & Partners 30.05 63
2 Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas 40.4 60

Global impact of Indian firms

AZB and Cyril Amarchand featured in the Asia Pacific M&A deal count tables. The two firms, along with Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Trilegal and Khaitan & Co, also found mention in the Asia Pacific Private Equity deal count tables.

Luthra & Luthra was the only Indian firm to feature in the M&A tables for deal value in Germany and US Mid West. Talwar Thakore and Associates found mention in the M&A tables for France and Russia.

According to Mergermarket, more deals are in the offing during 2017. The report states that the Indian chemicals industry is expected to see an increased number of deals due to a relative slowdown in Chinese manufacturing sector.