Ajay Bahl

Delhi e-mail Ajay

Ajay Bahl, Co–Founder and Managing Partner of AZB & Partners, is widely recognized as one of India’s foremost corporate attorneys. In addition to being a lawyer, he is a qualified Chartered Accountant, allowing him to advise on complex, high-profile matters and transactions with a holistic approach to legal, tax, regulatory and business considerations. He is known for his expertise in structuring, restructuring and transfer pricing related issues and has been praised by Chambers Asia–Pacific for his, “sharp commercial mind and ability to lead from the front.” Additionally, Ajay regularly advises clients on investigations and related compliances resulting from allegations of fraud and misstatements in financial statements and on tax and regulatory filings.

Ajay serves on various Committees which include:

i)  Committee constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of  India in May 2020 to examine the comments received on “Consultation Paper to examine the existing provisions of law and make suitable amendments therein to enhance audit independence and accountability”;

ii)  Company Law Committee constituted by the Government of India in September 2019 for examining and making recommendations to the Government on various provisions and issues pertaining to implementation of the Companies Act, 2013 and the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008;

iii)  High Level Committee to prepare an Investigation Manual for Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India in March 2020.

iv)  Chairman of the “CII Task Force on Judicial Reforms” for 2020-21

Ajay also served on numerous committees in the past, including:

i)  Chairman of the “CII Task Force on Judicial Reforms” for 2018-19;

ii)  Member of the Appellate Panel, formed by the Institute of Insolvency Professionals in August 2017, set up to address disciplinary issues pertaining to insolvency professionals;

iii)  On the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), nominated by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India in May 2017;

iv)  Member of the Committee to, amongst others, simplify the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961, constituted by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India;

v)  Member of the Committee to review the offences under the Companies Act, 2013 constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India in July 2018; and,

vi)  Member of the “Committee of Experts to examine the need for an Institutional framework for regulation and development of valuation professionals” constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India in August 2019.

According to Chambers & Partners, “Ajay Bahl is a linchpin of AZB’s corporate, M&A, private equity and finance practices. He is extremely well respected in India and overseas for being an astute lawyer and an acknowledged point of reference for difficult questions of law.”

Ajay has earned numerous accolades for his experience:

  • Recommended for Litigation, Tax advisory and transactional advice and Tax and Regulatory respectively by the RSG India Report 2019 and 2017

  • Recognized as ‘Eminent Practitioner’ (2019), a ‘Senior Statesman’ (2016 – 2019) and a ‘Star Individual’ (2012 – 2013 & 2015) for Corporate / M&A by Chambers Global. He has also been ranked an ‘Eminent Practitioner’ (2016 – 2020) and Band 1 (2011 – 2013) for Corporate / M&A

  • Recognized as ‘Eminent Practitioner’ (2016, 2019 & 2020) and a ‘Senior Statesman’ (2017 & 2018) for Private Equity; and Band 2 for Tax (2015 – 2020) by Chambers Asia–Pacific

  • Recognized as ‘Leading Individual’ for Corporate / M&A and Tax by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2011 – 2020)

  • Recognized as ‘Litigation Star’ (2020) for Tax Dispute Resolution by Benchmark Litigation Awards (2020), ‘Elite Practitioner’ for Corporate / M&A, Private Equity and Tax by Asialaw Profiles (2020) and ‘Highly Regarded’ for Private Equity and M&A (2017 – 2020) and named as a ‘Leading Lawyer’ for Private Equity and M&A (2015 – 2016) by IFLR1000

  • Featured in the ‘Top 100 Indian Lawyers’ list published by India Business Law Journal (2015 – 2019)

  • Recognized as ‘Market Leading Lawyer’ for Corporate / M&A and Taxation by Asialaw Leading Lawyers (2016 – 2019)

  • A ‘Leading Practitioner’ for M&A and Governance (2013 – 2019) and Corporate Tax (2019) by the International Who’s Who Legal

Zia Mody

Mumbai e-mail Zia

Renowned for her contribution to the legal world at large, Zia Mody is amongst India’s most formidable corporate lawyers. Considered an authority on corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, securities law, private equity and project finance, she has advised clients across the world on marquee deals. IFLR1000 cited her as, “an obvious choice for clients involved in large international M&A transactions.”

Zia served as Vice President and member of the London Court of International Arbitration from 2009 through 2013. She was also a member of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal from 2008 through 2013. She continues to serve on several government committees on financial reforms and corporate governance.

Zia has earned tremendous appreciation as a role model for women in business. In 2017, 2016 and 2015, she was ranked amongst Fortune India’s Top 5 Most Powerful Business Women in India. Likewise by Forbes India as one of India’s 10 Most Powerful Women from 2013 through 2016; and by Forbes Asia as one of Asia’s 50 Power Businesswomen in 2015.

Her other achievements include her recognition as:

  • The Deputy Chairman and a Non-Executive Director of the HSBC Asia Pacific Board
  • Member of the Governing Board of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)
  • Foreign arbitrator on the Panel of Arbitrators of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC)
  • Member of the Godrej Committee on Corporate Governance constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in 2012
  • Member of the “Committee on Rationalisation of Investment Routes and Monitoring of Foreign Portfolio Investments” formed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India in 2013, under the chairmanship of Shri K.M. Chandrashekar
  • Member of the Committee on Corporate Governance formed by SEBI under the chairmanship of Uday Kotak in 2017
  • Member of Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households (2014), chaired by Dr. Nachiket Mor, appointed by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • (One amongst) Chambers Global’s leading individuals in the Corporate / Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Funds, Private Equity, Litigation and Infrastructure Sectors

Bahram N. Vakil

Mumbai e-mail Bahram

Regarded as a renowned restructuring, bankruptcy, infrastructure and project finance attorney, Bahram Vakil was appointed as a key member of the Bankruptcy Law Reforms Committee (BLRC), chaired by Dr. T K Viswanathan and constituted by the Ministry of Finance to draft the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC). Bahram is also a member of the Insolvency Law Amendment Committee, constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for recommending amendments to the IBC.

As part of his restructuring and bankruptcy experience, Bahram has advised bidders, insolvency professionals, domestic and international banks, hedge funds and interim financiers under the IBC, including the large stressed accounts referred to insolvency resolution by the RBI.

Considered by multiple leading publications amongst the most well reputed restructuring and banking & finance lawyers in the country, Chambers Global states that, “Bahram Vakil is an instantly recognizable figure who is commended for his being able to ‘get into the details’ of more complex matters. Vakil’s strength lies in his ability to bring the commercial point of view to the table.”

Bahram also served on the U.K. Sinha Committee – Working Group on Foreign Investment in India, Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Committee (FSLRC) – SEBI Advisory Group and SEBI Sub – Group on Regulatory Guidelines for Redeemable Non – Convertible Preference shares.

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