Straight Talk in South Asia and India
Our work in South Asia is a dynamic cornerstone of our International practices in energy infrastructure, securitization and international trade disputes. Andrews Kurth Kenyon has unique strengths at linking global energy, environment, communications, infrastructure, manufacturing, equity, debt and technology clients to South Asian countries.
Experience in South Asia
Andrews Kurth Kenyon has an extensive array of experience in India including winning the largest tax award case in Indian history at the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.
Additional representative matters on the Indian subcontinent include engagements and pioneering projects involving Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
As part of our transactional counsel, Andrews Kurth Kenyon lawyers undertake due diligence, consider tax implications, corporate structuring, partnerships, intellectual property protections and conflict prevention measures.
With our wide corporate capabilities in the U.S. and other leading global economies, we help domestic and international clients with their business concerns in South Asia including in:
- Investment funds
- Energy, communications, water treatment, water desalination and other infrastructure project development
- Debt and equity financing
- Carbon credit purchases and sales
- Acquisitions, mergers, private placements and business entity formation
- Capital market access
- Operations and transactional counsel
- Technology licensing, outsourcing and intellectual property management
- Intellectual property rights issues, including prosecution and litigation related to health care, pharmaceuticals and all types of technology industries
- Litigation before U.S. and foreign agencies, arbitration panels and courts
- Public policy advocacy
- South Asian regulatory and legislative issues, including civilian, nuclear, energy, communications, defense/offsets, tax and technology
Growing the Business of South Asia
From construction and development agreements and projects to public policy advocacy, dispute resolution and transactional guidance, Andrews Kurth Kenyon’s extensive experience spans the region and world.
Our insights and relationships benefit South Asian businesses and help corporate clients gain access to South Asia’s immense business opportunities. Our background includes counseling clients in:
- Financial institutions including commercial and investment banks, insurance companies and multilateral and bilateral finance
- Energy infrastructure systems including renewable power and fuels, biofuels, refineries, oil and gas exploration, nuclear power and pipelines
- Commercial real estate projects and development
- Defense manufacturing
- Chemical manufacturing
- Steel manufacturing
- Telecommunications projects
- Automotive manufacturing
- Pharmaceuticals and health care
- Funds in venture capital, private equity, hedge, real estate, infrastructure, M&A, buyout and carbon credit funds
South Asian companies have a growing presence in the United States, and our nationwide practice enables us to play a key role in their success. Our lawyers have represented more than 75 South Asian technology, financial services and manufacturing companies in the establishment of their U.S. operations.
Often our representation involves industry-wide counsel. For example, we advised ten Indian financial institutions on the tax and corporate structuring of their U.S. operations, contracts, financing and acquisitions.
Andrews Kurth Kenyon’s representative matters include managing numerous transactions and disputes for South Asian companies and U.S. multinationals involving:
- Power Project Privatizations
- Industrial and Technology Projects
- Capital Markets and Corporate Law
- Public Policy Advocacy
Privatization is a major global trend in infrastructure construction, and attorneys have represented clients to accomplish a number of impressive firsts in South Asia, such as:
- Dabhol Power Project—Participated in the first private power project finance in India. Our attorneys, at various project stages, represented a major power company, construction company and domestic/foreign lenders.
- HUB River Power Project—Counseled the Government of Pakistan in the first private power project financing in the nation.
- Nepal Electric Project—Counseled a U.S. developer in the first private electric power project in Nepal.
- Bangladesh Private Power Project—Represented a major Finnish investor in a diesel barge-mounted project, the first private power closing in Bangladesh.
South Asia is a major center for the development of chemical manufacturing facilities. Our work for major U.S. companies has involved:
- Plant Project Finance—Represented a major U.S. bilateral finance agency in the project finance of a polystyrene manufacturing facility in India.
- Refinery and Petrochemical Project Finance—Represented a U.S. construction company in the project finance of a petroleum products refinery and a petrochemical complex, built respectively in the states of Gujarat and West Bengal, India.
An active center of global telecommunications, South Asia continues to attract the interests of our clients. Our lawyers have represented major American and foreign developers and contractors in a variety of cellular and fixed-line projects. Our work on their behalf includes:
- Indian Telecom Deal—Led three equipment sales transactions for a large Indian telecommunications company.
- Tech Equipment Financing—Advised a major U.S. satellite company on financing for 2000 very small aperture terminals (VSAT) installed on the National Stock Exchange in Mumbai.
- Satellite Transponder Deals—Counseled on multiple satellite transponder transactions for direct-to-home TV, cable, telephone and other communication services provided by two U.S. communications companies.
Our construction and infrastructure project work in South Asia encompasses a variety of other industry sectors, from manufacturing and real estate development to health care centers. Representative areas of our counsel include:
- Steel—Represented U.S. and U.K. steel companies in the process of awarding the first two foreign private sector bids for the construction of steel plants in the states of Karnataka and Orissa.
- Real Estate—Advised several U.S. and foreign consortia in the acquisition and development of Indian real estate into technology parks.
- Tanneries—Represented U.S. companies on the development and finance of leather tanneries in South India.
- Pharmaceutical Research Parks—Represented U.S. technology and pharmaceutical companies in the development of research and development parks in India.
- Technology Parks—Counseled U.S. companies in establishing special economic zones, software technology parks and export processing zones in India.
- Health Care—Guided U.S. companies developing health care centers in India.
- Outsourcing—Represented U.S. and South Asian vendors and customers in a multitude of outsourcing transactions.
- Technology—Counseled U.S. and South Asian companies in technology, such as IT, software, energy, housing, biotech, etc., and licensing arrangements in South Asia and the U.S., and we facilitated all required import or export compliance.
- Defense—Represented U.S. defense clients to obtain necessary export licenses for technology and equipment sales into South Asia. Also represented an Indian defense company in its contract negotiations with U.S. companies in matters related to India.
- Aircraft and Airport Finance—Assisted an Indian airline company in aircraft finances and leasing; an Indian communications company in an airport privatization bid; and a U.S. defense company in air traffic control systems finance for Indian airports.
- Manufacturing/Corporate Matters—Served as outside general counsel to the world's second largest razor blade manufacturer, which is located in India.
- Import/Export Compliance—Assisted U.S. and Indian aviation, chemical, communications, defense, pharmaceutical and power companies with licensing, duty and other required regulatory compliance in the U.S. and India.
- Insurance Counsel—Represented seven major U.S. and U.K. insurance companies in the corporate and tax structuring of their Indian operations, as well as in legislative and regulatory initiatives and joint venture activities in India.
- Intellectual Property Protection—Represented U.S. and South Asian companies on all aspects of their intellectual property protection into and out of South Asia.
- Investment Structures—Counseled on the structure of more than 250 investment vehicles for the minimization of tax and non-tax project liabilities from South Asian countries under the tax and corporate laws of the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Bermuda, Mauritius Islands, Cyprus, United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
- Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Ventures—Assisted more than 50 Indian companies in the United States and more than 25 U.S. companies in India with mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.
- U.S. Securities Law—Counseled an Indian technology company in an American Depository Receipt listing on a U.S. stock exchange.
- Venture Financing—Experienced in counseling investors from the U.S., India, Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, Europe and other nations regarding structuring 16 venture and private equity funds. These funds were investments into energy, communications, information technology, environmental carbon offset finance, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, health care, commercial real estate and manufacturing ventures.
Andrews Kurth Kenyon has extensive experience working directly with several Prime Ministers, Presidents, Cabinet members and other senior government and business leaders throughout South Asia and in the U.S. on investment policies and infrastructure projects.
One of our lawyers, based in our Washington D.C. office, has worked in South Asia for more than 25 years and lived in India for more than six years. He has served as a board member and general counsel to the U.S.-India Business Council and general counsel to the Indian American Republican Council, South Asia Regional Energy Coalition, U.S-Bangladesh Business Council, the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council and the U.S.-Sri Lanka Working Group. He also serves on the board of the statutorily-created U.S.-Indian Subcommission, and served as the chairman of the South Asia Energy Council for the International Private Energy Association. Our public policy representative matters include:
- Tax Dispute—Obtained the first Government of India cease and desist orders from the Central Board of Direct Taxation, blocking the Government of India Tax Authorities from the collection of penalties and interest under various tax orders against a U.S. construction client.
- Government Missions—Prepared and carried out various Presidential and Cabinet Secretary missions to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
- Feasibility Studies—Secured over $10 million in financing from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA) for feasibility studies on potential South Asia projects involving power, marine port, infrastructure and steel manufacturing.
- FCPA Counsel—Advised U.S. companies and their personnel on issues involving Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and host country anti-bribery laws issues affecting infrastructure projects and general company operations in South Asian countries. As part of our counsel, we secured U.S. Department of Justice FCPA opinions.
- Project Development Counsel—Advised South Asian governments on development and finance issues surrounding power, communications, various infrastructure projects, technology, pharmaceutical and intellectual property matters.
- Project Lobbying—Working on behalf of major U.S. companies to advise and lobby South Asian governments regarding legislative and regulatory initiatives in energy, communications, infrastructure, financial services, pharmaceuticals and heath care, technology, agribusiness, chemicals, pesticide and commercial real estate matters.
Legal Achievement Highlights in India
Our lawyers have gained an international reputation for skillfully guiding clients through India’s vibrant economic changes. Our experience ranges from managing rapidly changing regulatory matters to coordinating and navigating requirements of local business administrative agencies.
Among our litigation representative matters in India is Andrews Kurth Kenyon’s win in the largest tax award case in Indian history before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. We also have considerable experience in a wide range of energy projects across the country.
Andrews Kurth Kenyon lawyers are respected for our business sense and experience in the region. We present seminars to international audiences on such topics as structuring tax-effective investments, water investments and securing public procurements in India.
Through our ongoing experience in India, we have developed a valuable handle on the nuances of conducting businesses throughout the nation’s widely varied and unique states. We keep clients attuned to prevailing economic and political climates that influence their business decisions.
Energy Projects in India
We are pleased to have played a role in our clients’ successes in India’s bustling economy, especially in renewable energy projects.
We represented clients in the construction financing of the first biodiesel project ever closed in India, a $21 million total project cost, with all equity funding coming from a private equity company in Silicon Valley.
Andrews Kurth Kenyon lawyers also closed a $180 million Ascent Private Equity Fund in Mauritius and a related trust in India, and then worked with a large Indian financial institution for a $10 million private equity investment out of the fund and into another Indian biodiesel manufacturing facility.
Representative projects include:
- Nuclear Power Facilities—Served as general counsel to the U.S.-India Business Council and Coalition for Partnership with India on the successful structuring, lobby and implementation of the U.S-Indian civilian nuclear technology agreement and related legislation for the development, finance, operation and maintenance of nuclear power facilities in India.
- First Hydro-Power in Maharashta—Closed the first private hydro-power project at 12MW, State of Maharashtra, US$14 million Total Project Cost (TPC).
- Wind Power—Closed 2 x 8.4 MW wind power projects, State of Gujarat, US$18 million TPC.
- Renewable Energy Fund—Closed a US$20 million renewable energy fund for a large U.S. NGO.
- Hydro Developer—Advised on a Series A private placement finance of an Indian hydro developer. In turn, this clusters finance of up to 400 MW of small hydro-power projects (1MW to 5MW) in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Arunchal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab for a large European developer fund and significant U.S. developer fund.
- Biodiesel—Closed two biodiesel projects in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, India. One was for a large U.S. venture capital company at 50 million gallons per year. This will be increased to 100 million gallons per year, with 2 x 100 million gallons per year in additional projects to be constructed. The project has approximately 400,000 carbon credits per year under the Kyoto Protocol, monetizable at approximately US$5.6 million per year. These credits can be used as security for project loans and/or as project revenues. The second project is for a medium Indian biodiesel developer at 30 million gallons per year, through the UTI Ascent Fund.
- Solar Power Satellite—Participating in a major, first-of-its-kind, solar power satellite project on behalf of a major U.S. consortium, with a goal of up to 100 satellites of approximately 1,000 MW each to be placed in a geostationary orbit by 2030. This project is expected to send high-density, low-intensity, radio frequency beams to ground-based receiving terminals located in India. The beams will then be converted into AC-power for sale/use. The U.S. National Space Security Office issued a report validating this technology, which has the potential to revolutionize the world’s energy industries.
- Renewable Energy Private Equity Fund—Working on the development of an approximate US$450 million renewable energy private equity fund on behalf of U.S., India and other investors.
- Solar Power Water Treatment—Completed the financing on 5,125 solar-power water treatment units to be installed throughout India once they are manufactured. This project represents the convergence of renewable energy and potable water.
Litigation and Arbitration in India
- Dabhol Power Plant—Represented major U.S. construction and energy companies in Washington, DC, and London arbitration proceedings involving the Dabhol Power Project in India.
- Power Plant Construction—Counseled a significant U.S. construction company in London International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration of construction claims on Indian power projects.
- Tax Litigation—Advised a major U.S. construction company in seven Indian power project tax litigation proceedings before the Bangalore Commissioner of Income Tax Appeals, Chennai Settlement Commission, Central Board of Direct Taxation, Indian Tax Appellate Tribunal (Bangalore), High Courts of Karnataka and Mumbai, Indian Supreme Court, and U.S. and Indian Competent Authorities.
- Construction Dispute—Represented a large U.S. construction company in injunctive proceedings before the Mumbai High Court and Indian Supreme Court.
- Indian Pipeline Tax Conflict—Counseled a U.S. construction company in three Indian pipeline power project tax proceedings before the Delhi Commissioner of Income Tax Appeals, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (New Delhi), and High Court of New Delhi.
- Company Liquidation—Represented a U.S. distiller/beverage company in the liquidation of an Indian joint venture before the High Courts of New Delhi, Chandigarh and Kapurthala.
- Telecom Arbitration—Represented a major Indian telecommunications company in an ICC arbitration in London.
- Satellite Company Dispute—Advocated for a major U.S. satellite company in ICC arbitration in Paris involving Indian communications issues with an Indian telecommunications company.
- Airport Systems Disputes—Represented a major U.S. airport developer in Indian arbitration proceedings in New Delhi under the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996 with respect to air traffic control systems installed in the New Delhi and Mumbai International Airports.
- Commercial Manufacturing Dispute—Counseled a major Italian bicycle manufacturer in ICC arbitration proceedings in London against an Indian scooter manufacturer involving issues arising in India.
- Breach of Contract—Represented an Indian technology company in breach of contract litigation before the High Court of Chennai.
#13 in India Announced Deals ($2.150 billion), Full Year 2015
#9 in India Announced Deals ($2.150 billion), Q1-Q3 2015
#7 in India Announced Deals ($2.150 billion), First Half 2015
#20 Legal Advisor, Small-Cap M&A, Undisclosed Values and Values up to $50 million, with Indian Involvement, by volume (1 deal), Q1-Q3 2013
#14 Legal Advisor, Small-Cap M&A, Undisclosed Values and Values up to $50 million, with Indian Involvement, by volume (1 deal), First Half 2013
- 4th ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference on International Energy ArbitrationJanuary 12, 2017
- "Structuring International Operations and Deals: Tax Effective Structuring of Investments in India, Mauritius, Singapore, Cyprus, Dubai, Brazil, USA and Malta"March 7, 2008
- Overcoming Operational Challenges of Investing in IndiaMarch 5, 2008
- International Opportunities in Water Investment in IndiaNovember 30, 2007
- Barriers to Financing Indian Renewable EnergyOctober 30, 2007