116 B, Mittal Towers, Nariman Point, Mumbai, India

Abhishek-Kale

Abhishek Kale

  • Deputy Managing Partner

Practice Area/Industry Focus

Corporate & Commercial Laws, Mergers & Acquisitions (across all sectors),Employment laws, Litigation, International Arbitration, Indian Bankruptcy Code, Private Equity Disputes, White Collar Crimes, Schemes under Companies Act.

Highlights of Professional Journey

Abhishek has a unique profile at the Firm where he not only heads Corporate & Commercial practice but is also actively involved in Litigation and International Arbitration matters. He regularly advises and assists clients in both inbound and outbound investments, private equity, merger and acquisitions, joint venture transactions. He has advised clients through the life span of transactions, leading on some of the highest valued transactions in real estate, media & entertainment, manufacturing and information technology sectors.

Due to his vast experience in dealing with practical aspects of Corporate & Commercial Laws, especially with respect to FDI and SEBI norms, he has become a preferred choice for all our clients with respect to Corporate and Commercial disputes. He has extensive experience in handling complex financial frauds and irregularities as well as matters related to civil litigation for which he has represented clients across various legal forums. He regularly appears at the Supreme Court, High Courts across country, NCLT, NCLAT, SEBI, SAT, DRT and DRAT to represent clients across all major industry sector including Oil & Gas, Telecommunication, Finance, Retail and Real Estate. His dispute experience is in relation matters concerning, joint ventures, shareholders rights, real estate transactions, company law matters, regulatory matters, securities law matters.

He has advised corporate debtors and its promoters, financial creditors, operational creditors and other stakeholders on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The advice and assistance involves drafting, negotiating and finalizing relevant transaction documents, including applications, petitions and resolutions.

His employment practice primarily involves regulatory advice to various companies in India, covering the entire spectrum of employment issues from hiring, data protection, privacy and confidentiality, sexual harassment, termination and general regulatory compliance.

Some of his notable clients include Essar Group, ADAG Group, Hardy Oil & Gas PLC, National Spot Exchange LTD. (NSEL), Financial Technologies (India) Ltd., Future Group, JM Financial Ltd., SRS Orion, etc.

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION

Representing and advising Future Group against Amazon Disputea retail giant in an arbitration proceeding initiated by ‘Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC’ (“Amazon”) under the SIAC Rules. In its disputes with Amazon.Com NV Investment Holdings LLC (“Amazon”), before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and multiple Courts such as the Supreme Court of India and Delhi High Court and the National Company Law Tribunal. Amazon by virtue of the rights granted to it under a Shareholders Agreement executed with Future Coupons Private Limited and its Promoters, seeks to assert rights in FRL, even though FRL is not a party to this understanding.

Hardy Exploration – representing an arbitration proceeding initiated by Aban Offshore Limited (“Aban”).  Aban’s contention was inter alia entitled to receive damages/compensation arising out of an alleged force majeure event during the non-operation of the system provided by Aban.

Singapore Exchange Securities Trading -Represented Singapore Exchange Derivatives Trading Limited (“SGX-DT”) and Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (“SGX-ST”) in an arbitration against initiated by Indian Index Services and Products Limited, a subsidiary of National Stock Exchange of India.

Represented Essar Group and its External Counsels, in matters arising out of a commercial rivalry with the ArcelorMittal Group, which is spread across numerous jurisdictions such as before the Commercial Courts in United Kingdom, Cayman Islands, Mauritius, India etc.

In United Kingdom, Advised Essar Group in a wide range of proceedings which include Conspiracy Claims and Applications being filed for seeking a Worldwide Freezing Order against certain Essar Companies and its Directors and KMPs.

Advised and briefed in the commercial courts in Cayman Islands and in Mauritius, advised Essar Group on the strategy to be adopted in proceedings initiated by or against the Essar Group; legal opinions on issues pertaining to Mauritian Companies Act, Insolvency Act, Administration of Companies etc. Instrumental in procuring favourable orders for the Essar Group in these jurisdictions.

Represented and advised the Essar Group, in matters arising from or relating to the disputes with the ArcelorMittal Group and other independent and stand-alone matters before various Courts and Tribunals in India. These proceedings include Contempt Proceedings, Arbitration Proceedings, Enforcement Proceedings, Execution Proceedings etc. Represented and advised the Essar Group in certain related matters before the Supreme Court of India.

Future – Axiom Dispute Representing in an arbitration proceeding held in Singapore under the SIAC Rules in relation to disputes arising out of a Shareholders’ Agreement with its joint venture partner, Axiom Telecom LLC, Dubai.

Aitreya Limited - Advised Aitreya Limited (“Aitreya”) in a private equity dispute against in the investee company, Dans Energy Private Limited. The dispute was adjudicated in Singapore under the ICC Rules.

Represented SRS Investments Bengal Tiger Ltd (“Petitioner”/ “Claimant”) in the arbitration proceedings filed against Rahul Todi &Ors (“Respondents”), whereby the Arbitral Tribunal in terms of the Award directed the Respondents to provide the Petitioner an exit from Shrachi Realty Pvt. Ltd.(“Company”), by buying and/or buying back the equity shares held by the Petitioner in the Company.

Represented Cinema Capital Venture Fund (“CCVF”) in an investigation was carried out by the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) into the affairs of CCVF to ascertain if there was any foul play. Advising CCVF on various investor complaints and have also been advising and representing CCVF in various proceedings

Represented MCX And Financial Technologies challenging a SEBI order in relation to non-issuance of license to trade in segments like trading in shares derivatives, etc. Also, represented and advised to obtain the approval to start operations in both cash and derivatives segments of equities as well as interest rate of future and wholesale debt segment.

Represented Future Group on various SEBI SCORE complaints and various queries raised by SEBI

Dispute Resolution

White Collar

Represented Mr. & Mrs. Goyal (Jet Airways) before the Bombay High Court inter alia challenging the action taken by banks against them under the RBI Master Circular on Fraud. Instrumental in getting the interim orders injunction.

Representing Mr. Vipul Ambani in Nirav Modi-PNB Bank scam, for bail applications representing him against CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation).

Litigation

Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd - Represented MCX and Financial Technologies, in challenging a SEBI order in relation to non-issuance of license to trade in segments like trading in shares derivatives, etc.

Also, represented MCX before the Whole Time Member of SEBI to obtain the approval to start operations in both cash and derivatives segments of equities as well as interest rate of future and wholesale debt segment.

National Spot Exchange Limited (“NSEL”)

Advising and represented NSEL, in a much debated and talked about alleged default before various forums in multiple litigations. Few of these disputes were (i) we represented NSEL against the order passed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, forcing NSEL’s merger with its parent company Financial Technology Investment Ltd.; (ii) we defended NSEL in various criminal and civil proceedings initiated by Economic Offence Wing, Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, Tax authorities, Securities Exchange Board of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs etc.; (iii) represented NSEL in various civil proceedings filed against the defaulting members seeking recovery of amounts due from them towards settlement of trades entered into. (iv) represented NSEL in the arbitration proceedings for recovery of funds from the defaulters on NSEL.

Hardy Exploration

Represented Hardy Exploration & Production (India) Inc. (“Hardy”) against the Union of India (“UOI”), in a dispute relating to exploration activities carried out by Hardy at the behest of UOI. Hardy was successful in the International Arbitration conducted at Kuala Lumpur, wherein the Award was passed by the Arbitral Tribunal in its favour and against UOI. The UOI was unsuccessful in its challenge to the said Award before the Delhi High Court in both. These orders were challenged by UOI before the Supreme Court of India. The larger bench of the Supreme Court held that the Court at Delhi will have the jurisdiction to entertain the challenge to the International Award.

Believe International S.À RL [“Believe”]: Advising Believe in relation to the cross-border merger with its wholly owned subsidiary - Ishtar Music Pvt. Ltd. [“Ishtar”]. In a first of a kind “Outbound Merger” taking place under the regulatory regime of - (a) Foreign Exchange Management (Cross Border Merger) Regulations,

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) - Represented TRAI in litigations initiated by telecom companies against certain regulations issued by TRAI.

Percept D’Mark Gulf LLC and Percept Holdings Pvt. Ltd. - Representing the two Percept Group entities in the Arbitration

IDFC First Bank Ltd. (“IDFC”) - Instrumental in successfully effecting the merger of Capital First Limited (CFL) and IDFC Bank on record and in the transition of proceedings from the Hon’ble Bombay High Court to the appropriate Debt Recovery Tribunal for continuance of the recovery procedure. After merger, it is known as IDFC First Bank Ltd.

Bankruptcy & Insolvency

Represented IDFC First Bank in various insolvency proceedings initiated against its corporate debtors before the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai as well as the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.

Reliance Infratel Ltd, Reliance Telecom Ltd & Reliance Communications Ltd, represented before the National Company Law Tribunal , Mumbai Bench in respect of three separate Company petitions filed against the aforesaid companies by the Petitioner namely Ericsson India Pvt. Ltd. (Operational Creditor/ “Ericsson”) under Sec.9 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 for having defaulted in paying Ericsson for the aggregate sum of INR 9,78,72,06,974/- in relation to the services rendered by it in terms of the Managed Services Agreement.

Advised and represented Reliance Communication Ltd. & its affiliates (ADAG), in the insolvency proceedings initiated against them by one of the operational creditors. The matter was of great significance for ADAG and was taken right up to the Supreme Court, to safeguard the interest of ADAG’s lenders, including major public sector banks.

Advised and represented ADAG group of companies (erstwhile Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Limited), against one of the renowned real estate development companies in New Mumbai, in proceedings filed before NCLT, Mumbai, under Section 7 of the Code.

Advised and represented ADAG group of companies, against a real estate development company in Pune, in proceedings filed before NCLT, Mumbai, under Section 7 of the Code. We were successful in getting the matter settled between the parties.

Advised and represented ADAG group of companies, in an intervention application filed in the insolvency proceedings initiated under Section 7 of the Code by another investor, Vistra ITCL (India) Limited against one of the real estate development companies in Mumbai, namely, Darvsh Properties Private Limited

Advising and representing the suspended directors of Dighi Port Limited (“Dighi Port”), in the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP), initiated against Dighi Port. Dighi Port owns the multi cargo, all weather port in India, which pursuant to the approval of the resolution plan by NCLT and NCLAT has been transferred in favour of Adani Group.

AdvisingEberspächer Groupin a dispute with a JV partner in regard toa claim of EUR 6,905,753 in respect of the outstanding payments in relation to (a) Royalties; (b) Research & Development, (c) Expat & Support, (d) Support; and (e) Technical Support.

In addition to the CIRP process, we are representing suspended Directors of Dighi Port in various miscellaneous applications filed, inter alia, challenging the process followed by the Resolution Professional in seeking approval of Resolution Plan of Adani Group.

Represented Balaji Roads Infrastructure Limited (“BRIL”), promoter of Dighi Port, in a Company Petition filed by Supreme Infrastructure India Limited under Section 9 of the Code, for initiation of the CIRP, wherein we disputed the claim made arising out of the terms of separate contracts relating to the construction of roads, warehouses, etc. The company petition was dismissed is pending before NCLT, Mumbai for adjudication.

Advising and representing, Workstore Limited, a leading office supplies manufacturer in a petition filed against it under Section 9 of the Code, by one of its alleged operational creditor, for the alleged dues under the Leave & License Agreement.

Advised and represented Unity Infraprojects Ltd. (“Unity”) in a petition filed under Section 10 of the Code, considering Unity’s financial crunch that required its debt restructuring.

Advising and representing various entities of Future Group in various proceedings initiated by the Operational Creditors. We have also been instrumental in negotiating the settlement terms on behalf of Future Group.

Corporate Advisory

Advised and assisted Runaya Metsource in setting up joint venture with a global manufacturer of mining and infrastructure solutions.

Advised Imagicaaworld Entertainment (erstwhile Adlabs Entertainment), in relation to fund raise through private equity. We also advised the company and its promoter in debt restructuring and settlement with multiple banks / financial institutions.

Advised and assisted Believe SAin drafting and finalization of the share purchase agreement for acquisition of 100 percent stake in one of the biggest South India based music and film distributor company. Our services included drafting and finalization of transaction documents.

Strategized and advised Eberspächer Groupin relation to the potential cross border joint venture, in respect of the use of  our clients intellectual property rights and the technical assistance/ services/ support provided by our client to the JV Company.

Advised CNIPL in finalization of the share subscription cum shareholders agreement for subscription of 10 percent of its shareholding by the Singapore based technology unicorn.

Advised SRS Orion on the course of action that they need to adopt to secure their rights under the settlement. involved in advising SRS Orion I Investments Limited, SRS Orion II Investments Limited, SRS Orion III Investments Limited (“SRS Orion”) against Maytas Properties Limited (a group of Satyam Computers).

Advised and assisted Flex Trade India (US based company) in transfer of its business undertaking housed in its Indian subsidiary to a Singapore based listed entity, business undertaking was sold on slump sale basis

Advised and assisted Instastarz in preparation of employment stock option scheme and employment agreement.

Advised and assisted Eros International Media Limited (Eros Now) pertaining to their Over-the-Top platform “Eros Now”, telecom and OEM integration deals and marketing deals.

Advised Adlabs Entertainment Limited in the set-up of theme park ‘AdlabsImagica’, including advice in relation to statutory compliance and certifications, licenses, permissions, and other intellectual property rights issues.

Advised Prime Focus World,  NV / Prime Focus Limited in the structured investment agreements and production service agreements for VFX and 3D services.  Additionally,  assisted Prime Focus in relation to private equity investment from AID Partners Capital Limited.

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