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GAR 100 - 9th Edition

AZB & Partners

17 February 2016

Zia Mody’s firm is among the greats of Indian arbitration

People in Who’s Who Legal

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AZB was born in in 2004 from a merger between CZB & Partners in Mumbai and Ajay Bahl & Company in Delhi. Today the firm has five offices in the country. Between 2009 and 2011, it enjoyed a “best friends” agreement with Clifford Chance, which first brought the firm to the attention of the GAR 100 researchers.

The firm has moved away from Indian law firms’ traditional family-style structure and has been praised for its clear partnership track.

AZB’s reputation owes much to the personality and profile of founding partner Zia Mody. She spent three years as vice president of the LCIA and has acted in numerous cases under that institution’s rules, as well as those of the ICC, SCC, LMAA, SIAC and UNCITRAL. Percival Billimoria is another strong name who, like Mody, has a broad range of experience in other areas alongside arbitration.

Who uses it?

Enercon India, HSBC and General Atlantic Singapore have retained AZB in the past year. Other clients have included Vedanta Resources, the Tata Group, KPMG, Philip Morris, Dhariwal Industries, Bank of New York Mellon, Lehman Brothers and US cable television network ESPN.

Recent events

The firm defended Swiss luxury goods group Richemont in proceedings filed by an Indian distribution partner, successfully persuading the Indian Supreme Court to refer the claims to arbitration. It also convinced the court to quash parallel criminal proceedings filed against the client.

It is involved in several LCIA disputes, including representing the Singaporean unit of a leading Indian energy group in a claim against a Russian energy conglomerate, and an Indian mining group in a high-value termination dispute.