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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Raghubir Menon

Raghubir Menon

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co24th Floor, Express TowersNariman PointMumbaiIndia400 021

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Raghubir Menon is singled out as "a one-stop shop for M&A and project management" by clients who commend his "knowledge of competition and tax laws".

Questions & Answers

Raghubir is an M&A and PE partner at the firm and the regional head of M&A and PE (Mumbai region). Raghubir actively represents clients such as Facebook, Walmart, Flipkart, One97, Sembcorp and blue-chip PE and SWF clients such as KKR, Blackstone, CPPIB, General Atlantic, GIC, ADIA and Temasek. Raghubir has been ranked as a Band 1 lawyer for private equity by Chambers and Partners (2018–2020) and Band 2 lawyer by Chambers and Partners Global for M&A for (2019–2020). Raghubir has been consistently ranked by Who’s Who Legal.

What inspired you to specialise in corporate law? 

Specialisation in corporate law happened a little by default, to be honest. When I graduated from law school and joined a firm, I was placed to work with a corporate partner at my then firm. It’s pertinent to keep in mind that law firms in India were tiny in comparison to today, and corporate law was then just an emerging specialisation in India. Once I started working in this sphere, the intricacies and challenges of transactional work drew me in, until there was no looking back. 

What do clients look for in an effective M&A lawyer? 

Clients are constantly looking for someone who is more than a mere transactional lawyer. Not only must their lawyer understand the core and nuances of their business and the touchpoints which are important to them, he or she needs to ensure that, at the same time, a balanced and pragmatic approach is adopted while not compromising on quality. The skill set and the experience that an effective M&A lawyer must have is a given, of course. 

How have you found working from home during the covid-19 pandemic? 

While it comes with its own unique challenges, such challenges of working from home have not been insurmountable. This is well borne out by the fact that 2020 has been one of the busiest years in terms of the volume of transactional work that has occurred in India. The one factor that has, of course, been missing is the bonhomie and the camaraderie in the workplace. 

In your opinion, how has covid-19 impacted transactional work? 

While we initially did see a little bit of a slowdown, this barely lasted a few weeks before there was a spate of unprecedented transactional activity in India, both in the M&A and PE space, with levels of investment and acquisition activity which are yet to slow down. This does bear testimony to the depth of India’s economy and the availability of quality targets and assets. In addition, PE funds with dry powder are taking this opportunity as the bid-ask valuation gap is definitely shrinking and many businesses are looking at stop-gap funding to tide over slow-downs in revenues and to meet their own working capital requirements. 

What impact has covid-19 had on legal practice, and more widely, in India?  

Covid-19 has definitely turned legal practice on its head. Six months back it would have been unheard of for complex, structured M&A to occur without any physical meetings or diligence, especially in India. The ease with which transactions are been negotiated and executed through video calls and just through e-mails has been surprising and could well foretell a new normal. 

What will be the ramifications of covid-19 for distressed M&A? 

The impact on distressed M&A is manifold, with a number of consumer-facing businesses going into distress. In addition, with the suspension of the insolvency and bankruptcy code in India, pure play distressed M&A activity has seen a sharp uptick, with the leverage now typically being with the buyers. The impact is still playing out and the next few months will be telling in terms of further distress and acquisitive opportunities. 

What impact will the growing emphasis on technology and digitalisation have on the M&A field? 

I believe that the impact is already being seen at many levels: the ability to work seamlessly from remote locations has been somewhat surprising! In addition, multiple AI tools have come into play, which impact the time taken for effective diligence, build in efficiencies into the workplace, and help in managing costs and expenses for clients. 

What advice would you give to younger practitioners hoping to one day be in your position? 

Work with sincerity, enjoy what you do and do not forget to have fun in the workplace! As long as you are ticking these boxes, the sky is literally the limit. Having a sense of humour always helps!

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Global Leader

Corporate Governance 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

WWL says: Raghubir Menon stands out as “pragmatic and business-focused” with a “strong knowledge of Indian law”.

Biography

Raghubir Menon is a corporate, M&A and PE partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, and head of M&A and private equity in Mumbai. He is an expert on private equity, joint venture and M&A matters.

Raghubir advises numerous private equity funds and sovereign wealth funds, as well as investment and commercial banks, multilateral agencies and strategic corporate clients on a variety of domestic and cross-border transactions.

Raghubir actively represents large corporate clients such as Walmart, Flipkart and the National Stock Exchange. He also acts for blue-chip private equity and sovereign wealth fund clients such as Blackstone, KKR and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Raghubir is recommended as a leading lawyer by Chambers Asia (2019), which ranks him in band one for private equity and band three for M&A; and by Chambers Global (2020), which ranks him in band two for M&A. He has been named PE Lawyer of the Year – Asia Pacific by Asian Lawyer (2015) and Partner of the Year at the IDEX Legal Awards (2017). He is listed in both the M&A and governance chapters of WWL: M&A and Governance (2017-2019); recommended for private equity in the latest RSG India Report; and rated as a “leading Lawyer” in the investment funds, M&A and private equity chapters of IFLR1000.

Prior to joining Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Raghubir worked with White & Case in London and Singapore for five years. Raghubir has an LLB from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. He is enrolled at the Bar Council of Delhi and is a qualified solicitor (England and Wales).

M&A 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Raghubir Menon is singled out as "a one-stop shop for M&A and project management" by clients who commend his "knowledge of competition and tax laws".

Biography

Raghubir Menon is a corporate, M&A and PE partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, and head of M&A and private equity in Mumbai. He is an expert on private equity, joint venture and M&A matters.

Raghubir advises numerous private equity funds and sovereign wealth funds, as well as investment and commercial banks, multilateral agencies and strategic corporate clients on a variety of domestic and cross-border transactions.

Raghubir actively represents large corporate clients such as Walmart, Flipkart and the National Stock Exchange. He also acts for blue-chip private equity and sovereign wealth fund clients such as Blackstone, KKR and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Raghubir is recommended as a leading lawyer by Chambers Asia (2019), which ranks him in band one for private equity and band three for M&A; and by Chambers Global (2020), which ranks him in band two for M&A. He has been named PE Lawyer of the Year – Asia Pacific by Asian Lawyer (2015) and Partner of the Year at the IDEX Legal Awards (2017). He is listed in both the M&A and governance chapters of WWL: M&A and Governance (2017-2019); recommended for private equity in the latest RSG India Report; and rated as a “leading Lawyer” in the investment funds, M&A and private equity chapters of IFLR1000.

Prior to joining Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Raghubir worked with White & Case in London and Singapore for five years. Raghubir has an LLB from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. He is enrolled at the Bar Council of Delhi and is a qualified solicitor (England and Wales).

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