Areas of Service
- Capital Markets
- Competition Law
- Fund Formation
- Human Resources Law (Employment and Labour)
- Intellectual Property
- International Dispute Resolution and Investigations Practice
- International Tax
- International Tax Litigation
- Joint Ventures
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Private Client
- Private Equity Investment
- Technology Law
- 5G Sector
- AgriTech Sector
- Artificial Intelligence
- Automation and Robotics Sector
- Crypto & Blockchain
- Digital Health
- Digital Lending
- Food & Beverages
- Media & Entertainment
- Medical Devices
- Oil & Natural Gas
- Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences
- Quantum Computing
- Real Estate Investments Social Sector
- Space Exploration and Technology
Social Sector Practice
Our firm has extensive experience in undertaking corporate transactions. We have assisted our clients on several cross-border investments and deals. We have leveraged our cross-border specialization and experience to develop a vibrant M&A, fund investment, tax and sustainable investment/social finance practice within the firm. We endeavor to combine our rich international experience and expertise in domestic laws/regulations with our research capabilities to devise innovative structures that allow our clients to navigate through multitude of regulations.
We approach transactions with an interdisciplinary framework and have a diversified team of attorneys handling various tax, corporate, securities, intellectual property, litigation, employment benefits, foreign exchange regulation and contribution, and other inherent issues relevant in industries our clients operate it. Our interdisciplinary approach to transactions have allowed us to work on several billion dollar deals in the past.
Further, as part of our social sector outreach, we advise clients on PRIs, impact investing, blended financing, exchange control, foreign contribution and public policy. We have regularly assisted foundations on several India-centric investment/funding issues in the past. Some of our key projects that we have undertaken are listed below:
- PRIs: We have worked with major US foundations on providing commercial borrowings to social enterprises. In another PRI matter, we had advised a US foundation on a transaction which consisted of a multi-million debt commitment by way of a subordinate convertible note with a matching debt by a multilateral funding agency.
- Social financing: Our social finance team works closely with Yunus Social Business (YSB), co-founded by Peace Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus. We have assisted YSB in developing a financing model by blending soft equity and outcome funding which aims to significantly lower the cost of capital for investments.
- Setting up non-profits in India, drafting charter and governance documents & policies and structuring of non-profits from trust/companies law, foreign exchange and foreign contribution law perspective, particularly in the context of cross-border philanthropy and impact investing
- Assisting clients with applications under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (“FCRA”) and regulatory advisories on FCRA issues
- Assisting client with their tax-exemption applications and assistance on tax matters
- Social Impact Bonds/Development Impact Bonds (SIBs)
- Skill Impact Bond: NDA acted as the Lead Legal Counsel for the Consortium on India’s 1st impact bond in skilling. It is an initiative of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in collaboration with a coalition comprising Prince Charles’s British Asian Trust, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, HSBC India, JSW Foundation and Dubai Cares, with FCDO (UK Government) & USAID as technical partners.
- Impact Fund Structuring: NDA provides services for setting up social impact funds, including social venture funds and category II Alternate Investment Funds. Few of the clients which NDA has assisted on these aspects include renowned social impact investment firms - Unitus Ventures, Social Alpha, Lok Capital, Aavishkaar Venture Management, Omidyar Network, Acumen, Accion International and LGT Venture Philanthropy
- Investment Structuring and Restructuring: NDA provides advisory services in relation to adopting innovative structures for impact investors, impact funds, outcome funders, charitable organizations, governmental bodies and development finance institutions. We also assist several impact investing foundations in exploring and evaluating various structuring options and help them streamline their global and regional holdings to better attract investment capital from interested investors and development finance institutions (DFIs). In past we have advised several marquee clients including the World Bank, CEPT, AP Economic Development Board, Impact Investors Council, Global Steering Group, Rockefeller Foundation, Yunus Social Business, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Grey Matters Capital amongst others.
- India Education Outcomes Fund (IEOF): We designed a catalytic 1B$ fund based on impact bond model which consisted of risk capital and outcome payments. In that structure, two parallel funding pools were devised to mobilize finance impact goals, which could be executed both by for-profit social enterprises and NGOs or non-profits. We devised the SIB model in a way that allowed outcome payments to be made by philanthropic and government funds for successful outcomes. The IEOF structure was designed towards deployment in the field of education and educational services.
- India Impact Fund of Funds (IIFF): We designed a pooling structure to make investments in select debt funds which in turn would invest in various social enterprises. The capital structure allowed for investor commitment from individuals, corporations, endowments and other return seeking investors and built on first-loss capital from grantors/ not-for-profit organizations.
Certain established and well-known foreign foundations/organizations who count us as their trusted advisor include:
- the Rockefeller Foundation
- the Brookings Institute
- the David and Lucile Packard Foundation
- Pisces Foundation
- the Obama Foundation
- the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG)
- UDNP Innovative Finance Initiatives
- Yunus Social Business (YSB)
- International Justice Mission (IJM)
We also have keen focus on pooling platforms designed to allocate funds towards social finance and sustainable investments and several established fund houses who count us as their trusted advisor include:
- Lok Capital (one of the oldest Impact investing funds investing in Indian markets for the development of the social sectors addressing the needs of the bottom of the pyramid)
- Omnivore Partners (focuses on technologies focused on food, agriculture and rural economy),
- Caspean Impact Investments (investment focus on addressing the problems of access and efficiency in business ecosystems that have positive social or environmental impact)
- Avanti Finance (a Ratan Tata promoted platform focusing on credit operations as a means to create sustainable local capacity).
We also assist several impact investing foundations in exploring and evaluating various structuring options and help them streamline their global and regional holdings to better attract investment capital from interested investors and development finance institutions (DFIs).
Our extensive research and outreach in impact investing and social impact bonds space has allowed us to be identified as a distinct leader in this space and reputed organizations such as the Water Resources Group (the World Bank), UNDP Social Finance Initiatives, Impact Investors Council (IIC) and several industry bodies have sought our expertise to understand and explore innovative financing and investment models concerning socially responsible investing.
On the academic side, we collaborate with non-profits and think-tanks as part of our social sector outreach. On policy front, we interact regularly with key industry stakeholders such as Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), IIC, Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), NASSCOM Foundation, UnLtd India, INDIASPORA and several other non-profits.
Similarly, we have also assisted international funding agencies on debt funding into India, issued legal and regulatory advisories in relation to providing loans from off-shore foreign institutional investors (NCD structures) and have issued general corporate and regulatory advisories from time to time. As part of our research outreach in this space, we undertake research projects in impact investing space on a regular basis and undertake several assignments on impact investing models from legal, tax and regulatory perspective.
Our Social Sector Practice group was an integral part of the Committee set up by the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office to reform Maharashtra’s charity laws and we have been actively involved in assisting several philanthropic bodies and institutions in reforming India-US philanthropic corridor in the past.
Further, our work with Blueprint For Free Speech and Thomson Reuters Foundation on source protection for whistleblowers was awarded Financial Times’ Asia Pacific Lawyers Awards 2019 in the category of Innovation in the Rule of Law and Access to Justice.