A&O and Linklaters lead on landmark Indian energy deal

Magic circle duo Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters have taken the prize mandates on today’s “landmark” $7.2bn (£4.4bn) tie-up between BP and India’s Reliance Industries.

Linklaters acted for BP on the deal, thought to be among the most valuable direct foreign investments ever into India. Corporate partners Sandeep Katwala and Stephen Griffin led on the transaction.

Reliance, India’s largest private sector company, turned to A&O for advice on the deal, with the firm fielding a team led by oil and gas partners John Geraghty and Paul Griffin. It is the first high-profile mandate the pair have won since they joined A&O in a double move from Herbert Smith last summer.

Geraghty commented: “This is a landmark transaction by any measure and strategically important for Reliance. We have a much-valued relationship with Reliance and it is fantastic that we’ve been able to continue to develop that relationship by advising them in relation to this deal.”

BP will take a 30 per cent stake in 23 oil and gas production sharing contracts operated by Reliance in India.

Vinson & Elkins and AZB Partners also acted for Reliance on the joint venture, while Talwar Thakore & Associates provided Indian law advice to BP.

The deal comes just a month after Linklaters, again led by Griffin in London, acted for BP on its £10bn share swap with Russian oil giant Rosneft (24 January 2011).