SunEdison legal head to join IL&FS Financial Services

Vinay Bhatia, general counsel and director at the Indian subsidiary of renewable energy major SunEdison Energy India Pvt. Ltd is set to join IL&FS Financial Services Ltd, a project and infrastructure funding arm of IL&FS.  

Bhatia is joining in place of Damini Marwah, who had joined the country’s third-largest privately held lender Axis Bank in the beginning of September.

Marwah, at the time of quitting, was part of the 11-member leadership team at the financial services unit of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), an infrastructure development and finance company.

An alumnus of National Law School of India University Bangalore of 2001 batch, Bhatia started his career as manager legal with the ICICI Bank in the same year he finished law school. He has also worked with Franklin Templeton Investments, law firm Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co before moving to SunEdison in June 2010.

An email query to IL&FS Financial Services remained unanswered. While a SunEdison spokesperson declined to comment on the development.

"Vinay has worked both as the borrower's and lender's counsel. He brings in wide strategic legal advisory & deal experience of managing M&A's, corporate finance, project finance and financial restructuring deals which are few of the core businesses at IFIN,” said Karl Fernandes, vice president and head of in-house practice group at legal and governance executive search firm Vahura.

The development comes at the time when Singapore government’s sovereign wealth fund GIC affiliated another clean energy company Greenko Energy Holdings is in process to acquire the entire India portfolio of SunEdison at around $270 million. 

According to the company’s annual report, IL&FS Financial Services had posted income of $2.8 billion in FY15-16 and company’s net profit stood at $280 million.

“Increasingly banks and financial institutions are choosing in house counsel who can help the organisation in the recovery of their assets since such recoveries directly add to their bottom lines," said Antony Alex, CEO of Rainmaker, a technology solutions and legal consulting firm. "Now, the GC and Legal Counsel is a key member of the CEO's core team, and is valued for their leadership on recoveries and general legal and compliance guidance.”

Last month Vinod Joseph, former legal head of Brand Capital, the ad-for-equity investment arm of Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL) had joined IDFC Alternatives, the private equity (PE) arm of IDFC Bank as general counsel.  

In April, Himanshu Dodeja left Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas to become general counsel at private equity major Blackstone.

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