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Simmons & Simmons

Most innovative law firms 2016: Innovation in speed and process

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Total innovation score26
Originality9
Rationale9
Impact8
DescriptionThe Indian tax authorities' minimum alternative taxation (MAT) on foreign investors has been an ongoing political controversy. The usual process for appeal could take decades, with a low prospect of success. Simmons & Simmons instructed leading Indian lawyer Harish Salve so that litigation could be run from London, then intervened in an appeal to create a test case to resolve the point, bringing judicial review proceedings directly before the Mumbai High Court. Overall, the strategy reduced the litigation timetable from 20 years to less than one, and the controversy has been resolved with foreign investors no longer obliged to pay the tax. Commended: Nick Skerrett.