Essaji Vahanvati graduated with a B.A. LLB. (Hons.) degree from the Government Law College, Mumbai. He started his career in AZB & Partners (erstwhile CZB & Partners) directly after graduation, in 2003. Essaji was elevated to partner in 2009 and continued with AZB until 2015. Since then, Essaji was initially running his own independent practice and is now the Founding Partner of Ramanathan & Vahanvati, a boutique law firm providing M&A and corporate advisory services.
At AZB, Essaji’s focus was private equity and mergers and acquisitions (with a special focus on public market transactions, takeover offers and delisting). Essaji has worked for marquee private equity firms including Blackstone, Warburg Pincus, Temasek, KKR, CVCI and Apax. During his time with AZB, he has also led commercial litigation and arbitrations, as well as strategic and regulatory advice for various banks including, notably, HSBC and HDFC Bank. He also handled complex mergers and demergers.
After AZB, Essaji has worked extensively on distressed debt, restructurings and litigation (including the Supreme Court of India, Delhi High Court, Mumbai High Court, Chennai High Court and several NCLTs and DRTs).
At Ramanathan & Vahanvati, in addition to Mergers & Acquisitions, Essaji has also focused on providing advice to start-up founders to assist them along their journeys. His clients include several private equity funds, startups, corporates and family offices.
Essaji also serves as an independent director on the Board of Directors of Gland Pharma Limited (a listed company), Frontizo Business Services Private Limited and Appario Retail Private Limited (a joint venture between the Patni group and Amazon).
Essaji also runs the Dr. Goolam E. Vahanvati Scholarship Fund, a non-profit which provides scholarships to needy law students across India.
Essaji has been recognized as a leading individual by Chambers & Partners and the RSGLaw Firm Report for India.