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Ex-CCI chief KK Sharma sets up competition law boutique

KK Sharma: 'Peace time' lawyer
KK Sharma: 'Peace time' lawyer

Exclusive: Former Competition Commission of India (CCI) acting director general KK Sharma has started up a competition law boutique firm headquartered in Delhi, aiming to counsel law firms and companies in competition law.

Sharma had been at the CCI for five-and-a-half years, where he left in September 2011 to become income tax commissioner in Kochi, retiring several months ago.

“I’ve had this idea in my mind for a while, especially because of the fact that competition law development has not been up to the level it should be,” he explained about his decision to set up KK Sharma Law Offices.

The initial aim would be to advise law firms on the more complicated competition cases to act as a “second opinion”, as well as assist several corporates that have expressed interest for advice alongside their existing law firm advisers.

He said he would aim “mentor the law firms” to sensitive them and clients to the potential threats of competition law in “peace time so they don’t have to wait for notice of the CCI”.

“It is a super-specialised model,” conceded Sharma, “but in due course I see expansion in to other areas such as tax, although the core competence is competition law.”

“At the time I’m happy being at the cutting edge of competition law.”

He said that he was planning to hire several associates for the firm’s head office in South Delhi’s Asian Games village, which has space for around 20. He said he also hoped to open up in Mumbai soon and was finalising a tie-up with a competition law expert abroad.

Sharma entered the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) in 1987, later qualified as a lawyer and was also a member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).

Vinod Dhall, also a former acting chairman of the CCI, set up Dhall Law Chambers in 2008, which is now closely allied to UK magic circle firm Linklaters.

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