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IndiGo counsel Piyush Gupta joins Kochhar as aviation comp partner

Gupta: A 'glamorous' industry
Gupta: A 'glamorous' industry
Former Indigo Airlines senior legal counsel Piyush Gupta joined Kochhar & Co Gurgaon as competition and aviation partner on 6 August. Gupta will set up the firm’s aviation law practice.

“My niche expertise would be to analyse and regulate the competition law principles within the airline industry - something specific that I am targeting,” said Gupta, who has worked in the aviation industry for the last six years.

Gupta graduated from Delhi University’s law faculty in 2003, and completed a post-graduate in competition and international trade law from the George Washington University in the US in 2005. From 2005 to 2008 he worked as an associate at Singaporean law firm Rajah & Tann, where he set up the firm’s competition practice.

In 2008 he joined Singapore Airlines Cargo as a legal counsel, and was promoted into the parent company Singapore Airlines Limited in 2009, as the youngest legal manager ever at the airlines, he said. He returned to India for personal reasons the year next and found the role of senior legal counsel at InterGlobe Aviation, which runs the IndiGo airline.

“To work in a law firm is much more rewarding, much more stimulating. But by 2008 I had four years of law firm experience. About then I wanted to move in-house so that I could gauge the requirements of an in-house counsel from the perspective of an external practitioner,” noted Gupta.

He said that his in-house stint drove home the importance of “simply put” legal briefs that could be explained by the in-house counsel to their non-legal corporate senior management, “within their comfort zone”.

He is experienced in competition law compliance and audit, aircraft leases, BFE purchase agreements, and negotiations with airport operators and regulatory agencies, according to a statement from Kochhar & Co.

The Indian aviation industry is a “glamorous” one, he said, that has been targeted by government authorities in the last one-and-a-half years, therefore garnering a lot of interest within the competition circles. “Within the market there’s obviously a scope to target that particular area.”

Kochhar & Co recently also added a partner to its banking and project finance practice in Mumbai.

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