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Khaitan starts competition practice with JSA partner hire


Khaitan & Co is the latest firm in Delhi to start a competition law practice with the hire of J Sagar Associates (JSA) competition law and policy head Manas Chaudhuri as a partner, who was previously also additional registrar of the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Chaudhuri said: "Any law firm that has a national practice will have to have a competition practice in place. Without that a foreign client will not be interested in investing because they are aware of this law."

Chaudhuri worked with JSA from October 2006 and joined Khaitan & Co on 1 December.

"I need to understand the business model of this law firm first and I have been here for only a few hours," he told Legally India when asked about his plans at Khaitan & Co.

"The basics are that you have to have coordination between different departments and partners because competition law covers the entire gamut of industry and is not a sector specific law."

Prior to joining JSA Chaudhuri was an additional registrar of the CCI for three years, before which he was a joint director legal in the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) commission.

Chaudhuri started his legal career with West Bengal state judicial service as a civil judge in 1986 and worked as a legal advisor to the Tea Board of India for 10 years.

He said that competition law would be a vital area of law in India's future.

"The time is ripe for proper implementation and it is for the enforcement officials to decide the future course of development of the law," he said but added: "It is a process which we all need to understand and we can’t be oblivious of the fact that this law is now the law of the land."

Chaudhuri noted that to understand competition law it was important to understand both microeconomics and law at the same time. Industry knowledge was therefore vital for the CCI, which had engaged top institutes in India to create market studies and in that we were funded by the world bank.

JSA was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

Legally India had earlier reported the hire of former CCI registrar M M Sharma by Vaish Associates in August and Amarchand Mangaldas Delhi hiring non-Indian qualified competition law expert Paku Khan in November.

Photo by Mike Fleming

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