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This article, like many others, was first published exclusively for long-term supporters, 2 hours before everyone else got to read it.

AZB competition partner Rahul Rai chooses to ‘downgrade’ from partnership to counsel position

AZB partner Rai chooses to go independent
AZB partner Rai chooses to go independent

AZB & Partners Mumbai-based competition lawyer Rahul Rai, has announced internally that he would step down from partnership and take up counsel position at the firm instead (for now).

He focuses on several facets of competition law compliance, including merger control and and anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance. He also handles some trade disputes.

We understand from our sources that in the longer term Rai is looking to transition to becoming an independent arguing counsel.

Notwithstanding that (and although we have no information whatsoever that he is looking to move laterally to another firm), there continues to be high demand for senior competition lawyers at top Indian law firms, so calls from headhunters will certainly be coming in.

Compared to the competition lateral moves between firms in recent years, competition partners going independent has been rarer. But with supreme and high court senior counsel increasingly looking to get in on the competition action, there should be high demand (and fees available) for skilled arguing counsel.

We have reached out to Rai and AZB Mumbai managing partner Zia Mody for comment.

Rai had been promoted to AZB’s partnership in May 2017.

He is a 2007 NUJS Kolkata graduate, with a 2012 LLM from Stanford Law School.

Between 2007 and 2011 he had worked at Economic Laws Practice (ELP) in Delhi. When he returned from his LLM in 2012, he joined AZB in Mumbai.

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