February 18, 2019:
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.
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 LLMin 2012, he joined AZB in Mumbai.