Trilegal hires JSA’s Gautam Shahi to beef up competition law practice
Gautam Shahi

Law firm Trilegal has hired Gautam Shahi, a principal associate at J Sagar Associates who specialises in competition law, as a counsel, two people familiar with the development said.

Shahi will work on both litigation as well as anti-trust advisory in mergers and acquisitions, said one of the people, who didn’t wish to be named.

Shahi is an alumnus of the Army Institute of Law and graduated in 2008. He had joined JSA in February 2012 as an associate. Previously, he had worked with Delhi-based law firm APG-SLG Law Office.

Emails, phone calls and text messages to JSA, Trilegal and Shahi remained unanswered till the time of filing this report. 

JSA, a full-service law firm founded by Jyoti Sagar in 1981, has more than 60 partners and close to 300 lawyers. Trilegal, which started at the turn of the century, has around 40 partners and 200 lawyers.

The person cited above also said that competition law has become one of the core practice areas at law firms as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has passed strong orders against some cartels and because a few big headline-grabbing deals had been stuck due to hurdles from the anti-trust watchdog.

The CCI had imposed a penalty of over Rs 6,700 crore on 11 cement companies for cartelization in September. These included market leaders UltraTech and ACC as well as the industry group Cement Manufacturers’ Association. 

In April last year, the CCI had directed LafargeHolcim, the world’s largest cement maker, to sell some of its India assets to complete the local leg of the global merger between French company Lafarge and Swiss firm Holcim. In July this year, LafargeHolcim inked a deal to sell Lafarge India Ltd to Nirma Group for around $1.4 billion

Law firms have seen a several other movements in the competition advisory area in the recent past. In the second half of May, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas partner and national practice head Nisha Kaur Uberoi decided to join AZB & Partners as co-head of competition law practice at the Zia Mody-led firm. 

In July, Cyril Shroff-founded Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas poached Khaitan & Co’s principal associate Anshuman Sakle as partner. In June, the firm had promoted Bharat Budholia, who practices competition law, as partner.

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