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Future Leaders

Future Leaders

Future Leader

WWL Ranking: Future Leader

WWL says

Rahul Rai is lauded by sources as "a rising star" and "a talented and knowledgeable lawyer who is easy to work with". He also brings "commercial acumen, pragmatism and responsiveness" to his work.


Rahul Rai has been practising competition law for close to 12 years and is one of the most experienced members of the Indian competition law bar. His practice spans all areas of competition enforcement. 

In almost 12 years of practice, Rahul has advised clients on a number of global transactions as well as complex cartel investigations and abuse of dominance matters across various industries. In the run-up to the implementation of the Indian competition law, Rahul worked with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on its advocacy initiatives and was part of the working group responsible for formulating the CCI’s merger control regulations. He has also represented the CCI in its major litigations at various courts and tribunals, including the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT now National Company Law Appellate Tribunal - NCLAT), the Delhi High Court (DHC) and the Supreme Court of India (Supreme Court). Rahul has been involved in formulating competition policy for sovereign governments and was part of the team engaged to review and redraft competition law for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He advises private companies from a wide range of sectors, including airlines, telecommunications, media and entertainment, internet and internet-enabled services, pharmaceuticals, automobile, cement, steel and tyres in proceedings before the CCI.

Rahul regularly writes on trade and competition law related issues for leading global journals, Indian business dailies and periodicals. He has also been invited to give lectures on trade and competition law, including at National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Rahul earned his BA LLB with honours at NUJS in India in 2007 and has completed his LLM in international economic law, business and policy from Stanford Law School in 2012. Rahul has been recognised as a “world-leading competition future leader” for competition by Who’s Who Legal and has also been featured by Global Competition Review in 2018.

Rahul has earned high praise from clients for his role in resolving high-stakes competition matters, including most recently: securing unconditional approval for Reliance Industries Limited’s acquisition of Den Networks, negotiating and securing CCI approval on behalf of Syngenta AG on their sale to ChemChina; leading efforts to secure CCI approval for Dell Technologies’ US$67 billion acquisition of EMC Corporation; leading efforts to secure CCI approval for Tata Steel Ltd’s US$5.2 billion acquisition of Bhushan Steel Ltd; leading efforts to secure CCI approval for Abbott Inc’s acquisition of St Jude Medical; securing dismissal of CCI’s appeal against GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd before the Supreme Court in a cartel case; securing dismissal of cartel allegations against Warner Bros before the CCI and securing dismissal of abuse of dominance allegations against UFO Moviez before the CCI.

He is currently representing Hoffman La Roche, Genentech Inc and Roche India in a writ challenge to the CCI’s decision directing an inquiry for abuse of dominance, before the DHC; Mercedes Benz India Pvt Ltd in a special leave petition challenging the constitutional vires of certain provisions of the Competition Act in the context of CCI’s decision levying penalty for abuse of dominance and Grasim Industries Limited in an appeal against the CCI’s order imposing penalty for bid rigging. 

Rahul's accolades include being recognised by Global Competition Review and Who’s Who Legal as a competition “future leader” in 2018 and 2019, named winner of a 2019 International Advisory Experts Award in Competition Law in India and recognised as a “rising star” in competition and antitrust law by Expert Guides from Euromoney (2018).

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