Samir Gandhi is “a star performer” in the competition market who stands out for his “profound understanding of the law”.
Samir R Gandhi heads the competition practice at AZB & Partners and deals with a broad range of competition law and policy issues.
Samir advises on all areas of competition law and policy and has previously served as counsel to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in major litigation, including in CCI v SAIL, the first substantive competition law case decided by the Indian Supreme Court. He advises clients, across several sectors including automobiles, telecoms, healthcare, media and technology in behavioural cases before the CCI and the appellate courts, as well as the High Courts in writ. Most recent engagements include successfully challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Competition Act for Tata Motors before the Delhi High Court; defending Google, ABB Ltd, Warner Bros, Max Hospitals, Esaote SPA, Roche India, Mondelez India and Indus Towers in abuse of dominance cases; and successfully defending GSK India in a cartel case before the Supreme Court of India.
Samir also represents several clients in leniency-related proceedings before the CCI and various writ courts. Samir is a special invitee of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to the competition law review committee constituted in 2018 to review the need for amendments to the Competition Act. The firm has one of the top merger control practices in India and notable work includes acting for GSK in the acquisition of Pfizer’s OTC business; Reliance Industries in its acquisition of Den & Hathaway; SoftBank in its investment in Delhivery and Walt Disney in its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The firm also advised Reliance Industries in its acquisition of Alok Industries under India's new bankruptcy law.
Samir routinely advises companies on their competition compliance programmes, including dawn raid protocol and conducting internal audits. He is actively involved in competition policy issues and was part of the Confederation of Indian Industry delegation that appeared before the Parliamentary standing committee on finance on the proposed amendments to the Competition Act. He is involved with the work of the ICN as a non-governmental adviser and was also involved in formulating a framework competition policy for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He is a member of the antitrust committee of the International Bar Association, where he serves as the journal editor, and a member of the special operations group of the section on antitrust law of the American Bar Association.
Samir is listed as a leading competition lawyer in India and has been identified by Chambers and Partners as being a "star individual" for competition law in India in 2017 and 2018. Samir is a graduate of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore and the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a Commonwealth scholar and Mahindra Trust fellow. He was a visiting fellow at Columbia Law School and is admitted to practise in India.
The competition practice at AZB & Partners comprises of 23 lawyers, three partners and an of counsel and is spread across the National Capital Region, New Delhi (Noida and Gurgaon), Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune. It has consistently been recognised as a "band 1" firm by Chambers and Partners.