Mr. Harman Singh Sandhu is a Partner in the Firm's Competition Law Practice. Harman has considerable experience in advising Indian and foreign companies in relation to a whole range of competition issues (both on the advisory side and in proceedings before the Competition Commission of India) in a variety of sectors including telecom, railways, steel, aviation, banking, natural resources (oil, coal, iron ore, etc.), construction, cement, tyres, fibres, and chemicals.
Harman has been involved in defending large multinational companies in high profile cartel enforcement cases in India, including in the cement and tyre industries. Harman advised on the seminal CCI v. SAIL case, the first case under the Competition Act to be decided by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
He has successfully defended Apollo Tyres Limited in the tyre cartelisation case, Coal India on an abuse of dominance allegation and cartel cases in relation to procurement of explosives, Vodafone India Limited in the anti-competitive tie-in in a case involving the sale of Apple iPhones, represented ACC Limited (a Holcim group company) in the cement cartel case, and played an instrumental role in obtaining CCI approval in respect of the merger of Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group. He has advised and secured unconditional merger control clearances for Nippon Steel Corporation in relation to its proposed merger with Sumitomo Metal Industries, Nestlé’s acquisition of Pfizer’s nutrition business and Mitsui’s acquisition of stake in a pharmaceuticals company in India – the first merger control clearance in the pharmaceuticals sector. Among his recent advisories, Harman has represented the state-owned oil marketing companies on the important litigation surrounding regulatory overlaps between the CCI and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board.
“Harman Sandhu is identified by market sources as a promising associate. He assisted Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group with the form II clearance for their USD35 billion merger,” according to Chambers and Partners Rankings 2015. Harman is the only Indian associate who has been acknowledged in Global Competition Review's Who's Who Legal of Competition Lawyers for five consecutive years (2011-15). Harman has also been recognised as an “Associate to Watch” by Chambers Asia Pacific Guide for the last 2 years and was recently described as “fabulous, highly intelligent and someone who provides great inputs on all his matters – I have great respect for him” by Chambers Global Guide 2013.
Harman has co-authored leading guides on the law of Dominance and Merger Control in India in the Getting the Deal Through series, which are key global reference materials for these areas of law.
Before joining the firm, Harman worked with the Office of Communications (UK) and the Directorate General of Competition in the European Commission - Cartels division (Belgium), focusing on competition law issues.
Harman holds an LL.B. from M. D. University and completed his LL.M. in Competition Law from King's College London under the supervision of Professor Richard Whish, a world renowned competition law professor.