Harman Singh Sandhu
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas
Harman Singh Sandhu is a Partner in the Firm’s Competition Law Practice, involved with competition law since its inception in India.
Harman has extensive experience in advising Indian and foreign companies in relation to a whole range of competition issues (both advisory and proceedings before the Competition Commission of India (CCI)), the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), the High Courts, and the Supreme Court of India (Supreme Court)). His experience spans a variety of sectors including telecoms, railways, steel, aviation, information technology, banking, natural resources (oil, coal, iron ore, etc.), petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, agro-chemicals, paper, construction, cement, tyres, mineral processing equipment, digital markets (hospitality), and fibres.
His prominent clients include ACC, Ambuja Cements, Nutrien Inc, Linde AG., Alstom, Bayer/Monsanto, Baring Private Equity Asia, Trident Industries, Coal India, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel, Asian Paints and Oravel Stays (OYO).
Harman has been involved in defending large multinational companies in high profile cartel enforcement cases and leniency matters, in the cement and tyre industries amongst others. Harman advised on the seminal CCI v. SAIL case, the first case under the Competition Act to be decided by the Supreme Court. He has successfully defended Apollo Tyres in the tyre cartelisation case, Tata Chemicals in the soda ash cartelization matter, and Visaka Industries in relation to alleged cartelization in the asbestos sheets sector. He has acted for ACC in the cement cartel case, and for ACC and Ambuja Cements in relation to alleged bid rigging conduct.
Harman has also represented clients in several abuse of dominance cases. He has acted for Coal India (a state-owned enterprise) on an abuse of dominance allegation on procurement of explosives, and is currently representing Coal India in challenging abuse of dominance findings before the Supreme Court and the NCLAT. Harman also represents Nissan Motors and obtained a stay from the Supreme Court on the Competition Appellate Tribunal’s order against Nissan and other car manufacturers. He also acted for Vodafone India in the anti-competitive tie-in case involving the sale of Apple iPhones. Harman successfully defended the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) against abuse of dominance allegations by the Indian National Ship Owner’s Association for imposing unfair terms and conditions in its vessel hire agreements. Harman also successfully defended OYO (leading global hotel chain) against abuse of dominance allegations relating to unfair terms and conditions in its contractual arrangements, and successfully challenged CCI’s interim directions against OYO (a first, to the best of our knowledge), before the Gujarat High Court. He is also acting for Asian Paints with respect to allegations of abuse of dominance before the CCI.
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 expert.