Aparna is a merger control specialist and has been involved in a large number of high profile merger control matters including Sony/Zee (largest deal in the media and entertainment sector in India, which was granted a Phase I approval subject to certain modifications, recognized as deal of the year 2022 by the Indian Business Law Journal), ChrysCapital/HDFC Credila (largest private equity buyout in the financial services sector in India), PayU/BillDesk (largest deal in the digital payments market in India, first and the only one to be approved unconditionally even after a show-cause notice, nominated at the Global Competition Review Awards 2023), Advent/Suven Pharmaceuticals (one of the largest deals in the Indian pharmaceutical sector), ADIA/IIFL Home (largest equity investment in housing finance segment in India), ZF/WABCO (winning matter at the Global Competition Review Awards, 2021), Reliance Retail’s acquisition of the Future Group (largest deal involving the brick and mortar retail sector), ChrysCapital/Intas (first ever remedy decision on common minority shareholding issues and private equity), Bayer/Monsanto (winning matter at the Global Competition Review Awards, 2019), KKR/J.B. Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Limited (recognized as the Asia Pacific ‘Deal of the Year’ at Private Equity International Awards, 2020), L&T/Schneider (first ever competitor deal involving behavioural remedies in relation to competitors), GE/Alstom, PVR/DT Cinemas (first deal involving hybrid remedies), Zuari Fertilizers and Chemicals/Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers (which involved competing bids by prospective buyers), Capgemini/iGate, Bharti/Walmart, GE/Thermo Fisher, HP/Samsung and Videocon d2H/Dish (first deal involving consumer specific behavioral commitment).
Aparna led the competition aspect of the insolvency and acquisition of Monnet Ispat & Energy Limited by a consortium comprising of AION and JSW Steel Limited. In May 2019, the deal won the Innovation in Legal Expertise Award of the Year at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Asia-Pacific, 2019.
Aparna has a strong reputation for responsiveness, solution-orientedness, and an innate understanding of how the regulator thinks. She is well regarded for her strong command over nuances of the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) merger process and her practical, well-considered advice. Aparna has also played an important role in the finalisation of the Indian merger control regime in 2011, working closely with the Government of India and the CCI in relation to the draft Combination Regulations and associated exemption measures. She was involved in the revision of the merger review process in light of insolvency law. Aparna has also been leading in the organisation of advocacy roadshows across India. Aparna assisted the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Regulatory Affairs Committee in making representations to the CCI in relation to proposed amendments to the Combination Regulations, which could impact the private equity industry.
Aparna has also received the BW Legal World “Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers and Legal Influencers Awards 2021”. Aparna has also been featured in the coveted list of Asian Legal Business’ “Rising Stars 2021” in India and the “Forbes India Legal Powerlist” as one of India’s Top 100 Lawyers for 2021 and 2022.
Aparna has been recognised for her professional achievements by Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists based on international peer review, as a “Global Leader” in 2022 & 2021 (Who’s Who Legal –Global Guides, Asia Pacific) and as “Most Highly Regarded Partner” from 2018 to 2020 (Who’s Who Legal Future Leaders, Asia Pacific). According to interviewees, who praise her work on merger control cases, Aparna is regarded as “a well-established merger control specialist who is regularly sought after for her experience in high-profile cases.” She has also been recognised as a leading practitioner by the Expert Guides list for Competition and Antitrust, 2018-2021.
She is also ranked in Competition & Antitrust by Chambers & Partners, Global and Asia-Pacific for 2023, 2022 and 2021. She is praised as a lawyer who “has great analytical and drafting skills and is always available, helping to guide alternative approaches to collating information sought by the CCI” and is hailed as “excellent at regulatory issues, very efficient and very proactive” by clients.
According to Chambers & Partners 2019, Aparna has been praised as a partner who is “able to sift through a lot of information without having to ask for instructions on every piece” and who can maintain “great transparency in an area with lot of confidentiality, making the business teams very comfortable”.
In 2023 and 2022, Aparna has been recognised as a “Leading Lawyer” by Legal Era. In 2021, Aparna has also received the Legal Era “40 Under 40 Rising Star Awards 2021”, where she was recognised for her “razor-sharp technical abilities”, and was commended for being “extremely hard-working, industrious, solution-oriented and always available“.
Aparna has been recognised in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 for her “industry knowledge and solution-oriented approach”. Legal 500 in 2021 mentions Aparna as “a very experienced competition lawyer, who has very good contacts to the authorities and strongly argues for the client’s position”.
Aparna has co-authored several competition law publications, including the India chapter of the Private Equity Antitrust Handbook published by the American Bar Association. She has also co-authored “Navigating through Indian Merger Control, Trends and Challenges” published in USIBC Legal, and the India chapter of the Antitrust Chronicle – Antitrust Developments in Asia Pacific (published by the Competition Policy International). She has also co-authored the “Merger Control – India Chapter”, Chambers from 2018 – 2022 and the GCR “Guide to Merger Remedies”. She also assists in teaching a diploma course in competition law at ILS Law College, Pune and teaches merger control at O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat.
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