This article is written by Aarlin Moncy, from HILSR, School of Law, Jamia Hamdard. This article will give you an idea about competition law, its scope, and how much competition lawyers get paid in India.
What is Competition law
Before joining the law school, I never came across this term or field of law particularly and the reason behind this is, back then while I was in High school, competition law was in the initial stage and was emerging as a new field of law.
Yes, competition law is comparatively a new law in India as this law came into force on 31st March 2003, and later was amended in 2007 and 2009. Earlier, we had the MRTP act, as an alternative for Competition law. After India’s brave decision of shifting from a closed economy to an open economy, which is also known as LPG or Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation which took place in 1991, the Indian government felt that MRTP Act, was incapable to maintain and promote a free and fair competition inside India and there was a need for a reformation in the existing laws pertaining to competition law.
Hence, after a long wait, the people of India got this law. Competition law’s purpose or objective is to promote free and fair competition in India. This law is for both consumers as well as for all businesses to protect them all from unfair trade practices which leads to adverse effects on the economy.
Is the demand high for this field in India
Simple answer, Yes.
This field is booming and is an emerging field not just in India but globally. Sadly, there are no such courses either grad. or post-grad. which particularly focuses on Competition law. This created a gap in the legal education that had to be filled, and many online education platforms saw this as an opportunity and that’s why today we have multiple courses on Competition law. This is also one of the reasons why students used to go.
Since, the demand for this field has increased in India, owing to the change in the law as well as the making the penalties regarding anti-competitive practices by enterprises a lot more strict than anytime before.
All the businesses that’s why consult competition lawyers or a law firm’s team and seek their legal advice relating to such agreements and transactions between other enterprises, whether it was anti-competitive in nature or not. Competition law in India aims to promote free and fair business and trade in the Indian market which will help our economy to rise more. The free and fair competition encourages all the businesses to compete with each other fairly and this results in the production of quality products/services for the population at large. This will encourage foreign investors to invest in India as well as potential international customers to buy more and will help our economy to grow more, which will positively change the standard of living of all the Indians if such free and fair trade is practiced and promoted.
What’s the pay scale
Why this field interests some students and professionals is majorly because of the pay scale. The pay scale in this field is comparatively the highest as compared to any other field of law at least if compared in the initial years. The minimum package one can expect is anywhere near 8Lacs -10Lacs per annum and this is for freshers. Professionals with prior experience can expect a package anywhere near 15 – 20Lacs or even more at Tier 1,2,3 law firms.
One can gain knowledge as well as skills in this field by working/interning under competition lawyers or a law firm’s competition law department/team. One can enroll in competition law courses for better understanding because, in India, there are very less law schools that take this field seriously. This field has a great potential to accommodate freshers in the long run.
How to become a competition lawyer in India
Well, to become a competition lawyer in India, it is mandatory to have a law degree either a 3 years LLB degree or a 5 years integrated degree, after that, an individual has to enroll and pass the Bar to have an advocate’s license. Moreover, to work in this field, an individual must have a basic knowledge about economics, then only an individual can analyse the market and the factors which affect the market day-to-day.
If a person has an interest in economics and has done a good amount of internships focusing on this field or have done courses focusing on competition or have multiple publications on this topic or have done moots on competition, these are some brownie points in the eyes of a recruiter.
Every recruiter wants the potential employee to have prior knowledge or experience in any field, the best way to gain prior skills is through internships! If you want to join a competition law team of any top law firm, then all the above-mentioned points should be duly noted and followed.
What are the best places to work and intern in India
The best places to intern or work is of course:
- The Competition Commission of India- This is the competent authority/ regulatory body under the Competition Act. Law students can go as interns here during any month. The best way to apply for an internship is to follow the internship guidelines mentioned on the website of CCI.
- The second best place for an internship or work would be law firms. From tier 1 to 3 law firms have dedicated teams focusing on each field and many law firms now have their competition law team. Freshers, as well as professionals with prior experience, should apply at these law firms: L&L, Trilegal, Khaitan & co., CAM, SAM, JSA as these are some top law firms having the best competition lawyers as well as paying a hefty amount to their lawyers.
Hence, to conclude the entire article here, then- Competition lawyers everywhere earn more as compared to any other field of law, the reason is that these lawyers deal and handle top enterprises and their cases pertaining to anti-competitive allegations. Now, these cases/ disputes are mostly high stake matters dealing with hefty amounts of money. This field of law directly studies and analyses the market and whatever these enterprises are being advised by the competition lawyers will have a direct impact on the market. This is one of the reasons why competition lawyers are both in demand as well as why they are paid so much.
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