Farhad Sorabjee

Farhad Sorabjee, Partner, JSA

Farhad acts and appears in diverse complex multi-jurisdictional national and international commercial arbitrations, and disputes involving tortious and contractual aspects of civil law. He acts and advises investors in Investor-State bilateral treaty disputes, and was the lead advisor in simultaneous litigation & arbitration proceedings in Sri Lanka and the U.K. for a global port operator, for which the Firm was awarded the ‘Asian Counsel-Deal of the Year’, for Dispute Resolution and chairs the firm’s Disputes practice.

Farhad has advised & acted in numerous proceedings involving administrative law and constitutional challenges relating, amongst others, to excise duties and tariffs and import & export laws. He has appeared in several landmark decisions of the Supreme Court of India on issues such as the liability to pay customs duty on the import of Intellectual Property, and the applicability of excise duty provisions to immovable property.

Farhad has advised & appeared in numerous multi-pronged international trade defence investigations and proceedings involving anti-dumping and safeguard duties.

He has advised international and Indian companies on India’s erstwhile monopolistic, restrictive & unfair trade practices law and heads the firm’s Competition Law practice in Mumbai. Farhad acted in India’s first cartel activity investigation before the new Competition Commission of India and also the first substantive abuse of dominance proceeding before the commission. He advises extensively on merger control issues and filings in both global and Indian acquisitions and mergers, as well as on internal Competition Law corporate compliance.

Recent work includes successful arbitration, appeal and Supreme Court proceedings for a global port operator against a major port trust’s demands for land lease charges, acting for an European manufacturer of amusement park rides opposing claims for damages in arbitration proceedings, advising on and acting in several Bilateral Investor Treaty disputes and arbitration for investors, and advice and representation of pharmaceutical and automotive majors in diverse disputes, and in arbitration.

 

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa
  • Bombay Bar Association
  • International Bar Association

 

Publications

  • India Chapter for the European Lawyer Reference series on ‘merger control jurisdictional comparisons’ 2011, 2014, 2017
  • India chapter of Leniency Regimes published by Thompson Reuters, 2012, 2015
  • Best practices for compliance programmes, Concurrences Review N° 2-2015
  • Indian Competition Law: Entry into force of the 2007 reform
  • India chapter for ‘Dominance, 2008’ on ‘The regulation of dominant firm conduct in 36 jurisdictions worldwide’
  • India chapter on Vertical Agreements, 2014 pub. – Getting the Deal Through.

 

Education

B.A.(Econ. Hons), LLB (Bombay University)

 

Languages

  • English
  • Gujarati
  • Hindi

Before joining the firm as a partner in 2005, Farhad practiced as counsel in leading chambers in Mumbai for over 15 years

Some of the key assignments in these areas handled and being handled by Farhad include:

  • Representing the major  selling  shareholder  in  High  Court  proceedings  adopted  by  an international  cola  company  challenging  the  sale  of  controlling  shares  in  a  major  Indian bottler to a rival international cola company.
  • Acting and  appearing  on  behalf  of  EU  manufacturers  before  the  anti-dumping  authority (DGAD)  in  anti-dumping  investigations  initiated  into  the  import  of  various  grades  of synthetic rubber chemicals from the EU.
  • Representing the  official  liquidator  of  the  Bank  of  Credit  and  Commerce  International (BCCI), in Indian proceedings related to the global liquidation of the bank.
  • Acting for a global container terminal operator in multi-jurisdictional proceedings regarding the termination of concessions and sub-concessions to operate a major port in India.
  • Advising and appearing in departmental, tribunal, and Supreme Court proceedings resisting demands for excise duty on goods which came into being during the erecting of plant and machinery at  site,  and  the  constitutional  validity  of the  attempt  to  levy  excise  duty  on immovable property.
  • Advising and appearing for a German exporter in the first ever substantive anti-dumping proceeding in  India  before  the  anti-dumping  authority  in  an  investigation  initiated  into imports of acrylonitrile butadiene rubber from Germany.
  • Acting on behalf of a major Bollywood film production company in the first cartel investigation filed by cinema multiplex owners before the Competition Commission of India.
  • Advising and appearing for the complainant in a complaint before the National Consumer Redressal Commission, New Delhi against Indian Airlines and the AAI arising out of the crash of an Indian Airlines aircraft at Aurangabad.
  • Acting on behalf of the complainant, a global travel company in the first substantive abuse of dominance complaint before the Competition Commission of India. The complaint involves an alleged monopsonistic abuse by a government ministry resulting in a barrier to entry into the visa processing services market.
  • Advising a global container terminal operator in multi-pronged proceedings in Sri Lanka and handling of London arbitration processes. The eventual settlement of the  matter  was related  to  the  path-breaking  refusal  of  the  United  States  to  permit  a  sovereign  A.E. company  to  operate  terminals  at  U.S.  ports due  to  security  concerns. (Asian- Counsel ‘Deal of The Year’ For Dispute Resolution)
  • Representing a leading international shipping company in Arbitration proceedings, Umpire’s proceedings and High Court and Supreme Court proceedings relating to claims for damages in tort, contract, and economic tort for alleged wrongful termination of a shipping agency.
  • Representing several multinational oil-exploration  companies  in  departmental,  tribunal, and  High  Court  proceedings  relating  to  the  demands  for  payment  of  customs  duty  on offshore rigs and spares for rigs.
  • Acting and appearing in multi-pronged court and tribunal proceedings opposing the imposition of anti-dumping duty on imported Polyester Staple Fibre (PSF)
  • Advising and appearing in Supreme Court, tribunal and departmental proceedings opposing the levy of customs duty on the value of Software Reproduction Licence Fees provided for in an international contract.
  • Advising and appearing for  the  foreign  exporter  in  proceedings  before  the  anti-dumping authority, the Tribunal, and the Delhi High Court in anti-dumping investigations initiated into the import of Black and White Photographic Paper from France.
  • Advising and acting in High Court proceedings before the Special Court (Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities) Act, 1992 relating to, inter alia, the broker’s liability for physical  delivery,  the  status  of  Bank  Receipts  and  Delivery  Notes  and  the  point  of passing of the property.