Ranked in Band 4, Chambers & Partners, Corporate / M&A (Global), 2022

Gaurav Desai


New Delhi | +91 11 4260 3045 | gaurav.desai@touchstonepartners.com

Gaurav is a qualified lawyer and company secretary. After completing his LL.M. from King’s College, London, Gaurav joined the firm in 2006. Gaurav has been involved in advising a number of international clients, including a leading sovereign wealth fund, BP, Tencent and General Dynamics on a range of corporate matters.

Gaurav also regularly advises clients on a range of antitrust matters. His clients include CDPQ, Siemens, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Porsche. He has been involved in the filing of the country’s first two “long form” notifications and one of the first “green channel” notifications with the Competition Commission of India.

Select Corporate / M&A Experience:

  • Advised a leading GCC Sovereign Wealth Fund on its acquisition of a 10% stake in HDFC Capital Advisors Limited from HDFC Limited.
  • Advised HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited from an antitrust perspective in relation to its obtaining merger control clearance in relation to its acquisition of Exide Life Insurance Company Limited.
  • Advised Huntsman on the sale of its India Based DIY Consumer Adhesives Business to Pidilite Industries for USD 285 million.
  • Advised BP on its investment of USD 1 billion in a fuels and mobility joint venture with Reliance Industries.
  • Advised General Dynamics on the divestment of its global satellite communications and antenna business unit, including the Indian business, to Communications & Power Industries LLC.
  • Advised London Stock Exchange on its acquisition of the Refinitiv business, from Thomson Reuters and a consortium of investors led by Blackstone and including GIC and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
  • Advised Mitsubishi Corporation on its acquisition of a minority stake in Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte. Ltd.
  • Advised Novartis AG on the Indian legal and regulatory aspects in connection with the acquisition / sale of various businesses and a consumer health joint venture with GSK.
  • Advised Boehringer Ingelheim on its acquisition of the animal health business of Sanofi and the sale of its consumer health care business to Sanofi.
  • Advised Saudi Basic Industries Corporation on its acquisition of a 49% stake in a petrochemicals marketing joint venture held by the Indian joint venture partners.

Select Private Equity / Venture Capital Experience:

  • Advised Tencent on several transactions, including its investments in Flipkart, Ola, Policy Bazaar, Gaana, Hike, NewsDog, PocketFM and Cars24.
  • Advised a leading GCC sovereign wealth fund and TPG on their investment in UPL Corporation.
  • Advised Sailing Capital and China-Eurasian Economic Co-operation Fund L.P on its acquisition of a minority stake in Ola Cabs.
  • Advised the Carlyle Group on its acquisition of Atotech B.V. from Total.
  • Advised Cornell Capital in connection with its investment in Lorom Holding Co.

Select Competition / Antitrust Experience:

  • Advised and obtained merger control clearance for Unifeeder, a subsidiary of DP World, in relation to its acquisition of certain entities of the Transworld group.
  • Advising a leading GCC sovereign wealth fund in the first major overseas listing of an Indian company, ReNew Power, via the SPAC route, involving an enterprise value of US$8 billion.
  • Advised a leading GCC sovereign wealth fund in relation to its aborted investment in an Indian airports operator. This was amongst the first green channel filings in India.
  • Advised the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in connection with a proposed investment in the IT sector.
  • Advised Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec with respect to the proposed sale of its entire stake in Bombardier Transportation (Investment) UK Limited to Alstom S.A., and the subsequent acquisition of a minority stake in Alstom S.A.
  • Advised Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV for its acquisition of SABMiller plc.
  • Advised HDFC Limited in connection with its acquisition of Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company and the subsequent merger of Apollo Munich into HDFC Ergo.
  • Advised Siemens AG in connection with its aborted global strategic combination of Alstom SA and Siemens AG’s mobility business.
  • Advised Tencent in connection with its investment in Flipkart and in Ola Cabs.
  • Advised a leading global auto-parts company in relation to an ongoing cartel investigation.
  • Conducted an extensive antitrust compliance audit into a leading global cement company’s Indian subsidiaries and suggested mitigating steps.
  • Advised leniency applicants in various sectors, including beer, conveyor belts and railways.
  • Advised 3M Company on a range of competition / antitrust matters.

Select Investment Platforms and Funds Experience:

  • Advised a leading GCC sovereign wealth fund on its USD 500 million investment in Kotak India’s Commercial Real Estate Fund (IFSC) in GIFT city.
  • Advised a leading GCC sovereign wealth fund in relation to its USD 1.2 billion investment in HDFC’s third low cost housing fund, the HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate Fund-3 (H-CARE-3).
  • Advised a leading GCC sovereign wealth fund in connection with its investments in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund’s Master Fund and the investment management entity.
  • Advised ROADIS, the roads platform owned by PSP Investment, one of the largest Canadian pension fund managers, on the establishment of its investment platform with NIIF for investments in the roads and highways sector.
  • Advised a leading GCC sovereign wealth fund in connection with its investment in a pre-stress and distressed assets fund managed by Kotak Investment Advisors.


  • S. P. College, Pune University (Bachelor of Commerce, First Class with Distinction), 2001
  • Indian Law Society’s Law College, Pune University, (Bachelor of Laws, First Class), 2005
  • King’s College London, UK (Master of Laws with Merit in Commercial and Corporate Law), 2006

Professional Qualifications

  • Admitted to the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, 2005
  • Associate Member, Institute of Company Secretaries of India

Foreign Direct Investment from China’ (Lexology, 22 July 2020)
Competition (private company acquisitions) Q&A: India’ (2020) | Practical Law

Anti-corruption (private company acquisitions) Q&A: India’ (2020) | Practical Law

Anti-corruption (joint ventures) Q&A: India’ (2020) | Practical Law

Employees Q&A: India’ (2020) | Practical Law

Consideration and acquisition finance Q&A: India’ (2020) | Practical Law

Acquisition structures Q&A: India’ (2020) | Practical Law

Preliminary agreements Q&A: India’ (2020) | Practical Law

Pensions issues in cross-border acquisitions Q&A: India’ (2020) | Practical Law

Asset acquisition documents Q&A: India’ (2020) | Practical Law


  • Ranked in Band 4, Chambers & Partners, Corporate / M&A (Global), 2022
    “Gaurav Desai in New Delhi is regarded as “an excellent M&A lawyer,” by market sources. He has experience acting on a variety of different corporate deals from acquisitions to divestment operations.”
  • Recognised as a “Future Leader” in the competition / antitrust field for India by Who’s Who Legal 2019.