Exclusive: Amarchand Mangaldas Delhi managing partner Shardul Shroff will start a separate company that will offer virtual international arbitration services from India, and includes its own arbitration rules and state-of-the-art technology.
The Universal Virtual Arbitration Centre (UVAC) for domestic arbitrations, and the First Universal Virtual International Arbitration Centre (FUVIAC) targeting international arbitrations, will be launched in the coming months as a standalone company, after Shroff had started planning for it almost seven years ago.
Shroff said: “We effectively import international arbitration back to India. What we’ve lost to other countries, we can actually bring back and we don’t have to be driven all over the world.”
“It would offer a very economical, very efficient model where literally you can do arbitration from anywhere in the world, without having to travel, without hotel costs. We can eliminate all that cost.”
UVAC and FUVIAC already have their own patented rules, similar to the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the ICC International Court of Arbitration, or the London Centre of International Arbitration (LCIA).
To create the rules, he said, they were assisted by two external arbitration lawyers and former Amarchand senior partner and now senior counsel Ciccu Mukhopadhaya.
Shroff told Legally India that the company would be “more of a utility” and a separate entity from Amarchand, in which he would be happy to even give stakes to law firms otherwise competing with Amarchand. “It’s not an Amarchand or only-for-me-type of story.”
Main centres had already been established in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, said Shroff, with centres also being set up Ahmedabad and Chennai.
Get tomorrow’s (Friday 16 February) copy of Mint for an exclusive in-depth interview with Cyril and Shardul Shroff, discussing Amarchand 3.0, the recent internal restructuring and the future.