•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences

London arbitrators push further into India with new chapter


The London Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) set up its India chapter in Delhi yesterday, following the Delhi High Court setting up an arbitration cell last week and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) move to Delhi.

It hopes to promote alternative dispute resolution (ADR) under the chairmanship of Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) president Lalit Bhasin.

CIArb director general Michael Forbes Smith said: "India has a vast potential for different arbitration and mediation of disputes. The setting up of a local chapter of Charted Institute of Arbitrators in India is happening at a very opportune time.

"Considering the quantum of pending court cases in India, CIArb-India will make a considerable difference in expediting conflict resolution."

The Delhi High Court arbitration centre also became operational last week after instituting a core committee to provide cost effective and speedy disposal of disputes.

Its panel of arbitrators consisting of specialized technocrats and bureaucrats will receive disputes relating to corporate transactions for adjudication and will operate under supervision of the Delhi High Court.

Kachwaha & Partners arbitration partner Dharmendra Rautray is general counsel of the core committee of the Delhi High Court Arbitration Centre.

He told Legally India: "Arbitration in India has been traditionally done through appointment of ad hoc arbitrators, who mainly consisted of retired judges, but now with the coming in of LCIA and CIArb we will have institutional arbitration."

The LCIA also opened up its chapter in Delhi earlier this year, hoping to gain acceptance and improve on the speed and processes of ad hoc arbitrations.

Many lawyers, however, expect international arbitration bodies in India to face a difficult time in becoming the market standard for settling disputes out of court.

On top of that, several controversial judgements by the courts have cast doubt on India as a safe jurisdiction for arbitration. (Read Legally India's feature analysing the challenges the LCIA will face).

A large number of Indian institutional arbitrations are therefore heard in Singapore or Hong Kong, with local offices of international firms understood to be picking up significant instructions from Indian companies.

Smith told the audience at the CIArb launch that representation in India has been very important for the CIArb, adding that "the Charter needs India more than India needs the Charter".

"LCIA's office in India was the result of a growing need to establish inexpensive and expeditious arbitration centre that served a better alternative to London and Singapore," Rautray explained and said that he expected a deluge of work for arbitrating lawyers in India as a result of the LCIA and CIArb presence.

The CIArb is a UK registered not-for-profit group of arbitrators that was founded in 1915. At present, it has 12,300 members across 33 worldwide branches.

It plans to open a chapter in Singapore in January 2010.

Members of the legal fraternity expressed their support for the new chapter, with Law & Justice Minister Veerappa Moily, former additional solicitor general Dipankar Gupta, Luthra & Luthra managing partner Rajiv Luthra and others speaking at the launch.

Bhasin told Legally India: "It is the need of the hour to have professional bodies like CIArb for ADR [alternative dispute resolution] mechanisms in India."

Click to show 1 comment
at your own risk
By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.