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Breaking: Harish Salve to join English bar & London’s Blackstone Chambers

Barrister-to-be Salve (photo via moneycontrol.com)
Barrister-to-be Salve (photo via moneycontrol.com)

Senior advocate Harish Salve is in the process of seeking admission at the English bar and will join top English barristers’ set Blackstone Chambers as a tenant next week, focusing on international arbitration.

Salve, who had first worked with Blackstone four years ago as arguing counsel in the Essar Oil insurance arbitration – one of India’s largest ever domestic arbitrations – is understood to have used Blackstone as a base for around 18 months when working in London on international arbitrations.

He will become a full member of the set in London but will continue to spend the majority of his time in Delhi.

Salve is known as one of India’s highest paid and most in-demand Supreme Court senior counsel, particularly in tax matters where he won the $2bn Vodafone legal battle in the apex court last year. He was also solicitor general between 1999 and 2002 and is a qualified chartered accountant (CA).

It is understood that Salve is currently in the process of being called to the English bar, which has traditionally been a split profession where barristers argue in court and solicitors deal directly with clients.

However, the distinction between the two sides of the profession has reduced with recent years’ reforms, in that solicitors can now also enjoy rights of audience before higher courts, and barristers can approach clients directly in some cases.

Barristers who are part of a chambers, such as Blackstone, remain sole practitioners but share office rents and administrative and clerical overheads between each other, while also cooperating for business development and strategic purposes.

Blackstone has 88 barristers and is one of London’s top commercial barristers chambers.

Blackstone’s co-head of chambers Anthony Peto QC commented: “We are delighted to welcome Harish Salve as a fellow member of chambers and look forward to working even more closely with him.”

Blackstone senior clerk Gary Oliver added: “Our international focus is not limited to one specific region. Blackstone has a significant presence in a number of areas across the Middle East, Far East, Caribbean and Europe. We have excellent relations with many clients in India and we are very fortunate with the special relationship we have forged with Harish Salve.”

Salve was not reachable for comment at the time of going to press.

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