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SIAC Mumbai founder Vivekananda N joins Allen Gledhill after 300% India-Singapore arbitration boom

Vivekananda N: Outsourcing disputes from India since 2011
Vivekananda N: Outsourcing disputes from India since 2011

Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) deputy registrar Vivekananda Neelakantan will join top Singaporean firm Allen & Gledhill as international counsel, as Singapore-bound arbitration volumes have rocketed in recent years.

In October he would be joining Allen’s arbitration team, which had poached a team from rival Rajah & Tann a year ago.

“[Singapore] is quite an exciting place to be at the moment, given the growth in the last four or five years, the number of cases in Singapore and how it's grown,” he commented on his move.

India was now the single largest source of cases for the Singaporean arbitration body, he told Legally India today.

2013 saw a record 259 cases before SIAC, of which 85 involved Indian parties. This had grown from 49 Indian cases out of 235 in 2012, 33 out of 188 in 2011, 36 out of 198 in 2010, and 24 Indian cases in 2009, he said.

The 2006 NLSIU Bangalore graduate, who had joined SIAC in 2011 after two years with Supreme Court senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan and three years with Luthra & Luthra, was responsible for setting up SIAC's Mumbai office around a year ago.

He said that while his time there had been a great experience and platform, he decided to return to private practice because SIAC and other arbitration centres were generally not meant to be long-term career paths and they also encouraged staff to return to practice as arbitrators.

Ex-White & Case associate and GLC Mumbai 2005-graduate Scheherazade Dubash, who joined SIAC in February, has now taken over Neelakantan’s role in Mumbai at SIAC as deputy head South Asia.

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