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29 April 2014

Foreign lawyers should be allowed to work on arbitrations in India to make domestic arbitration more attractive and to unburden the courts said Supreme Court justices SS Nijjar and PC Ghose and retired judge AK Ganguly, reported Kolkata paper The Telegraph.

Nijjar said at the seminar by the Indian Council of Arbitration that “we need to open up. Let’s come up with a comprehensive act (and become) an arbitration-friendly nation and judiciary”, adding that the process must be liberalised and foreign lawyers should be allowed to participate.

Ganguly added “It is natural that foreign companies will depend on foreign lawyers. If we want the arbitration process to become popular in India, we need to provide a level playing field to foreign lawyers. This will improve the legal system in India.”

Foreign lawyers are currently banned from practising in Indian courts or running offices here.

21 April 2014

A detailed report in the Eco Times on the long-running legal scuffle between McDonald's and its local JV partner Vikram Bakshi. McDonald's has accused Bakshi in the Delhi high court of forum shopping by launching Company Law Board (CLB) and Delhi high court challenges to a London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) proceeding between the parties.

Bakshi, represented by senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi to date, has been fighting for his reinstatement as managing director of the joint venture after he was ousted by McDonald's in 2013.

Senior counsel Harish Salve will appear for McDonald's today, arguing against the Indian proceedings so that the London arbitration can proceed. [Economic Times]

31 March 2014

An Indian Supreme Court bench headed up by Justice SS Nijjar has appointed ex-Australian SC judge James Spigelman to preside as arbitrator between Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries and the oil ministry. At stake is who whether Reliance will be able to recover $1.8bn in its costs from the government for developing the KG-D6 oil field.

Two arbitrators had already been decided on - ex Chief Justices SP Barucha and VN Khare, Reliance and the ministry's nominees respectively - but the parties and other arbitrators could not agree on a presiding arbitrator.

The oil ministry had pitched for an Indian arbitrator, because the law and subject matter of the agreement were Indian and since selection should take place under the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 and not the UN's Uncitral rules. Reliance counsel Harish Salve requested an arbitrator from a country other than India, the UK or Canada, since companies from each of those countries has a stake or role in the dispute, arguing that the procedure from the Uncitral rules should be followed. [Financial Express] [Background to dispute in Business Standard]

25 March 2014

abmyvb1bNewly elected prez Rajiv Khosla opens DHCBA agenda to take back CD-filing rule, free parking, valets for lawyers, a website against corruption & more...

03 March 2014

Delhi high court Justice Vipin Sanghi disbanded an arbitration tribunal that had run up a bill of Rs 1.44 crore charging Rs 18 lakh as fees per hearing, reported the Times of India.

The tribunal, comprised of retired Supreme Court and high court judges, was hearing an arbitration between the government and three private firms, and was dissolved with mutual consent of both parties after the government approached the HC with the request to do so.

The tribunal had already been paid Rs 47.25 lakh towards fees. Without commenting on the fee amount the HC ordered that no further fees should be paid to this tribunal and appointed retired SC judge GS Singhvi as the sole independent arbitrator for the dispute.

In September, partners from a number of Indian law firms formed the Indian Arbitration Forum with a view to excluding the judiciary from arbitrating disputes, in part because of the exorbitant fees charged by retired judges on arbitration tribunals.

04 September 2013

Advani & Co managing partner Hiroo Advani, and other law firms’ partners have formed a body that aims to “encourage best practices” and exclude the judiciary from arbitrating Indian disputes.

02 September 2013

BayaEconomic Laws Practice (ELP) Mumbai dispute resolution partner Madhur Baya left the firm last week to start up his own arbitration practice LexArbitri.

12 August 2013

dfazdj1wIn a remarkable recent decision, the Supreme Court of India held that the doctrine of ‘patent illegality’ was not an argument against the recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award.

08 August 2013

Cherie Booth QCThe London Court of International Arbitration’s (LCIA) Indian subsidiary resolved real estate giant Hiranandani Group’s family business dispute yesterday after over two-and-a-half years of arbitration.

06 September 2012

Breaking: The Supreme Court today overruled the doctrine laid down in its own year 2002 landmark Bhatia International v Bulk Trading SA & Anr case, which held that Indian courts had exclusive jurisdiction to test the validity of an arbitral award made in India even when the proper law of the contract is the law of another country.

21 March 2012

BhushanExclusive: The Paris-headquartered International Court of Arbitration (ICA) of the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) has hired its first Indian lawyer in a bid to expand in India by increasing visibility and uptake, despite the remaining problem of judicial interference.

16 February 2012

Shardul Shroff's brainchild to return arbitratoin to IndiaExclusive: 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.

30 January 2012

Supreme senior CiccuOn-notice Amarchand Mangaldas equity partner Ciccu Mukhopadhaya is expected to argue in the Supreme Court for the first time since having been designated senior counsel in December 2011, with 10 other senior advocates appearing in the test case relating the Bhatia International arbitration doctrine in the court’s special constitutional bench.

17 August 2011

image Exclusive: Chennai Law Associates, which was set up 18 months ago by former Surana & Surana litigator ML Joseph and broken even last month, has moved into larger office and opened an arbitration centre as an additional revenue source.

21 July 2011

image Exclusive: MDP & Partners recent lateral Ashok Paranjpe has won a Rs 15.77 crore ($3.5m) arbitration dispute for his long-standing client Tata Motors against the Gujarat Electricity Board, which its lawyers Little & Co will appeal in the Bombay High Court.

01 June 2011

image One year after it first sued 41 foreign laws firms, the Association of Indian Lawyers (AIL) has filed a case against the Delhi-based London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), wanting to excise the words “London Court” and alleging that the arbitration organisation is introducing foreign law and lawyers under the garb of arbitration.

01 December 2010

Critically analysing the vital provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996, Hammurabi & Solomon senior partner Shweta Bharti recommends ways to improve the application and workability of the Act to expedite alternate dispute resolution mechanisms for the increasing number of commercial disputes.

25 November 2010

gavel Exclusive: The London Court of International Arbitration’s (LCIA) first independent subsidiary LCIA India has commenced business with its first two arbitration cases received within six months of the publication of the LCIA arbitration and mediation rules in April this year.

21 September 2010

Luthra&Luthra-Vijay-Sondhi Luthra & Luthra has won an anti-arbitration injunction for Sony-owned Multi Screen Media Satellite (MSMS) against former Indian Premier League (IPL) sports marketing company World Sports Group (WSG) restraining it from invoking or continuing with any international arbitration.

28 August 2010

Khaitan & Co along with London-based marine insurance and admiralty specialist Walton & Morse LLP have settled $ 2.9 m dispute between Sesa Goa and a German Shipping conglomerate following an international maritime arbitration.