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An estimated 11-minute read
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Hello guys! We're the Moot Court Society of NLSIU Bangalore, and we're hosting the 9th edition of the National Law School Trilegal International Arbitration Moot from the 20th to the 22nd. Preliminary rounds commence on the evening of the 20th, and continue till the evening of the 21st. Quarter-finals will be on the 21st as well. All of these rounds will be held on the NLSIU campus.

The semis and finals will be held on the 22nd at the Taj West End, followed by socials. If a team makes it to the finals, the judges they will have the privilege of arguing before include Nish Shetty, the head of international arbitration at Clifford Chance, and Steven Lim, the Managing Partner at Nabarro LLP.

A busy day awaits for all the teams. We'll start posting when rounds start tomorrow!

06:15- The problem discussion has just gotten over and now the finals are about to commence. 

06:42- The rounds have commenced. Welcome to the 9th session of the NLS Trilegal Arbitration Moot. With esteemed judges Nish Shetty, Steven Lim and Sitesh Mukherjee, and talented teams from NLIU Bhopal and School of Law, Christ University, this promises to be an unforgettable round.

06:45- You can livestream the NLSTIAM finals at http://ustre.am/1w8WZ

06:46- A strong start from the Claimant's team!

06:49- The chair is giving the Claimant team a tough time, but we think the team is giving their best shot answering questions regarding the finer nuances of the law.

06:50- After answering countless questions from a chair consisting of some of the most esteemed names in the legal world, the Claimant's are finally on to their second submission.

06:53- Following an even tougher interrogation by a formidable arbitration tribunal. the first claimant speaker is on to her third submission. She is making a persuasive case for specific performance as a remedy from the arbitration tribunal.

06:55- The tribunal is not satisfied and wants stronger arguments for withdrawal of arbitration notice and the awarding of specific performance. The tribunal asks if the claimant teams wants declaration or withdrawal as a remedy. The Claimant seeks both remedies from the tribunal, inviting a host of questions from the tribunal.

06:57- The claimant is not backing down and answering all questions admirably. Though a couple of tricky questions required the Claimant team frantically searching through their case notes, they managed to answer the question to the best of their abilities. 

07:00- The tribunal asks whether or not it in fact has competence to grant remedies or whether a Civil Case based on remedies provided in the Companies act would have been a better legal recourse.

07:01- The tribunal asks whether their questioning of the director's veto power would be an infringement on Company Law. The Claimant admirably refuses to back down and incites a smile from the judges.

07:02- The timekeeper raises the placard for Zero Minutes but the tribunal grants the speaker a minute to wind up her submissions. The claimant is striving to make the best use of this time to complete her submission. 

07:04-The second Claimant speaker Meher Tandon has begun her speech. She is making the third and fourth submissions for the claimant case. Third submission- jurisdiction of the tribunal, Fourth Submission- Whether or not there is bad faith. We hope she can argue the Claimant case as persuasively as her predecessor. 

07:05- The Claimant is using the wording of the Arbitration clause coupled with the Supreme Court position of providing a broad interpretation of the arbitration clause to argue her case, which has invited a question from Mr. Nish Shetty. The Claimant is answering the question calmly, something which is difficult to do when facing a chair of this stature.

07:10- The Claimant has finished establishing the jurisdiction of the tribunal and has moved on to the fourth submission of the Claimant Case- that of mala fide intention. The Claimant has disagreed with the tribunal upon being questioned, and has invited a question from Mr. Sitesh Mukherjee, which has sent her looking through her fact sheet. The Claimant asks for a minute to better explain her case, but the tribunal sustains its questioning. 

07:13- The Claimant asks for permission to move on to her fourth submission but Mr. Nish Shetty still has questions to be answered. 

07:14- The Claimant emphasizes the importance of reading the fact sheet to impute a mala fide intention on the part of the respondent, relying on the landmark 2G Spectrum Case. 

07:15- The Claimant ingeniously uses the doctrine of equality to argue a public policy violation, based on the 2G Spectrum Case. She also argues that the government must have the final right, based on the Case. The arbitrator draws a distinction between the instant case and the 2G Spectrum Case, but the Claimant attempts to show how the ratio of the Spectrum case applies to the present case as well. 

07:18- The Claimant uses the Indian Contract Act, something even the first years of B.A. LL.B. attending the event will know inside out, to argue that the Contract was entered into upon misrepresentation by the respondent, and thus, the Claimant has the right to render the contract voidable.

07:20- The Claimant argues force majeur to claim that the Contract was rendered impossible. The government's policy change as force majeur would render the contract void. The tribunal seems skeptical and is asking a host of questions. 

07:22- The Claimant has, as of now, not managed to convince Mr. Nish Shetty. The Respondent team is listening intently. The claimant is seeming to pull through, and is answeing the questions to the best of her ability.

07:23- Only two minutes left for the Claimant's speech and she has to decide whether to answer the Tribunal's questions in as much detail as possible, or move on with her case. Tensions in the room seem to be running high. 

07:24- The Claimant's time is up, but the tribunal persists in asking the Claimant questions and putting her to the test. The Tribunal requests the Claimant to only use the time extension to answer the questions and wrap up her case. 

07:28- The Respondent has begun his speech. The judges are listening intently and the audience is awaiting the arguments for the other side. The speaker has begun by laying out that due to existence of common principles between the law of Arberia and England, both are applicable to understanding the validity of the Shareholders Agreement.

07:30- The speaker uses case law to establish that the Company apart from the shareholders be held liable. But Mr. Nish Shetty points out that in that case, the Company was party to the agreement as well. The speaker is attempting to use the English position on this matter to answer the question.

07:30-  Mr. Sitesh Mukherjee points out that there may be similarities between the instant case and the Vodafone case and the speaker responds that the same was held in obiter dicta of the judgement. Mr. Sitesh further questioned the Supreme Court position on the obiter of an SC judgement.

07:33-  The speaker contends that the Companies Act,2013 cannot apply to the case as the Claimants have contended as the said Act may not be applied retrospectively.  

07:35- Mr. Sitesh Mukherjee questions the Respondents contention that the veto takes away the rights of the minority which would mean that decisions on a Board may not be taken by a simple majority. He seems to be amused by the stance taken by the Respondents on this. 

07:37- The judges are listening intently to the speaker as he attempts to proceed the case in favour of the Respondents in order to understand the basis of the Respondents claim. Mr. Steven Lim questions what law must actually apply to the arbitrability in said case. 

07:41- The speaker is confidently responding to this by breaking down his answers for clarity. The judges do not look satisfied, a barrage of questions follow. The speaker refuses to back down and continues to persuade the judges in order to obtain an order in his favour.

07:43- The speaker contends that the veto right is void in law, the judges continue to question him. The speaker continues with his unfaltering confidence. It seems like a couple of these questions will be answered by the second speaker on behalf of the Respondent, the judges agree to wait. 

07:47- Two minutes left for the Respondent first speaker but he has decided to yield his time to the Respondent second speaker.

07:48- The Respondent second speaker, from Christ University, seems off to a strong start, pointing the attention of the arbitrators to the fact sheet to argue her case.  She submits that there has been no misrepresentation or mala fide on part of the respondents. Also, she contends that that is not the crux of what the present problem is centred on.

07:50- The Respondent argues her case on the basis of Article 8 and Article 19 of the Shareholders agreement and states that this is what the problem is centred on. The chair is intently peering through the pages of the fact sheet and as of now, the tribunal seems satisfied. 

07:52- An intervention comes from Mr. Nish Shetty who stops the respondent to ask a question. He questions the relevance of the Respondent case. 

07:54- Remaining unintimidated, the respondent explains to the tribunal why her case is relevant to the issue. 

07:55- Mr. Nish Shetty vehemently disagrees with the Respondent. She seeks permission to move on to her next submission.

07:58- 3 minutes later, the questions from the tribunal persists. Tensions are running extremely high and audience is listening in rapt attention.

08:00- The barrage of questions from the tribunal and the respondent's admirable attempts to answer them makes this one of the most interesting and nailbiting arbitration rounds. 

08:01-The tribunal questions whether the Respondent would like to waste any more time on this submission. Taking the cue from the tribunal , the respondent has moved on to her next submission. 

08:03- Just five minutes left for the Second Respondent to finish her submissions. It will be interesting to see how the Respondent team pulls itself out of this quagmire. 

08:04- To make the most of the scarce time, the Respondent has moved on to the remedies sought from the tribunal. She attacks the claimant's argument for withdrawal or notice. The time is up and the bench questions whether the Respondent would like to make another submission. The respondent uses this time to further elaborate the force majeur element in this case. The respondent claims that the state has a pecuniary interest in the matter and thus force majeur cannot apply. 

08:10-The respondent is engaged in a race against time, with Mr. Steven Lim looking down at his watch and hinting that time is of the essence. The respondent team concludes that case. 

08:12- The Claimant team begins their rebuttals on a strong note and contends that arguments based on the Rangarajan Case do not apply as the same case has been overruled by the Vodafone Case. The Claimants also distinguish the facts of the instant case with the Fulham Case and thus, contend that the respondent's arguments are inadequate in addressing the present problem. The timekeeper raises the Zero minute placard and the Claimant team rests thier case once and for all. 

08:14- The Respondent team begins their rebuttals on an equally strong note and contends that the Vodafone case has not overruled the Rangarajan Case and the same case is still good in law. They also state that the Fulham case is indeed relevant to the problem at hand by arguing the logic behind the same case. They contend that the arbitral tribunal cannot arbitrate on fiduciary duties and bring in the public policy clause. 

08:16- With the Respondent team resting its case once and for all, the rounds come to an end. The 9th NLSTIAM Finals saw one of the most interesting and nailbiting experiences in the realm of moot court competitions. As the judges concur, we wish both the teams good luck and congratulate them on their phenomenal performance. 

08:58- The closing ceremony commences. The Vice Chancellor of National Law School India University (NLSIU) takes the podium. He commends the Moot Court Society on its hardwork and dedication in making the NLSTIAM a roaring success. He thanks the sponsors as well as the eminent judges without whom the event would have been impossible.

09:01-Mr. Karan Singh, founding partner of Trilegal, takes the podium and declares that the 9th edition of the NLSTIAM has been the best thus far. He commends the Sponsors, Thomson Reuters as well as the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. He thanks the eminent judges Mr. Nish Shetty, Mr. Steven Lim and Mr. Sitesh Mukherjee. 

09:04- Mr. Karan Singh brings out the uniqueness of this edition of NLSTIAm with teams coming in from Singapore and Nepal, as well as teams registered from Russia, Ukraine, and beyond. 

9:05- The Moot Court Society thanks Mr. Karan Singh and presents him with a memento. 

9:06- And now for the most awaited part, the prize distribution ceremony!


  1. Best Memorial (Claimant) Prize- School of Law, Christ University, Bangalore.
  2. Best Memorial (Respondent) Prize-  School of Law, Christ University, Bangalore.
  3. Best Speaker Preliminary- Mr. Tarun Sundaram (NLU Delhi) 
  4. Best Speaker Finals- Ms. Rajeshwari (NLIU Bhopal)
  5. Runners Up- School of Law, Christ University, Bangalore.
  6.  Winners of the 9th NLS Trilegal Arbitration Moot- National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal
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