The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

LAW SENATE

B3/73 LGF, SAFDARJUNG ENCLAVE, DELHI 110 029, INDIA
Tel:
Work +91 11 2610 2873
Email:
Web:
www.lawsenate.com
Mumbai, New Delhi

S Ravi Shankar, Senior partner

Senior partner S Ravi Shankar explains the future of international commercial arbitrations in Asia

What do you see as the main points that differentiate LAW SENATE from your competitors?

Lawsenate is an unique law firm since it has realised the importance of offering expert services in the field of international arbitration, enforcement of foreign awards and arbitration-related litigations and hence fully focuses in this area of practice. Today, for most of the companies, the whole world is the market. For many of them export revenue is more important than domestic. To play an active and leading role in a business portfolio, joint ventures with local partners is a comfortable model. In such a situation, it is natural that disputes involving multi-jurisdiction grow along with the growth of international business. International arbitration has emerged as the best option for resolving international disputes. Now after 2015 amendments to Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996, many parties keep international arbitrations seated in India. The firm offers India-seated and foreign-seated arbitrations under various arbitration Institutions including ICC, LCIA, SIAC, HKIAC, KLRCA, DIAC, DFIC-LCIA, etc. The firm has a strong network of lawyers with sufficient exposure to arbitration and related litigation spread across 45 important cities of India covering all the states of India. Law Senate is one of the few law firms in India that has associate partners in more than 41 jurisdictions of the world to assist the partners to handle foreign-seated arbitrations. Since Law Senate has developed a strong expertise in the field of arbitration, offering services globally, it is able to ensure international standard of service to its clients and way ahead of competing full service law firms.

Which type of practice do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

A big growth is expected in the field of India seated International arbitrations and Asia-seated arbitrations. After the introduction of the new Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2015, the arbitration scenario of India has drastically changed. Certain path breaking changes have been brought in by the above said amendment which include a 12 month time limit for conclusion of arbitration proceedings, fee schedule for the arbitrators, mandatory declaration by the arbitrator in the lines of IBA Rules on Conflict of interest in International Arbitration, empowering Indian courts with powers to grant interim orders in support of foreign-seated arbitrations, recognition of interim arbitral awards for the purpose of enforcement, etc. The above said amendments are the drivers which have increased the confidence of parties to have more and more international arbitrations seated in India.

In the same way the growth in the number of international arbitrations administered and seated in Asia is expected to increase in a big way. This is because cities like Singapore, Hong Kong are not seen as just Asian hub of arbitration, they are growing as international centres.

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Law Senate is an Indian law firm specialising in expert arbitration practice and corporate dispute resolution, having its partners and associates not only in all the states of India but also from about 41 countries of the world. The important strength of the firm is that all its lawyers have an excellent experience in dispute resolution practice of law. The firm has developed an expertise in handling, domestic and international arbitrations in India, enforcement of foreign arbitration awards, commercial litigation and Supreme Court cases.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Our office has its own cloud commuting facility and the entire work integrated systematically. Arbitration practice is a growing field and developments happen all over the world and hence the firm has a strong online library which has access to most of the legal journals and databases from all important jurisdictions of the world. More over the firm itself has developed case management software that supports the maintenance of records in digital format, communication and other case management activities including communication with our clients. The office of the firm has all modern tools and facilities.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

One of our high-value Chinese clients, who has started an infrastructure company in India, was selected as the steel structure contractor for one of the India’s biggest airport construction contract and had some earlier bad experiences in terms of payments with the main contractor. The total value of the contract was about $30m, hence they did not want to miss the chance working in the project because of the fear about the main contractors. The Chinese client requested us to work closely with them on the project right from the beginning to protect their interest in case of any future dispute. Hence the firm took over the legal support right from the beginning from the negotiation of contract, drafting of the contract, contract management, communication to the main contractor etc. Each and every lapse on the part of the main contractor was recorded, communications were effectively planned and proper records were created and maintained by our firm. When disputes arise our client could recover all the amounts due along with proper damages, in an arbitration administered by a popular international arbitration institution.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms? Where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

The firm is in the process of increasing its partners and improving its capability by hiring lawyers with experience in different jurisdictions in the field of arbitration. Moreover, the firm is in the process of increasing its offices by opening ten branch offices all over India and two overseas offices, one in Singapore and another in Hong Kong. Hence the firm will multiply its capability in the next three years and position itself in the group of top-tier law firms of Asia.

Legal Developments in India

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Sulphur Cap Ahead - Regulatory

    Sulphur Cap Ahead - Regulatory
  • GTDT Shipping - India

    Mr Shardul Thacker heads the shipping, oil and gas and banking practice group at Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe. Lloyd’s List ranked him third in their top 10 lawyers stating: “Highly regarded for his work in the liquefied natural gas sector, particularly for interesting and highly geared finance deals in relation to infrastructure projects, energy, ports and ships.” india_-_gtdt_shipping_
  • Chambers Guides - Insurance 2018 - India

    India is a common-law jurisdiction. In general, Indian laws borrow heavily from, and are based on, English law. However, insurance law in India has certain unique features that deviate from English insurance law. The primary legislation of insurance law in India is the Insurance Act, 1938 (the “Insurance Act”) and the Insurance Rules, 1939 (the “Insurance Rules”).
  • Transport Finance Review - India

    The transportation industry – aviation, shipping and rail – has been predominantly owned by government entities since India’s independence in 1947. Air India and Indian Airlines, both government-owned, rules the skies; the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), established in 1961 and owned by the government, owns and operates around one-third of the Indian tonnage. All railway property is government owned.
  • International Arbitration Review - India

    The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (Act) provides the framework for arbitration and conciliation in India. Drafted on the basis of the UNCITRAL Model Law, it is divided into four parts. Each part governs a different aspect of the arbitration and conciliation process: a Part 1 governs commercial arbitration; b Part 2 governs the enforcement of certain foreign awards; c Part 3 governs conciliation; and d Part 4 contains supplementary provisions (regarding the power of the court to make rulings, etc.). The Act 2 was recently amended in 2016 with an aim to make it more robust by plugging the lacunae that existed in the original legislation.
  • ICLG Shipping law 2018 - India

  • India - Chambers Guides - Shipping 2018

    The ‘Law & Practice’ sections provide easily accessible information on navigating the legal system when conducting business in the jurisdiction. Leading lawyers explain local law and practice at key transactional stages and for crucial aspects of doing business.
  • BRAND-JACKING

    WHAT IS BRANDJACKING?
  • Post Marketing Surveillance of Drugs

    Post marketing surveillance is performed after market approval/clinical trials of drugs in India. The regulatory framework for conducting clinical trials of drugs is provided under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (“ Act ”) and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 (“ Rules ”). Further, Part X-A and Schedule Y of the Rules specifically deal with the statutory provisions applicable for clinical trial of drugs in India. Schedule Y divides Clinical trial of drugs into 4 Phases, namely, Human Pharmacology (Phase-I), Therapeutic exploratory trials (Phase-II), Therapeutic confirmatory trials (Phase III) and Post Marketing Trials (Phase-IV).
  • Protection of Biotechnology under Indian Laws

    According to the eighth annual survey conducted by the Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises (ABLE) and Bio Spectrum, the Indian biotech industry grew threefold in just five years to report revenues of US$ 3 billion in 2009-10, a rise of 17 per cent over the previous year. Maintaining the momentum of the previous years, the Indian biotech industry grew 16.28 per cent in FY2014; the total industry size was US$ 5 billion at the end of the financial year and it reached US$ 7 billion in FY2015. Fast-paced growth is likely to continue; the industry is expected to increase in size to USD11.6 billion by 2017, driven by a range   of factors such as growing demand, intensive R & D activities and strong government initiatives ( http://www.ibef.org/industry/biotechnology-india.aspx )