Thursday, 21 October 2021

The programme for this milestone occasion and short speaker bios can be found below, with many thanks to the Asia-Pacific Forum for International Arbitration (AFIA), the Eastern Book Company (EBC), the Indian Arbitration Forum (IAF), the Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai (MNLU) and Supreme Court Cases Online (SCC) for their support of this important event.


with networking breaks between each session


Masters of Ceremony

Ms. Riddhi Joshi, Research Group, Delos Dispute Resolution, Pune
Mr. Varad Kohle, Research Group, Delos Dispute Resolution, New Delhi


Welcome & Introductory Remarks

Co-Convenor Mr. Rahul DondeCounsel, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
Co-Convenor Mr. Hafez Virjee, President, Delos Dispute Resolution, London / Paris

Mr. Vyapak DesaiPartner, Nishith Desai Associates, Mumbai
Mr. Manish Aggarwal, Partner, Three Crowns LLP, London


Panel Discussion: The Nuances of an Arbitration Agreement: Incorporating the Right Elements

Mr. Gourab Banerji SABarrister, Essex Court Chambers, New Delhi
Ms. Pooja Bedi, Head of Legal and Compliance, Philips Indian Sub-continent, New Delhi
Mr. Ritin Rai SABarrister, 7KBW, New Delhi
Moderator: Mr. Palash GuptaPartner, Jerome Merchant & Partners, Manila


Fireside Chat: The In-House Counsel Perspective on Conducting an Arbitration

Mr. Rahul DondeCounsel, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
Mr. Abhijit Mukhopadhyay
, President (Legal) & GC, Hinduja Group, London
Ms. Zarina PundoleGeneral Counsel, EPC Division, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, Pune
Moderator: Mr. Promod NairPartner, Arista Chambers, Bangalore


Oxford-style debate: ‘This House believes that institutional arbitration does not meet the needs of Indian parties’

Ms. Niti Dixit, Partner, S&R Associates, New Delhi
Mr. Shreyas JayasimhaFounding Partner, Aarna Law, Bangalore

For the motion
Ms. Savani GuptePartner, SAMVĀD: PARTNERS, Mumbai
Ms. Dharshini Prasad
Counsel, WilmerHale, London

Against the motion
Mr. Aditya Kurian, Counsel, O’ Melveny & Myers, Hong Kong
Mr. Sulabh RewariPartner, Keystone Partners, New Delhi





Manish Aggarwal is a dual-qualified English solicitor and Indian advocate, and partner in the London office of Three Crowns. He has extensive experience of representing clients in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations across a broad range of sectors and in arbitration-related court litigation. His recent experience includes: (a) representing ConocoPhillips in its successful ICSID arbitration against Venezuela arising from the expropriation of its oil and gas assets, securing a historic US$8 billion award; (b) representing three energy companies in an LCIA arbitration against a regional government in the Middle East, securing awards worth approximately US$2 billion and dismissal of counterclaims worth several billion dollars; (c) securing an award in excess of $150 million for a multinational commodity trading company in an UNCITRAL arbitration against an African State arising from a power purchase agreement; (d) successfully representing an infrastructure fund in an ICSID arbitration against Spain under the Energy Charter Treaty in connection with measures adversely affecting renewables; and (e) representing a major global investment company in a post M&A arbitration involving claims for breaches of warranties and indemnities under a share purchase agreement. Manish is consistently ranked as a leading practitioner in arbitration and public international law by major directories such as Who’s Who Legal and Legal 500.

Gourab Banerji SA is a Senior Advocate, practicing mainly before the Supreme Court of India as well as an arbitrator and arbitration counsel in a large number of domestic and international commercial arbitrations. He has represented the Republic of India in its investment treaty arbitrations. He is an Overseas Associate of Essex Court Chambers. Graduating from the University of Cambridge in 1989 with First Class Honours, he was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1990. He was designated as a Senior Advocate in 2003 and served as the Additional Solicitor General of India from July 2009 to May 2014. In this capacity he represented the Government of India in a number of landmark cases. His practice before the courts is mainly in commercial matters, particularly relating to arbitration and contractual disputes. He has been a part of various governmental and inter-governmental  committees and assisted the Law Commission in its reports relating to arbitration. Presently, he is representing a number of multinational conglomerates such as Amazon in its disputes against the Future Group.

Pooja Bedi joined the Philips Indian Subcontinent in 2020 as the Head for Legal and Compliance function managing governance across verticals. With more than two decades of corporate legal experience, Pooja has successfully advised businesses on legal strategy, public policy, licensing, contracts, managing and minimizing litigation, food & beverage laws, healthcare and health tech laws, commercial laws, competition laws, IPR, anti-corruption/FCPA laws, mergers, technology & data-privacy laws, dispute resolution and managing Board governance.

Vyapak Desai heads the International Dispute Resolution and Investigation Practice at the multi-skilled, research and strategy driven international law firm, Nishith Desai Associates. A senior attorney with the firm, Vyapak specializes in bringing in the highest level of analytical and innovative input in cross border, complex contentious matters, corporate/regulatory investigations while also leading the Corporate and Securities practice in the past at the firm. Vyapak’s vast experience includes representing clients as Counsel in a host of complex cases including investment treaty arbitrations, commercial disputes related to shareholders agreements, international trade and contractual disputes across industries such as oil & gas, infrastructure, private equity, Pharma & Healthcare and TMT, in India, and all over the world. Vyapak has also cultivated expertise in bankruptcy, corporate and securities laws as well as in white-collar crimes. Known for his innovative, pragmatic and solution-oriented approach, he is also a trained mediator/conciliator and acts as arbitrator across international jurisdictions such as London, Singapore, Malaysia and India. Expert in Constitutional, Commercial, and International Law, Vyapak has helped shape key insights within these practice areas.

Niti Dixit’s practice focuses on advising multinational and Indian clients on corporate and commercial litigation, on domestic, international and investment treaty arbitration matters and in regulatory proceedings. Niti has practised as counsel before various courts and tribunals in India, including the Supreme Court of India, the High Court of Delhi and other state high courts and specialized tribunals focusing on constitutional law, corporate and commercial laws, securities law, intellectual property law and environmental law. Niti has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Women in Litigation in 2020 and 2021 by Benchmark Asia-Pacific, and one of the Top 15 Disputes Lawyers in India for 2019 by Asian Legal Business. She has also been identified as a leading lawyer by Chambers Asia-Pacific and asialaw Profiles for Dispute Resolution, and by RSG India Report for Disputes, Arbitration and Commercial Law.

Rahul Donde (Co-Convenor) is Counsel at Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva specializing in international commercial and investment arbitration. He has acted as arbitrator, counsel and secretary of the arbitral tribunal in over 30 international arbitration proceedings under both ad hoc (UNCITRAL, Swiss PILA, Indian Arbitration Act, 1996) and institutional arbitration rules (CEPANI, HKIAC, ICC, ICSID, LCIA, SIAC). Rahul has specific experience in disputes relating to energy and natural resources, commercial (agency, distribution, sales, purchase, services agreements) and corporate laws in different jurisdictions. Rahul sits as an arbitrator and is empanelled with all major international arbitral institutions including the HKIAC, ICC, LCIA and SIAC. As counsel, he advises multinational companies in cross-border construction and commercial disputes. Besides, he has considerable experience representing clients in domestic disputes in India, including appearing before various judicial and quasi-judicial bodies such as the Bombay High Court, the Company Law Board and others. Having worked in Switzerland and India for several years, Rahul has expertise in high-value, complex commercial disputes in both common law and civil law systems.

Palash Gupta is a partner at Jerome Merchant + Partners.  Palash is a dual qualified lawyer admitted to practice in India and in Massachusetts (United States of America) and is also a Registered Foreign Lawyer in Singapore.   He advises clients in dispute resolution matters and focuses his practice on Singapore and India seated International Commercial Arbitration before tribunals constituted under the SIAC, HKIAC and the ICC.   He has also represented clients in private commercial arbitrations in the United Stated pursuant to AAA (“American Arbitration Association”) and JAMS Rules. Palash’s practice covers litigation advisory work from pre litigation strategy through the dispute resolution procedure till enforcement of arbitration awards.  He has represented clients in a variety of judicial fora in Massachusetts (state and federal courts), in India and before arbitral Tribunals in Singapore and Hong Kong in a wide variety of commercial, construction and intellectual property disputes. Palash is a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.

Savani Gupte is a dispute resolution lawyer, with a focus on general commercial and corporate litigation and arbitration. She has extensive experience in advising and representing domestic and international clients before courts and arbitral tribunals. Her areas of specialization include shareholder disputes, contractual and commercial disputes, property disputes, infrastructure disputes and insolvency. Savani has represented clients from diverse sectors, such as the automobile industry, pharmaceutical industry, engineering and heavy machinery industry and FMCG industry. She has represented clients before various high courts with a primary focus on matters before the Bombay High Court. She also regularly represents clients before the National Company Law Tribunal. Her arbitration practice includes a blend of domestic and international arbitrations, both ad hoc as well as institutional. The institutional arbitrations handled by Savani include those administered under institutional rules such as the LCIA Rules, the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and the Rules of the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association.

Shreyas Jayasimha read law at the National Law School of India University and was a Chevening Scholar at the University of Warwick. Over 20 years of experience in litigation, domestic and international dispute resolution, Shreyas has advised and represented clients across a variety of industrial sectors. He is a trained mediator and has been appointed as an arbitrator in India and internationally. He has acted as co-counsel for a State party in two significant investment treaty arbitrations. Shreyas spearheads Aarna Law’s Banking, Finance, and Insolvency Law practice. He is a member of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy (FIAA), Geneva since 2012, is the National Coordinator for the UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee of India (UNCCI) and is a member of the Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (MCIA) Council. Shreyas is the only India based representative of the ICC-FraudNet which formed the AssetRecovery Group India (ARGI) to pursue substantial value cross border asset recovery claims for IndianBanks, ARCs and other creditors.

Riddhi Joshi (Co-Organiser) is an advocate at Arista Chambers, a boutique dispute resolution practice in Bangalore, India. She is a Member of the Research Group at Delos Dispute Resolution, and an Assistant Editor of the Indian Review of International Arbitration.

Varad Kolhe (Co-Organiser) is a Member of the Research Group at Delos Dispute Resolution. He is a graduate of Indian Law Society’s (ILS) Law College, Pune and is admitted to practice in India.

Aditya Kurian is a counsel in O’Melveny’s Hong Kong office and a member of the International Disputes and Arbitration Group. Prior to joining O’Melveny, Aditya was Counsel and Head of the India Region at the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) for four years, giving him special insight into the workings of the HKIAC and arbitral institutions in Asia generally. Aditya is also an HKIAC-accredited tribunal secretary. Before joining the HKIAC, Aditya clerked at the Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Hong Kong, which gave him a strong understanding of the ICC Rules and valuable insights into the institution’s practices.

Abhijit Mukhopadhyay is the President (Legal) and General Counsel of the Hinduja Group and is involved in the Group’s worldwide legal matters based in the Group’s Headquarters in London. He is a Board Director in Group companies in seven countries. Previously, he worked in India as Company Secretary and General Counsel in several major companies. Abhijit graduated in Commerce (Honours), Law from the UK and India and Company and Chartered Secretaryship from India and the UK. Abhijit has been listed in the top 50 legal professionals, top 25 GCs, Legal 500 most powerful lists and also in the list of top 99 General Counsels from 31 countries. The Hinduja Group employs 150,000 people in 60 countries with a global annual turnover of USD 15 billion. Abhijit was the Vice Chairman of the ICC’s Arbitration Commission and a member of its Steering Committee in Paris. He is on the Advisory Council of CCLS, Queen Mary University of London, an Executive Committee Member of the IBF, Confederation of Indian Industry, UK and Liaison Officer of the International Bar Association’s global Corporate Counsel Forum. He has spoken globally and published articles in many countries.

Promod Nair is admitted as both an Advocate in India and as a Solicitor Advocate with Higher Rights of Audience in England and Wales (currently non-practising). He is a dispute resolution specialist, with extensive experience in public international law, international trade law, commercial litigation and arbitration. He has appeared as Counsel and Advocate (often as amicus curiae) in a broad range of commercial litigation and public law matters before the Supreme Court of India and the Karnataka, Bombay and New Delhi High Courts. Promod has acted as counsel or arbitrator in over sixty domestic and international arbitrations, and has conducted arbitrations in various jurisdictions in Asia, Europe and North America and under various institutional rules. Prior to establishing Arista Chambers in 2014, Promod was a partner in the dispute resolution practice at JSA (2011-2014), practised in the international arbitration group at Herbert Smith (now Herbert Smith Freehills) in London (2007-2011) and as a litigator at Dua Associates (2002-2006). He is named as a leading arbitration practitioner by Global Arbitration Review (2012-2017), ranked in the list of the top 45 global practitioners of arbitration under the age of 45 (Who’s Who Legal 2016-2021) and as one of India’s top 100 lawyers (India Business Law Journal 2016 and 2017). He serves as India’s correspondent for the UNCITRAL CLOUT project, as a member of the UNCITRAL Coordination Committee for India and as coordinator of the Permanent Court of Arbitration India Committee. Promod is a Visiting Lecturer at the National Law School of India where he teaches a course on Arbitration Law and Practice.

Zarina Pundole is currently the General Counsel and Head (Legal) at Shapoorji Pallonji, EPC Division, where she oversees the entire division’s legal operations, litigation and arbitration. A graduate of Government Law College, Mumbai and University of Houston, Texas, she is qualified as a Solicitor in Mumbai and licensed to practice both in Texas as well as New York. Previously, she worked on private equity contracts and practiced corporate law at Wadia Ghandy & Co. in Mumbai and then shifted base to Houston, Texas where her decade-long practice spanned various fields of law, including FCPA, Oil and Gas and commercial law.

Dharshini Prasad is a Counsel in the International Arbitration Group of WilmerHale and is triple-qualified to practice in England and Wales, Singapore and New York. She has advised States, State-owned entities and corporations on commercial, investment and public international law issues and has represented clients in institutional and ad hoc arbitrations under various arbitral rules. Dharshini has particular experience with complex, high-value disputes in the energy, mining, private equity and pharmaceutical sectors. Dharshini sits on the YSIAC Committee and is Assistant Editor for the Journal of International Arbitration. She also teaches international arbitration and has served as Executive Secretary for the Commonwealth Secretariat’s study on international arbitration across the 53 Commonwealth Member States. Dharshini is recognized for her expertise in international arbitration by industry directories. In its 2021 edition, Who’s Who Legal – Arbitration identified her as one of the “most highly regarded” future leaders of her generation. Sources describe Dharshini as a “very bright and talented advocate” who is “undoubtedly a rising star in arbitration,” a “strategic thinker” and “destined for great things.”

Ritin Rai SA started his career in 1998 as an Associate in the Business Practice Group of Jones Day in its Cleveland office before relocating to India to practice corporate law. He transitioned to a disputes practice in 2004 when he joined the Chambers of Ashok H. Desai, a Senior Advocate and formerly Attorney General for India. Ritin has been designated a Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court of India in 2019, and is a member of 7 King’s Bench Walk (7KBW) chambers. Ritin brings his experience as a corporate lawyer to bear on a variety of commercial and regulatory disputes, including in company, competition, insolvency and telecommunications law. His practice spans appearances in the Supreme Court of India, the High Court of Delhi, the commercial tribunals situate in Delhi and before arbitral tribunals.

Sulabh Rewari (Partner, New Delhi) is an arbitration specialist and has represented Indian and foreign clients in institutional arbitrations under the aegis of institutions such as the ICC, LCIA and SIAC as well as in ad hoc arbitrations with their seats in London, Singapore and India. He has also represented clients in associated litigation before courts for appointment of arbitrators, anti-arbitration injunctions, interim relief, court assistance in obtaining evidence, and challenges to, and enforcement of, arbitral awards. Sulabh practices at the Supreme Court of India, the Delhi High Court, the National Company Law Tribunal, and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal at New Delhi in disputes arising out of joint venture and shareholder agreements, and commercial contracts. He is also active in the insolvency space, and regularly represents clients in insolvency and liquidation proceedings. Sulabh also acts as an arbitrator and is a member of the editorial board of the ICC Bulletin.

Hafez Virjee (Co-Convenor) is the President and a co-Founder of Delos. Hafez also serves as an independent arbitrator at Virjee Arbitration. He previously acted mainly as counsel. His clients have spanned the range of listed companies, private equity firms, tech start-ups, industrial concerns, State entities and treaty organisations, in disputes across a wide range of sectors and relationships, including shareholder agreements, joint-ventures, agency, M&A, telecommunications, tech, energy, pharmaceutical, construction and defence. Hafez is a solicitor of England & Wales and also qualified in France. He was previously at Dechert in Paris (with a secondment to Dubai in 2015) and prior to that at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London. He co-edits the Delos Guide to Arbitration Places (GAP) and regularly writes and speaks on international arbitration and legal risk management. He holds degrees from the University of Cambridge (M.A.), the Université Paris II – Panthéon-Assas (Maîtrise) and the University of California – Berkeley (LL.M.). He is listed among the Future Leaders of Arbitration by Who’s Who Legal.

©2024 Delos Dispute Resolution


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