The webinar on 4th March was an initiative of the Chamber’s Legal Services Interest Group which discussed the recent developments in India and the strategies and approaches for quick and efficient ways of enforcing contracts in India or with Indian parties – an area which is traditionally viewed as a challenge.
We were delighted to have the following four experienced industry experts to provide their views and insights through a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Ashish Kabra, Leader and Head of Singapore Office from Nishith Desai Associates.
- Akshay Kishore, Partner from Bird & Bird ATMD
- Sheila Ahuja, Partner from Allen & Overy LLP
- Rohit Bhat, Senior Associate from FreshFields Bruckhaus Deringer
- Shwetha Bidhuri, Head (South Asia) from Singapore International Arbitration Centre
The key points made by the panellists were
- There have been several legislative developments in India over the last 5-7 years focused on improving the enforcement of contracts and adherence to contractual bargains, particularly the introduction of the commercial courts, the amendments to the arbitration law, and the amendment to the contract law.
- Courts in India have reflected a pro-arbitration approach and recognized almost all foreign awards. Consistency in the approach of the courts is critical going forward.
- Parties often shelter behind regulatory laws such as the exchange control laws of India (FEMA).
- Institutional arbitration, particularly foreign seated institutional arbitration, has resulted in a high degree of enforcement of the contractual bargains and remains the preferred mode of dispute resolution in the context of India.
- Singapore International Commercial Court is a new emerging option for dispute resolution, which can now be utilized in conjunction with arbitration.
- Enforcement of contracts remains a key concern for the government, which has constituted two task forces to look into the constitution of more commercial court benches in India, quicker resolution of disputes between the government and the private sector, particularly on infrastructure projects.
- It was recommended that the government should also focus on the process of execution of awards and judgments in India. This is an area that has not seen any reforms in decades and is a critical piece for the enforcement of contracts.
The Chamber thanks the panellists and moderator for their time, insights and knowledge. Watch the webinar here.