A new entry in the GAR 100 this year, ELP is benefiting from India’s fast-growing international arbitration market
- Pending cases as counsel:
- Value of pending counsel work:
- US$8 billion
- Treaty cases:
Economic Laws Practice was formed in 2001. Its arbitration practice was launched four years later, headed by lawyers who had built a reputation in tax disputes work.
In the early days, the firm reports, clients used to say: “We thought you only did tax litigation.” Now they’re likely to say: “Do you know someone who does tax litigation?”
Originally, the practice didn’t deal with disputes worth more than US$20,000. Nowadays, the figure can range from US$10 million to several hundred million dollars. Its clients are in sectors as diverse as mining, commodities, engineering and construction, shipping, insurance, infrastructure, and equipment and services.
It has conducted arbitrations in India, England, Singapore, South Korea, Germany and the US under a variety of international laws and institutional rules.
The practice is led by senior partner Vikram Nankani in Mumbai. It has 15 lawyers spread between the New Delhi and Mumbai offices, though the practice is largely Mumbai-driven. In New Delhi, the main partner in the group is Tarun Gulati. The firm also has offices in Ahmedabad and Pune.
Who uses it?
The firm has been instructed by some of India’s large business houses – including Tata (in disputes with Aditya Birla Group and Idea Telecom), Hiranandani (in a complex arbitration under Indian law involving a claim for US$700 million) and Reliance.
All of Adani Group’s arbitrations are conducted by ELP, whether in the coal and carbon, commodities or oil and gas sectors.
Multinational clients include engineering and construction group McDermott and Sterlite Technologies, which is a subsdiary of Vedanta oil and gas group.
It is acting for British Gas and Reliance Industries (an unincorporated joint venture) in a US$2.5 billion UNCITRAL dispute with the government of India, as co-counsel with Allen & Overy, one of several international law firms it has teamed up with. The dispute arises out of production-sharing contracts that Reliance and BG’s predecessor, Enron, executed with the government and the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp in 1994, granting the three companies joint operatorship of oil fields off the coast of Mumbai.
The firm’s reported successes before the ICC include representing India’s largest metal and mining company in a product liability claim against a German company; a Swiss multinational coal trader in a dispute with a Singapore subsidiary of India’s largest coal trader; and one of the largest Indian engineering companies in a dispute over a US$200 million EPC contract awarded in Singapore.
It has also successfully represented India’s largest privately owned port in an ad hoc arbitration under English law against a state-owned insurance company – the first major insurance claim under a port package policy in India – and a manufacturer of oil and gas exploration and production equipment in an ad hoc arbitration with a government enterprise over a contract for the supply of production platforms.
A case on behalf of one of the parties to a US$50 million split that involved a complex web of cross-holdings in shareholdings and properties also led to an ELP victory.
In court, it recently succeeded in defending the joinder of a third party to an arbitration agreement in a Singapore arbitration by invoking “alter ego” principles. The third party had moved the Indian court to suspend the arbitration.
It also acted for an Indian client in arbitration-related court proceedings in London, securing an important breather in the multi-jurisdictional case that paved the way for a settlement.
In 2012, the firm promoted Madhur Baya and Naresh Thacker to the partnership in Mumbai. Baya is one of the co-founders of the practice back in 2005.
The practice has also seen the arrival of associates from a rival Indian law firm and LCIA India.
Economic Laws Practice (“ELP”) is a leading multi-disciplinary law firm founded in 2001 by eminent lawyers from diverse fields. The firm’s lawyers constitute an ensemble of exceptional legal talent having extensive global and local expertise that brings to its clientele a unique opportunity to complete complex transactions in a practical and cost efficient manner. Apart from legal professionals, the ELP team includes chartered accountants and economists and is thus able to bring together cross-practice experience and top-of-the-line skill sets for its clientele.
ELP has offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Chennai with a team of around 130 qualified professionals having professional acumen in defined and varied practice areas. The firm works closely with leading global law firms in the UK, USA, Middle East and Asia Pacific region. It also has associations with law firms throughout India, which allows ELP to provide a pan India and global service offering to its clients.
ELP has rapidly emerged as a firm of clients’ choice and has a unique positioning amongst law firms in India in offering comprehensive qualitative services across the entire spectrum of transactional, advisory and litigation work.
ELP’s arbitration practice headed by Mr. Vikram Nankani (FCIArb) is recognized internationally as the thought-leaders from India in arbitration. The firm has represented clients in ad-hoc and institutional proceedings around the world with amount in disputes ranging from a few millions to billions of dollars. The firm offers expertise in various sectors such as energy, infrastructure & construction, international trade, government contracts, etc.
Our Practice Offerings
Banking & Finance
Competition Law & Policy
Corporate & Commercial
International Trade & Customs
Private Equity & Venture Capital
Securities Laws & Capital Markets
Technology, Media & Telecommunication
- Tax | Band 1 by Chambers and Partners (Asia) 2012, 2013. Tier 1 in Asialaw Profiles 2012, 2013. Recommended by Legal500 and Whos Who Legal 2012, 2013. India Business Law Journal - Winner 2012. Leading Tax Law Firm by International Tax Review and Tax Directors Handbook 2012, 2013.
- Litigation & Dispute Resolution | Rated amongst the top 100 arbitration firms globally in GAR 100 2013. Recommended by Chambers and Partners (Asia) and Legal500 2013.
- Infrastructure | Tier 1 by Legal500 2012, 2013. Recommended by Chambers and Partners (Global) and Whos Who Legal 2012, 2013.
- International Trade & Customs | Band 1 by Chambers and Partners (Global) 2012, 2013. Tier 1 by Legal500 2012, 2013. Recommended by Whos Who Legal 2012, 2013.
- Policy & Regulation | Winner 2012 - India Business Law Journal.
- Competition Law & Policy and Corporate & Commercial | Recommended by Chambers and Partners 2012, 2013.
- Private Equity & Venture Capital and Telecom, media & technology | Recommended by Chambers and Partners (Asia) and Legal500 2012, 2013.