The legal landscape of India witnessed a landmark event with the formal inauguration of the Arbitration Bar of India (ABI) on May 11, 2024. 

Hosted at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi, its significance was reflected in the presence of esteemed dignitaries & eminent leaders from respective fields, 

  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar
  • Minister of Railways, Communications, and Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw
  • Attorney General for India R Venkataramani
  • Solicitor General Tushar Mehta
  • ABI President Gourab Banerji
  • Mr. Tejas Karia, Partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM)

Commencing a transformative phase in India’s arbitration landscape, the formal establishment of the Arbitration Bar of India (ABI) on May 11, 2024, underscored a momentous leap forward

From the Podium of ABI President

The setting up of this Arbitration Bar of India will be a major step in that direction,” 

Arbitration Bar of India will provide human capital, promote diversity in arbitration and take it to smaller towns.”

During his keynote speech, Gourab Banerji, Senior Advocate and President of ABI, eloquently expressed ABI’s central role in shaping the trajectory of arbitration in India. Banerji emphasized ABI’s capacity to revolutionize the dispute resolution landscape by boosting both efficiency and effectiveness. He stressed that ABI transcends mere institutional status, portraying it as a nationwide entity committed to fostering professionalism and expertise within arbitration.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta

From the revolutionary amendments made in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 to the recent reforms in 2019, the Government of India has been extremely proactive,”

The Attorney General for India, Sri R Venkataramani

  • Having a dedicated bar will be enormously influential in the institutionalization of arbitration in India,”. 
  • This association will not and cannot be any exclusive men’s club. All of us want wonderful and accomplished sisters at the Bar to be active office bearers and participants,” Mr. Venkataramani specified.

Member of Parliament and Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics, and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw

 “In a sense, this Arbitration Bar of India is born digital. This digital birth needs to be complemented further with a lot more digital technology,” Mr. Vaishnaw observed.

External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar

    • Arbitration is a cornerstone of modern dispute resolution, particularly in a rapidly evolving globalized environment,” Dr. Jaishankar emphasized. 
    • Make in India- where arbitration is concerned, ‘Arbitrate in India’, is actually a facet of Make in India,”.
    • To get full mileage from the 3 Ds- dividends of democracy, demographics and demand, high quality arbitration is a notable factor in attracting Foreign Direct Investment”
    • “Arbitrate in India!’ should be a natural accompaniment of @makeinindia as our economy grows and the nation globalizes.”

Mr. Tejas Karia, Partner and Head of Arbitration at SAM

Arbitration Bar of India will play a pivotal role in ensuring India’s growth as a preferred seat for international arbitration.”

While an iota of the fraternity still clings towards their biased reservations that as long as the apex court keeps delivering judgements like the DMRC curative, nobody is going to want to arbitrate in India.

The majority aligns with the sentiments of Iram Majid, Executive Director (APCAM)The much-awaited establishment of an Arbitration Bar in India will likely contribute to the development and professionalism of arbitration practices in the country. It can provide a platform for legal professionals specializing in arbitration to collaborate, exchange knowledge, and further the field’s standards and best practices.” 

The establishment of ABI represents the fruition of a rising demand for a specialized bar catering to arbitration professionals. With ABI now in place, we gain a well-organized institution to articulate our viewpoints, particularly concerning the measures necessary to position India as a leading arbitration hub.

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