Young ICCA Arbitration Day: Drafting and Filing Requests for Arbitration: A Practicum

1 July 201711:00 - 20:00(IST)

Post Event Report


The first-ever Young ICCA Arbitration Day was successfully organised on 01 July 2017 in Mumbai, India on the topic “Drafting and Filing Requests for Arbitration: A Practicum”. The one-day event received an overwhelming response and saw participation by young practitioners, experts, and law students from across Asia and Europe. Mumbai’s iconic Taj Mahal Hotel was the venue for the event, which was supported by Young MCIA and the ICC Court, and generously sponsored by FTI Consulting.


Rahul Donde (Senior Associate, Lévy Kaufman-Kohler) opened the Young ICCA Arbitration Day by introducing Young ICCA as an organisation that promotes international arbitration inter alia by providing a platform for young practitioners to interact with leading experts in the field.


The event consisted of three panels of four speakers each, with Shaneen Parikh (Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Mumbai), Dharam Jumani (Counsel, Chambers of Mr. S U Kamdar, Mumbai) and Sulabh Rewari (Partner, Keystone Partners, Mumbai) each moderating a session. The first panel dealt with the theoretical and practical nuances of drafting a request for arbitration; while the second panel was an immersive and highly interactive practical exercise where the participants were guided through a mock request for arbitration. The third panel was a fireside chat followed by an open-floor discussion between experts and young practitioners on the practice of international arbitration.


The first panel, moderated by Shaneen Parikh, comprised of Thomas Bevilacqua (Partner, Foley Hoag, Paris), Avinash Pradhan (Partner, Rajah & Tann, Singapore), Dr. Alejandra Torres Camprubí (Senior Associate, Foley Hoag, Paris), and C.K Nandakumar (Advocate & Practice Head, Law Chambers of C.K. Nandakumar, Mumbai). Ms. Parikh began the discussion by noting that a request for arbitration is treated differently in different fora, and that the strategy behind drafting a request is dictated by numerous factors, such as the forum and the specific requirements of the case. Mr. Pradhan guided the audience through the existing legal position with regard to arbitration in multi-tier contracts and emergency relief, and the resulting effects on the drafting of a request. Dr. Camprubí began by illustrating the differences between a notice for arbitration and a request for arbitration, maintaining that in most cases ‘the less said the better’ should be the norm. Mr. Bevilacqua and Mr. Nandakumar spoke about the nuances of filing a request for arbitration in different fora, highlighting the different requirements to be kept in mind in each case. For example, while electronic filing is allowed by some arbitral institutions, others insist on hard copies, which is also usually the norm in ad hoc arbitration.


After a vigorous discussion, the panelists arrived at the conclusion that the thumb rule can only be that there is no thumb rule! Any decision of strategy with regards to drafting a request must be taken by considering all available options.


The second panel, moderated by Dharam Jumani comprised of Sapna Jhangiani (Partner, Clyde & Co., Singapore) Rahul Donde and Anish Wadia (Solicitor Advocate: India, England & Wales and DIFC Courts, Chambers of Anish Wadia, Mumbai). During this session, the panelists discussed a mock request for arbitration that had been circulated to the participants in advance of the Arbitration Day. The panelists conducted an interactive session by taking the participants through all sections of the request, while discussing/narrating practical nuances based on real-world experiences. The session began with an engaging discussion on the importance of formatting, and structuring of facts/submissions. Mr. Donde emphasised the importance of presenting information concisely, and Ms. Jhangiani described the importance of having a clear structure with clearly-defined headings. Mr. Wadia then pointed out that it was important to build a narrative, the idea being that the request should tell a story to the arbitral tribunal. Mr. Jumani ensured that the session was highly interactive by intermittently picking out participants from the audience and seeking their views/ comments on the manner in which a particular section of the request was drafted, the resulting consequences and the manner in which they would have drafted the same.


The event culminated with a panel that discussed pertinent questions and dilemmas in the practice of international arbitration. It was aimed at the younger practitioners and students in the audience who were taking their first steps in this sphere. Mr. Rewari moderated a panel of highly experienced practitioners including Nakul Dewan (Barrister, 20 Essex Street, London), Venkat Rao (In-House Counsel, Kalpataru Group, Mumbai) and Chaitanya Arora (Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting, Singapore). The panelists provided the participants with an insider’s view of how international arbitration works, addressing a variety of topics including what strategies to adopt when commencing an arbitration, what to look for in selecting an arbitral tribunal, how to conduct and expedite an arbitral proceeding, and the circumstances in which other alternate dispute resolution methods should be preferred instead of arbitration.


The Young ICCA Arbitration Day was a resounding success with almost 100 applications received and 62 practitioners from across India attending. It concluded with a round of drinks at HQ’s, a popular local bar in the vicinity, providing an opportunity to the participants to engage with experienced practitioners in an informal setting.  


Photographs of the event are available here:, and a video recording is available in Young ICCA’s Audiovisual Library available here.


Young ICCA Mumbai Steering Committee (Rahul Donde, Dharam Jumani and Anish Wadia) assisted by Young ICCA Mumbai Volunteers (Sameer Thakur and Abhishek Babbar)

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