Recent Developments in India-Related International Arbitration

Herbert Smith Freehills has issued the latest edition of its Indian international arbitration e-bulletin.

In this issue, we consider Indian court decisions, including the rejection of forum non conveniens arguments by the Delhi High Court allowing restaurant chain McDonalds to pursue an arbitration in London and various decisions in which the Indian courts show restraint in relation to interfering with offshore arbitrations. In other news, we consider India’s position in seeking to re-negotiate its Bilateral Investment Treaties with 47 countries. Further, we discuss the recently launched Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration to which HSF partner Nick Peacock has been appointed to the Council.

For further information, please contact Nicholas Peacock, Head of India Arbitration Practice, Alastair Henderson, Managing Partner-SE Asia, Donny Surtani, Senior Associate, Kritika Venugopal, Associate or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.

Nicholas Peacock
Nicholas Peacock
Partner
+44 20 7466 2803
Alastair Henderson
Alastair Henderson
Partner
+65 6 868 8000
Donny Surtani
Donny Surtani
Senior Associate
+44 20 7466 2216
Kritika Venugopal
Kritika Venugopal
Associate
+656 868 8017

Delhi High Court issues anti-arbitration injunction against London arbitration

In a striking decision which bucks the trend of pro-arbitration decisions from the Indian judiciary in recent years, a single judge of the Delhi High Court has restrained McDonald’s from invoking an LCIA arbitration clause in its joint venture agreement with its local partner. The court’s order was issued on the basis that the arbitration agreement was inoperative or incapable of being performed, and on the basis that in an arbitration involving predominantly Indian parties and Indian law, London was a forum non conveniens and therefore the arbitration proceedings were “vexatious” and “oppressive“.

The decision may be subject to appeal, but in the meantime will raise concerns for any parties facing opposition in India to attempts to invoke offshore arbitration in Indian law agreements.

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