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across al ternat ive dispute resolut ion AZB & PArtnerS


AZB & Partners is a well-respected Indian law firm with offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune. AZB is a full service law firm, with an active and reputable dispute resolution practice. Here, Finance Monthly speaks to AZB partners, Zia Mody and Shreyas Jayasimha, about the firm and Alternative Dispute Resolution.


Zia Mody Shreyas Jayasimha


purpose of securing that strategic interest. We also engage in pre-litigation matters to ascertain and suggest measures to manage the risks of the client. In particular, we lay great emphasis on the form and content of the dispute resolution clause, to ensure the efficient proceeding of the dispute resolution process, with minimal delays arising out of procedural issues.


Q Q


What are the common causes of disputes between businesses locally?


The most common causes of disputes in commercial contracts are related to non-payment, or part performance, or unsatisfactory performance of contractual obligations. On many occasions, ambiguity in drafting can also lead to disputes. In corporate contracts such as Joint Venture Agreements, the common causes of disputes arise out of failure to adhere to conditions precedent or breach of representations and warranties by either contracting party.


Q


Is there a typical method of dealing with dispute resolution for all businesses, or do


you have to employ a specific tactic for foreign companies compared to local companies?


In cases of non-payment by companies registered in India, it is common to initiate winding up proceedings if the debt due is in excess of Rs.1 lakh, an action used more as a negotiating tool than a definite dispute redressal mechanism. In dealing with dispute resolution for all types of


business, our firm helps to identify the strategic interest of the client, and thereafter advise the client on the appropriate course to be adopted for the


fi MONTHLY MARCH 2011


Do laws and regulations differ for domestic companies as opposed to foreign companies?


Both Indian and foreign companies are governed by the substantive law of India during their business activities in the country. Thus, with respect to dispute resolution, the laws and regulations do not differ for domestic and foreign companies. However, enactments such as the Foreign Exchange Management Act and applicable rules and regulations provide for particular compliance requirements for both foreign investors in India and Indian entities investing overseas.


Q


How does AZB assist clients involved in dispute resolutions? Is there any general advice you


could offer clients to prevent the situation from escalating?


We assist clients in dispute resolution in India by advising them on the appropriate course for dispute resolution, as well as drafting legal documentation, including dispute resolution clauses, and appearing on behalf of clients in litigation, arbitration and mediation. While advising clients on dispute resolution in India,


we do not employ a universal rule with respect to the appropriate forum for dispute resolution. Instead, we consider the contract in question to determine if litigation or arbitration would be the appropriate mechanism for dispute resolution. In cases where we find arbitration to be the more appropriate mechanism, we recommend institutional arbitration, such as through the London Court of International


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