"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well." -Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Report Review: Changing Face of Arbitration in India by E & Y

In this series of posts, we review the recently circulated report titled "Changing Face of Arbitration in India". Frankly, I didn't expect such a report to be authored under the aegis of an entity (Ernst & Young) that specialises in "assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services." Such a study should have been conducted by a the Law Firms or the academia. In any case, the report is probably the first-of-its-kind that is at least accessible. The report is very short- spabout 13-14 pages if one chooses to exclude the graphics.

The survey, the report states, was conducted by receiving online feedback from 68 respondents and interviews of six eminent personalities. The six personalities constituted partners of firms such as Zia Mody, Pramod Nair, Matthew Gearing etc. It is surprising that arbitration counsels (or atleast those who appear before arbitral tribunals regularly) were not included in the list of eminent personalities although advocates are included in the sixty eight respondents category. At p. 17 of the report, the profiles of the respondents are described. A problem with the profiles being depicted in the form of percentages is that the number of respondents were relatively small (68) for a survey research of this kind. It would have been better to have them depicted in numbers as well. We have attempted to convert the percentages into numbers (reducing the decimals to the nearest whole numbers:


Profile
Percentage (%)
Decimal Numbers
Whole Numbers
Arbitrators
3
2.04
2
Directors
6
4.08
4
Advocates
9
6.12
6
Managers
13
8.84
9
Partners/ Proprietors of Law firms
20
13.6
14
Legal head/ General Counsel
25
17
17
Others
24
16.32
16
Total


68
 
Now, whether the survey's title is an exaggeration considering the number of participants involved is a valid question. But for this minor shortcoming, the study is interesting and there are several aspects worth noting in it. We'll analyse all those in another post on this topic.

No comments: