First Ever Indo-Asian Conclave – The LegalEra Conclave 2012, Singapore

The power-packed two-day conference brings together some of the brightest minds in the legal profession to discuss key issues relating to the emergence of law.

The 2nd Annual LegalEra Conclave 2012 has been a trendsetter in more ways than one. The November gathering at the two-day conference held on November 29-30, 2012 at Holiday Inn, Atrium in Singapore  was a experience and learning in many ways the speakers and delegates participated from various countries & continents showed their support and belief is this forum and discussed several issues around the theme – ‘Recent Changes and Emerging Trends in Law’.

The inaugural session was a power packed session with the presence of Chief Guest, Justice Vijaya Kumar Rajah, Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court, Singapore, Guest of Honor, Sat Pal Khattar, Founder, Khattar Wong Special Guest Amitesh Bharat Singh, First Secretary High Commission of India in Singapore, Keynote Address by Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner, Amarchand Mangaldas and the Conference Chair Lalit Bhasin, President, Inter – Pacific Bar Association and Society of Indian Law Firm the sessions covered “several live topics and the depth of the issues which are currently being actively debated”. The highlights of the event were the quality of the discussions among legal luminaries and the value it created for the delegates.

The address by Justice Rajah encourage such conference and also explained the importance of law and governance in the emergence of the current scenario : The 21st century by consensus is the century of Asia if you look the tremendous growth between India and China and the other region in the Asia has now become the focus point of the international community. Singapore as by dealt of geography and good governance and called as an Asian heart has a several commercial sectors such as financial services, logistics, shipping, aviation and legal services. The legal system of India and Singapore share the same common heritage that is firmly rooted and till today the two remain largely ethical. Further the Indian Lawyers are warmly welcome to represent the clients to arbitrate the proceedings in Singapore.
"The LegalEra Conclave has the objective of the creating a platform for deeper relationships and understanding between lawyers and lawyers around the world. So support this objective internationally this move is to be warmly welcome and to get better understanding of other law firm and maintain warm relationships between members of various legal fraternity. I congratulate LegalEra and Founder Aakriti Raizada who established India first rated legal media group. LegalEra has redefined the Indian legal landscape through its many ground breaking initiative. Singapore Lawyers is very pleased that the 2nd conclave organized by LegalEra is been held here. quoted" by Justice V.K. Rajah

Guest of Honor Sat Pal Khattar, Founder, Khattar Wong, Singapore shared his insightful thoughts on Indian law firms to grow internationally. The good work the Indian firms do for large Indian clients which includes handholding them when they go abroad will still offcourse continue but I am referring to the more wider horizons where Indian law firms must invariably compete with international large firms for new breath in scope and which they must start to address to do international legal work not only for Indian clients in India and those going abroad but also for multinationals needing good advice without relevance only to Indian geographical limits. The Indian law firms need to grow large enough to compete with the top legal firms in the world if they are minded to compete in the international area.
“Singapore’s success in building up an international arbitration centre and the tempered measures to let the large international practices carry out legal practice in Singapore albeit limited in some ways is one answer. Singapore is of course not India and vice versa but we in Singapore have realized that keeping international practitioners out completely is counter productive and it is contrary to WTO” he quoted.

The Special address by Amitesh Bharat Singh, First Secretary, High Commission of India, Singapore said that Singapore has been India’s bridge in its ‘’ Look East Policy ‘’ and is an important and a treasured friend. The fact that this important conclave is being held here underlines the important role that Singapore has played as a connector and a bridge. He quoted “While the car rally and the sailing ship expedition, basically illustrate aspects of physical connectivity, this particular conclave on recent and emerging trends in law, serves an important function in furthering both institutional and people – to – people connectivity of India with ASEAN and indeed with the rest of the world. Sometimes, it is necessary to pause in order to be able to catch up with the changes all around- This conclave to my mind represents such an opportunity.”

The keynote speech by Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner, Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh Shroff & Co. gave an invaluable preview of the discussions that were to follow and set the ball rolling. Mr. Shroff, a corporate, banking and project financing attorney for over 30 years, also touched upon the need for legal conferences in today’s fast changing world and the significance they hold for legal professionals, lawyers, in house counsels and the like.

Lalit Bhasin concluded the inaugural and also greeted the guest with gesture of Thanks along with Anand Desai, Managing Partner, DSK Legal and Debolina Partab, Associate Vice President & Head Legal, Wockhardt Group

First Session: - Emerging Role of General Counsel, Business Partners with Risk Moderation, discussed
Today GC has assumed the critical role of ethical watchdog, and act as a helping hand for moderating risk in business. The emerging role of today’s global general counsel, who may deal with issues ranging from corrupt regimes and rule of law matters in developing nations to concerns about corporate reputation, sweatshop labour among suppliers, piracy, and safety threats to executives and other employees were discussed. GC are tasked with ensuring corporate compliance with laws, not to mention understanding the complex business political and cultural landscape of each jurisdiction in which the company operates and all of this unfolds on a 24/7 timetable in time zones across the globe. The session  constituted of Debolina Pratab, Associate Vice President & Head Legal, Wockhardt Group as moderator and speakers include Sandeep Beri, General Counsel, Citibank; N. Venkatesan, Head Legal & General Counsel, VFS GLOBAL; Kristen M. Harris, Director of Legal Affairs - Asia Pacific, Harley Davidson; Jeff Quetcher, Director Practice Management - Asia, LexisNexis.

“The Event has been very topical and covered all the latest developments in emerging trends in law in Asia and globally. The spectrum of topics and speakers were grand. The Event marks the beginning of a true Indo-Asian legal podium for law, lawyers and legal luminaries.” – quoted by Ms Debolina Partab

Session 2 Competition Law: The Present and The Future
Focused on Compliance with principles of fair competition ought to be the norm and is now a legislative requirement in many Asia Pacific countries. Competition law exists in EU and Us from last 5 years, but with it getting introduced in Asian countries- Competition Law has become topic of concern. Asia Pacific economies are seeing competition law as an important aspect of doing business. The regimes in India, China, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia have taken competition enforcement seriously. Sharing quick snippets of the respective regimes with highlights of recent cases, each of the panelists provided practical suggestions on what businesses can expect and what they should be prepared for. There was a particular focus on the cross-border influence and potential impact of competition laws given how transactions are at the very least regional if not global. Thought-provoking views were exchanged among the panelists that included Moderator: Kala Anandarajah, Partner, Rajah & Tann LLP; and speakers: Bruce Lloyd,Partner, Clayton; Kamilah Kasim, Partner, Kamilah & Chong; Balbir Singh, Partner, DSK Legal.

The mergers have led to overall growth in the economies and countries have begun turning around after the global slump, so to discuss the further challenges to be faced by businesses, the next session was a discussion on Merger and Acquisitions: Overview and Recent Trends. Yap Wai Ming, Partner, Stamford Law Corporation Moderated the session and the panelist included Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner, Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh Shroff & Co.; Priya Mehra, Associate, Gibbons Dunn; Raja Sujith Niruthambath, Partner, Majmudar & Partners; Manoj Kumar, Managing Partner, Hammurabi & Solomon were the eminent speakers.

“Incredible Conclave! Special mention for LegalEra being able to bring all stakeholders from across Asia to a common forum to lucidly discuss legal issues of common concern. The clarity of issues flowing from the deliberations at the Singapore Conclave will immensely help in deeper collaborations in the region on a much wider range of business initiatives. My compliments to LegalEra for the 3rd Indo-Asian Legal Conclave, 2013” quoted Manoj Kumar

The fourth session on was on Arbitration and the Future. This session aimed at examining some of the recent trends in international arbitration law and practice, particularly challenges that face the bar, the bench and arbitrators alike, including the emergent need to move towards institutional arbitration. The panel consists of Shardul Thacker, Partner, Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe as the moderator and the speakers include Steven Cannon, Registered Foreign Lawyer, Eversheds LLP, Singapore; Paul Menzies, Queens Counsel, New South Wales; Vivekananda N., Head (South Asia) & Counsel, SIAC; Ben Giaretta, Partner, Ashurst. Panelists discussed the new procedures introduced by institutions such as the SIAC, controlling costs and timelines in arbitration; issues of enforcement of awards and recent judicial pronouncements from India and the region on international arbitration.

“It was a pleasure to work with you and Legal Era on this event. I think the content and quality of speakers was excellent at the event. I hope that you will return soon to organise another event in Singapore.” quoted Vivekananda N., Head (South Asia) & Counsel, Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)

The Day Two kick started with an interesting session Options in Debt Financing for Indian Borrowers and has an awesome line of panelists Rudra Kundu, Structured Finance, Cluster Asia and Middle East, Nokia Siemens Networks as moderator and Rajesh Narain Gupta, Managing Partner, SNG & Partners; M. Rajaram, Senior Director, Straits Law Practice LLC; Samir Mathur, TS Risk Management, APAC, J.P. Morgan; N Kartik, Director, Debt Capital Markets, Asia, HSBC; Sapan Gupta, Deputy Head Legal - WB, India and South Asia, Head DCM Legal, South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank. The panel discussed Debt has customarily been looked at as the most favored option by small and medium sized corporates and entrepreneurs to expand the business and also meet the existing business requirements. The panel focused on the needs, desires and expectations of bond players to understand what additional need to be done to bring liquidity to debt capital market in India and to strengthen the cross-border trade amongst India and other countries.

“It was a great forum and interesting topics.” said Samir Mathur, TS Risk Management, APAC, J.P. Morgan

FDI which is a debatable topic today tended to flow in where the industrial environment was favourable and where the economy was strong. With FDI, the private equity trends also followed and PEs have been the “Manna” to many corporate. The session on FDI And PE Investment discussed the challenges with case studies across the globe with Anand Desai, Managing Partner, DSK Legal as a moderator;  Akhil Prasad, General Counsel, Fidelity; Mathew Chacko, Resident Head, Kochhar & Co.; Amit Agarwal, Partner, SNG & Partners; Prabhat Mehta, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP as speakers.

Various crimes like human trafficking, money laundering, insider trading, drug smuggling, illegal arms dealing, terrorism, bribery and cybercrime are growing every second, thus the informative session on White Collar Crimes, Insider Trading and Anti Corruption Legislation moderated by Thiru Sethuraman, Director (Global Regulatory Controls Operational Excellence), Cummins Inc.; and distinguished speakers like Hemant Kumar, President Legal, Reliance ADAG; Dr. Simone Nadelhofer, Counsel, LALIVE; Stephen Mathias, Partner, Kochhar & Co.; Monika Mohil, Head Legal and Compliance, APAC, Nokia Siemens Networks highly discussed about criminal activities along with case studies and statistics.

“The topics were very good and relevant. All the best for future and I must say it was a good initiative.” said Monika Mohil, Head Legal and Compliance, APAC, Nokia Siemens Networks

Hemant Kumar, President Legal, Reliance ADAG shared his view “Kudos to Legal ERA for concept and execution of the idea of such magnificent and grand legal conclave. Legal Era Conclave 2012 Singapore held on November 29-30, 2012 at Singapore was unique.  It gave an opportunity the legal professionals both speakers and participants   in   keeping   abreast of the latest changes and emerging trends in laws of various countries across the world. It was the vision of the organizers that made legal professionals across the world to meet, interact and exchange the views during the conclave. We were humbled by the wisdom, knowledge and eminence of the speakers who maintained highest standards of academic excellence while making their presentations. It is well known that sharing of knowledge enhances one's own knowledge. We are sure apart from the delegates, the speakers have also got enriched by interacting and responding to varied types of queries from the delegates from different countries.The knowledge sharing during the conclave has helped us immensely. It is not an exaggeration to say without the meticulous planning and swift implementation of the ideas and hard work of team of yours and LEGAL ERA team, this conclave could not have been a grand success. I thank entire Legal Era team and my special thanks to Mr. Lalit Bashin.  This was great beginning to have such wonderful knowledge sharing and inspiring and motivating conclaves.”

Following this the next session was on Alternate Dispute Resolution – What the Region Holds? Moderated by Shardul Thacker, Partner, Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe. The speakers were Anil Changaroth, Partner, Aequitas Law LLP; Campbell Bridge SC, Maurice Byers Chambers; Ann Quah Ean Lin, Advocate & Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya (non-practising). This session was enlightening and educational.

The development of Intellectual property rights (IPR) over the years has invariably brought an upsurge in the outlook of nations toward the aspect of societal and cultural growth. The next session was on Growing Needs of IPR Laws. The session was moderated by Mathew Chacko, Resident Head, Kochhar & Co.; and speakers on the panel were Joyce Ang, Partner, ATMD Bird & Bird; Girija Varma, Managing Partner, Girija Law Partners; Kanchan Pamnani, Manging Partner, Pamnani & Pamnani who shared the fact that a strong IPR actually provokes IPR infringements in many developing nations also seems to be an issue that needs to be analyzed while understanding the need of the former. With the growing recognition of IPR, the importance of worldwide, companies, universities, and industries want to protect their IPR internationally.

The session on Developments and Recent Trends in Tax Policy and Administration: with an emphasis on Managing Tax Litigation focused on developments in tax policy and the emerging trends. It was an overview of recent policy initiatives undertaken in the Indian scenario, including the recommendations on the taxation of indirect transfer of assets and General Anti Avoidance Regulations. The panelists highlighted that it is important to have a strategy in place to mitigate high legal costs and other penal consequences, etc. Also it can help create a stable and predictable economic environment. The renowned speakers on this panel were Aseem Chawla, Partner, MPC Legal as moderator; and other speakers include Krishan Malhotra, Head Taxation, Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh Shroff & Co.;
Gurbachhan Singh, Managing Partner, Khattar Wong; Anuranjan Sethi, Senior Sales Director, Amicorp Advisory Services Pvt Ltd.; Pieter de Ridder, Tax adviser & Partner, Loyens & Loeff.

A wonderful closing remark by the Chairperson of the Conclave: Mr. Lalit Bhasin, President of Inter Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) & Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) “When we come to the last session of this very important event which has taken place during the last two days, quantitatively it has been a superb event. In my experience I have not heard or seen the presentation of such a high caliber, of such a high quality by all those who participated as chairperson, as moderator, as well as speakers. Whenever you start something new and different, there are bound to be  disturbance. This event is been institutionalized in the sense that every year we proposed to have this event and in different jurisdiction to start with Asia, Asia Pacific region, Africa and even the Middle East. It has been made possible by the efforts of LegalEra,  all the committee members, moderators, participants, the sponsors and our event organizers here in Singapore. Inspite of all the numbers would have been in large that we would love to have but still participation from various countries like Australia, UAE, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, India and even from United States made.   this first Indian event which I could call  as a historic event because of the quality of participation which you made it possible. Therefore our thanks and gratitude goes to you and also to all the sponsors who has put in their money to make this event a big success.”

By and large the LegalEra Conclave 2012 was an innovative and informative knowledge sharing conference on the emergence of law and was deeply enjoyed by all attendees and speakers, who shared their insightful thoughts. The two-day Conclave provided participants the opportunity to share ideas, exchange information, and interact with leaders from the corporate, legal fraternity and network with peers. All discussions became interactive from one to many and each attendee took back from this conclave deep insights and an invaluable experience.

We thank all the participants’ whose presence itself has added value to LegalEra Conclave 2012

The sessions covered “several live topics and the depth of the issues which are currently being actively debated”. The highlights of the event were the quality of the discussions among legal luminaries and the value it created for the delegates.  The encouragement and support we received From Justice V.K Rajah and the High Commission of India in Singapore and all the speakers and attendees we are happy to announce the dates for the Third Annual LegalEra Conclave, Singapore on 4th & 5th     October 2013   we invite your suggestion, views, opinion to make the 2013 conference exceptional and well executed in terms of content, speakers, deliberations and participation. This event is supported by Indo Asian Business Investment Forum. Please feel free to write to us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To view the highlights of the conclave please visit

Our Partners

LegalEra expresses its heartfelt thanks to SNG & Partners and DSK Legal as Silver Partners, D. H. Law Associates, M. S. Oberoi & Co and Pamnani & Pamnani as the Contributing Partners, Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), Singapore Corporate Counsel Association (SCCA), Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA), Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF), Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) and Association of Corporate Layers Sri Lanka as the Supporting Partners without the support of these Partners LegalEra Conclave 2012 would have not been successful. 

By Aakriti Raizada, Founder & Managing Director, LegalEra, Legal Media Group.