For the first time in the legal history of Singapore, an Indian lawyer has been allowed to fight a case in the island country. Famous Indian lawyer Harish Salve will represent former Ranbaxy promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Singh in their appeal challenging an arbitration award in favour of Daiichi Sankyo in Singapore.
A spokesperson for RHC Holding Pvt Ltd, Singh’s holding company, has said that Singapore’s Court of Appeal has allowed Harish Salve to appear “on behalf of the majors and the minors for the Singapore award challenge proceedings,”, reported Economic Times.
Singapore law allows foreign lawyers in its courts only in specific instances, like a need for their assistance considering their special qualifications or experience.
A lawyer in Singapore courts said, “This is the first case of an Indian counsel representing in Singapore Court, otherwise it is only local lawyers or Queen’s Counsel (QC) who have been allowed.”
QC is a special status accorded to lawyers in England. Most of the lawyers designated as such are Barristers — like Salve.
Coming back to the case, the Singhs are challenging an arbitration tribunal award of April 2016, which ordered them to pay Daiichi more than INR25 billion (USD386 million) in damages for allegedly concealing information regarding wrongdoing at Ranbaxy while selling the drug maker to the Japanese firm for USD4.6 billion in 2008. Now, the award is valued at INR35 billion (USD540 million) including interest and legal fees.
As Salve has been admitted to the Bar for the case, Singapore court is expected to give a new date to hear Singh’s appeal. Earlier, the hearing was expected in November.
The Singhs’ appeal against Daiichi’s award in Singapore is expected to discuss issues of Indian law, which requires advice from an eminent Indian jurist.