Senior counsel joins UK chamber as door tenant

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Ritin Rai

Supreme Court senior counsel Ritin Rai joined 7 King’s Bench Walk Barristers in London in September as the firm’s first door tenant.

“Being part of 7 King’s Bench Walk gives me better access and insights to the world of international disputes, and particularly international commercial arbitration, Rai told India Business Law Journal.

He said international disputes made up a significant part of his work. “I frequently work with international law firms advising on Indian law and the implications of foreign (including arbitral) proceedings on Indian courts, including issues of enforcement.”

A door tenant is a qualified advocate who has a non-exclusive arrangement with a chamber to carry out their practice from the chamber’s premises.

Rai successfully proposed a working relationship with 7 King’s Bench Walk owing to the value he could bring to the instructing lawyers and clients he works with.

However, he clarified that he does not intend to practice in UK courts. “I believe there are plenty of opportunities for a senior advocate practising Indian law to appear in arbitrations seated outside Indian law, and to act as experts in foreign court proceedings – I intend to focus on those opportunities,” he said.

Rai was designated a senior advocate by India’s Supreme Court in March 2019. He also appears before the Delhi High Court, and in commercial arbitrations. Rai has been practising before Indian courts and tribunals since 2004. He started his career in 1998 as an associate at Jones Day in Ohio state, US.

Rai appeared in the Bar Council of India v AK Balaji & Ors case in the Supreme Court, dealing with whether foreign lawyers could provide legal advice in India. Rai represented 12 US law firms in the case where the Supreme Court in March 2018 ruled that foreign law firms could advise in India on a “fly in and fly out” basis, and also act in arbitral matters.

His practice includes commercial and regulatory disputes including telecoms, company, insolvency and competition law.