There are various factors a company or an industry has to look after. Of which, legal complications carry a definite spot in any industry. Depending on the type of company, the legal issues vary accordingly. Taking the example of the construction industry, a builder has to go through various legal procedures and compliances before even commencing construction and a host more before the project goes live.
Most companies require legal assistance, in some form or other, as there are certain legal issues that cannot be easily comprehended or solved without help from a professional. Advani & Co. is one such prominent name in the legal industry, which specializes in oil and gas, maritime and shipping, construction, projects and infrastructures, finance and renewable energy.
Established in the year 1987, Advani & Co. is one of the oldest specialized arbitration practices in India. It has pioneered the growth of arbitration law and practice in India. Marking its success for the last three decades, the firm has grown constantly.
Offering Exceptional Services
Since its inception, Advani & Co. has had as its clients, various major companies and industries. But the majority of the firms arbitrations have been in the field of energy or natural resources, in particular, offshore oil and gas. The firm has appeared on behalf of Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Subsea7 and NPCC, to name a few.
Apart from these international companies, Advani & Co. has represented numerous players in the Indian oil and gas industry. Some noteworthy names include Dolphin Offshore, Great Eastern Offshore and Naik Services.
Most of the oil reserves in India are owned by Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) as a result of which, the majority of the claims filed by Advani & Co. have been against ONGC. The firm has also acted for a number of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) including HPCL, SAIL, and JNPT in major arbitrations. Currently, the firm is acting as Lead Counsel for a number of arbitration and litigation matters arising out of major contracts on behalf of Swiber Offshore Construction Pte Ltd.
Advani & Co. has also consistently acted for India’s largest construction company Larsen & Turbo (L&T). It has represented L&T in local and global disputes. The firm’s sectoral expertise includes major companies in the power sector, the construction sector, tourism, coding and marking sector and FMCGs.
The Visionary Personality
The Founding and Managing Partner, Mr. Hiroo Advani is one of the first Indian lawyers to be listed in the International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitrators. He is a highly regarded name and global authority on arbitration law.
Mr. Advani has been the lead counsel in a huge number of international arbitrations under different arbitration rules. For example ICC, the LCIA, UNCITRAL, Swedish Arbitration Association, Singapore Association of Arbitration, Zurich Chamber of Commerce and ad hoc arbitrations in India.
Mr. Advani has been on the panel of arbitrators under different rules such as Singapore International Arbitration Centre, Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), and ad hoc arbitrations in India. He has conducted almost a dozen arbitrations either as a sole arbitrator, co-arbitrator or presiding arbitrator.
Being recognized as a leading dispute resolution lawyer by Legal 500 – India, Mr. Advani is also an ‘A-List’ lawyer by the India Business Law Journal, 2019. He is known to have a fantastic success rate in arbitrations and an enviable record. He has won a large number of multi-million dollar awards in international as well as domestic arbitration proceedings.
Mr. Hiroo Advani has prior experience as an Arbitrator, qualified Barrister and a leading counsel in many notable arbitration cases, thereby cultivating a rich diaspora of knowledge that enables a holistic and novel approach to the sphere of arbitration.
Step by Step Growth
Advani & Co. has grown from strength to strength since its inception. The formula that has worked for its growth so far is one of dedicated client service and a refusal to give up until there is a positive outcome. Its clients’ referrals speak volumes to the quality of service.
Unlike many multiservice firms, Advani & Co.’s practice does not outsource any professional services which enables it to provide services par excellence and increase accountability to its clients. Every stage of the arbitration process, right up to enforcement, is handled in-house.
Mr. Advani personally acts as lead counsel in all arbitrations, bringing decades of arbitration expertise to the table, ensuring seamless proficiency and quality, at all stages of the arbitration process.
Advani & Co. is on a constant mission to learn about new practices and businesses and understands that the landscape is changing. It sees the need to innovate. It intends to fully embrace the future and evolve to the changes that are looming large. As lawyers, the firm and the team aims to move with the times and embrace the change by creating opportunities. The firm believes in a multidisciplinary approach to all matters and this is achieved by bringing in the best experts and consultants in their respective fields, such as construction, tax and finance, which enables it to present a strong case.
As a major player in the industry for four decades, Advani & Co. has approached a cost-effective method by introducing a fixed fee cost model. The model provides its clients much needed budget certainty and cost predictability. It has alternative billing models such as, competitive hourly rates, capped fees based on the various stages of arbitration. One key way that the firm brings affordability to its clients, while being one of the first law firms in India to do so, is to assist clients who cannot afford the cost of arbitration by obtaining funding from third parties.
Keeping up with Technology
In today’s world, all aspects of life are somehow linked to technology. Be it education, official work or health, technology has proved to be beneficial. The legal world is no exception. With the arrival of technology, tools and apps on mobile phones, the legal sector has had to transform itself to keep up. Getting updates and information about law or cases, including court listings, which earlier took time, now gets done in a few clicks.
Technology has been of great advantage to legal professionals. With the advent of artificial intelligence, much of the claptrap legal work can be taken out from the hands of people. Moreover, AI helps to streamline and automate tasks and processes. This technological advancement has helped Advani & Co. to a great extent.
Initially, starting out as a boutique arbitration practice at a time when arbitration was not very well known, was the biggest challenge that the firm faced. Thereafter, the problem was the reverse when arbitration became more popular and several lawyers opened arbitration practices.. The biggest challenge then became the increased competition, which has now become a constant, leading to difficulty in finding new clients. Firms do not just have to increase their revenue but also their margin in order to sufficiently expand.
This challenge is supplemented with another challenge of specialization. In order for firms to stand out from their competitors, they need to specialize in a particular area of law. Today’s clients would rather reach out to several different law firms on a need basis depending on their level of specialization rather than retaining one law firm that generically performs all services, which has been the trend historically.
Currently, one of the big challenges faced, is the need to keep up to speed with developing areas of business and new laws. Lawyers need to constantly study and train to specialize in emerging practice areas to keep up with the growing needs of businesses and technology, be it blockchain technology, drones or fintech. With clients becoming more tech-savvy, it is up to the lawyers to keep pace with the time and technology, be it blockchain, drones or fintech.
The current generation of law students intern at various law firms and chambers from the first year of their course, which enables them to explore different avenues of practice before they finally decide on their specialization
Arbitration is one particular niche in the legal industry that students are opting for as it is well recognized in most parts of the world. This presents opportunities for students to not only carry out their work in their respective domestic jurisdiction but also expand to countries around the globe and travel overseas.
Being a leading firm, Advani & Co. understands how important it is to give an opportunity to law students. The firm hires young professionals through internship programs. This enables the firm to discover upcoming talent.
As law students are the future of the legal industry, Advani & Co. provides them with adequate training and exposure to do the ground-work which helps enhance their skill and judgment, required to excel in the field of arbitration and dispute resolution.
As of now, Advani & Co. has a presence in Mumbai and Delhi. Advani & Co. is working to expand its footprint and open branches in other metropolitan cities in India and overseas.