Top Indian Lawyers Harish Salve, Gopal Subramanium to Clash in Singapore Court

Harish Salve will represent Ranbaxy while Gopal Subramanium will represent Daiichi Sankyo in a case to be heard in Singapore.


Two of India’s top lawyers, Harish Salve and Gopal Subramanium, will clash in Singapore when they represent Ranbaxy and Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo, respectively. The Supreme Court of Singapore gave Subramanium the permission to represent Daiichi on Nov. 22.

Earlier this year, the Singapore supreme court rejected Salve’s application for representing Ranbaxy, but relented earlier this month. The court had rejected Salve’s application earlier since he could not show “special qualifications or experience for the purpose of the case,” as required under Section 15 of the Legal Profession Act of Singapore. However, Salve will now represent the Singh brothers, Malvinder and Shivinder Singh.

The application of Subramanium, who is a former Solicitor General (SG) of India, to represent Daiichi Sankyo in the court was heard by Justice Steven Chong, the same judge who had rejected Salve’s application in February.

“I am looking forward to arguing in Singapore as it is a very respected jurisdiction, which has ruled on very important matters in transaction law,” Subramanium told the Economic Times.

“The high court has found his (Subramanium’s) credentials suitable to permit him as an Indian lawyer to appear,” a lawyer close to the matter told the publication on condition of anonymity.

Salve is representing former Ranbaxy promoters, Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, against Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo in Singapore. The Singhs are challenging an arbitration tribunal award granting Daciichi Rs. 2,500 crore in damages in April last year.  Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), which provides neutral arbitration services to global business community, told the Singhs to pay Daiichi the amount for concealing information of wrongdoing at Ranbaxy when they sold their shares in 2008.

“Daiichi Sankyo believes that certain former shareholders of Ranbaxy concealed and misrepresented critical information concerning the U.S. [Justice Department] and [Food and Drug Administration] investigations,” the company said in May 2016.

The award has increased to Rs 3,500 crore, including legal fees and interest.

The two ace lawyers of India will reportedly be asked to argue about Indian law only when the case comes up next year. The objections would be taken up by local lawyers. The case is also being argued in Delhi High Court, where Subramanium was one of the main lawyers for Daiichi. The Delhi High Court reserved its judgment in September if Daiichi can claim the amount granted to them in India.

Meanwhile, Daiichi approached the Delhi High Court to prevent the Singh brothers from divesting from their share of the Fortis Healthcare chain. The brothers hold 34.44 per cent stake in Fortis Healthcare. The Supreme Court of India told the Singh brothers to maintain their shares in the hospital.


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