(About a week ago, the
Focus India Conference was held on the 15th and 16th of May 2009, a unique and innovative exercise by the students of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU). Unlike other student run conferences which are often focussed on academics and the theoretical aspects of law, this conference focussed on the practice of commercial and corporate law in
Keeping the current state of the Indian and global economic atmosphere in mind, the conference had eight sessions, viz. India as an Emerging Superpower in the Twenty First Century; Foreign Investments in India; Mergers and Acquisitions: Challenges and the Way Forward; Innovations in the Financial Sector including Bankruptcy and Restructuring; Banking and Finance; Capital Markets; Infrastructure and Project Finance; Competition Law; and Taxation Law. Luminaries in the field of commercial law such as Mr. Cyril Shroff, from Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff, Mr. Rajiv Luthra, from Luthra and Luthra Law Offices, and Mr. Ajay Behl, from AZB & Partners, came as chairs of various panels with Mr. Cyril Shroff officiating the conference as Conference Chair. Due to the interesting subject matter of the conference and its uniqueness of approach, partners from leading global law firms such as Clifford Chance LLP, Linklaters, Jones Day, Latham & Watkins, Debevoise and Plimpton LLP also attended and gave the an international perspective to the various issues raised in the Conference.
The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Venkata Rao, the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor of the National Law School of India University, and he was pleased to have the honour to host so many of the brightest legal minds in the area of corporate and commercial law in India. He also took this opportunity to create an Advisory Committee consisting of pioneers of corporate law in India, such as Mr. Cyril Shroff, Mr. Shardul Shroff, Mr. Rajiv Luthra, Ms. Zia Mody, prominent industry figures such as Infosys mentor N R Narayana Murthy and Jugnu Uberoi, owner of Uberoi Trading, as well as some alumni of NLSIU such as Ms. Madhurima Mukherjee, and Mr. Umakanth. This high level body will advise NLSIU on various issues such as providing cutting edge global legal education, improving facilities, and expanding internationally. Sandeep Uberoi, final year student and the convener of Focus India stressed upon the idea of Focus India was to “initiative to bring together the legal community to share their views and vision for the future legal policies and practice of India with the student community” and added that Focus India aims to provide a platform to discuss and debate India's role as a superpower and the challenges which will need to be faced to deliver the India story in its entirety.
Mr. Cyril Shroff, as Conference Chair, addressed the issue of legal education in
Each of the sessions was informative and students of NLSIU got a rare chance to interact and learn from leading legal professionals. The success of the Conference was evidenced by the enthusiasm of both the speakers and the audience and that fact that this Conference is now being made an annual affair.
- Sandeep Uberoi