Richa Phulwani

Senior Associate


B.A L.L.B, ILS Law College, Pune


Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa


Richa is a part of the dispute resolution and the corporate & commercial practice group at Acuity Law. She has experience in ad-hoc and institutional arbitrations, mediations, commercial litigation matters and corporate-commercial advisory work spanning across various sectors. She advises clients on matters including oppression and mismanagement disputes, shareholders’ disputes, enforcement proceedings, international and domestic arbitrations resulting from works contracts.

  • Representing and advising a stakeholder for admission of claim that arose after liquidation commencement date (2024).
  • Representing and advising SIAC arbitration award holder in enforcement proceedings against third-party funder in India (2023).
  • Representing and advising a Japanese logistics and warehousing company in a Singapore-seated arbitration in successfully obtaining an arbitral award, followed by its enforcement in India (2023).
  • Representing and advising clients in appeals before the Supreme Court and the Securities Appellate Tribunal challenging stock exchange rulings (2023).
  • Representing and advising a partner of a real-estate development firm in arbitration regarding inter-se disputes between partners of the firm (2023).
  • Advised a foreign financial creditor in its claim of ~USD 25 million against an Indian company undergoing insolvency resolution and liquidation process (2022).
  • Represented an interim arbitral award holder in execution proceedings before the Bombay High Court (2022).
  • Advised Japan-based engineering company in assessing and understanding labour law implications in India for establishing Indian off sites (2022).
  • Represented minority shareholders of a private company in an oppression and mismanagement matter before the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai bench (2022).
  • Advised a foreign company in securing shares pursuant to an order of a foreign court (2022).
  • Represented an investor before securities appellate tribunal in claiming its investment from the Investor Protection Fund (2020).


February 22, 2024

The triumph of arbitration clauses in insufficiently / unstamped agreements!

The Supreme Court in In Re: Interplay between Arbitration Agreements under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 and the Indian Stamp Act 1899 has finally put the issue to rest. A 7-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court has held that arbitration can be validly invoked on an insufficiently / unstamped agreement and the issue of payment of stamp duty shall thereafter be decided by the arbitral tribunal itself.

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November 22, 2023

New mechanisms & reduced timelines: SEBI’s alternate dispute resolution amendment

Introduction Recently, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) amended various regulations vide the SEBI (Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism) (Amendment) Regulations, 2023 (Amendment) (read here) to introduce a dispute resolution mechanism for redressal of grievances. The Amendment comes in light of consultation papers dated 19 December 2022 (Consultation Paper 1) (read here) and 19 May 2023 (Consultation Paper 2) (read here). […]

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September 26, 2023

Comparative Advertising: Balancing Puffery and Avoiding Disparagement

Introduction Given the competition in consumer products space, various brands resort to comparative advertising to attract consumers. These brands must however adhere to the age-old adage of “your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins”. Brands may make exaggerated statements in their advertisements that may not be entirely true […]

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July 26, 2023

Enhanced powers of courts at pre-referral stage – a new trend!

Introduction One of the key objectives of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (Arbitration Act) is expeditious disposal of commercial disputes. However, it is often seen that arbitration is marred by the time spent in courts at the pre-referral stage, especially during the appointment of the arbitral tribunal. In this background, the Supreme Court in […]

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May 26, 2023

Insufficiently stamped agreement and the defeat of arbitration!

Introduction Expeditious and efficacious dispute resolution is essential for creating a business-friendly environment. In its 246th Report, the Law Commission of India observed an emerging trend towards judicial intervention in arbitration. To tackle the same and make India a pro-arbitration jurisdiction, it was recommended to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (Arbitration Act). Keeping […]

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December 14, 2022

Appellate arbitration clauses: a path less travelled

Introduction In the past decade, the Indian jurisprudence on commercial dispute resolution has undergone a revolution. Indian courts are inclined to adopt a procedure that ensures efficient, timely resolution involving lesser costs and are willing to adopt novel procedures to such end. While arbitration is a favorable mode of dispute resolution in this regard, the […]

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November 8, 2022

CPC not applicable for granting interim reliefs under Arbitration Act

In India, procedural law relating to civil and commercial disputes is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC). The CPC lays down the procedure for administration of civil proceedings including rules for filing of suits, written statements, filing of documents, evidence, permissible reliefs, and enforcement.   While CPC is applicable to every commercial dispute […]

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November 4, 2022

Supreme Court on mandatory mediation in the era of docket explosion

Commercial and contractual disputes in India have arisen multifold with the steady increase in commerce and investment. Given the complex nature of commercial disputes involving multi-layered transactions, the 253rd Law Commission Report (Law Commission Report) recommended passing a separate legislation for speedy disposal of commercial disputes. In such a background, the parliament enacted the Commercial […]

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September 14, 2022

Demystifying arbitral tribunal’s power to make changes to the arbitral award

An arbitral tribunal is a creation of a contract between parties. The tribunal is brought to life when the parties decide to refer their inter-se disputes to the tribunal and once the final award is passed, the tribunal’s mandate comes to an end. However, under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (Act), termination of the […]

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September 5, 2022

Power of arbitral tribunal to modify its interim orders

The parties to arbitration have limited remedies under the appeal provision against the orders of the arbitral tribunal. While the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (Act) contemplates appeal from interim orders of the arbitral tribunal to courts, such orders cannot be reviewed or recalled by the arbitral tribunal itself. This brings one to the question […]

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August 18, 2022

Withdrawal & settlement under liquidation

While the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) is underway, sometimes it is common for the creditor and the entity under CIRP (Corporate Debtor) to enter discussions where the parties may come to a mutual understanding to settle the debt. In such cases, a creditor may withdraw the application made against the Corporate Debtor for admission […]

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July 28, 2022

Delhi High Court on ‘close family relationship’ between arbitrators and parties

Introduction One of the cardinal rules of natural justice is that no one should act as a judge in a case where they have a personal interest. This is because a judge may harbor some bias (or perceived to have some bias) which may ultimately affect an otherwise equitable outcome in cases where the judge […]

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May 9, 2022

Insolvency Law: Decree Holder not at par with a Financial / Operational Creditor

Introduction The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Code”) was enacted with a primary objective of timebound reorganisation and insolvency resolution of corporate debtors. Under the Code, financial or operational creditors of a corporate debtor can approach the National Company Law Tribunal (“NCLT”) to initiate insolvency resolution process against a corporate debtor upon occurrence of a default […]

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February 20, 2020

15 Key Developments in IBC 2016 (in 2019)

In the winter of 2015, the Indian Legislature sought to tackle the persistent problem of bad debts affecting Indian financial institutions and trade creditors by enacting the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Code”), which was finally notified in May 2016. The key purpose of the enactment was to consolidate and amend the laws relating to reorganization and […]

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Richa Phulwani

Richa Phulwani

Senior Associate