Commercial disputes in India are slow, costly and all too likely to end in stalemate. Meticulous planning and the careful selection of advisers are crucial factors in achieving a successful outcome By Ben Frumin in New Delhi

Nick Archer, an international dispute resolution partner at Slaughter and May, had flown into New Delhi from London. Two of his clients had flown in from Denmark. They had a hearing scheduled before the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission in India’s teeming capital to deal with allegations that a Danish manufacturer was dumping catalysts in the Indian market.

Archer and his clients arrived a couple of days before the hearing. They stayed at the upscale Oberoi hotel and met with the senior counsel who would later argue their case in court.

When they showed up at the tribunal, however, their hearing was immediately adjourned. Nothing was explained and even less accomplished. Archer’s Danish clients were soon on a plane back to Europe.

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