Head of India Practice; Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
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Sherina Petit is an international arbitration lawyer and leads the practice across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. She also heads the firm's India practice. Besides arbitration, she has significant experience in investor state disputes resolution, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and litigation. In addition to acting as counsel in arbitrations, she regularly sits as an arbitrator.
Sherina has a wide range of experience in all key aspects of international arbitration across a broad range of industries, including: energy; construction; oil and gas; trade; transport; pharmaceuticals; commodities; finance; and technology. She represents international clients in a wide variety of commercial and investment arbitration proceedings, including those before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), as well as in ad hoc proceedings.
Sherina is on the board of the LCIA, the ICC Indian Arbitration Group and the SIAC Users Council. She is also on the executive board of the European Federation of Investment Law and Arbitration (EFILA) having recently retired as its Chairperson. Sherina is also on the Steering Committee of the Pledge for Equal Representation for Women in Arbitration.
Sherina has co-authored chapters of numerous books including Arbitration in England edited by Julian Lew QC, Enforcing Arbitral Awards in India edited by Nakul Dewan; and The Guide to Challenging and Enforcing Arbitration Awards, edited by J William Rowley QC, Emmanuel Gaillard and Gordon E Kaiser.
Besides being qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales, Sherina completed her Bachelor of Laws degree in India and her Master of Law degree at King's College, London.
Sherina has vast international experience, having practised across multiple jurisdictions. She qualified as an Advocate in India whilst working at a leading law firm in Mumbai (now non-practising). She was awarded her England and Wales qualification whilst training at a magic circle firm in London, and subsequently spent six years as an associate in the international arbitration team at another international law firm London before joining us in 2009.
- King's College London
- Master of Law (LLM)
- Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales
- Advocate, qualified in India (non practicing)
Sherina has had numerous successes in arbitrations that she has handled both in terms of settlement (including through ADR) and Arbitration Awards in her clients' favour. Some notable disputes in which she has been involved include:
- An Indian engineering company (specializing in the manufacturing of high chromium wear, corrosion and abrasion resistant castings used in the cement, mining and thermal power generation industries), and their majority shareholder, (ICC, Indian law, London seat).
- An Indian wind energy company – represented against a German entity relating to a sale and purchase agreement (ICC, English law, London seat).
- A Rwandan incorporated company – acted against a Kenyan contractor relating to a methane-gas fired power project and the termination of numerous EPC Contracts (ICC, English law, Zurich seat).
- An Omani joint venture partner of a leading provider of speciality gases, performance materials and equipment and services – represented against its customer relating to its facility in Oman (ICC, Omani law, Bahrain seat).
- One of the wealthiest South Asian families – advised on an African jurisdiction involving a dispute over a number of assets the family owns worldwide (LCIA, English law, London seat).
- An Indian pharmaceutical company – acted against a European company arising on sale and purchase agreement (LCIA, English law, London seat).
- A Russian coffee company – represented against a US-incorporated supplier of green coffee beans under the European Coffee Contract (LCIA, English law, London seat).
- A Kazakhstan based oil company – acted against an oil-field operator relating to the breach of the terms of an SPA and a Tax Deed of Indemnity (LCIA, English law, London seat).
- An international rice producer – represented on three separate LCIA arbitrations following the breach of a rice supply agreement and alleged breaches of trademark licences and non-compete obligations (LCIA, Indian Law, London seat).
- A multinational airport operations syndicate – acted against a retail contractor relating to retail concessions at two European airports (LCIA administered UNCITRAL, Cyprus law, London seat).
- A French maritime and transportation company – assisted with its challenge in the English courts to an award issued under the India-France BIT in an arbitration seated in London and conducted under the UNCITRAL rules (UNCITRAL, English law, London seat).
- An Indian multinational oil and gas company and its international subsidiary – advised on two oil and gas related arbitrations against an African state (UNCITRAL, Sudanese law, London seat).
- An Indian multinational oil and gas company and its international subsidiary against the Government of an African state (UNCITRAL, Sudanese law, Dubai seat).
- A US curtain manufacturer – represented against a large Pakistani textile manufacturing company (UNCITRAL, English law, London seat).
- One of India's largest construction conglomerates – acted on an ICC arbitration case seated in London pertaining to a dispute over an EPC contract executed in Oman (UNCITRAL, English law, London seat).
- An Indian manufacturer – represented on a dispute with a Polish engineering company concerning a joint venture for the manufacturing of hydraulic oil systems (UNCITRAL, Indian Law, New Delhi seat).
- Sitting as an arbitrator in a pharmaceutical dispute relating to alleged breaches of the share purchase agreement (ICC, Indian law, Indian seat).
- Sitting as an arbitrator involving a dispute between a global Indian-based power company and a telecom company (LCIA, English law, London seat).
Investor state dispute resolution
- A Western investment group – represented on an expropriation claim against the Government of an East African nation relating to alleged interference and the indirect expropriation of significant mining assets.
- A global company – acted on potential remedies under bilateral investment treaties concerning Tanzania in a matter involving several hundred million dollars, including advice on the implications of the Standard Chartered v Tanzania BIT claim.
- A European infrastructure company – represented on a bilateral investment treaty claim against a former Soviet state for breaches of agreements and fair and equitable treatment provisions relating to changes in local law and investment policy.
- Represented two multinational banks against an insurance company relating to political risk insurance events in South America (LCIA, English law, London seat).
- A client – represented as claimant in English High Court proceedings in a commercial contract dispute.
- A US construction company – represented as defendant in a litigation in the English High Court concerning the construction of the world's largest beverage facility.
- The Indian branch of a multinational bank as a claimant – represented on its action to recover sums advanced to various defaulting borrowers under English law governed facility agreements.
- Four Indian/international banks as Claimants – advised on enforcement actions before the English High Court against an Indian telecoms company.
- An Indian owner and operator of a commodities and currencies derivative exchange – represented in the English High Court relating to enforcement actions arising out of a London-seated arbitration in which our clients were successful.
Internal and regulatory investigations
- A US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation – represented on the UN's Oil for Food Programme in Iraq and in response to a subpoena from the SEC.
- The Asea Brown Boveri Group (ABB) – acted on the US$925 million sale of its upstream oil, gas and petrochemicals business - the United States Vetco Gray unit and its Offshore Systems business headquartered in Norway - to a consortium of private equity investors consisting of Candover Partners Ltd, 3i and JPMorgan Partners.
- Internal investigation into fraud allegations – represented against a leading accountancy firm.
- Internal investigation into allegation of breach of UN Sanctions – acted against illegal payments to a prohibited militia.
- SEC investigation of a US company arising out of an inquiry into related business interests in Nigeria.
- Internal investigation into the possible misapplication of funds in a joint venture project involving US and Indian companies.
- Internal investigation by the SEC for a US telecommunications company.
- Internal investigation into allegations of bribery revealed by a whistleblower at a large international engine manufacturer.
Sherina has received multiple awards, the most recent include:
- Professional Adviser Award at The Indian Awards, India Business Group at the House of Commons 2019.
- 'Leading Individual from England' and described as "a stand out name in the international arbitration space", Who's Who Legal: Arbitration 2019.
- A-list from the 'Top 100 international lawyers for India related work', India Business Law Journal 2019.
- Dispute Resolution Star, Benchmark Litigation Europe 2019.
- Inaugural International Arbitration Powerlist for the United Kingdom, The Legal 500, 2018.
- Expert in Commercial Arbitration Guide, Expert Guides 2018. Voted by corporate counsel in the 'Arbitration & ADR for the UK category, Client Choice Awards 2017-2018.
- Who's Who Future Leaders in Arbitration for both 2017 and 2018, recognized as a 'future leader in arbitration' and noted as "a prominent name in the arbitration market … widely endorsed for her extensive experience in energy and infrastructure disputes", Who's Who Future Leaders 2017-2018.
- Acritas Stars database 2017-2019.
- Awarded the 'India Arbitration Lawyer of the Year in England', Corporate International Magazine Global Award 2017.
- 'Rising stars: the new generation of litigators making their mark'. Legal Week 2016.
- Recognized as a 'Rising Star for International Arbitration', and described as "a key figure in developing the firm's India practice" and "a complete dynamo". LMG Rising Stars 2015-2016.
Sherina is ranked in several leading directories including:
- Described as "pugnacious strategist and a great mind to have on clients' teams" and "very receptive to her clients' needs". The Legal 500, 2019.
- Praised by clients for her "commercially focused advice and her ability to quickly mobilise her team." She is well regarded for her international commercial arbitration practice, which centres on energy and infrastructure disputes, with a strong focus on matters involving India. Chambers & Partners Global 2018-2019.
- Described as "great – a very nice person to deal with and extremely charming in how she goes about things". She is particularly recommended for her work on cases with Indian elements. Chambers & Partners UK 2018-2019.
- Commended as a prominent arbitration counsel, and quotes: "She's a great disputes lawyer. Very knowledgeable in terms of her practice area, she is very effective at what she does." Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific 2018-2019.
- "India and UK-qualified Sherina Petit is 'committed to India and has a good reputation,' report sources… Clients admire that 'she goes the extra mile to make the relationship work, and the level of work she does is extremely accessible and helpful.'" Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific 2016-2017.
- "Technically excellent as well as being a delight to work with". Chambers & Partners UK 2016-2017.
- Described as someone having "a prominent reputation in the marketplace, and is highly recommended for her ability to handle heavyweight matters". Chambers & Partners UK 2014-2015.
- Sources referring to Sherina's high level of service have described her delivery as "excellent, prompt and cost-efficient". Chambers & Partners Global 2014-2015.
- Commercial Arbitration in the Europe Expert listings for the UK, Expert Guides.
- Global Arbitration Review (GAR).
- Law changes bring Indian arbitration into the future, CDR Magazine, August 10, 2016
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