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  • Jharna Jagtiani

In Conversation with Adv. Krusch Antony

In Conversation with Adv. Krusch Antony

Adv. Krusch Antony is a Partner at King Stubb & Kasiva Advocates & Attorneys and is also the Head of the Kochi Branch. He is an accomplished ADR professional with expertise in Commercial laws, Banking and finance, Insurance Laws, and Family and Employment laws. He provides strategic advice to clients on business transactions, claims liability, and legal rights and obligations. With extensive experience in Arbitration, Conciliation, and mediation, Adv. Krusch Antony is renowned for resolving complex disputes efficiently. He represents esteemed clients such as Muthoot Financing Group, CSB Bank Ltd, Eastern Group, Kochi, and M/s Sakthi Group, Coimbatore.

His commitment to professional growth is evident from his attendance at various conferences and certifications. Adv. Krusch Antony has completed advanced training courses in Techniques and procedures of Arbitration by AICADR and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, as well as obtained certifications in Arbitration Law Practice, International Law, and Maritime Arbitration. With his outstanding legal acumen, Adv. Krusch Antony is a trusted advisor, delivering effective legal solutions to a diverse clientele.

Student Assistant: Sana Myiesha, Student, IFIM School of Law, Bengaluru

You've conducted over 8,000 arbitration cases and resolved more than 1000 cases through Negotiation and mediation. How do you handle complex disputes, and what strategies do you employ to reach successful outcomes?

As a dispute resolution professional, I believe in employing a well-rounded approach that harnesses the full array of available Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques. This means embracing mediation, negotiation, arbitration, and more, adapting each method to the unique context of each case. This approach increases the likelihood of achieving resolutions that not only uphold legality but also address the underlying concerns of all parties involved. In my practice, I am unwavering in my dedication to treating every case impartially. Regardless of its intricacy or financial implications, I am resolute in offering equal attention, diligence, and respect to all cases. This commitment to fairness fosters an environment of trust and open communication, essential for uncovering the true motivations of each party.

By eradicating bias from the equation, I create a space where all parties can have confidence in the process and the fairness of the outcome. My goal is not only to reach agreements but to reach agreements that all parties genuinely endorse. This approach accelerates the resolution process, preserves relationships, and sets the stage for productive collaborations in the future.

Can you discuss the importance of continuous learning and attending conferences and certifications to stay updated in the legal field?

ADR is a field that is in a constant state of flux, and it demands an unyielding commitment to continuous education. This commitment isn't merely valuable; it is an absolute necessity for practitioners like me, ensuring that we remain informed about the latest techniques, legal developments, and strategic approaches. The ADR landscape continually adapts to new complexities and challenges, making ongoing education a potent tool. Staying attuned to emerging methodologies equips us to confidently navigate uncharted waters, fostering a flexible and responsive approach to dispute resolution. The legal terrain is ever-shifting, introducing nuances that can significantly impact ADR proceedings.

By embracing a philosophy of continuous learning, we, as practitioners, effectively incorporate these changes into our practice, upholding the highest standards of proficiency. The true essence of perpetual learning lies in its direct impact on delivering effective dispute resolution services. It empowers practitioners to offer solutions that are not only efficient but also well-informed and aligned with current best practices. In the ever-evolving ADR landscape, our dedication to ongoing education serves as a foundational pillar, empowering us with the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate successful resolutions in this ever-changing terrain.

In essence, being an ADR professional means being a lifelong learner. It is an unwavering commitment to honing our craft and staying at the forefront of the field. This dedication ensures that we can provide the best possible service to our clients and adapt effectively to the dynamic challenges that arise in the world of dispute resolution.

As the demand for ethical and socially responsible practices increases, how do you think law students can proactively incorporate principles of sustainability and corporate social responsibility into their legal education and future careers?

I ardently support a transformative approach to legal education, emphasizing a "learning by doing" model over traditional classroom instruction and exams. This innovative approach prioritizes practical experience, placing internships and real-life scenarios at its core. This paradigm shift has the potential to revolutionize legal education fundamentally.

By embracing this approach, students acquire invaluable hands-on skills, enabling them to navigate the intricate legal landscape with confidence. This shift successfully bridges the gap between theory and practice, empowering aspiring legal professionals to tackle the multifaceted challenges of the legal field effectively.

Legal education traditionally revolves around rote learning and abstract concepts, often leaving graduates ill-prepared for real-world legal practice. However, with a "learning by doing" approach, students engage directly with legal cases, negotiation techniques, and client interactions, ensuring they graduate with practical, job-ready skills. Moreover, this approach promotes adaptability and critical thinking, essential qualities in the modern legal landscape. It nurtures a deeper understanding of the complexities of law by immersing students in the actual practice of it. In sum, this progressive educational model reshapes legal education to produce well-rounded and effective legal professionals, ready to thrive in the dynamic and challenging world of law. It is an investment in the future of the legal field, equipping students not only with knowledge but also the practical acumen needed to excel in their legal careers.

Could you share your views on the future of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution in India? How do you see the legal fraternity evolving in this context?

The future of dispute resolution is undoubtedly brightened by the convergence of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), further magnified by the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This trajectory signifies a pivotal moment in the evolution of the legal profession, and it presents an exhilarating opportunity for law schools to redefine the way they impart legal education.

By embracing this trajectory and integrating it into their curricula, law schools can profoundly reshape the learning landscape. They can accomplish this by incorporating adept online faculties who are well-versed in ODR and ADR, along with knowledgeable practitioners who can provide real-world insights. Experienced advisors can also play a pivotal role in guiding students through the intricacies of this evolving field.

This proactive approach serves a dual purpose. First, it equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the technology-driven legal sphere of the future. Second, it empowers them with the confidence to navigate the complexities of this dynamic landscape effectively. By offering a comprehensive education that encompasses the latest advancements in ODR, ADR, and AI, law schools ensure that their graduates are at the forefront of legal innovation. This transformative approach positions future legal professionals advantageously in a rapidly evolving legal landscape. It not only aligns them with the technological trends shaping the profession but also cultivates the critical thinking and adaptability necessary to harness the potential of ODR, ADR, and AI. In essence, it's a significant stride toward preparing the legal leaders of tomorrow to excel in an ever-changing legal world.

India is becoming a popular choice for international commercial arbitration. As a professional with experience in this field, what unique challenges and opportunities arise when handling cross-border disputes involving Indian and foreign parties?

I've observed that the pursuit of meaningful arbitration often encounters significant hurdles when the influence of the judicial system becomes overly intrusive. While arbitration is intended to provide an efficient and alternative means of resolving disputes, it sometimes becomes entangled in the complexities of the judicial process. This can result in delays, increased costs, and a departure from the core principles of arbitration, such as neutrality and expeditious resolution.

Additionally, in the context of India's evolving arbitration landscape, there is a noticeable gap when it comes to providing an impartial framework for ad hoc arbitrators. Currently, this role is predominantly filled by retired members of the judiciary, which inadvertently limits the diversity of expertise and perspectives in the arbitration domain. While retired judges undoubtedly bring valuable experience and legal acumen to the table, their predominance in this role can skew the arbitration process in favor of legalistic approaches and possibly deter parties from pursuing arbitration. This situation underscores the pressing need for a more diverse and inclusive pool of arbitrators in India. An ideal arbitration landscape should comprise professionals from various disciplines and backgrounds, including industry experts, business leaders, and individuals with specialized knowledge in the subject matter of the dispute. By fostering such diversity, we can create a well-rounded and unbiased arbitration environment that better serves the interests of all parties involved.

Moreover, promoting a broader spectrum of arbitrators from diverse fields can contribute to a more comprehensive and equitable arbitration landscape in the country. This not only ensures the integrity of arbitration but also aligns it more closely with its core principles of efficiency, fairness, and impartiality.

How do you stay updated with the latest developments in ADR, legal laws, and industry trends to provide the best possible advice to your clients?

Staying well-informed in the realm of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a dynamic and ongoing process that demands a multifaceted approach. It goes beyond the mere accumulation of knowledge; it involves continuous engagement and active participation to remain at the forefront of ADR practices.

One essential component of staying informed is the regular perusal of ADR newsletters. These newsletters are valuable sources of information, providing updates on the latest developments, emerging trends, and relevant legal changes in the ADR field. They serve as a vital conduit for practitioners to stay in the know about evolving practices and regulations.

Furthermore, a thorough analysis of case laws is crucial to adapt and refine ADR strategies. Learning from past cases and understanding how legal decisions impact dispute resolution approaches is essential for practitioners seeking to provide the best possible counsel to their clients. It's a process of constant refinement and evolution.

Active participation in conferences and seminars is another key element of staying well-informed. These events provide opportunities to learn from industry experts, engage in meaningful discussions, and gain exposure to innovative practices. Moreover, they foster networking and knowledge sharing among ADR professionals. Collaborative interactions within the field promote the exchange of valuable insights and experiences, enriching the collective expertise of ADR practitioners.

In the ever-changing landscape of dispute resolution, these concerted efforts to remain well-informed collectively enhance expertise. This, in turn, benefits clients by ensuring that ADR professionals are equipped with the latest knowledge and strategies to navigate complex disputes effectively. Moreover, it contributes to the continual improvement and credibility of ADR as a pivotal means of conflict resolution in the legal world.

As the field of arbitration continues to evolve, are there any emerging topics or areas of study that you recommend law students explore through postgraduate education or specialized certifications to stay ahead of the curve?

In the ever-evolving world of arbitration, it is imperative to remain at the forefront of emerging trends. As an arbitration professional, I recognize that exploring and comprehending the nascent areas within international commercial arbitration is not merely an option but a necessity. This commitment to staying informed equips practitioners with the tools to adapt to the continually shifting dynamics and effectively manage the diverse range of disputes that arise in the global business landscape. Taking a proactive stance towards understanding new developments is fundamental to our role. It enhances our ability to provide effective and innovative solutions to our clients. More importantly, it ensures that we remain agile and adaptable when confronted with the multifaceted challenges inherent to the field of international commercial arbitration.

In my experience, the complexity and diversity of disputes in international commercial arbitration are continuously expanding. From emerging industries to evolving legal frameworks, there is a constant stream of novel challenges that require innovative approaches. By staying informed about the latest trends and changes in the field, we are better equipped to meet these challenges head-on.

Ultimately, this unwavering commitment to ongoing learning and exploration serves to uphold the integrity and efficacy of international commercial arbitrations in an ever-changing world. It enables us to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and competence while delivering the best possible outcomes for our clients. In doing so, we contribute to the continued growth and relevance of international arbitration as a preferred method of dispute resolution in the global business community.

As cross-border disputes become more common, how important is it for arbitration practitioners in India to understand international arbitration laws and conventions? What steps can law students take to gain exposure to this aspect of arbitration practice?

For law students with aspirations to specialize in International Arbitration, pursuing internships with law firms and specialized arbitral institutions is an invaluable steppingstone to success. These internships offer a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world practice, providing students with a hands-on education that is essential for thriving in this specialized legal field.

Through these internships, students immerse themselves in the intricacies of arbitration proceedings. They work on actual cases, gaining practical experience in drafting legal documents, conducting research, and participating in arbitration hearings. This exposure not only enhances their understanding of the arbitration process but also helps them develop the critical skills required for effective advocacy and dispute resolution.

Furthermore, internships in International Arbitration provide an exceptional chance to network with seasoned professionals, mentors, and potential employers. Building relationships within the field is crucial for future career prospects, as it can lead to mentorship opportunities, job offers, and a deeper understanding of the industry's nuances. The connections made during internships can prove to be invaluable throughout a student's career.

In the competitive landscape of International Arbitration, these internships offer students a significant advantage. They provide a solid foundation, practical skills, and a professional network that can open doors and create opportunities for advancement. Ultimately, these internships are a vital component of a law student's journey toward becoming a proficient and sought-after practitioner in this dynamic and ever-evolving area of law. They represent a crucial investment in one's future as a successful International Arbitration specialist.

How do you see technology impacting the future of arbitration, and what skills do you think law students should develop to stay relevant in this evolving landscape?

Integrating Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) and comprehensive Artificial Intelligence (AI) training into the legal curriculum is paramount for adequately preparing law students to excel in the contemporary legal landscape. This integration equips them with the essential skills required to navigate modern dispute-resolution methods, which are becoming increasingly reliant on cutting-edge technology.

Firstly, ODR integration exposes students to the intricacies of online platforms and digital case management systems. This hands-on experience is invaluable in helping them understand the practicalities of conducting legal proceedings and negotiations in a virtual environment. It cultivates proficiency in leveraging digital tools to facilitate efficient dispute resolution processes, a skill set increasingly demanded in today's legal practice.

Secondly, AI training provides students with vital insights into the role of AI in the legal field. This encompasses AI's contributions to legal research, document analysis, and predictive analytics. Equipping students with AI knowledge enables them to harness technology to streamline their legal work, improving research efficiency, contract analysis, and even predicting case outcomes. Such AI-driven tools are becoming indispensable in the legal profession, and students well-versed in them are better positioned to offer more efficient, tech-savvy, and accessible dispute resolution services.

By incorporating ODR and AI training into the curriculum, legal education proactively aligns itself with the evolving legal industry. It ensures that future legal professionals are not only well-versed in traditional legal principles but also possess the technological fluency required to thrive in a dynamic and technology-driven legal world. Ultimately, this forward-thinking approach equips law students with a competitive edge and ensures they are well-prepared to meet the multifaceted demands of the contemporary legal landscape.

What measures can law schools and institutions take to better prepare law students for the future of arbitration, considering the evolving legal landscape in India and the growing demand for alternative dispute resolution?

Law schools have a tremendous opportunity to enhance their educational programs by forging strategic partnerships with ADR experts and esteemed institutions in the field. These collaborations bring a wealth of benefits to students, offering them invaluable opportunities to gain practical insights, participate in hands-on workshops, and engage in training programs led by seasoned industry professionals. Through these partnerships, students can immerse themselves in the world of alternative dispute resolution, going beyond textbook knowledge to gain a profound understanding of the practical aspects of the field. They have the chance to witness real-world dispute resolution scenarios, learn from experienced practitioners, and develop the skills needed to address the complexities and nuances of actual legal disputes. This exposure not only broadens their horizons but also hones their problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills.

Furthermore, these collaborations bridge the crucial gap between theory and practice, enriching the overall educational experience. Students are not only equipped with theoretical knowledge but are also given the tools to apply that knowledge in real-world settings. This experiential learning approach ensures that they graduate with a well-rounded skill set, ready to excel in the multifaceted world of dispute resolution.

Moreover, partnerships with ADR experts and institutions provide students with networking opportunities, allowing them to establish connections with professionals and mentors in the field. These relationships can prove to be instrumental in shaping their future careers and gaining insights into industry trends and best practices.

Finally, could you share a defining moment or experience in your arbitration career that has profoundly shaped your perspective as a legal professional? How has this experience influenced your approach to arbitration and your commitment to the future of law in India?

My decision to embrace alternative dispute resolution (ADR) over the traditional litigation system stems from a critical examination of the shortcomings within the latter. The perception of arrogance, allegations of corruption, and political alignment within court administrations in many jurisdictions compelled me to seek a more efficient and equitable path to dispute resolution.

ADR, at its core, champions party autonomy, placing control firmly in the hands of the disputing parties. This minimizes external interference, fostering a process where the parties have greater ownership over the resolution of their disputes. This autonomy is fundamental to ADR's ethos and aligns more closely with internationally accepted ADR philosophies and practices.

One of the most compelling advantages of ADR is its commitment to transparency and equity. Unlike the often-opaque workings of the traditional litigation system, ADR processes are designed to be open, impartial, and focused on the merits of the dispute. This transparency breeds trust and confidence in the resolution process, attributes that are sometimes lacking in traditional court proceedings.

My shift in perspective towards ADR reflects my preference for a system that not only efficiently resolves disputes but also upholds essential principles of justice, neutrality, and impartiality. These principles are not mere ideals but the bedrock of a trustworthy and effective legal process. By embracing ADR, I embrace a dispute resolution approach that prioritizes these principles, thus contributing to the construction of a legal system that is more just, transparent, and responsive to the needs of those it serves. In essence, ADR embodies the values and principles that I believe should underpin our approach to resolving disputes in the modern world.


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