Naresh Thacker is a Partner and heads the Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution practice at ELP. He is a qualified lawyer with the additional attribute of being a Solicitor (non-practicing) in England and Wales.
Naresh has over 20 years of experience in litigation, international arbitration and mediation; particularly in large infrastructure project arbitrations and post M&A arbitrations, corporate litigation, commercial disputes, regulatory and tax disputes and white-collar crimes.
Over the years he has handled a number international and national arbitration cases as counsel under the Rules of ICC, LCIA, SIAC, UNCITRAL, Swiss Rules and Ad-Hoc proceedings for both domestic as well as multinational clients. He has been part of mediation and conciliatory proceedings at the clients’ behest and has brought them to fruition. Some of his recent matters include advising and representing a client on one of the largest hotel management disputes in the country; and also advising and representing one of the most successful real estate barons in a high-profile dispute.
Naresh’s experience in tax disputes span issues relating to indirect tax, including Central Excise, Customs, Service Tax and VAT. On the regulatory front he routinely advises and represents clients on foreign exchange related issues and electricity matters. He has successfully represented clients in matters pertaining to economic offences before diverse Tribunals and Courts in India, large number of which have industry wide implications. Such decisions have been widely reported in various legal journals such as ELT, RLT, AIR, TIOL, Taxsutra etc.
Some of Naresh’s recent matters include:
- Currently assisting a large multinational technology company in an ongoing investigation concerning an IP dispute between two private parties in which case take down notices were issued and which according to the complainant were not honoured by the client, despite court notices;
- Currently assisting a large entertainment house in an investigation carried out by by Enforcement Directorate (ED) on complaints in relation to corporate transactions;
- Currently assisting a client in the sugar industry on investigation by Enforcement Directorate (ED) involving allegations of large scale money laundering;
- Assisting a large multinational technology company with regards to repatriations made where compliance had not been adhered to;
- Assisted a large technology company on an enquiry being conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on alleged fraudulent practices conducted on its app;
- Advised a large media company and its directors in a case lodged against them by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA);
- Assisting certain multinational corporations in forensic investigations and setting up of strong compliance programmes;
- Advised and represented a large telecom company in ongoing investigations against companies by the CBI in the telecom sector concerning the alleged 2nd Generation (2G) Spectrum scam. Also advising and representing the client’s Indian subsidiary in handling criminal complaints filed against its officers, which are being investigated by the EOW of the Mumbai Police;
- Advising and representing the Multiplex Association of India on a dispute arising out of a price cap introduced on tickets by the State Government of Karnataka;
- Advising and representing a client on one of the largest hotel management disputes in the country;
- Representing one of the largest technology companies in the world in litigation proceedings in the Bombay High Court;
- Represented a global port terminal operator in domestic arbitrations against the Cochin Port Trust;
- Advising and representing one of the most successful real estate barons of India in a high-profile dispute;
- Advising and successfully representing shareholders of Thriveni Earth Movers Private Limited in their disputes as well as against lenders attempting to take over the Company, before the Calcutta High Court and the Kolkata Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT);
- Representing a UAE based multinational in various ICC arbitrations;
- Advising a financial services company on the status of an original shareholder vis a vis that of an Affiliate, post JV;
- Representing Honeywell Automation India Ltd. in an international commercial arbitration;
- Advising and representing one of India’s largest conglomerates in a USD 110 million claim for damages in an arbitration case;
- Representing and protecting the interests of a group of minority shareholders of one India’s largest telecom companies before the NCLT;
- Represented Seabird Marine Pvt. Ltd., Meridian Shipping Agency Pvt. Ltd., Allcargo Global Logistics Ltd., Mundra International Container Terminal Pvt. Ltd., Forbes & Company Ltd. & Honeycomb Logistics Pvt. Ltd. in challenging an order of the Development Commissioner asking Container Freight Station to vacate premises located in the SEZ;
- Represented the seeds industry in a constitutional challenge to actions initiated by the State Government under local enactments;
- Represented Atos India Pvt. Ltd. in arbitration related matters with Employees Provident Fund Organisation;
- Represented a Netherlands based telecommunications company in a SIAC arbitration arising out of a shareholder’s agreement with a Bangladesh based telecommunications company;
- Represented one of India’s largest multinationals in an arbitration proceeding on de-allocation of coal mines;
- Represented one of India’s largest exporter’s association in drafting a miscellaneous application before the Supreme Court regarding the availability of the benefit of ‘Target Plus Scheme’;
- Advising and representing Adani Group on various tax related disputes;
- Advising and representing Larsen & Toubro Group in various tax related disputes;
- Advising a foreign conglomerate on contractual issues vis-à-vis Dhaka metro;
- Advised and represented Ajeet Seeds Pvt. Ltd. on a trademark infringement suit;
- Advised leading port terminal operators on their license agreements with various port trusts;
- Advising Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. in an excise duty related dispute;
Naresh is currently active in several professional organizations including The Law Society, UK; London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA); International Bar Association (IBA); and the All India Federation of Tax Practitioners (AIFTP). He is also part of the steering group for American Bar Association’s South Asia/Oceania and India Committee. Additionally, Naresh is a member of the Executive Committee of the MCIA’s Users Council (Energy & Power).
He has been a regular keynote speaker, a moderator and a panelist at several international and national conferences on international arbitration and tax laws organized by LCIA, MCIA, SIAC, ICC IBA, AIFTP, ICCA, Corporate Counsels Association of India, Tax Sutra and the Chamber of Tax Consultants. Additionally, Naresh has also been a panelist at the Engaging Asia Arbitration Summit and the CARDS’ Tour de Arbitration conference. Some of the topics he has addressed in his talks include, ‘Demystifying myths of Institutional Arbitration’, ‘International Arbitration within the Indian landscape’, ‘Cross Border Transactions: Dispute Resolution in India’, ‘The Future of International Arbitration in India’, ‘Expert evidence in international arbitration’, ‘Reining in time as well as costs of arbitration in the Indian scenario’, ‘India’s Arbitration Amendment Bill’ and ‘Asia’s Emergence as a Global Epicentre for Opportunities in Arbitration’.
Naresh is often quoted by prestigious international journals and his articles continue to appear in trade publications around the world such as International Law Offices, India Business Law Journal, and Global Arbitration Review (GAR). He has authored the India Chapter for The Asia-Pacific Arbitration Review published by GAR; and the International Arbitration Global Practice Guide published by Chambers & Partners.
Naresh has been featured as Band 1 for Dispute Resolution and in Chambers & Partners Asia-Pacific Guide; recognized as leading lawyer in Tax Controversy Leaders Guide; recognized as distinguished practitioner in Asialaw Leading Lawyers and acknowledged as an expert in World Tax guide. He has been co-opted by GAR as part of their arbitration research tool (ART). Naresh has also been recommended for Dispute Resolution and Arbitration in the Legal 500 rankings and is ranked as Litigation Star in the Benchmark Asia Pacific rankings. Naresh also features in the Forbes’ list of India’s top 100 lawyers. Naresh also features in the ALB India Top Disputes Lawyers 2022.
Prior to ELP, Naresh practiced as an independent counsel on indirect tax and litigation matters.