George Pothan Poothicote

Mr. George Pothan Poothicote

Legal Consultant to the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India

Mr. George Pothan Poothicote pursued an LL.M in International Law from King’s College, London and on completing his LL.M, he returned to India to resume his career as an advocate and was later appointed as the Legal Consultant to the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; where he handles and works on numerous diverse international law issues particularly arbitrations.

He has also advised other States on matters of international law and in proceedings before Indian Courts. He has been part of various delegations representing India and has been actively involved in treaty negotiations, treaty disputes/arbitrations and has been called on as an expert on various committees and panels including the Law Commission of India.

He is also actively involved with reforms proposed in Investor State Dispute Settlement under UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and has represented India at UNCITRAL including the Working Group – III meetings at Vienna and the United Nations Headquarters in New York. He is also a member and the coordinator of the UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee India (UNCCI) since its inception, the committee is chaired by Mr Fali Nariman. He has also been nominated as India’s National Correspondent to UN Commission on International Trade Law’s CLOUT.

He is actively involved in assisting the Government of India in its investment treaty negotiations and in the investment, treaty claims/disputes pending before international tribunals and the related court cases. He has also been actively involved in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) – The Hague’s India initiatives and is a member of the PCA India Conference Committee chaired by Mr Fali Nariman. He was also invited by the Law Commission of India as an expert in the committee which came out with the 260th report on the 2015 Indian Model BIT.

He was also called as an expert on investment treaties and investment treaty arbitrations before the Justice Srikrishna Committee constituted to improve the landscape for arbitration in India and to formulate guidelines for better handling of investment treaty disputes. He is also a part of the Task Force on Defence in Investment Arbitration and Prevention of Investment Disputes constituted by the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law.

Landmark cases he was involved with include appearing and arguing before the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court of India in the Cox and Kings Ltd. v. Sap India Pvt. Ltd case, where the Supreme Court of India is examining the applicability of Group of Companies doctrine in arbitration. Other landmark cases include a case where he advised a Sovereign State in proceedings before the Indian Court, during the enforcement proceedings in India arising out of an investment treaty award. He recently advised a Sovereign State and its entity in an arbitration enforcement proceeding brought against it in the Supreme Court of India and was able to successfully defend the State. Other landmark cases he worked on include a lawsuit brought in the U.S. Courts against the Government of India, and various governmental entities and officials including the then Prime Minister of India, the External Affairs minister and other senior cabinet ministers. He was also assisting the Delhi High Court on the scope of Section 34(4) of the Arbitration Act and issues pertaining to partial set aside of arbitral awards, modification of awards. He has also been involved in advising the Ministry of External Affairs on international law and treaty matters, including on new legislation and amendments to legislation.

He is regularly called to teach at the Foreign Service Institute and to talk to foreign diplomats on international law. He is a frequent speaker on arbitration, investment treaties and investment treaty disputes at Universities and Conferences. Apart from the work he does with the Government, he also has an active practice in arbitration and before the Supreme Court of India and various High Courts and tribunals.

He is also the editor of the book “International Arbitration and the Rule of Law: Essays in honor of Mr. Fali Nariman”, published by the PCA. He has also authored and co-authored various articles particularly on arbitration including a chapter in the book Arbitration in India, edited by Prof. Martin Hunter, Mr. Fali Nariman et al.

He has been appointed as one of the 12 members globally, to the Steering Committee of UNCITRAL’s-CLOUT