Anuroop Omkar, Youngest Globally and First Indian Ever To Be Nominated As A Distinguished Fellow To The International Academy of Mediators

In 25 years of history of International Academy of Mediators, Mr. Omkar is the first Indian to be nominated as a distinguished fellow.

Anuroop Omkar becomes the first Indian ever to be nominated as a Distinguished Fellow to the International Academy of Mediators.

In 25 years of history of International Academy of Mediators, Mr. Omkar is the first Indian to be nominated as a distinguished fellow. Anuroop’s tryst with mediation began when he received a full paid scholarship to attend a mediation training and two-month internship with practising commercial mediators in San Diego, United States of America. Anuroop alumni of the Gujarat National Law University states that- “My three months in the USA was an eye opener. The way I communicated to people, the way I analysed situations and the way I negotiated changed. I was more collaborative and perceptive. My mind worked towards making me a solution seeker and solution maker. Mediation made me more confident about myself. I was eager to bring mediation as a mainstream dispute resolution mechanism in India.”

Once he returned to India he started volunteering as a mediator with a government mediation centre- Delhi Dispute Resolution Society, Government of Delhi where he was the youngest empanelled mediator of the centre. He still volunteers at the centre on Saturdays where his work profile includes assisting in resolution of disputes related to debt recovery, micro small and medium enterprises (MSME), utilities, employment and consumer complaints. He is also a SUN scholar and attended the summer school and training of trainers program hosted by CEU Hungary on Mediation and Other Methods to Foster Democratic Dialogue with Lela P. Love as master trainer. He has also completed advanced 40 hours of training in mediation Global Mediation Forum organized by WMO, George Mason University, South Korea, THAC Thailand Arbitration Center and UNCITRAL at Bangkok, Thailand. In 2016, Anuroop was the youngest member of the core organizing committee of Global Pound Conference series in India, the seminal event organized since 1976 in memory of Harvard Dean and Father of ADR Late. Mr. Roscoe Pound.

Apart from pro bono commercial mediation, Anuroop is an active commercial mediator on the panel of NCLT and NCLAT, CMC, Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Indian Merchant Chamber of Commerce, Mumbai. Internationally, he is on the panel of World Bank and the United Nations and allied programs. He is one of the few mediators in India who is engaged by infrastructure companies in right of way negotiations and community consensus building in infrastructure projects including national highways, inter-state transmission systems and relocation of mines. Apart from infrastructure and community disputes, he specialises in shareholder, foreign investment, restructuring and turnaround disputes. He is actively working to promote mediation in ESG disputes in India. Owing to the same, he has been chosen by World Forum for Democracy, an initiative of Council of Europe, European Parliament and Government of France to present the idea of promoting facilitative negotiation to promote Environment Social and Governance objectives in large scale projects in infrastructure and construction.

He has undertaken active advocacy and advised various ministries of government of India on mediation in company law, commercial disputes and consumer disputes. He recently advised the Central Board of Direct Taxes in the rollout of mediation scheme in direct tax disputes. He is on the Working Group of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) for advising on mediation in insolvency. He was a Government of India nominee on the World Bank delegation to London to study insolvency laws and policy of United Kingdom and other nations. He was instrumental in promoting institutionalisation of commercial mediation in India by assisting in setting up the Centre for Mediation and Conciliation by Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry and handholding the centre as external consultant till 2020. He is presently assisting International Finance Services Centre Authority, Government of India in setting up international facilities for arbitration and mediation of international financial disputes. Anuroop through Bridge Policy Think Tank is the only impleaded policy intervenor in an ongoing matter before the Supreme Court of India on streamlining of pre litigation mediation in commercial disputes under Commercial Courts Act, 2015. To further promote understanding of commercial mediation, Anuroop also has collaborated with EBC Learning and created the only animated case study on a real life Indian commercial mediation with commentary for mediators and mediation advocates.

When mediation was first rolled out in corporate disputes, he was invited by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to design and commence the first mediation training in India focused on commercial disputes. He is still one of the master trainers of the mediation training which is till now the only Central Government training in India on commercial mediation. He has also conceptualised, designed and is the master trainer of the only Central Government training in India on insolvency and turnaround disputes for Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India. He has trained more than 500 professionals in commercial mediation till date including international delegations from the Indian subcontinent. He was instrumental in assisting and handholding various national law universities in India in setting up their student mediation and negotiation competitions to promote mediation skills among law students.

He is the co-author of the bestseller book ‘The Art of Negotiation and Mediation- Wishbone, Funny Bone and a Backbone’ with second edition published by LexisNexis in 2021. The book is critically acclaimed as being the only book in India which relies on the storytelling tradition and folklore of India to explain the concepts of mediation and negotiation in a more culturally relatable format. The book is one of the only two Indian books on the subject as recommended reading in the prescribed syllabus for mediation in Indian law universities by Bar Council of India. His second book on Third Party Funding in India with special emphasis on ADR is poised to be published by Eastern Book Company by the end of 2021.

He is founder and partner at the full service corporate and commercial law firm AK and Partners in New Delhi. He is honorary director of Bridge Policy Think Tank and he is a board of director on various Indian companies. He is the Secretary at IPROACH where he

actively works for promotion and preservation of Odia culture (East Indian micro culture from 3rd century BC).

He is one of the first and youngest Indian to be nominated as a Distinguished Fellow of International Academy of Mediators, an invitation-only organization of the most successful commercial mediators of the world.

Anuroop states “I draw my inspiration from global and domestic stalwarts including Mr. Sriram Panchu, Mr. Jeremy Lack, Ms. Lela P. Love, Mr. Michel Kallipetis QC. I fervently dream and am sure in my lifetime there will be days in the history of India and judiciary when there will be no backlog of civil cases in any of the courts in India. Argumentative Indian disputants’ brain cells would have evolved towards only and only a solution making approach and mediation being the only platform for the same”.

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