23 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JUNE 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM power project owner in dismissing a claim by a subcontractor at the Indonesian National Arbitration Board that affected various client contracts as part of a complex project financing. In the Philippines, Elyrhey Cesar R. Vasig is a founding partner at Vasig Abarquez Lumauig Abarquez Puno Law Offices (VAL Law) and has been with the firm for almost six years since its inception. He is also the firm’s CEO and heads both its litigation and dispute resolution, and labour and employment practice. Vasig has been practicing law for 12 years. Based in Singapore, Abraham Vergis, SC has been practicing for 24 years, 10 of them at Providence Law Asia where he is now the managing director. His practice includes corporate and commercial litigation, international arbitration, restructuring, and insolvency. He has worked on the massive liquidation of oil trader HLT and as counsel to the promoters of Indian retailer Future Retail Limited. Litigator Ajit Warrier has been with Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas for almost a decade, the latest chapter in a 29-year career in India. He had argued cases before the Supreme Court and dealt with matters spanning a wide range of specialist subjects, including competition law, insurance, criminal proceedings, and more. METHODOLOGY • Submissions were open to practicing litigators permanently based and practicing law in the Southeast Asia region (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) • Lawyers were assessed upon the outstanding achievements in litigation case(s) either taking place in the region or representing a client in the region overseas from Feb. 1, 2022, and Feb. 1, 2023 VIJAY KUMAR SINGH S&A Law Offices MELATI D.S. SIREGAR UMBRA – Strategic Legal Solutions ELYRHEY CESAR R. VASIG Vasig Abarquez Lumauig Abarquez Puno Law Offices ABRAHAM VERGIS, SC Providence Law Asia AJIT WARRIER Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas Can you share some of your most notable practice highlights from the past year? What were some of the key cases or achievements that stood out for you as a litigator? Almost all are notable, each is unique and memorable. But if I must choose, perhaps there are two. The first case involved an out-of-court settlement process arising out of a mineral commodity trade. We represented an Indonesian conglomerate against a Chinese mining company. The value of the minerals was a few million dollars and I had to travel to China where the mineral was held in order to successfully negotiate the settlement. Prior to my involvement, there was a deadlock for more than six months. While the contract contained a dispute resolution clause, the counterparty simply avoided the clause and demanded us to settle according to their terms. The successful settlement required more than “just” legal prowess; it required sound strategic and commercial considerations, as well as robust negotiation skills. My client eventually obtained the payment and slept soundly afterwards. The second case was the opposite of the first one. We represented a well-known foreign securities company in Indonesia in the biggest consolidated “mass” arbitration before the Financial Services Sector Alternative Dispute Resolution The award ultimately sided with us, dismissing 95% of the claim. What guiding principles or strategies do you employ in the courtroom to effectively represent your clients and navigate the intricacies of the legal system? From my experience, we ought not to limit our strategies to courtroom advocacy only. Nowadays, people get very creative. One issue may end up simultaneously before the civil court, bankruptcy court, arbitral tribunal, and even the police. We must always be two steps ahead on all, all the time. Two of most the important principles are “start from the end” and be prudent and pragmatic at the same time. The end goal will determine the strategy we design. Once it is determined, its execution must be done with prudence and pragmatism. What have been some of the evolving trends and developments in the litigation space in your jurisdiction? How do you stay ahead and ensure success for your clients? To build on what I answered for the second question, the trend is for people to use every avenue they can to achieve their goals. Therefore, prior to litigating a case, we always prepare a case assessment to know, among other things, the client’s position and determine the strategy going forward. Assessment and execution must always go hand in hand. A conversation with Melati D.S. Siregar BROUGHT TO YOU BY UMBRA – STRATEGIC LEGAL SOLUTIONS Institution or LAPS SJK. The client was sued by more than 30 retail customers, on the basis of more than 70 contracts, claiming more than USD 11 million in damages (one of the highest valued cases handled by LAPS SJK). The case required in-depth analysis of technical capital market regulations as well as the very foundations of contract law; it even had aspects of fraud and forensics! Melati D.S. Siregar Senior Partner E: UMBRA – Strategic Legal Solutions Telkom Landmark Tower, Tower 2, 49th Floor, Jl. Gatot Subroto Kav. 52 Jakarta 12710, Indonesia T: (62) 21 5082 0999 W: