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Dharshini Prasad is Partner in the firm's International Arbitration practice group. She is triple qualified to practice in Singapore, England and Wales, and New York and has extensive experience in the resolution of complex cross-border disputes in both civil and common law jurisdictions. 

Dharshini has advised States, State entities and corporations on commercial, investment and public international law issues and has represented clients in ad hoc and institutional arbitrations under multiple arbitral rules in the United States, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. She has particular experience with energy, mining, private equity and pharmaceutical disputes having represented clients in several billion-dollar arbitrations in these sectors. Dharshini also has an active practice as arbitrator and regularly teaches, writes and speaks on issues of international arbitration.

Dharshini is recognised by leading industry publications for her achievements in international arbitration. She was named one of the "Most Highly Regarded" future leaders in the 2021 and 2024 editions of Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration and was identified in the 2023 edition of the publication as a “Leading Individual” amongst future leaders in the field. Dharshini is also recognized by Chambers UK 2024 as one of only eleven “Up and Coming” practitioners for “International Arbitration – UK-Wide.”  

Clients and peers describe Dharshini as “outstanding” and “brilliant”; a "brilliant and talented advocate" with a "tremendous eye for detail"; “personable, smart, practical” and “one of the best emerging stars”; having “deep knowledge about the international arbitration forum and strong analytical skills”; a “very bright and talented advocate” who is "undoubtedly a rising star in arbitration"; having “excellent command of the facts”; and “a very intelligent, driven and relentless professional.” According to one client, she is "destined for great things" and is a "strategic thinker" whose advice "positioned our team for success on a large matter.
 

Experience

Prior to joining Willkie, Dharshini practiced with the International Arbitration practice group of WilmerHale in London and the Dispute Resolution group of Drew & Napier in Singapore. Dharshini also worked with UN International Law Commission in Geneva on issues of public international law, including the immunity of State officials and the formation and evidence of customary international law.

  • Up and Coming: International Arbitration – UK-Wide,” Chambers UK (2024)
  • "Most Highly Regarded – Future Leaders," Who's Who Legal: International Arbitration (2021), (2024)
  • Leading Individual – Future Leaders,” Who's Who Legal: International Arbitration (2023)
  • "Future Leader," Who's Who Legal: International Arbitration (2019 – 2024)
  • "Rising Star: Commercial Arbitration," Expert Guides (2020 – 2022)
     
  • Apart from her work as counsel, Dharshini is an Assistant Editor for the Journal of International Arbitration and leads the EMEA chapter of the Young SIAC Council. She was involved in drafting the 2016 SIAC Rules and the 2017 SIAC Investment Arbitration Rules.
  • Dharshini was appointed as Executive Secretary on the Commonwealth Secretariat’s wide-ranging study on international arbitration across the 53 Commonwealth Member States. In 2019, she represented the Government of Somalia at the third consultation on the ICSID Rule Amendments process in Washington D.C.
  • Dharshini teaches international arbitration at Queen Mary University and has previously taught at New York University (Paris) and the London School of Economics, SIAC and Austrian arbitration academies.  
 

Selected Publications 

  • The Principle of Equal Treatment in International Arbitration,” Cambridge Compendium of International Commercial and Investment Arbitration (2023)
  • Regional Integration and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement: From Parallelism to Harmonisation,” IBA Newsletter (2021)
  • The Group of Companies Doctrine – Assessing the Indian Approach,” Indian Journal of Arbitration Law (2021)
  • Introduction – International Arbitration,” Chambers & Partners International Arbitration Guide (2019-2021)
  • Joinder and Consolidation,” Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution International Arbitration Review (2018)
  • The ‘Close Connection’ Test and State Counterclaims in Investment Arbitration – When is ‘Close’ Close Enough?”, Magna Charta Magazine (2017)
  • Sources of Procedural Law in International Dispute Settlement,” Research Handbook on International Procedural Law (forthcoming)

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Anti-suit and Other Anti-Process Injunctions in Arbitration,” ICC-YAF, London (2024)
  • Preparing for a Nuclear Future,” Mute-Off Thursdays (Webinar) (2023)
  • For Attorney’s Eyes Only Orders: Balancing Competing Interests,” ARBinBRIEF (Webinar) (2023)
  • YMCIA Debate: Confidentiality is the Biggest Roadblock to the Legitimacy of the Arbitral Process,” India ADR Week, Mumbai (2023)
  • International Arbitration in Times of Crisis: Energy Arbitration,” Cambridge Arbitration Day, Cambridge (2023)
  • Interim Measure Practices in Commercial Arbitration Around the World,” 34th Annual ITA Workshop and Annual Meeting, Austin (2022)
  • Disputes Involving Long-Term Agreements and Investments: Key Considerations and Quantum Issues,” India ADR Week (Webinar) (2022)
  • Mining and Minerals,” Secretariat Australia-India Arbitration – Virtual Conference (2022)
  • GAR Live: Energy – Debate,” GAR (2021)
  • Regional Webinar on International Arbitration and Contract Enforcement: Central Asia,” OECD-EU Two-Day Webinar (2021)
  • Joinder of Parties,” SCAI-Vis Moot Webinar (2021)
  • International Investment Arbitration: Setting the Stage,” MCIA Conference, New Delhi (2020)
  • Commonwealth International Arbitration Study: Overview,” Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting, Colombo (2019)
  • Small States, International Law and the Realisation of Rights,” WilmerHale-BIICL-Institute of Small and Micro States Conference, London (2019)
  • 2nd Annual Who’s Who Legal Future Leaders: Arbitration Conference,” London (2019)
  • XV Rio de Janeiro Conference on International Arbitration,” Rio de Janeiro (2019)
  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative – Opportunities and Challenges for International Dispute Resolution and Contracting,” CEAC Conference, Hamburg (2018)
  • The Global South in an Era of Shifting Geopolitics,” WilmerHale, London (2018)
 

Dharshini has advised on the following selected significant matters*:

  • Represented a large hard copy peripherals manufacturer in a multi-billion dollar ICC arbitration against a joint venture party arising out of a long-term technology sharing relationship.
  • Represented a Middle Eastern State entity in a US$ 35 billion LCIA arbitration arising out of a gas supply agreement.
  • Represented a leading German automobile manufacturer in a US$ 3.8 billion ICC arbitration arising out of a joint venture agreement with a Japanese automobile manufacturer.
  • Represented an Asian State and State-owned entity in related UNCITRAL (US$1.3 billion) and ICC (US$ 1.5 billion) arbitrations arising out of two production sharing agreements with multiple international oil companies. Advised the State in relation to potential investment law claims arising out of the same factual matrix.
  • Represented a leading European pharmaceutical company in a US$ 1.5 billion ICC arbitration arising out of royalty payment disputes in a licensing agreement with a Japanese pharmaceutical company.
  • Represented the subsidiary of an Indian construction company in a US$ 100 million LCIA arbitration against a South Asian State-owned entity arising out of a suite of agreements for a real estate project.
  • Represented a Brazilian bioethanol producer in a US$ 300 million ICC arbitration arising out of a suite of technology licensing, engineering and equipment supply agreements with an Italian entity.
  • Represented a large Brazilian mining company in two related US$1.3 billion ICC arbitrations against a Middle Eastern steel producer arising out of contracts for the supply of iron ore.
  • Represented a large Chinese insurance company in a nearly US$ 1 billion ICC arbitration against a Korean private equity firm arising out of a share purchase agreement (M&A transaction).
  • Represented ammonia producers in two related US$ 250 million ad hoc arbitrations against a State-owned entity in connection with multiple gas supply agreements.
  • Represented a leading American private equity firm in two related US$ 500 million ICC arbitrations arising out of a share purchase agreement (M&A transaction) for an acquisition in Brazil.

*Dharshini advised on some of these matters prior to joining Willkie.

 

Credentials

Education


New York University, LLM National University of Singapore, LLB (Hons)

Bar Admissions


Singapore England & Wales New York

Events & Speaking Engagements