Gitanjali Bajaj is a Litigation & Regulatory partner with over 15 years' experience in high value and complex international arbitrations with a sector focus on oil and gas, renewables, construction and infrastructure, defence and transport.Gitanjali is also the Asia-Pacific Co-Head of International Arbitration for DLA Piper and the Regional Lead for DLA Piper’s India Group in Australia.
Gitanjali regularly represents clients under various rules including ICC, SIAC, DIAC and DIFC-LCIA, where she brings together her in-depth knowledge and practical understanding of the procedures to achieve commercially sustainable outcomes.
Gitanjali also practices in public international law and dispute resolution between States, having acted for clients in various forums, such as the International Court of Justice and the first ever UNCLOS Compulsory Conciliation. Gitanjali was one of the lead DLA Piper Partners representing the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in the UNCLOS Compulsory Conciliation proceeding.
Gitanjali is recognised as Band 1 for Dispute Resolution - Arbitration in Chambers Global and Asia Pacific 2022 describing Gitanjali as “a very strong and capable individual and a very strong leader of a team on a big case." Gitanjali is also recognised by Legal 500 as a Leading Individual for Dispute Resolution - Arbitration and as a Next Generation Partner for Construction, and for International Arbitration in Who's Who Legal 2022 and The Best Lawyers in Australia from 2020 to present.
Gitanjali has received national recognition for her achievements, having been named Lawyer of the Year in The Best Lawyers in Australia 2022 list for International Arbitration; International ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021, Arbitration Practitioner of the Year 2020, and International ADR Practitioner of the Year 2019 at the Australian Dispute Centre's ADR Awards; and Partner of the Year at Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2018.
Gitanjali serves as Vice President of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb) and is an Ambassador for the IBA Asia Pacific Arbitration Group.
- Acting for an employer in relation to various delay and variation claims by the D&C Contractor arising from the construction of a solar power plant in the Northern Territory.
- Acting for an international defence contractor in relation to the termination of one of the largest defence procurement projects in Australia.
- Acting for a D&C contractor in Supreme Court of Victoria proceedings arising from alleged defects in the Victorian Desalination Plant.
- Acting for a South Korean rolling stock manufacturer in relation to various contractual issues at consortium level and owner level arising from a contract to design, build, deliver and maintain a fleet of high capacity double deck trains.
- Acting for the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in negotiations with Australia and the Oil & Gas Contractors operating in the Timor Sea on the transition of oil & gas interests in accordance with the Maritime Boundaries Treaty, including for the Greater Sunrise fields.
- Acted for an international joint venture in relation to a multi-million dollar ICC arbitration seated in Singapore arising from a downstream EPC Subcontract relating to the construction of the Onshore LNG Facilities forming part of the Ichthys Onshore LNG Project (Northern Territory), Australia's largest LNG project.
- Acted for the national petroleum authority of Timor-Leste in relation to an ICC arbitration seated in Singapore for claims arising out of a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with major international Oil & Gas contractors for the exploration and exploitation of the oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.
- Acted for an international renewable energy contractor in a multi-million dollar SIAC arbitration seated in Singapore against the EPC Contractor in relation to claims arising from the construction of a bioethanol facility in the Philippines.
- Acted for a wind turbine installation contractor in relation to claims for variations, acceleration, extensions of time, site safety issues under subcontracts with the EPC Contractor on five different projects in various dispute forums in Australia.
- Acted for a global power generation, infrastructure and transmission facilities contractor in a domestic arbitration in relation to plant operation incidents at a power plant in Western Australia.
- Acted for the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste against Australia in Compulsory Conciliation proceedings under Annex V of the 1982 United National Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) concerning the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf and the establishment of permanent maritime boundaries between the two States.
- The University of Queensland (with a certificate of specialisation in International law), LLB, Hons Class1, 2004
- The University of Queensland (with a Major in International Relations), BA, 2004
- Named Lawyer of the Year for International Arbitration Sydney in The Best Lawyers in Australia 2022
- Named International ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 at the Australian Disputes Centre’s ADR Awards
- Named Arbitration Practitioner of the Year 2020 at the Australian Disputes Centre’s ADR Awards
- Named International ADR Practitioner of the Year 2019 at the Australian Disputes Centre's ADR Awards
- Named Partner of the Year at the 2018 Lawyers Weekly Australian Women in Law awards
- Finalist Partner of the Year at the Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards 2019
- Finalist Arbitration Practitioner of the Year in the Australian ADR Awards 2018
- Ranked as Band 1 in Chambers Asia-Pacific and Global 2022 for Dispute Resolution: Arbitration – Australia
- Recognised in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific for International Arbitration, Construction and Dispute Resolution
- Recognised in the 2022 Who's Who Legal for International Arbitration as National Leader for Australia and Future Leader Global
- Recognised in The Best Lawyers in Australia 2020, 2021 and 2022 for International Arbitration
- Ranked in Doyle's Guide to Construction & Infrastructure Litigation Lawyers - Australia 2022
- Ranked in Doyle's Guide to Arbitration Lawyers - Australia 2021
- An analysis of conciliation and its role in the resolution of international disputes, having regard to the UNCLOS Compulsory Conciliation proceeding between Timor-Leste and Australia and other instances of conciliation, Australian Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Bulletin, Vol 4.6, 2018
Over 2018/2019, Gitanjali was invited to speak at a number of preeminent panels including:
- The 2019 Women in Law Summit Series (Australia) - Panellist for 'Raising the bar: career advice from industry trailblazers'
- The NSW Bar Association 2018 ADR -Masterclass on International Commercial Arbitration
- ABA / NSWBA Rise 2018 conference - Panellist for International Commercial Arbitration session
- The ILA 78th Biennial Conference (August 2018) - Timor Sea Panel regarding the conciliation between Australia and Timor-Leste
- The Nippon Capacity Building and Training Program (September 2018) held by the Tribunal on the Law of the Sea in Hamburg - Guest Lecturer for Conciliation under UNCLOS
Prior to joining the Sydney office, Gitanjali was based in the Middle East from 2008 to 2011 with the Litigation and Regulatory Group at DLA Piper, where she focused on international commercial arbitration and all aspects of commercial litigation.
Memberships And Affiliations
- Vice President of Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration
- Member CIArb
- Arbitral Women
- Society of Construction Law