On January 22, 2018, the New York Law Journal published a recent decision by the New York County Surrogate’s Court in Estate of Dinshaw, File No. 1970-1950/A, granting a motion to dismiss in favor of firm client Nusli Wadia, a Mumbai, India based businessman and the administrator of the Indian estate of decedent Edulji Framoz Dinshaw, who died in New York in 1970. In granting Mr. Wadia’s motion, the Court dismissed the petition for letters of administration filed in New York by an Indian citizen, Pankaj Phadnis, who claimed to be an alleged creditor of the Indian estate and who was seeking letters in order to proceed in India against the Indian administrator. As recognized by the Court, although decedent’s will was probated in New York over 47 years ago, the basis for the petition involved the Indian estate of decedent (and related events and assets in India), Mr. Wadia (the administrator) was appointed by the Indian courts and has been serving as the fiduciary for the Indian estate pursuant to Indian court order, the petitioner’s alleged debt owed by the Indian estate (and thus his status as creditor) arose from services performed in India for the Indian Estate, and both parties to the dispute reside in India. Accordingly, by Order dated January 17, 2018, the Court held that, “in the interest of substantial justice” pursuant to CPLR 327(a), the dispute should be adjudicated in India—not New York.
Carter Ledyard Partners Daniel J. McSwiggan and Matthew D. Dunn, who argued the motion, represented Mr. Wadia in these proceedings, with assistance from Counsel Alison Powers Herman and Karen E. Meara, and Associate Josephine J. Yoon.