January 28, 2016

International LLM alum, Nawneet Vibhaw - an environmental champion in India

Nawneet Vibhaw (LLM ’10) has continued to pursue his passion of addressing environmental issues since returning to India after receiving his degree at Lewis & Clark Law School.

Nawneet Vibhaw (LLM ’10) has continued to pursue his passion of addressing environmental issues since returning to India after receiving his degree at Lewis & Clark Law School. He was awarded the Environmental Law Champions Development Award by the Asian Development Bank in March, 2015, and is currently the Managing Associate at Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, New Delhi where he helps clients comply with environmental laws and also represents them in environmental disputes at the National Green Tribunal and other courts.

As an LLM student in 2009, Nawneet assisted Lewis & Clark Law School in setting up relationships with top national law schools in India, NGOs and environmental law practitioners. In 2013, Nawneet helped jointly organize a conference with Lewis & Clark at the National Law University in Delhi titled “Realizing the Goal of Water for Life: Lessons from around the World” - which brought together speakers from around the world to focus on this important issue. Several Lewis & Clark professors also attended, including former Dean Robert Klonoff, Prof. Erin Ryan, and Prof. Jan Neuman (Ret.). The inaugural address of the conference was delivered by Hon’ble Justice Swatanter Kumar, Chairperson, National Green Tribunal and former judge of the Supreme Court of India.

Nawneet recently reflected on his time at Lewis & Clark: “coming to L&C in 2009 actually changed the course of my life. While I had a job offer in the US after my LLM, I thought India is one country which definitely needs good environmental lawyers and that was the place for ones like me to be in. I gave up a high-paying corporate law firm job in India to teach environmental law and energy law and pursue my interest in the subject. About 7 years later I feel it was a great decision and if today I receive even a small recognition in environmental law or contribute my bit in building a sustainable world, Lewis & Clark Law School and all my professors have a great contribution in it. There is clearly no better place for budding environmentalists than at L&C. No wonder it’s the No. 1 law school for Environmental Law!”  

Prior to attending Lewis & Clark, Nawneet received his law degree from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad - one of the top law schools in India. Nawneet has previously worked with AZB & Partners, Mumbai and Trilegal, Mumbai and has actively been involved with projects, research and teaching in Environmental Law and Energy Law and Policy in India. He authored a book on Energy Law and Policy in India, published by LexisNexis Publications in June, 2014. Nawneet also taught Environmental Law and Energy Law and Policy at Indian legal institutions like National Law University Delhi and Jindal Global Law School. He has spoken on environmental issues at global fora in USA, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Philippines, Spain and authored a book on Energy and Policy in India by LexisNexis. He is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Environmental Law and received fellowships from BELSPO, UKIERI, Robert Bosch Foundation and MoEF.

Nawneet frequently writes and contributes to environmental news stories and opinion pieces in the India media. He was recently quoted in an article published in Live Mint about the air quality issues in Delhi. The government has been experimenting with an “odd/even” approach to limiting private vehicles on alternate days to reduce pollution. Nawneet pointed out that the National Green Tribunal “… definitely has teeth which it is using more often now and it is clearly hurting the violators.”  Additional stories and comments can be found in the related content section.