Justice L. Nageswara Rao was elevated to the Supreme Court of India 2016 and served a term of six years during which he authored over 248 judgments whilst being a part of the quorum in over 700 of them. He is the seventh person to be directly elevated to the Supreme Court from the Bar. During his tenure Justice Rao has been pivotal in shaping Indian law with his notable judgments on commercial laws, personal liberty and social security for the marginalised communities in Indian society. Additionally, he played a fundamental role in structuring of tribunals and revamping the criminal judicial system tackling the issues of expediency of trials and appeals.
Prior to his elevation, Justice Rao was designated as a Senior Counsel in 2000 and had an illustrious career spanning over three decades during which he appeared regularly in various high profile cases across different courts in India in a spectrum of commercial, civil, criminal,and constitutional matters. He has also served two terms as the Additional Solicitor General of India in August 2003 to May 2004 and again from August 2013 to December 2014.
Justice Rao has been assigned the tasks of finalising the constitutions of the Indian Olympic Association and the All-India Football Federation by the Supreme Court of India. Currently, he is also working on finalising of the voters list to conduct elections to Hyderabad Cricket Association at the request of the Supreme Court of India.
Justice Rao is an arbitrator in both sole and three member arbitrations having been appointed by institutions, and courts in India, as well as nominations by parties. At present, Justice Rao is an arbitrator in international arbitrations and domestic arbitrations demonstrating his extensive experience in the field of construction, oil and gas, energy, corporate disputes, media and entertainment, insurance, automotive and real estate matters. He is well versed with disputes in the field of sports law. Before elevation to the Supreme Court of India in 2016, Justice Rao was a counsel in several commercial arbitrations. Justice Rao has recently co-authored a book on Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. He regularly visits judicial academies, bar associations and Law Universities for giving lectures.
Apart from being a member of the Panel of Arbitrators at the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC), Justice Rao is also empanelled as an arbitrator in Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA), Delhi International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and as a mediator in Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC). Justice Rao is the recipient of several awards over the course of his career, most recently being awarded the lifetime achievement award by the Society of Indian Law Firms.