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Practice Summary

Niranjan has a broad commercial practice. He has been instructed (on numerous occasions) in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal and has also acted in complex, high-value cases in the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division, in addition to appearing as sole counsel in the High Court and various County Courts. Before coming to the Bar, Niranjan read and taught law at Oxford, where he was a Vinerian, Eldon and Rhodes Scholar. 

Niranjan is recommended in Chambers & Partners 2020 (Commercial Dispute Resolution) "Incredibly nice, bright and incisive, he drafts concisely and gets to the nub of an issue."  "He can deal with the analysis of a complex issue in a short space of time, and he's really collaborative" and Chambers & Partners 2019 (Commercial Dispute Resolution): “his attention to detail is remarkable, and he’s extremely responsive and very easy to work with”. “Always willing to assist, he has great legal capability and offers practical advice.”  He has a particular interest in (but is not limited to) mis-selling/misrepresentation, civil fraud, professional negligence and the law of damages, which were the subject of his doctoral thesis at Oxford, and in the law of restitution. He also practised at the Indian Bar between 2011 and 2013 in the chambers of Mr Arvind Datar SC and is able to advise on matters of Indian (commercial) law.

Recent cases include:

Arcadia Petroleum Ltd v Bosworth: Acted for Arcadia in the Supreme Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union in a jurisdiction challenge arising out of a claim worth in excess of $300 million. The issues include the jurisdictional characterisation of conspiracy, knowing receipt, dishonest assistance and breach of fiduciary duty claims under the Brussels Regulation (Recast) and the Lugano Convention.

Goldman Sachs International v Novo Banco [2018] 1 WLR 3683: Acted for the claimants in the Supreme Court in a claim worth in excess of $600 million. The issues before the Supreme Court concern the interpretation of the EU Directives relating to bank resolution and reorganisation and article 25 of the Brussels Regulation (Recast).

Tiuta International Ltd v De Villiers [2017] 1 WLR 4627: Acted for Tiuta in the Supreme Court in a case concerning the correct approach to the assessment of damages in claims against valuers where the loan that the lender is induced to make by the negligent valuation is used to refinance a pre-existing loan.

Tesco shareholders litigation (ongoing): Acting for Tesco in proceedings arising out of an overstatement of profits in 2014.

BAT Industries plc v Sequana SA [2019] EWCA Civ 112: Acted for Sequana in the Court of Appeal and in related proceedings in the Chancery Division. The appeal raised novel questions of company and insolvency law including the scope of section 423 of the Insolvency Act and the fiduciary duties of directors in relation to the payment of dividends.

Société Générale v Goldas [2019] WLR 346: Acted for Société Générale in the Court of Appeal in a claim worth around $480 million. The issues before the Court of Appeal included the interpretation of CPR 6.15 and 6.16 and the law governing the enforcement of a cross-undertaking in damages.

EXAMPLES OF RECENT CASES

  • Commercial Litigation

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    • Arcadia Petroleum Ltd v Bosworth
      Acted (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC and Fionn Pilbrow) in the Supreme Court and (with Mark Howard QC and Fionn Pilbrow) in the CJEU in a case concerning the jurisdictional characterisation of conspiracy, knowing receipt, dishonest assistance and breach of fiduciary duty claims under the Brussels Regulation (Recast) and the Lugano Convention.  The CJEU gave judgment in April 2019: Case C/603-17 [2019] IL Pr 22.
    • LCIA Arbitration
      Acted (with Mark Howard QC) in successfully defending a c.$2 billion claim in an LCIA arbitration arising out of a Shareholders’ Agreement
    • Goldman Sachs International v Novo Banco [2018] 1 WLR 3683
      Acted (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC and David Caplan) for the claimants in the Supreme Court in a claim worth in excess of $600 million. The issues before the Supreme Court concern the interpretation of the EU Directive on Bank Recovery and Resolution and article 25 of the Brussels Regulation (Recast).
    • Tiuta International Ltd v De Villiers [2017] 1 WLR 4627
      Acted (with Joanna Smith QC and Ed Peel) for Tiuta in the Supreme Court in a case concerning the correct approach to the assessment of damages in claims against valuers where the loan that the lender is induced to make by the negligent valuation is used to refinance a pre-existing loan.
    • Tesco shareholders’ litigation
      Acting (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC, David Mumford QC, Conall Patton and Michael Watkins) for Tesco in defending proceedings arising out of an overstatement of profits in 2014.
    • Société Générale v Goldas [2019] 1 WLR 346
      Acted (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC) for Société Générale in the Court of Appeal in a claim worth around $480 million. The issues before the Court of Appeal include the interpretation of CPR rule 6.15 and the law governing the enforcement of a cross-undertaking in damages.
    • BAT Industries plc v Sequana SA [2019] EWCA Civ 112:
      Acted (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC, David Mumford QC and James Kinman) in the Court of Appeal in BAT v Sequana. The case raised complex questions of law relating to the scope of section 423 of the Insolvency Act, the fiduciary of duties of directors, Part 23 of the Companies Act 2006 and reduction of capital.  
    • Stanford International Bank v Proskauer Rose LLP
      Acting (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC and Ed Peel) for Proskauer Rose LLP in the High Court of Antigua and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal in defending a c. $1 billion claim brought by the liquidators of Stanford International Bank for alleged breach of duty in failing to detect and report a Ponzi scheme. An application to set aside service out of the jurisdiction was heard in July 2017.
    • Acted (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC, Charles Kimmins QC and others) for the defendant in Commercial Court proceedings resisting the enforcement of a $1.2 billion LCIA arbitral award. The case, which settled shortly before the hearing, involved questions relating to the English choice of law rule for arbitration agreements in the light of Sulamerica v Enesa and the scope of section 66 of the Arbitration Act.
    • Afren v Shahenshah and others
      Acted (with Andrew Lodder) in a major Commercial Court action defending a c. $1 billion claim for conspiracy, bribery, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt, breach of contract and other causes of action. The dispute arose out of the development of an oilfield in Nigeria.
    • Advised (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC) an infrastructure company on a potential breach of contract claim and the construction of a limitation of liability clause
    • Advised (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC) a media company on a potential breach of contract claim arising out of the termination of a contract
    • Advised (with Sonia Tolaney QC) a financial institution on issues relating to statutory notices under the Consumer Credit Act.
    • Acting (as sole counsel) in the High Court defending a claim against a director for breach of fiduciary duty
    • Acted (as sole counsel) in the High Court defending an application for a third-party debt order
    • Acted (as sole counsel) in a claim for damages for the breach of a franchise and related agreements.
    • Acted (as sole counsel) in successfully defending a claim arising out of a contract made with an unincorporated association
    • Acted (as sole counsel) in a RICS arbitration in a claim for damages for the negligent management of a property.
  • Arbitration

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    • LCIA Arbitration
      Acted (with Mark Howard QC) in successfully defending a c.$2 billion claim in an LCIA arbitration arising out of a Shareholders’ Agreement
    • Acted (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC, Charles Kimmins QC and others) for the defendant in Commercial Court proceedings resisting the enforcement of a $1.2 billion LCIA arbitral award. The case, which settled shortly before the hearing, involved questions relating to the English choice of law rule for arbitration agreements in the light of Sulamerica v Enesa and the scope of section 66 of the Arbitration Act.
    • Acted (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC and Emma Jones) in a confidential high-value arbitration concerning natural gas.
    • Acted (as sole counsel) in a RICS arbitration in a claim for damages for the negligent management of a property.
  • Banking and Financial Services

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    • Goldman Sachs International v Novo Banco [2018] 1 WLR 3683
      Acting (with Laurence Rabinowitz QC and David Caplan) for the claimants in the Supreme Court in a claim worth in excess of $600 million. The issues before the Supreme Court concern the interpretation of the EU Directive on Bank Recovery and Resolution and article 25 of the Brussels Regulation (Recast).
    • Acting (as sole counsel) in the Commercial Court in an application for pre-action disclosure and a potential claim arising out of an ‘authorised push payment fraud’
    • Advised (with Sonia Tolaney QC) a financial institution on issues relating to statutory notices under the Consumer Credit Act

     

  • Energy and Natural Resources

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    • Afren v Shahenshah and others
      Acted (with Andrew Lodder) in a major Commercial Court action defending a c. $1 billion claim for conspiracy, bribery, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt, breach of contract and other causes of action. The dispute arose out of the development of an oilfield in Nigeria.
  • Recent Advocacy Appearances

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    • Acting (as sole counsel) in the High Court defending a claim against a director for breach of fiduciary duty
    • Acted (as sole counsel) in the High Court defending an application for a third-party debt order
    • Acted (as sole counsel) in a CMC in the Commercial Court involving contested issues relating to disclosure
    • Acting (as sole counsel) in a specific disclosure application in the Commercial Court involving issues relating to privilege and waiver of privilege
    • Acted (as sole counsel) in a claim for damages for the breach of a franchise and related agreements.
    • Acted (as sole counsel) for the claimant in a successful claim for damages for the defective conversion of a car.
    • Acted (as sole counsel) in successfully defending a claim for the alleged breach of a contract made with an unincorporated association.
    • Acted (as sole counsel) in a RICS arbitration in a claim for the negligent management of a property.
    • Acted (as sole counsel) in opposing a bankruptcy petition in the High Court.

Education

  • University of Oxford
    DPhil for the thesis ‘Damages for Misrepresentation in English Law’ (2013-15) (the issues addressed in the thesis include the proper interpretation of the SAAMCO principle, the test of causation in misrepresentation claims and the scope of sections 2(1) and 2(2) of the Misrepresentation Act 1967).
  • BCL (2010-11) (top in year, Vinerian Scholarship, three subject prizes)
  • National Law School of India University
    BA LLB (Hons) (2005-10) (top in year, twelve University Prizes, Chief Editor of the Law Review)

Academic Achievements

  • Eldon Scholarship (2015) (awarded each year to the most promising graduate of the University of Oxford intending to practise at the Bar)
  • Vinerian Scholarship for best performance in the BCL (2011) (Restitution of Unjust Enrichment, Conflict of Laws, Personal Taxation, Evidence)
  • John Morris Prize for best performance in the Conflict of Laws (2011)
  • Rupert Cross Prize for best performance in Evidence (2011)
  • Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers Prize for best performance in Personal Taxation (2011)
  • Rhodes Scholarship, University of Oxford (2010-11)
  • Clarendon Scholarship, University of Oxford (2013-15)
  • Twelve University Prizes as an undergraduate at the National Law School of India University (2010) including the Indira Khaitan Prize for University First Rank, the Justice Menon Prize for Best Graduating Student and the Subba Rao Prize for best performance in contract law.
  • Indian National Champion and Quarter-finalist in the International Rounds, Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (2009 and 2010)
  • Richard Baxter Award for Second Best Respondent Memorial in the World and Fourth Best applicant Memorial in the World, Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (2010)
  • Eighth Best Advocate in the World, Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (2009)
  • Honourable Mention for Advocacy at the Willem C Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition, Vienna (2006)

Previous Experience

  • Called to the Indian Bar (2010)
    Practised at the Commercial Bar in India in the Chambers of Mr Arvind Datar SC between 2011 and 2013 and acted (led and unled) in several complex commercial and tax cases in the High Court and in the Supreme Court of India.
  • Lecturer, University of Oxford
    Lecturer in Law at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (2014-15)

Selected Publications

  • (co-authored with Ian Glick QC) ‘Choosing the Law Governing the Arbitration Agreement’ in N Kaplan and M Moser (eds), Jurisdiction, Admissibility and Choice of Law in International Arbitration (Wolters Kluwer 2018)
  • The Contract Remoteness Rule: Exclusion, not Assumption of Responsibility’ in A Dyson, J Goudkamp and F Wilmot-Smith (eds), Defences in Contract (2017) (paper presented at All Souls College, Oxford in January 2016)
  • ‘Specific and Agreed Remedies for Breach of Contract in Indian Law: A Code of English Law?’ in M Chen-Wishart, A Loke and B Ong (eds), Performance Interest in the Contract Laws of Asia (OUP 2016) (paper presented at the National University of Singapore)
  • ‘Legislative Competence: The Union and the States’ in the Oxford Handbook to the Indian Constitution (OUP 2016)