Vasanti Selvaratnam QC practises in international commercial arbitration and commercial court litigation, regularly handling multimillion-dollar disputes across a wide range of industry sectors, including shipping and commodity disputes, banking and finance, insurance, jurisdiction and conflict of law issues and civil fraud. She also specialises in all forms of interim relief, including freezing orders and anti-suit injunctions. She is particularly noted for her user-friendly “hands-on” approach to cases and for her ability quickly to get to grips with disputes raising complex factual and technical issues which require a sound grasp of expert evidence and mastery of detail.
Reported leading cases include the House of Lords decision in The Starsin (House of Lords)  1 AC 715; the Court of Appeal decisions in The Wadi Sudr  1 Lloyd’s Rep 193 (leading case on the arbitration exception, the Judgments Regulation and issue estoppel); Joint Stock Asset Management Co Ingosstrakh-Investments v BNP Paribas  1 Lloyd’s Rep 649 (leading case on non contractual anti-suit injunctions); Madoff Securities International Ltd (in liquidation) v Yacht Bull Corporation  EWHC 133 (Ch) (interrelationship between the Judgments Regulation and the Insolvency Regulation in relation to jurisdiction); and The Stolt Kestrel  EWCA Civ 1035 (leading case on extensions of time under section 190 Merchant Shipping Act 1995). Other matters include a number of important first instance decisions including Jin Man (2009) 784 LMLN 3, anti suit injunctions and ostensible authority); RBS v FAl Oil Co Ltd and ors (2012, a leading case on interim relief under section 25 CJJA 1982); Emirates Trading Agency v PMEPL (2014, groundbreaking decision on multi-tiered friendly discussion clause as a condition precedent to right to commence arbitration); ETA v Sociedade de Fomento Industrial Private Ltd (2015, clarifying the law on estoppel arising from a prior partial interim award on jurisdiction where the constitution of a majority of the Tribunal has changed); and A v B  EWHC 3003 (Comm) (2016, concerning whether an arbitration lapses following a transfer to a successor company which takes the form of an assignment by operation of law rather than universal succession).
She is a member of COMBAR, the Chancery Bar Association, LCLBA, BMLA, ICC, LMAA, the London Shipping Law Centre (head of education subcommittee) and the Bar European Group.
Vasanti was called to the Bar in 1983 and gained her LLM in 1984. Roles include a practising barrister at the Commercial Bar (1985 to date); recorder (2000 to date); Queen's Counsel (2001); bencher of Middle Temple (2011); LOF Panel of Arbitrators (2013); Joint Head of Stone Chambers (2014); and Joint Head of London, St Philips Stone (2016). She accepts appointments as arbitrator in a wide range of commercial disputes under all institutional rules as well as ad hoc rules.
WWL says: Vasanti Selvaratnam is very highly thought of among peers and clients alike, who praise her for her standout shipping and commodities practice.
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