DEPARTMENT PROFILE

3 Verulam Buildings

International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance

7 ranked barristersBand 3London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers
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Ranked Barristers

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3 Verulam Buildings has a well-established reputation in international arbitration with notable depth in commercial disputes. The set is steeped in a long history of top-quality appointments in the financial services sector, often acting in arbitrations relating to shareholder disputes, as well as arbitration award enforcements. Its barristers also demonstrate expertise in energy and development-related disputes for clients across the Middle East, Europe and Africa, frequently conducted under the rules of the LCIA, the ICC, SIAC and UNCITRAL. Members offer additional strength to clients in investor-state disputes, acting in complex and high-value ICSID arbitrations.

Client service:

Stephen Penson and Stuart Pullum are the senior practice managers. "Stephen Penson is very personable and always picks up the phone. The clerking is very good and they all know their stuff." "The clerks are extremely responsive, always have options and are resourceful."

Strengths:

Ali Malek QC
Handles a broad range of international arbitration disputes regarding oil and gas, infrastructure, banking and joint venture matters, among others. He acts on behalf of governments, investors, shareholders, charities and international companies in arbitrations across the Middle East, Europe and Asia. He is familiar with the rules of various arbitral bodies including the LCIA and ICSID. He also has expertise handling disputes under Sections 67 and 69 of the International Arbitration Act 1996.
"An impressive, very thoughtful barrister who gives terrific strategic advice and really thinks through the issues in a deep way." "A charming advocate and one of the leading names."
Recent work: Acted for the Republic of Kazakhstan in a long-running attempt by members of the Stati family and their companies to enforce a USD500 million arbitration award.

Strengths:

Christopher Harris QC
An impressive performer in the space with significant experience representing clients in commercial international arbitration disputes relating to a wide array of industries. He is well regarded for his advocacy in high-value oil and gas disputes and infrastructure-related arbitrations. He regularly acts in arbitrations under ICSID, UNCITRAL and ICC rules. He also acts in investment treaty arbitrations.
"His multilingualism is a great strength and he is the first port of call for any international case. He has a fantastic manner with clients, a really commercial brain and an attention to detail and willingness to get involved in the case."
Recent work: Lead counsel for the Nova Group in a high-profile ICSID arbitration against Romania, arising out of the expropriation of Romania’s largest insurance business and the imprisonment of its former owner and his death in Romanian custody.

Strengths:

Georges Chalfoun
An impressive junior with a multifaceted arbitration practice who regularly handles significant disputes for clients in the oil and gas sector. He continues to establish a strong presence in the Middle East, while also taking instructions in Eastern Europe.
"An exceptionally bright barrister who really understands arbitration and is an effective advocate."

Strengths:

Mark Wassouf
Well respected in the international arbitration market. He draws on his previous experience as a solicitor and is highly regarded for his representation in international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations. His fluency in Arabic gives him a strong advantage in instructions emanating from the Middle East.
"He is smart, practical, professional and comfortable working in different areas of the law."
Recent work: Instructed by KLS Energy Lanka, a Malaysian investor in a wind farm, in a USD120 million claim against the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Strengths:

Paul Choon Kiat Wee
Acts for governments, major corporations and financial institutions in complex, sometimes high-value arbitrations, particularly in the telecoms, energy and infrastructure sectors. He is also an expert in investment treaty arbitrations and related enforcement proceedings.
"He is exceedingly bright and has absolutely excellent drafting skills. He has a real ability to think around the issues and distil them in a clear and concise way."
Recent work: Acted for the Republic of Kazakhstan in an ICSID investment arbitration concerning the expropriation of oil industry assets, brought under the 1992 Turkey-Kazakhstan bilateral investment treaty and the Energy Charter Treaty.

Strengths:

Rajesh Pillai QC
Provides robust assistance in international arbitrations. He acts for a wide range of clients, including contractors, investment funds and shareholders. He is often sought after for his expertise in offshore and foreign law disputes, particularly in connection with India. His clients include companies and individuals from around the world.
"He is very forensic, gets into the detail and puts together very good claim documents. He's very commercially astute."

Strengths:

Tariq Baloch
Represents an enviable array of clients including international corporations in multi-jurisdictional arbitrations governed by the rules of leading institutions, including the LCIA and ICC. He handles insurance and reinsurance, energy, oil and gas, banking and telecommunications matters, to name but a few. He regularly acts in complex, high-value disputes.
"He effectively embeds himself into a team and is extremely high quality."
Recent work: Represented JLW, a mechanical, engineering and plumbing contractor in Dubai, in three arbitrations arising out of three large construction projects, including the extension to the Dubai Mall.

International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance Department

3 Verulam Buildings

firm
Department location

3 Verulam Buildings

Gray's Inn

London

Greater London

UK

WC1R 5NT

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

London (Bar)

International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance


Ali Malek QC
Band 1
Christopher Harris QC
Band 3
Rajesh Pillai QC
New Silks

Juniors

London (Bar)

International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance


Georges Chalfoun
Band 4
Mark Wassouf
Band 4
Paul Choon Kiat Wee
Band 4