36 Stone

Vasanti Selvaratnam QC

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Practice Areas

Vasanti Selvaratnam QC is a senior QC practising as Counsel and International Arbitrator within 36 Stone and is joint head of Chambers of The 36 Group.

Her practice embraces all aspects of international commercial litigation and arbitration, including shipping (wet, dry and shipbuilding), commodities, banking and finance, conflict of law and jurisdiction disputes, all forms of interim urgent relief, including freezing orders and anti-suit injunctions, and civil fraud. 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.

Professional Memberships

ICC Member


Chancery Bar Association






London Shipping Law Centre (Head of education sub-committee)

European Circuit

Bar European Group

Law Society European Group

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

ICC’s Banking and Finance committee


Individual member of the SCMA

SCMA Panel of Arbitrators


Her expertise was acknowledged again when she was announced as the highest ranked member of the UK Bar to feature in ‘All About Shipping’s Top 100 women in shipping for 2019’; a list of remarkable women who have substantially contributed to the international maritime industry over the years.

Industry Sector Expertise

As Counsel

Clients include the major P&I clubs, shipowners, charterers and salvors as well as large commercial organisations involved in commercial court litigation or international commercial arbitration in non-shipping matters.

Recent notable cases include; Rubicon Vantage v KrisEnergy [2019] EWHC 2012 (Comm), the first reported case to consider a hybrid guarantee which is part "on demand" and part "see to it" and the role of the Marubeni principle in relation to construction of the scope of the "on demand" portion of the guarantee. The Alexandra 1 [2018] EWCA Civ 2173, the leading case under the International Collision Regulations. Emirates Trading Agency LLC v PMEPL [2014] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 457, regarding friendly discussions clause a condition precedent to right to commence arbitration. China Steel Vision collision with Cape Daisy in relation to liability for a collision occurring in and around the traffic separation scheme operating in the Singapore Straits.

As Arbitrator:

Vasanti Selvaratnam QC has significant experience of dispute resolution in both a judicial and quasi-judicial capacity. She was appointed a Recorder in 1999, is an accredited mediator, and receives regular appointments to act as an arbitrator across a wide range of industry sectors, including but not limited to shipping and international trade disputes.

She accepts appointments under all the major industry rules, including LCIA, ICC, LMAA (supporting), LOF and SCMA and has particular expertise in cases raising complex technical issues as well as novel or difficult points on assessment of damages.

Recently arbitrations include:

Chair of an LCIA Panel relation to disputes under contract relating to the sale of crude oil. Chair of an ICC Panel relating to contractual disputes governed by Iraq law concerning removal of unexploded materials at Basrah port. Sole arbitrator in an UNCITRAL governed dispute relating to disputes under a guarantee (appointed by the LCIA). Co-arbitrator in an ICC India law governed and seated matter in the pharmaceutical sector. Numerous LOF appointments by Lloyds Salvage Arbitration Branch, including an ongoing matter which involves the largest LOF fund since records began. Numerous LMAA party appointments, including by well know oil and commodity traders.