Vasanti Selvaratnam QC is a senior Silk practising as both Counsel and Arbitrator across a wide range of industry sectors, regularly handling multimillion dollar commercial disputes in shipping, trade and commodity disputes, banking and finance, insurance, jurisdiction disputes, conflict of law issues and civil fraud. She also specialises in all forms of interim relief, including freezing orders and anti-suit injunctions. Vasanti 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. Vasanti was shortlisted as Chambers and Partners Shipping Silk of the Year in 2019 and has been consistently highly rated in the legal guides throughout her many years in practice at the English Bar. Vasanti also speaks and publishes on a variety of legal topics, including most recently an article on English law and good faith published in the May 2020 edition of the LMCLQ.
Reported leading cases include The Alexandra 1  UKSC 6, (decision of the Supreme Court concerning the inter-relationship between the narrow channel rule and the crossing rule under the international Collision Regulations; the well-known House of Lords decisions in The Starsin  1 AC 715 and The Nagasaki Spirit  AC 455, the Court of Appeal decision 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  EWCA Civ 644 (leading case on non-contractual anti-suit injunctions), The Stolt Kestrel  EWCA Civ 1035 (leading case on extensions of time under section 190 Merchant Shipping Act 1995); and a number of important first instance decisions including The Rubicon Vantage  1 Lloyd's Rep 383 (first reported case to consider a hybrid parent company guarantee and the principles applicable to its interpretation), Deutsche Bank AG London Branch v CIMB Bank Berhad  EWHC 3380 (Comm) (compliance of a documentary credit presentation with UCP 600 in relation to signatures and other issues) and Emirates Trading Agency v PMEPL (ground breaking decision on multi-tiered friendly discussion clause as a condition precedent to right to commence arbitration which has generated much legal and academic discussion).
Vasanti was called to the Bar in 1983 and received her LLM in 1984. She has been a practising barrister at the Commercial Bar since 1985, a Recorder from 2000 – 2018, Queen's Counsel since 2001 and a Bencher of Middle Temple since 2011. Vasanti is a Panel arbitrator of SIAC, HKIAC and SCMA, a member of the LCIA, ICC and ICCA, a member of the LOF Panel of arbitrators and a supporting member of the LMAA. She has conducted a very large number of arbitrations to date, including as Chair, under all major international arbitral rules (including UNCITRAL) as well as ad hoc. She is chair of the education sub-committee of the London Shipping Law Centre and a Consultation Board member of Practical Law Arbitration. Vasanti is also joint head of Chambers of The 36 Group, one of the largest multi-disciplinary sets of barristers chambers in London.