Professional practice

Akash is developing a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile. Akash has been instructed in a wide range of practice areas spanning Chambers’ areas of expertise, including commercial litigation, civil fraud, banking & financial services, revenue law, shipping, insolvency and insurance work.

Akash is instructed in VTB Capital v The Republic of Mozambique and related proceedings, a high-profile dispute involving multiple Commercial Court claims worth US$2 billion arising out of the “tuna bond” scandal that pushed Mozambique into a debt crisis.

Before coming to the Bar, Akash graduated with a First Class degree in Law from St Catherine’s College, Oxford. He went on to read for the Bachelor of Civil Law at the University of Oxford.

Akash subsequently taught contract and tort law at the London School of Economics, and was a lecturer in law at Merton College, Oxford, where he taught undergraduate tutorials in Administrative Law.

 

Arbitration & related court applications

Akash has experience of matters relating to commercial arbitrations and applications under the Arbitration Act, including drafting pleadings in LCIA arbitrations and advising on applications under s.67 and s.68.

 

Banking & financial services

Acting in a £118 million claim for breach of Quincecare duty arising from the alleged Ponzi scheme of Allen Stanford. During pupillage, Akash assisted in a strike out application in the same proceedings [Stanford International Bank (in Liquidation) v HSBC Bank Plc [2020] EWHC 2232 (Ch)].

Akash has a particular interest in bond disputes. During pupillage, Akash assisted in an application for directions from the court as to whether the trustee of securitised loan notes could pay only certain of the beneficiaries of the notes having regard to the pari passu distribution provisions in the relevant trust deed, in circumstances where the underlying loans were tainted by illegality [Madison Pacific Trust Ltd v Privatbank [2020] EWHC 610 (Ch)]. Since commencing practice, Akash has advised on issues of enforcement in the context of a secured Eurobond issuance using a trust deed.

Before coming to the Bar, Akash taught undergraduate seminars in securities and finance as part of the Property I course at LSE.

Civil fraud & asset recovery

Acting (led by Joe Smouha QC and Ciaran Keller) for the Republic of Mozambique in proceedings against banks and investors in respect of a purported sovereign guarantee procured by bribery and corruption in which the Republic asserts state immunity, listed for a 12-week Commercial Court trial at the end of 2023 [VTB Capital (and Others) v The Republic of Mozambique (and Others)].

Acting in LCIA arbitration proceedings brought by a Russian oligarch arising from a fraud.

During pupillage, Akash assisted with preparing advice in a number of civil fraud matters, including advising a Russian oligarch in relation to potential causes of action in tort and unjust enrichment arising from a fraud, and advising a company in relation to potential claims in economic duress arising out of business dealings in Russia. Akash also experienced a number of high-profile civil fraud cases:

  • Assisted Members of Chambers in conducting one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Trials of 2019, an 8-week Commercial Court trial involving allegations of misrepresentation, deceit and conspiracy worth in excess of US$1 billion [Avonwick Holdings Ltd v Azitio Holdings Ltd [2020] EWHC 1844 (Comm)];
  • Assisted in preparing a defence and resisting a WFO in relation to a $2 billion fraud and conspiracy claim regarding an alleged fraud in relation to the ownership of Thailand’s leading wind energy firm [Nopporn Suppipat & Ors v Nop Narongdej & Ors].
Commercial chancery disputes

Instructed as sole counsel in an application to set aside a statutory demand in relation to a c. £400m debt in the High Court.

Akash has assisted in a number of commercial Chancery disputes, including in relation to unfair prejudice petitions, applications for directions in an insolvency, and claims in dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. Since commencing practice, Akash has appeared in the County Court in insolvency and company matters.

Commercial dispute resolution
  • Acted (led by Vernon Flynn QC) in a DIFC appeal concerning the jurisdiction’s first ever foreclosure order over the ‘last major undeveloped site in the DIFC’ valued upwards of AED 160 million [Al Rihab Real Estate Company LLC v Emirates NBD Bank PJSC].
  • Acting (led by Louise Hutton QC) in a dispute over the interpretation of an asset management agreement.
  • Akash has been involved in a number of matters across Chambers’ work profile in this area, including:
  • Advising on issues of frustration and force majeure arising from the Covid-19 Pandemic, including in the context of an office service agreement and an aircraft lease agreement
  • Acting in a claim for a contribution against a co-insurer outside of the jurisdiction;
  • Assisted in an application for strike out for failure to comply with a security for costs order, heard alongside an application to vary that order [Tyndaris SAM v MMWWVWM Ltd [2020] EWHC 778 (Comm)];
  • Assisted in an ex parte application to amend a pleading and join new parties raising issues of limitation, service out, and alternative service in the context of the Hague Convention on Service [NBT and Otkritie v Mints & Ors];
  • Assisted in an application for summary judgment in relation to a claim under a bond, raising issues as to the construction of a guarantee agreement and state immunity from jurisdiction and enforcement.
  • Assisted in a case involving issues related to the construction of a trading agreement and recoverable loss under that agreement; and
  • Assisted in providing advice on Henderson abuse of process in the context of related parties litigating identical points in different jurisdictions.
Company & insolvency law / corporate recovery

During pupillage, Akash assisted in a number of company and insolvency law matters, including:

  • Assisted in an application for directions by the administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) to return surplus funds to its shareholder during an ongoing liquidation [Re Lehman Brothers (International) Europe (In Administration) [2020] EWHC 1932 (Ch)].
  • Assisted in preparing an application to stay the appointment of provisional liquidators of a Bermudan company.
Conflict of laws & private international law

Akash has advised on issues relating to jurisdiction and applicable law in cross-border disputes. He is currently instructed in proceedings for declaratory relief in respect of breach of an exclusive jurisdiction clause.

During pupillage, Akash assisted in preparing advice in relation to an application to dispute the jurisdiction of the English courts under Article 29 of Brussels Recast [Federal Republic of Nigeria v Royal Dutch Shell Plc & Anor [2020] EWHC 1315 (Comm)].

Energy & natural resources

During pupillage, Akash assisted in a number of cases in the energy and natural resources sector, including a dispute over an oil pipeline and a civil fraud case in the energy and natural resources sector.

Insurance & reinsurance

During pupillage, Akash assisted on a number of insurance-related matters, including:

  • Advising on the scope of corporate liability cover;
  • Advising insurers in respect of the prospects of a defence of material non-disclosure under a D&O policy of insurance; and
  • A Bermuda Form arbitration.
Regulatory law & investigations

During pupillage, Akash assisted in advising the DFSA on a number of enforcement matters against individuals.

Revenue law (including VAT, IPT, duties & excise)

Acting (led by John Wardell QC and David Scorey QC) in MTIC fraud proceedings in the Tax Tribunal.

Assisted in advising on the tax implications of a Bond comprising of multiple identical single premium unit-linked whole of life assurance policies.

Shipping & admiralty

Acting (led by Chris Smith QC) in limitation proceedings arising out of the grounding of a vessel.

Unjust enrichment & restitution claims

Akash has experience advising on complex claims in unjust enrichment, including the identification of causes of action, quantification and the ouster of claims by statutory remedies.

Career

2020 – Tenant at Essex Court Chambers

2019-2020 – Pupil at Essex Court Chambers (supervised by Louise Hutton)

2019: Called to the Bar (Inner Temple)

2018-2019 – Lecturer in Law, Merton College, University of Oxford (Administrative Law)

2018-2019 – Guest Teacher, London School of Economics (Law of Obligations: contract and tort)

2018-2019 – Guest Teacher, London School of Economics (Property I: property and political theory)

Education

2018-2019 – BPTC, City, University of London

2017-2018 – Bachelor of Civil Law, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford

2014-2017 – BA Jurisprudence, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford (ranked 5th in year)

Awards

2018 – Major Scholarship (Inner Temple)

2017 – Foundation Scholarship (St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford)

2016 – David Blank Scholarship (St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford)